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DISIRE Report Summary

Project ID: 636834
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DISIRE (Integrated Process Control based on Distributed In-Situ Sensors into Raw Material and Energy Feedstock)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

DISIRE has been inspired by the real existing needs of multiple industrial sectors, including the world leading partners in the non-ferrous, ferrous, chemical and steel industries that are highly connected and affiliated with the SPIRE PPP and its objectives. The primary clear and measurable objective of DISIRE is to evolve the existing industrial processes by advancing the European Sustainable Process Industry through an overall resource and energy efficiency paradigm based on the technological breakthroughs and concepts of the DISIRE technological platform in the field of Industrial Process Control.

DISIRE is focusing in an overall improvement of the product quality, a reduction in the consumed energy and a corresponding reduction on the environmental impact. This problem is addressed by the application of the DISIRE that has the vision to insert in the production processes novel concepts on modeling, control and big data processing.

Overall the aim of DISIRE is to create novel sensors that will be able to follow the stages of the process or the products through the supply chain or the processing stages and measure specific characteristics of the products or the processes. In a secondary stage these sensory readings will be integrated with the current and vast amount of previously logged data from all the processes in order to be uploaded in a cloud infrastructure. The cloud will make use of the bid data analytics concept in order to process in real time this vast amount of information and to create conclusions towards the process model improvements and the overall control scheme. This process will be analyzed in the sequel by advanced cloud based control schemes that will result in a final reconfiguration of the local controllers’ tuning variables. The described DISIRE enabled processes will have the ability to be continuously updated with the most realistic status of the process, while will enable a better utilization of the energy consumption and the knowledge of the processes internal dynamics and thus produce products of better quality and more greener.

The industrial sectors that DISIRE is focusing are all characterized as heavy energy consumption processes and thus the successful execution of DISIRE and the application of the findings in the existing industrial processes will have a direct impact on the consumed energy, the quality of the products and the impact on the environment. As an example, for only the DCI North facilities, the consumption of the fuel gas is reaching up to 250K Ton/year and thus it is evident that small improvements will result into a very big impact in the field, thus 1% improvement of the DCI’s cracking furnaces, based on the DISIRE technology, will result in 2K Ton/year savings.

For achieving these visions, DISIRE has the following technological objectives:

O1. Develop miniaturized PAT technologies capable of being inserted into flows of raw materials and thus enabling the concept of “Intelligent Raw materials” and delivering a PAT based Swarm Sensing and Data Analysis

O2. Introduce Multi-objective In line Sensor Technology for Real Time Sensing & Networking in Industrial Environments

O5. The focus of DISIRE in the non-ferrous processes includes cross-sectorial processes in Mines, Processing Plants, Mining, Machine Producers, etc. A key objective for the DISIRE project is to improve efficiency and competitiveness related to the copper production. A way to progress towards this objective is to decompose the whole production process into many sub-processes and their identification and better understanding.

O6. The focus of DISIRE in the Ferrous Processes lies on demonstrations and experiments in real industrial environments in order to establish a rugged sensor platform capable of withstanding the harsh industrial conditions of ferrous mineral processing, constituting of abrasive wear and high temperatures. Ferrous mineral processing presents several challenges that have to be tackled in order to optimize the process intensity and energy consumption of the existing processes.

O7. In the Steel industry the DISIRE objective is to facilitate and demonstrate the use of sensors in the steel plant and evaluate measured data in combination with existing process data and off/on line existing gathered PAT, as well as to investigate how the overall IPC strategy can be altered based on the introduced DISIRE tools.

O8. In Combustion DISIRE pursues the improvement of the combustion processes mainly in the Chemical sector and thus it envisages a complete characterization of furnaces. Major developments in model and control of the combustion processes will lay the foundation of a substantial increase of energy efficiency of the whole production process as well as reduction of CO2 emissions, which represents already and within the close future a serious threat for these industries in terms of cost and sustainability.

O9. Innovation and Commercialization of DISIRE Components in order to bridge the gap between research and market and create value within and beyond the consortium while transforming the DISIRE modules into mature components that can be further integrated in existing IPC systems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The up to now work performed in DISIRE is presented in the sequel with respect to the corresponding WPs.

