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Predix Operations Performance Management

Lonmin Improves Recovery and Increases Smelter Throughput with Predix OPM

10 %

Increase in throughput in the filter and drying section

25 %

Decrease in variation in feed into the slag mill

45 %

Decrease in variation in cyclone feed pressure

1.5 %

Greater recover in the slag plant

Introduction

Company

Lonmin

Product Categories

Predix Operations Performance Management, Predix Asset Performance Management

Lonmin is the third largest producer of platinum groups metal (PGM) in the world.

Challenges

Overcoming operational bottlenecks

 

In 2007, platinum prices were at an all-time high. Lonmin wanted to maximize efficiency and unlock hidden capacity in its process. GE had previously helped Lonmin’s concentrating section solve some tough challenges, so GE was called on again to help with a bottleneck in the smelter area. So, the two companies partnered together to support Lonmin’s digital transformation of its operation’s processes.

Solutions

Transforming Lonmin’s operations management

 

Lonmin initially implemented Predix Operations Performance Management (Predix OPM) at the filter and drying section of its smelter operation to help remove bottlenecks and increase efficiency. The results were so positive that Predix OPM was expanded to several other sections in the smelter, including the slag plant and gas cleaning plant, as well as for the monitoring of its control systems. By leveraging Predix OPM, Lonmin was able to increase revenue and margin by optimizing the performance and throughput of its plants, sites, and portfolio.

Results

Increasing operational performance across multiple sites

 

Predix OPM is now is an integral part of Lonmin’s smelter operation, with its operators heavily relying on the solution to run the process optimally. Predix OPM has been able to provide significant value throughout the Lonmin smelter. These outcomes have included:

 

  • 10%+ increase in throughput in the filter and drying section
  • 25% decrease in variation in feed into the slag mill 
  • 45% decrease in variation in cyclone feed pressure
  • 1.5% greater recovery in the slag plant
  • Stabilization of pH control in the absorber in the gas cleaning plant
  • Optimization of performance of baselayer (PID) control

 

As a next step, Lonmin plans to leverage GE's Predix Platform for performance management tools to increase uptime and decrease maintenance costs on its fans and blowers. The company also plans to implement predictive monitoring on some of the smelter’s critical equipment, including fans and blowers, to help reduce failures and prioritize maintenance.

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