Flotation process control is a challenging and important task in the ore benefication chain. The efficiency of the flotation process largely controls the economics of the overall mineral processing plant (Hodouin et al. 2000).
Flotation plants are difficult to operate. Non-linear dynamics, coupling among control loops, large and variable dead times, strong and continuous unmeasured input disturbances, imperfect knowledge of the phenomenology of flotation, impede process control. Frequent lack of appropriate and precise instrumentation makes supervision and control even more difficult. (Osorio, Perez-Correa and Cipriano 1999).
A universal way to control a flotation circuit cannot be given. Each circuit has its special features in terms of cell configuration, instrumentation, ore and chemistry, which have led to a large number of different control strategies and methods used and reported in literature. The only undoubtedly common feature between flotation plants is to maximise profit.
INNOVATION[X] has developed and implemented advanced control schemes that manage the cell process conditions. The real-time optimisation offering, Estimata, then maximises flotation circuit recovery.