17 Aug Multimillion-rand contracts for furnace control
Engineering, systems integration and manufacturing company, Iritron, has been awarded two internationally based, multimillion-rand, furnace drying projects.
With its extensive expertise in furnace drying control systems and as a solutions provider in the fields of electrical, instrumentation, control and decision support systems, Iritron has been appointed by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a project in Canada and one in Angola.
The OEM is a global specialist supplier of bulk material handling and separation equipment for mines and high-tech engineering for the drying and processing industries.
“We have collaborated with the same OEM on a number of projects previously and provide specialist in-house engineering expertise as well as products specific to these complex drying projects. Designing an intelligent thyristor control system, we can provide immediate savings by reducing the cost of expensive, high-maintenance capacitors and freeing up transformer capacity, making the plant more cost-effective,” says Andre Roeloffze, Managing Director at Iritron.
Iritron has been appointed to supply the control system using Eurotherm’s award-winning EPower™ which offers a patented predictive load management control technology with a high-speed CanBUS network. It continually samples data that enables the main drive to distribute furnace zone firing cycles, keeping energy demand as low as possible, while maintaining product quality.
In addition, through advanced diagnostics, the resistance of each element is continually measured for possible local failure, giving maintenance teams pre-emptive warning to correct a specific element phase where necessary and remediate an unbalanced load on the star connection. All communication protocols are supported, including ProfiBus, ProfiNet, DeviceNet and others, for early warning to PLC, DCS and SCADA systems.
The system will include machine learning and artificial intelligence, statistical process control and special cause variation, and smart alarms. It will detect and predict anomalies and indicate trends in operational areas, all focused on optimising overall equipment efficiency and supporting predictive maintenance.
In the mining, minerals and metals cluster, processes using kilns, ovens, glass lehr baths and furnaces for extracting, drying, melting and heat treatment, are big users of electricity.
Roeloffze says, “The energy crisis currently facing many countries around the world makes it increasingly critical to implement energy-efficient systems and processes. Digital transformation can result in improved efficiencies and, in turn, energy savings.” He adds, “Energy efficiency is important not only to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs, but also to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Environmental, Social and Governance – ESG – considerations are becoming important when investors are assessing the sustainability and ethical impact of a company.”