WP1 - Application Scenarios, Impact Goals and Benchmarking

WP1 has been the base for all the developments in DISIRE since it contained all the specifications and the plans that all the technological WP2-4 and the demonstration WPs WP5-8 should follow. In this WP the initial and end-user specifications for the sensing, controlling and data analyzing techniques have been specified, while the targeted demonstration processes in WP5-8 have been also defined. Specific focus was maid in highlighting the current status of the industrial processes and the way that DISIRE will evolve and impact. Overall, the DISIRE demonstration actions will be categorized in open loop processes (WP5 and WP6) and closed loop processes (WP7 and WP8). Finally in this WP, specific and realistic end-user driven measurable key performance indices for the DISIRE developments have been produced in order to maximize the impact of the project.

WP2 - Process Modeling and Control

In this WP there have been produced novel methodologies for the analysis, modelling and control of industrial systems, with a special focus on the industrial processes of DISIRE. A fast online modelling algorithm (operating on a stream of data coming from the process) has been introduced, which turned out to be one order of magnitude faster than other existing approaches. Furthermore, a Newtonian algorithm has been introduced for the fast solution of the identification problems for piecewise affine dynamics where we simultaneously identify the polyhedral partition and the individual system dynamics. This algorithm can also operate on a stream of data. Additionally, WP2 presented an algorithm for the selection of a (sparse) controller configuration based on the system's relative gain array and a stochastic model predictive control scheme using scenario trees.

WP2 then focused on the three case studies of DISIRE, namely, the walking beam furnace of MEFOS, the ethylene/LPG cracking furnace of Dow Chemical and the network of conveyor belts at the mines of KGHM. In particular, for the walking beam furnace we provide a complete analysis starting from dynamical modeling of the involved uncertainties using scenario trees, modelling of the combustion quality using machine learning techniques and the formulation of a control problem with relevant closed-loop simulations under uncertainty. For the cracking furnace of Dow Chemical we identified dynamical models using process data. For the network of conveyor belts we provided a description of the system characteristics and specifications and a problem statement, we used models based on cellular automata to describe the flow of mass inside the ore bunkers and we present a probabilistic analysis of the ore mass moving on the conveyor belts and the pertinent waiting times (in terms of their probability density functions). The ore flow with continuous charging from the retention bunkers was also modelled using time series models.

WP3 – Sensor and Electronics

WP3 created the inline sensing technologies of DISIRE. More specifically, positioning RFID tags have been developed for tracing the iron ore, with corresponding RFID readers, where the position was measured both using 13.56 MHz RFID as well as using 125 kHz beacon technology, with the aim to continue the work with other sensor technologies towards oxygen sensing. Furthermore, in WP2 studies were performed towards the applications of the positing measurement in transportation chains in the underground transport system in KGHM. For the experimental blast furnace and the walking beam furnace specific sensor inline modules have been developed that can be inserted in the hot processes, transmit data and retain their operation up to 900 Degs. For the batch sensor development, WP3 has investigated possible solutions for the batch processes, including spatial temperature distribution and spot temperature measurements, while strain and vibration are of lower interest at this time due to its low frequency content. Based on this, scenarios have been developed on LPG header application to find insulation and heating deficiencies, application in naphtha header to prevent vaporization phenomena, and temperature profiling in the distillation column.

WP4 – Data Mining

WP4 focused in creating a cloud based infrastructure for uploading data from the industrial processes, processing them (online PAT) with the help of the cloud and in the sequel (as a future step in cooperation with WP2) to tune the IPC strategies. All the partners have had a first training on how to use the cloud computing for IPC and we are now working in expanding the real time data uploading to the cloud from the DISIRE industrial processes, as well as developing novel PAT analysis and IPC reconfiguration towards the final industrial use cases.

WP5 – Non-Ferrous Mineral Processing

WP5 started by analyzing the needs for the belt conveyor system to be considered; while in parallel analytic data have been already provided for the online PAT in WP4. WP5 focused also on the modeling of the conveyor belt system as well as on the corresponding fault detection of the driving motors that can lead in significant downtimes. Part of the work in this WP considered also the modeling of the flotation process and the transportation system, which is something that will create a bigger impact in DISIRE.

