Design and implementation of a process control system for column flotation

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 973, 1993

D.B. Hyma, Hatch Associates Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, and A.I.A. Salama, CANMET, Devon, Alberta

The Western Research Centre (WRC) of CANMET located in Devon, Alberta, is a modern research facility offering services ranging from fundamental research to pilot plant investigations. Recently, a 0.76 metre diameter by 7.9 metre high Flotaire column flotation cell was installed as a demonstration unit for Canadian coal producers. Because the column cell is intended to be used for research, development and demonstration, WRC recognized that additional sensing equipment and improved process control would be required to generate good data for subsequent column scale-up and engineering design. A low cost, personal computer based control system was, therefore, designed and installed. This paper describes the step-wise procedure in developing the control strategies, selection of system software and hardware, and installation and configuration of the system. Preliminary performance data on a western Canadian coal sample are also presented. Future testwork is planned on additional coal samples to expand upon existing database monitoring within 2 m to 15 m of a blast hole having loading conditions similar to production blasts.
Mots Clés: Column flotation, Process control, Coal preparation, Mineral processing, Fine coal recovery.