GE Digital recently announced the availability of its newest process analytics solution, Digital Smelter. The software, according to the company, creates a digital twin of the aluminum smelting process to deliver insights and prescriptive guidance to safely maximize production, reduce raw material costs, and optimize energy consumption.
Digital Smelter, said the company, delivers a complete analysis of the components within a pot as well as each pot line. The software also helps operators predict potential process and equipment anomalies and prescribe the most effective decisions.
“Digital Smelter has been implemented in Aluminum of Greece’s Mytilineos aluminum 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, Aluminum of Greece. “The predictive analytics capabilities of the GE Digital Smelter solution help Aluminum of Greece’s frontline operations by providing timely operational recommendations, improving action efficiency and, as a result, working conditions.”
GE Digital said Digital Smelter is able to predict pot leaks to contribute toward 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 aluminum and reduce raw material consumption by modelling the proper amount of aluminum 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, an industry analyst at the digital-strategy research and advisory firm Verdantix.
Executives and management can 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, poorly 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 and Safety (EHS) events, which could lead to fines and additional regulatory requirements.