Challenge

Thickener Circuits are downstream from many processes that can generate instability and disturbances - especially as they are being fed ore at a variable rate and with ever-changing material properties (hardness, mineralogy, etc).

These changing ore properties and upstream process performance destabilize Thickener circuits, such that operations often battle to keep their Thickeners stable and operating as desired.

These instabilities can cause undesired incidents, like sudden solids build-up in a Thickener and a sharp rise in rake torque or bed pressure. Such incidents impact not only operational performance but the plant's financial performance as well.

Operators learn to run Thickeners conservatively (less optimal) to rather be safe. This can lead to the underflow material not being dry enough (needing additional drying downstream), or the overflow not being clear enough (needing additional water processing downstream). Decreased throughput and equipment damage are real risks too.

Our Solution

IntelliSense.io's Thickener Application (connected to the Material Transport Model) can predict the effect of plant feed material properties & upstream process performance (like Grinding or Flotation) on the Thickener circuit performance. It then guides Operators on exactly how to operate the Thickener in real-time to prevent undesirable disturbances or incidents, and maintain stable operation.

Performance screen showing the optimized future of a Thickener, with recommended control variable values for that moment. It also shows how upstream conditions are impacting performance.

The Thickener Application also ensures that a healthy mass balance is maintained over the Thickener circuit - keeping its solids inventory in check at all times.

Dashboard showing a real-time mass balance over a Thickener, with an Alert for Operators in case the Thickener becomes unbalanced.

Value

  • Stable Thickener performance, even during ore property or operational changes

  • Operators can focus on sources of disruptions (e.g. grinding circuit), rather than trying to fix downstream processes impacted by it

  • Prevention of isolation events (or stoppages), increasing overall throughput

  • Rake and pump protection

Click here for more info on How to achieve consistent Thickener performance?

Also, please do reach out to us via Intercom/chat. We'd be happy to help!

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