Selection and Implementation of a Modern Model Predictive Controller for Furnace Slag Composition Control.


Philip Nelson, XPS Expert Process Solutions, A Glencore Company; Napoleon Reata, XPS, Expert Process Solutions

The control of the metallurgy of furnace slag has important impacts on safety, operability and economics. Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations' Sudbury Smelter has used a PC based model predictive controller (MPC) selected and configured by XPS for control of the iron to silica ratio in their furnace slag for over 10 years. The system needed to be modernized as part of control system updates and an important criterion in the choice of replacement was a reduction in specialist support for routine maintenance. A Rockwell PlantPAx PLC based controller was chosen for its capabilities and smelter tradespeople’s’ familiarity with the platform. This paper describes the system selection and implementation processes and the online results.
Keywords: Process control, Model Predictive Control, MPC, furnace, slag composition, flux