WP6 – Ferrous Mineral Processing

The activities in WP6, up to the M18 in the cold side have been driven by the need of LKAB to improve the simulation models for their iron ore transportation chain, which is a continuous flow of pellets, while by making virtual batches in this flow, custom specific products cab be created. Thus, one of the main focuses in WP6 was the creation of a traceability system for the transportation process, based on the developed WP3 inline sensors. Towards this direction WP6 performed a study of flow through small and large scale experimentations in the LKAB’s transport chain, a complex network consisting of multiple conveyors, trains and silos, reaching 150Km. Furthermore, work has been carried through the verification of this model by tracing ID-tagged pellets from the processing plant to the shipping harbor. Finally, a small scale segregation study in miniature silos have been already performed. In the hot side of WP6, the up to now DISIRE developments were based on the LKAB’s needs for a better knowledge of one part of their pelletizing process where the iron ore is oxidized and sintered at 12000C in order to be able to optimize the process and be more energy efficient

WP7 – Steel

The work in WP7 during the first 18 months of DISIRE focused in: a) the evaluation of the sensor pilot tests in the steel processes (experimental blast and walking beam furnaces), b) combination of PAT analysis with swarm sensing in the walking beam furnace, and c) preparing the proper DISIRE infrastructure for the IPC demonstration and evaluation in the walking beam furnace. At this point is should be also stated that the IPC demo at the walking beam furnace is envisioned as one of the most representative final demonstrations of the applicability and impact of the DISIRE project.

Towards the demonstration of the DISIRE infrastructure at the walking beam furnace, WP7 has actively participated in the development of all the relevant specifications and use case scenarios, both for the cases of open and closed loop field trials, a work that has been carried in cooperation with WP1. In cooperation with WP3 and the involved partners, WP7 influenced the design of the inline sensors regarding the: a) size limitations, b) thermal insulation, c) ceramic material and d) evaporating water, through the participation in a large number of small scale demonstrations in real life conditions (small laboratory tests at 12000C).

WP8 – Combustion Processes

WP8 was started with a technical review of relevant literature related to cracking ethylene furnaces, its comprehensive numerical simulation (CFD) and O2- and other 3Data from DCI have been gathered, analyzed and completed, in relation with the CFD simulation and location of O2 sensors. Temperature sensors and corresponding placement have been selected. WP8 has also released an extensive review of O2 sensoring technologies in cracking furnaces. Related to CFD simulations, a comprehensive model of the furnace has been developed, including combustion kinetics and heat transfer mechanism. Simulations have been validated with six real plant selected scenarios (2 feedstock material 3 operational cycle statuses). WP8 has also worked towardsr a complete characterization of the flame spectra and first steps in the formalization of image diagnosis algorithm has been carried out. A new dedicated experimental facility is in start-up status and new UV/VIS CCD cameras and components are under acquisition.

Furthermore, successful alignment between partners to prepare the final demo scenario has been achieved. Temperature sensors and placement have been selected in line with WP3. O2 sensors and image tools will be complementary to these sensors, in order to develop a tool for quality combustion control.

WP9 – Dissemination and Innovation

Within WP9 the activities up to the M18 focused on identifying the relevant target groups for the exploitation and dissemination channels of DISIRE, while the communication tools and documents have been designed (leaflets, project identify, flyers, newsletters, social media), with the related constant ongoing activities to include: a) regular updates on the website based on technical progress, dissemination activities, and other news within the project, b) reach out to relevant target groups, c) create awareness and visibility, and d) connect with other SPIRE projects. Regarding the scientific results, DISIRE was presented in 14 conferences in Greece, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Italy and USA, as well as to SPIRE brokerage events in Brussels, while the consortium has published overall 22 articles in conferences and journals.

Regarding the innovation activities, WP9 has created the interactive innovation toolkit for boosting the innovation aspects of the project, while there have been 3 internal workshops on innovation and exploitation with the general goals to: a) assess the current business environment from the WP5-8 industrial perspectives, and b) to brainstorm on the value propositions and the activities for increasing the impact of DISIRE. The outcomes of these workshops were the identification of the relevant market and industry forces and trends, as well as the elaboration of the value propositions of DISIRE. For the development of the business us cases, the tool of the business model canvas has been utilized, a tool that has the merits to: a) transform the idea to the business model, b) provide an iterative search for solutions, c) be a common language for all the business stages, d) group the dynamics and the interaction of the proposed ideas, and e) provide emphasis on visual ways of thinking and working. Based on this, the DISIRE business models have been analyzed in detail for the WP5-WP8 industries, while the corresponding results will be augmented and reported in the corresponding deliverables.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"The DISIRE results up to the M18 month of reporting have lead to the following progress beyond the sate of the art and with the corresponding expected potential impact.

