The ultimate aim in pelletizing is to produce consistently high pellet quality at high productivity rates and low conversion costs—all while keeping an eye on the emission limits that the operation is subject to.
Due to the mutual interdependence of the different pelletizing process steps, precise simulation is an essential basis for reliable process optimization. Primetals Technologies has therefore developed the Expert System for pelletizing, which is supported by advanced process models that provide additional insight into the process, and support operational decisions. As the material on the surface, the bottom, the walls, and the center faces different process conditions, the process models predict, evaluate, and track these conditions on a fine-meshed grid in all cross sections throughout the whole process chain. Extended simulation capabilities support the identification of optimal operational points—in order, for example, to optimize the trade-off between the energy supply to the different process steps in the drying and induration zones.
Different shift operators tend to operate the machine in different ways. Equalizing operational decisions over all shifts will lead to maximum production of quality pellets at minimal production costs. This is where the Expert System for pelletizing from Primetals Technologies is at its best. It models knowledge of experienced pelletizing process engineers and operators, the cause-and-effect relationships of process disturbances, metallurgical know-how, and the prevailing control philosophy. It thus monitors and foresees the process status, provides graphical displays, counteracts process disturbances, suggests control measures, and explains suggested measures in the form of verbal messages.
The Expert System uses the information from the Process Information and Data Management System and the advanced process models to standardize the operation, gain stabilized product quality, and lower fuel consumption. Thus process-control practice becomes more uniform—and efficient—across different shifts.