Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 2008
Samuli Paloranta

Dynamic model and training simulator for flotation process

The professional skills of concentrator operators vary and they are sometimes clearly insufficient. The training of operators during real plant operation runs many risks and practicing operations for malfunctions or disturbances might not be possible. With a dynamic training simulator, operators can practice controlling the process in a safe and realistic operator environment.

The primary target of this thesis was to develop a dynamic model of a flotation cell and implement the model in the HSC Sim process simulation tool. Another target was to give a general picture of training simulators in the process industry.

In the literature part, flotation modeling and the most important control variables in the flotation process are presented. Requirements for the functions and properties of a training simulator are also reviewed. One goal for the final training simulator is to use the user interface and controllers of the real plant automation system. Therefore, architecture for OPC-based data transfer between the automation system and the process simulator is presented.

In the experimental part, a dynamic model of a flotation process was developed. The model was implemented in the HSC Sim simulation tool and was tested through simulations. The benefits of using a dynamic simulator in the training of concentrator operators were demonstrated by means of different simulation cases.

The accuracy and adequacy for training purposes of the model responses were evaluated by flotation specialists. According to these specialists, the dynamic model gives sufficiently good responses for use in operator training.

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