Zero-process-ignorance in the communition circuits, why not?


Ahmed Bouajila Bouajila, Sami Makni, Sylvain Caron, Carl Duchesne,

Minerals processing organisations will be more and more under intense competitive pressure. Major changes are being experienced with intense respect to resources, processes, production strategies and markets. As result of international competition, only the most productive and cost-effective operations will survive. That is why operators in the minerals industry have always aimed to obtain better performance from their processes along the mineral extraction cycle starting from exploration up to the smelting step if any. A principal ingredient and perhaps the most important one in the process of evolution toward improved productivity is the achievement and implementation of an error-free production synonym of an ignorance-free operation, which is, at the same time, which is, at the same time, a garantee for quality, a minimising factor for waste materials production, handling and disposal, and a maximising factor for labour utilization. The notion of ‘error or ignorance-free’ -usually identified as a ‘made in Japan’ manufacturing mythology, will sound, at first impression, like a pious ideal, to be striven for but impossible to attain. Nevertheless, the introduction of measurement and detection technology in the minerals industry along the last century should benefit from the today’s sensors and control systems that explosively expanded beyond their traditional production base into far-ranging commercial ventures. The fastness and spreadness of those technologies will play an important role in the survival of innovative plants. Their role in information assimilation, and control of operations to maintain an error-free production environment, will help enterprises to stay effective on their competitive course. In this paper the feasibility of the zero process ignorance concept as applied to the communition circuits will be discussed and the challenge behind this ambitious move toward improved productivity will be outlined. Examples of precompetitive R&D projects started at COREM in order to fulfil this prerogative will be presented.
Keywords: communition, Productivity