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Achieve Maximal Separation Efficiency of the Feed Stream

IntelliSense.io’s Thickener Optimization application guides metallurgists, operators and lower level control systems to achieve maximal separation efficiency of the feed stream, while stabilizing the product stream and minimizing the flocculant usage.

The Problems Faced by Thickener Circuits

Thickener circuits are solid-liquid separation processes, sending settling solids to the underflow, and clear water to the overflow. They are used both on concentrate and tailing streams. Some of the problems which arise in the Thickening process are:

  • Constantly changing ore properties
  • Operations struggle to consistently achieve their target underflow density or overflow clarity
  • Different operational modes depending on the operator’s shifts
  • Operators battle with unexpected solids build-up, seen as sharp rises in rake torque or bed pressure or fines in the overflow that contaminate downstream processes
  • In order to compensate for uncertainties and instability, operators use excess flocculant, which negatively impacts downstream processes

Knowing the current state of the Thickener circuit enables predictions of future states to meet objectives and adhere to equipment limits, reducing isolation events and increasing thickener performance.

The IntelliSense.io Solution

IntelliSense.io’s Thickener Optimization Application, powered by the IntelliSense brains.app platform, has been built for purpose – to address these challenges directly:

  1. Predictive Decision-Making: The Digital Process Model underpinning the Thickener Optimizer provides operators with proactive recommendations on what they need to do to maintain operational stability and desired performance
  2. A Configurable Value Driver: Users can stipulate the process objectives and operational limits that guide what “optimal” means for a specific thickener circuit
  3. Upstream Connection: IntelliSense.io’s Material Transport & Influence Model can account for variables like mineralogy and particle size in recommending proactive changes to the process

Fig 1: A Solution Panel in the Thickener Application showing an overview of the process in real-time

The Added Chemistry from our Partnership with BASF

BASF are a world leader in the supply of process chemistry designed to achieve the most from a thickener. They have significant experience in the operation of thickening circuits and have a deep understanding of the upstream and downstream impacts that influence their operation.

We have embedded that knowledge and chemical interaction directly into our Thickener Optimisation Application, which when combined with our advanced data analytics and AI has produced a synergy of effect unlike anything in the industry today.

BASF and IntelliSense.io Partnership

Fig 2: The Performance Solution Panel in the Thickener Application providing predictions and optimization as well as giving the ability to simulate the impact of different control variable set points.

Fig 3: The Operator Solution Panel in the Thickener Application providing recommended set points and predicted changes with a certainty band.

The Value Gained from Optimization

The IntelliSense Thickener Optimization Application will:

  • Stabilize and maximize underflow density and/or overflow clarity
  • Prevent isolation events and other undesired stoppages
  • Ensure optimal flocculant usage (often decreasing usage)
  • Protect rakes and pumps from damage

16% reduction in flocculant usage achieved by implementing the Thickener Optimization Application at a Chilean Copper Mine

16%

Reduction in chemical usage

3.5GWh | 2480 tCO2e

Reduction per year

”Significant progress in the stabilization of operation of thickeners was achieved.”

Superintendent – Development

Antofagasta Minerals

Mine to Market: Value Chain Optimization

Powered and connected together by the brains.app platform, the Thickener Optimization Application is one of a suite of real-time decision-making applications that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimize each process; from mine-to-market. 

Our Material flow model connects these applications together to drive even greater efficiency gains.

The IntelliSense.io Application Portfolio