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KGHM: artificial intelligence supports copper smelting at the “Głogów” Copper Smelter

KGHM: artificial intelligence supports copper smelting at the “Głogów” Copper Smelter

Wednesday, 28 December, 2022
The project of implementation of algorithms that support the work of the Slurry Furnace controllers at KGHM’s “Głogów” Copper Smelter has been completed. Based on historical data, algorithms predict with almost 100-percent efficiency the heat losses in the furnace reaction shaft that will occur in the near future. Moreover, they are able to automatically change the parameters to stabilize the heat losses to increase the efficiency of copper smelting. This idea is the result of the first hackathon organized by KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.

The slurry furnace is the heart of “Głogów” Copper Smelter and plays a key role in the proper functioning of the entire branch. The furnace is constantly monitored and its temperature reaches as many as 1,300 degrees Celsius. Therefore, stabilization of the heat uptake in the reaction shaft is a challenge. The stabilization task was assigned to participants in a programming marathon organized by the Analytics Center in Zielona Góra, a KGHM Group company.

“We are committed to the use of new technologies in mining and metallurgy. We constantly introduce new solutions in the field of process automation and robotization in accordance with the KGHM 4.0 vision. Most importantly, however, we think about increasing efficiency while taking care of the safety of KGHM’s staff, and such solutions are the most important for us,” said Tomasz Zdzikot, CEO of KGHM Polska Miedź.

From the hackathon to the smelter

The project was one of the three tasks set for the participants in the 1st edition of the CuValley Hack 2021 hackathon. The authors of the innovative solution are young analysts and developers from Data Drivers. Just five months after the event, the copper industry leader started implementing the innovative solution in its organization at the “Głogów” Copper Smelter.

What was the purpose of the project?

For the first time, the technology of the Slurry Furnace of  the “Głogów” Copper Smelter used artificial intelligence in the form of algorithms for prediction and adjustment of the technological parameters of the furnace. The developed solutions are able to predict what the heat loss in the reaction shaft will be in the near future and to automatically adjust it.

“KGHM constantly implements modern information technology solutions. We are strongly convinced, which is of course supported by numerous positive effects of such applications, that currently this is the key to the improvement of both process efficiency and economic efficiency,” added Przemysław Wiśniewski, CEO of the “Głogów” Copper Smelter.

KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. is a global leader in the mining and manufacturing industry. The company places great emphasis on research and development activities and systematically implements innovations in its production processes.

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