Mineral Processing

In the hot side, the up to now activities of DISIRE have increased the knowledge about the heating products in the grate zones and the logistics to the customer. Also the ability of inline sensing has created a real potential for reducing the environmental impact, while increasing the energy efficiency and the throughput, with a corresponding reduction of the waste products. The developed sensing technologies regarding the blast furnace although still cannot survive in extremely high temperatures, are in position to provide important data sets for the first time ever in the corresponding industry and to further improve the knowledge of the process. This information will be combined in the current stages of DISIRE in order to investigate potential IPC solutions for investigating the further optimization of the process. The hot stage of the mineral processing at LKAB is the largest consumer of energy. With the embedded sensors measuring temperature inside of the material, rather than measuring the surface temperature, it will be possible to optimize the combustion process.

The up to M18 envisioned impact in the hot side of DISIRE is including the generation of a better knowledge of the heating process inside the LKAB’s ovens that will produce further possibilities to reduce the energy consumption. As an example it should be stated that a 2% decrease in energy consumption or reduction of oil of 0.1l/ton produced pellet could save up to 50K to 100K Euros per pelletizing plant. Furthermore, more precise temperature control will improve the product quality and will reduce the slag residues. By knowing each sensor’s position, the throughput of the different experimental batches will be increased.

Similarly, in the cold side, before any modifications of the hot process are possible the transportation conditions of the final product should be mapped since a large amount of the material is damaged and the strength of the pellets are directly correlated to the amount of heat added in the grate and kiln. During transportation with rail from the mine site in Kiruna to the harbour in Narvik a considerable amount (in order of several per cent) of the product is damaged and has to be sieved from the premium product that are shipped to the customers. Considering that the annual production is about 25 million tones this corresponds to a significant amount and improved tracing and mapping of the transport conditions using embedded sensors that could considerably improve the competitiveness of the business. Every reduction in the percentage not sieved off before shipping reduces energy consumption by the same amount, and more if the losses due to transportation is considered. DISIRE has performed extended real life trials in this direction and the consortium is working in demonstrating the capabilities of this technology in the remaining time of the project.

The up to M18 identified impact of DISIRE in the cold side considers the creation of a better understanding of how a large number of pellets is spread out in the transport chain and how this is affecting the creation of virtual product batches within the continuous flow of the iron ore pellets. With a simulation model, LKAB is able to handle production batches that are produced outside the specifications in a more efficient approach, within the existing transportation systems, otherwise these batches will need to be handled in a separate approach, a fact that will significantly increase the production cost. Thus, it is expected that if LKAB meets the potential of a reduction of separate handling by 50% this would directly mean that around 250000-350000 euros per pelletizing plant in saving per year, while the establishment of the virtual batches will have a direct effect on improving the handling of the customized products.

Steel Processing

The overall impact of DISIRE in the area of steel expects an overall improvement that will create a reduction of 3 kg of C from fossil fuels per tonne hot metal produced due to: a) improved gas efficiency with 1% absolute due to improved burden distribution control, b) improved process stability due to improved moisture control charged burden material and c) improved process control due to early information of in-furnace conditions related to the temperature distribution in upper shaft. Due to the difficult availability of the blast furnace the DISIRE consortium has already focused in directly applying the DISRE technology in a small-scale experimental Walking Beam furnace that has many similar characteristics with the blast furnace. Thus, the results from the walking beam furnace will pave the way for a direct adaptation of the DISIRE technology in the steel processing.

Regarding this objective, DISIRE has already created novel data driven models of the walking beam furnace and the first IPC approaches based on these models are currently under development. Moreover an online PAT analytic process has been established at the walking beam furnace and thus the specific process is ready for the remaining time of DISIRE in order to demonstrate the potential of the development technologies. This is going to be a unique demonstration of an online PAT driven IPC process optimization in all the related process control bibliography, an action that is quite innovative and in very high TRL levels of 5-6.

