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Plant-wide optimization of a copper smelter: How to do it in practice?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th European Metallurgical Conference, EMC 2019
PublisherGDMB Verlag GmbH
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783940276872
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean Metallurgical Conference - Dusseldorf, Germany
Duration: 23 Jun 201926 Jun 2019
Conference number: 10


ConferenceEuropean Metallurgical Conference
Abbreviated titleEMC


Optimizing complex industrial processes, such as copper smelting, accurately has proven to be challenging with traditional methods. The process includes combinations of interlinked continuous and batch unit processes and further many of the control actions require manual actions from the process operators. Changing process bottlenecks and other limitations in real life have meant that the process is not necessarily operated optimally. The traditional closed loop Model predictive control (MPC) methods cannot be used in such applications until the level of automation is increased significantly. To unleash the full potential of the smelter and to meet the future demands for sustainability, efficient plant-wide model-based control is needed. In the first phase such tools can be implemented as advisory systems guiding and supporting the human operators in their everyday decisions. Coordinating Optimisation of Complex Industrial Processes, or COCOP, a project born under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 and the SPIRE initiative, aims to tackle this challenge. In this paper methods under development in COCOP for optimisation of a copper smelter including plant-wide control and unit process advisory tools, are introduced and discussed. The main focus of the paper is in describing the development work relating to the optimisation of the Peirce-Smith unit process.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • COCOP, Digitalization, Peirce-Smith converting, Plant-wide optimization, Scheduling

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland