IGO greatly improves grinding mill efficiency through predictive control using 3DPM size distribution measurement
Press Release 2020-09-03
IGO Limited, the owner and operator of the Nova Nickel Operation in Western Australia has trialed and purchased 3DPM for on-line particle size distribution (PSD) measurement on conveyor belts using 3D imaging. The Nova operation is located in the remote Fraser Range of Western Australia and produced 30,436 t of nickel concentrate in the 12 months ending June 30, 2020.
IGO uses the size distribution as a “disturbance variable” in a model predictive controller for a SAG mill. The model can predict by up to 100 seconds in advance the effect on the SAG mill weight. This has greatly improved the stability of the grinding circuit as well as increased the energy efficiency of the Mill.
Furthermore, 3DPM's rock bolt detection feature detects rock bolts in real time, alerting the operator and allowing them to stop the feed to remove the rock bolt. This feature will enable IGO to act quickly and avoid unplanned downtime and costly damages.
IGO control systems engineers are currently looking at other ways in which the measurement can be used including the possibility to track the wear of the jaw crusher liners. As the jaw crusher liners wear down, the average size of the crushed particles increases. This will allow IGO to do jaw crusher maintenance in a smarter way.
The commissioning of 3DPM was done smoothly by remote connection with no site visit.
“This is a very exciting order for us since IGO is a very interesting mining company which believes in a green energy future by delivering the metals needed for new age batteries”, says Lars Lindqvist, CEO, at Optimation Advanced Measurements.
3DPM® is a world leading vision system for online particle size distribution measurement developed by Optimation Advanced Measurements in cooperation with Australian company Innovative Machine Vision (IMV) and research at Lulea Technical University (LTU). 3DPM uses high speed 3D profile measurement based on laser triangulation encapsulated in a robust protective housing to ensure seamless, low maintenance operation in harsh industrial environments. At the core of 3DPM are the advanced algorithms for particle delineation, classification and sizing ensuring stable reliable measurement suitable for automatic control.