Industrial Combustion Process

The aim of DISIRE in this sector resides in combustion monitoring and control by means of new and/or more efficient sensors and control techniques, in what is commonly named ""smart burner techniques"". The objective is to optimize combustion operation, monitor the process and alleviate instabilities and their severe consequences. As combustion systems have to meet increasingly more demanding air pollution standards , their design and operation becomes more complex. More analytically the envisioned impact of DISIRE is focusing on: 1) best industry practices which can only be satisfied with new technology, 2) increased safety because fuel and air as well as many combustion process parameters are continuously controlled, 3) improved thermal efficiency as excess air is always optimized, 4) longer life of some devices, 5) lower greenhouse gases emissions through a more efficient use of fuels, and 6) economic savings due to the reduction of the fuel needed thanks to its efficient use.

According to the current progress beyond the state of the art and towards the potential impact, a technical review of relevant literature related to cracking ethylene furnaces, its comprehensive numerical simulation (CFD) and O2- and other measurements in that context has been successfully performed. Data from DCI have been gathered, analyzed and completed, in relation with the CFD simulation and location of O2 sensors. Temperature sensors and corresponding placement have been selected by DCI and DAPP, in line with WP3, while an extensive review of O2 sensoring in cracking furnaces have been performed. Related to the CFD simulations a comprehensive model of the furnace has been developed, including combustion kinetics and heat transfer mechanism. Simulations have been validated with six real plant selected scenarios (2 feedstock material 3 operational cycle statuses). Furthermore, a complete characterization of the flame spectra and first steps in the formalization of image diagnosis algorithm has been carried out. A new dedicated experimental facility is in start-up status and new UV/VIS CCD cameras and components are under acquisition.

Regarding the envisioned impact of DISIRE in the combustion processes, it should me mentioned that the EU gaseous fuel consumption is equal to 410Mton/year, with a typical combustion efficiency of 75-85%. Furthermore that are 1700 companies, only in EU that generate electrical and thermal energy and operating industrial combustion plants of more than 50MW. For only the DCI North facilities, the consumption of the fuel gas is reaching up to 250K Ton/year and thus it is evident that small improvements will result into a very big impact in the field, thus 1% improvement of the DCI’s cracking furnaces, based on the DISIRE technology, will result in 2K Ton/year savings.

Logistics and Transportation of raw materials

The activities in this sector are being driven due to the identified today lack of a proper ore tracing technology, that can be directly applied in the KGHM mines, while the today’s main purpose of the belt Conveyor systems is the overall system visual monitoring, with the fault detection approaches not applied in a wide range of the network. At this point it should be also mentioned that a big portion of the energy consumption at KGHM is spent mainly on the transportation and the mineral processing and thus a reduction in the over milling, due to the application of a successful DISIRE enabled traceability system, will decrease the waste production and the energy consumption.

Particularly, in this sector, DISIRE is developing a multi-criteria optimisation scheme for the belt conveyor transportation system with the goal to: a) eliminate idle running of conveyors through further utilisation of the ore silos, which currently consume large amounts of electricity that is generally generated in coal based power stations, b) improve the reliability and availability of belt conveyors transportation systems through novel condition based maintenance schemes based on data generated by embedded sensors and through data mining of the comprehensive operational and business support data available in various IT systems, and c) increase the belt conveyors efficiency due to modernisation of their key elements (belt, drive units, idlers).

Currently DISIRE has developed beyond the current state of the art, novel algorithms for the condition monitoring of the conveyor belts life and their modelling, while IPC approaches will be investigated in simulation based approaches. Towards tractability of the raw materials, the DISIRE consortium is aiming to create also a significant impact in this sector and thus the envisioned amendment will have as an effect to create a real-life demonstration of traceability of raw materials in the Polish mines and more specifically to extend the results and the DISIRE technology from WP6 to WP5 as well.

Up to the M18, the consortium has identified a measurable impact in this sector by enhancing the mineral processing with knowledge about the origin of the ore and the corresponding avoidance of the double milling phenomenon. This impact from the application of the DISIRE technologies is expected to have a direct result in less machines utilization and less energy consumption, including the energy utilized for the conveyor belt systems witch can be 4 times less. Another impact of the DISIRE project will be the application of the PAT analysis on fault prediction, with a direct impact to safety, time (no production downtimes), less energy consumption and less cost for replacing the faulty machines. At this point it’s worth to mention that for the energy efficiency of the Belt Conveyor (BC) system the M18 projected savings after the implementation of the DISIRE energy efficient solutions (per annum) will be as indicated in the following table, with an overall potential of 0.279 mln of Euros/BC branch."

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