Financial sustainability with best practices.


Advanced Process Control - Milling and Flotation

Customer: VALE

Location: Mariana-MG

Challenge: The constant search for optimization of the mineral treatment processes has generated continuous actions to improve the performance of the plants, with the purpose of increasing the metallic recovery of the process, reducing the variability of the products and reducing the cost of inputs.

Solution: The implementation of the Flotation Specialist System is an example of adding new operation models in the flotation process unit. The project consisted in the implementation of the OptVision FrothTM systems (vision system), for online measurement of transshipment foam properties alongside the OptProcess system. The system, through the adopted control strategy, made the decisions regarding foam velocity, box levels, reagent dosages and evaluated the tendency of the flotation results to automatically generate the decisions that were sent directly to the regulatory control, as well as alarms associated with abnormal changes and/or situations. Seven cameras were installed to capture the image of the foam in the flotation.

Result: The Flotation Specialist System generated an increase of 3.86 pp (percentage points) and 2.78 pp (percentage points), respectively, in the recoveries in weight of the flotation, without affecting the quality of the pellet feed. With the increase of the selectivity of the floats, a mass increase of pellet feed produced in the year was projected. In addition, the operation of the Specialist System reduced the operational variabilities between the shifts, that is, their standardization. Another important fact is the signaling of the system and relation to the dosage of reagents, since it shows a potential for optimization of the dosages of the same in the flotation.