A de-coupled level controller for cascaded flotation processes

Van Heerden, Jacobus P. (Jacobus Petrus) (2002-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Flotation was introduced early in the zo" century as a separation process for extracting valuable minerals from grinded ore. Today flotation is a dominant mineral concentration method and is used for almost all sulphide minerals and also for nonsulphide metallic minerals, industrial minerals, and coal. Automation and control has become a basic requirement in flotation plants. Effective control of pulp levels plays a very important role in stabilising the flotation process and therefore requires careful attention. This thesis presents a de-coupled level controller that has been developed for the control of levels in cascaded flow processes, including multi-tank cascaded flotation processes. The controller was developed on a two tank cascaded pilot plant using water as a flow medium. A simulation model was constructed for the cascaded flow process. The simulation model made it possible to develop and evaluate a decoupled level controller in a simulation environment. Finally independent loop PIO control and integrated PIO control loops with feed-forward de-coupling were compared through simulation, as control strategies for the pilot plant.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Flotasie is vroeg in die 20ste eeu bekend gestel as 'n skeidingsproses om waardevolle minerale te onttrek uit fyngemaalde erts. Vandag is flotasie die dominante proses om minerale te konsentrasie en word gebruik vir byna aile sulfied minerale sowel as nie-sulfied metaal minerale, industriele minerale and steenkool. Outomatisasie en beheer het 'n basiese vereiste geword in flotasie aanlegte. Die effektiewe beheer van pulpvlakke speel 'n baie belangrike rol in die stabilisering van die flotasie proses en verdien om hierdie rede deeglike aandag. Hierdie tesis stel 'n ontkoppelde vlakbeheerstelsel voor wat ontwikkel is vir die beheer van vlakke in kaskade vloei prosesse byvoorbeeld multi-tenk flotasie prosesse. Die beheerstelsel is ontwikkel op 'n twee-tenk kaskade toetsaanleg met water as vloeimedium. 'n Volledige simulasiemodel is ontwikkel wat dit moontlik gemaak het om die vlakbeheerstelsel te ontwerp, toets en verfyn in 'n simulasie omgewing. Verder is die verskil tussen onafhanklike enkellus PID beheerders en ontkoppelde PID beheerlusse ondersoek en word in die tesis geillustreer.

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