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Press Release

Digital Smelter from GE Digital Optimizes Energy Usage and New Revenue Opportunities with Smelting Digital Twins

June 02, 2021
  • Software solution reduces raw material consumption with prescriptive analytics, prevents unplanned downtime, and helps to avoid hazardous events
  • Dashboards and visualization help drive operational excellence showing productivity and efficiency of pot lines across the plant

SAN RAMON, Calif. – June 2, 2021 – GE Digital today announced the availability of its newest process analytics solution, Digital Smelter. The software creates a Digital Twin of the aluminium smelting process to deliver insights and prescriptive guidance to safely maximize production, reduce raw material costs, and optimize energy consumption.

Digital Smelter delivers a complete analysis of the components within a pot as well as each pot line[1], providing a Digital Twin to help increase the efficiency of the smelting process. The software also helps operators predict potential process and equipment anomalies and prescribe the most effective decisions. These capabilities help to keep operations safe and production optimal while reducing operator error.

“Digital Smelter has been implemented in Aluminium of Greece’s Mytilineos aluminium plant supporting the company’s goal to reduce electrical consumption by improving the accuracy of energy consumption models and pots’ overall performance,” said Nikos Zervos, Potlines Manager, Aluminium of Greece. “The predictive analytics capabilities of the GE Digital Smelter solution help Aluminium of Greece’s frontline operations by providing timely operational recommendations, improving action efficiency and, as a result, working conditions.”

Digital Smelter is able to  predict pot leaks to contribute towards reduction of unplanned stoppages and optimized pot health. Providing alerts for anomalies such as pot instability and undesirable events like anode spikes, help optimize energy consumption and keep the process reliable. Digital Smelter can also improve the quality of aluminium and reduce raw material consumption by modelling the proper amount of aluminium fluoride to use in each batch.

“By combining physics-based modelling and ML-powered analytics, GE Digital's Digital Smelter solution helps smelters decrease raw material and energy consumption of the smelting process, while opening new avenues for production optimization,” said Victor Voulgaropoulos, Verdantix Industry Analyst.

Executives and management can easily access dashboards showing the productivity, efficiency, and health of each potline or all lines across the organization. With the ability to benchmark performance across potlines, poor performing lines can be quickly identified and operators can review heat maps, performance trends, and pot health indicators to make decisions to restore the line’s performance and create more value for the business.  And, the Digital Twin can then prescribe the best action to help ensure the plant doesn’t shut down over costly equipment failures or Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) events, which could lead to fines and additional regulatory requirements.

“Digital Twins are learning, living models that combine domain knowledge and physics with industrial AI,” said Linda Rae, General Manager of GE Digital’s Power Generation and Oil & Gas business. “Companies use this technology to detect, prevent, and predict critical issues in order to uncover insights and actions that drive business value. Our Digital Smelter software employs Digital Twins and other Industrial AI technologies to harness the power of data and drive business workflow automation, so aluminium producers around the world can operate more efficiently and profitably.”

More information on Digital Smelter can be found here.




[1] A potline is a long building, or collection of buildings, which contain a series of “pots,” or large electrolytic cells, in which aluminium is made.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ellie Holman
Product & Technology Communications
GE Digital
[email protected]

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