An on-line machine vision flotation froth analysis platform

Botha, Charl P. (1999-10)

Thesis (MEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Froth flotation is a popular process used for the extraction of certain minerals from ore. The effective automatic control of this process has great financial importance. Utilising machine vision as the measurement component of an automatic flotation control system has several advantages: it is a cost effective solution due to its non-contacting sensors and consequent low maintenance, as well as its low initial setup costs; it yields consistent and accurate parameters; and the measurements it makes are available immediately, thus enabling real-time control and minimising the effects of process disturbances rapidly and efficiently. In addition, machine vision can be used as a research tool for investigating froth flotation, a process which is still not fully understood. This work documents the development of an on-line machine vision flotation froth analysis platform that is in use in the industry as the measurement component of an advanced flotation control system and in the academic world as a powerful research tool. Two additional froth analysis applications, namely an embedded froth mobility sensor for use in the flotation industry and a continuous froth video sampling and analysis research platform, are developed in the course of this work. An investigation into continuous video sampling and analysis of flotation froth is performed for the first time and indicates that this mode of froth image acquisition yields more information than traditional froth imaging methods. Recommendations are made with respect to the practical application of continuous froth video sampling and analysis.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Skuim-flotasie is 'n gewilde proses vir die ontginning van sekere minerale uit erts. Die effektiewe outomatiese beheer van flotasie dra groot finansiele impak. Daar is verskeie voordele verbonde aan die gebruik van rekenaar-visie as die sensor-komponent van so 'n outomatiese flotasie beheerstelsel. Dit is 'n koste-effektiewe oplossing vanwee die feit dat die sensors nie in aanraking is met die flotasie nie en dus min onderhoud vereis. Boonop is die aanvanklike opstellingskoste laag. 'n Masjien-visie stelsel lewer akkurate en betroubare metings en dit kan hierdie metings baie vinnig beskikbaar maak wat intydse beheer van 'n flotasie-aanleg vergemaklik. Daar kan dan baie vinnig op proses-versteurings gereageer word. Masjien-visie is ook waardevol vir navorsing oor flotasie, 'n proses wat nog nie heeltemal verstaan word nie. 'n Praktiese masjien-visie gebaseerde flotasie-skuim analise platform word ontwikkel. Hierdie sagteware word gebruik in die flotasie-industrie as die sensor-komponent van 'n gevorderde flotasie beheerstelsel asook as 'n kragtige navorsings-hulpmiddel in die akademiese wereld. Twee bykomende toepassings word ontwikkel, naamlik 'n intydse flotasie-skuim mobiliteitsensor vir gebruik in die flotasie-industrie en 'n n'avorsingsplatform vir die insameling en analise van kontinue flotasie-skuim video-data. Ondersoek word ingestel na die analise van kontinue flotasie-skuim video-data vir die eerste keer in flotasie-skuim geskiedenis, en die resultate dui daarop dat hierdie metode van datainsameling meer informasie oor die skuim inhou as tradisionele insamelings- en analise metodes. Daar word aanbevelings gemaak omtrent die praktiese toepassing van kontinue flotasie-skuim video monstering.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51129
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