Lonmin is the third largest producer of platinum groups metal (PGM) in the world.
Overcoming operational bottlenecks
When 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.
Transforming Lonmin’s operations management
Lonmin initially implemented Proficy CSense at the filter and drying section of its smelter operation to help remove bottlenecks and increase efficiency. The results were so positive that Proficy CSense 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 Proficy CSense, Lonmin was able to increase revenue and margin by optimizing the performance and throughput of its plants, sites, and portfolio.
Increasing operational performance across multiple sites
Proficy CSense is now is an integral part of Lonmin’s smelter operation, with its operators heavily relying on the solution to run the process optimally. Proficy CSenseopertionsoperations 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.