Computer-assisted control of the Noranda Process

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 969, 1993

D. Verhelst, Noranda Technology Centre, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and Y. Prevost, Noranda Minerals Inc., Home Division, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec

A computer-assisted process control system for the Noranda Process Reactor was installed at the Home smelter in 1991. Operating as an advisory tool for the furnace operators, and using a flexible oxygen balance as the basic building block of the computer program, the new control system has helped to reduce the variability in the grade of the matte produced by 50%. The smelter is currently operating at a 72% copper matte, with a standard deviation of between 1.0 and 1.3, while treating a wide range of concentrates, secondary materials and scrap. Enhanced process control has allowed for longer reactor campaigns, and improved stability of the converting operation. This paper reviews the feed classification and blending practice used at the smelter, outlines the strategy of the new computer control system, and summarises the benefits realized since the implementation of the system in early 1990.
Mots Clés: Noranda Process, Smelters, Computer applications, Metallurgical processes, Reactors, Process control.