Autonomous Positioning Advisor for Trippers in Mineral Processing Facilities

Sidney A.A. Viana


Mineral processing facilities commonly have storage bins for temporary housing of the ore supplied to their processing lines. Facilities with large rectangular bins usually have a tripper machine to load and spread the ore along the entire extension of the bin, by means of forth-and-back traveling movements. The positioning control of a tripper is a relevant yet less concerned control problems, with significant impact on the productivity of mineral processing facilities, for which a poor controlled tripper is a common source of bottleneck. This work concerns the development and implementation of a strategy for autonomous position determination for a tripper in a large iron ore processing facility, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for a local operator to decide the tripper positioning under manual operation. Such “autonomous positioning advisor” acts as an expert system to determine the “best” position (bin cell) where the tripper should be placed to feed the bin in order to meet some operational requirements as: (1) to make the ore level more uniform across the bin; (2) to prevent excessive and unnecessary travels of the tripper; and (3) to suppress the ore discharge from the tripper to the bin when the tripper needs to travel over a fully filled cells to reach the destination cell. The positioning control strategy was based on operational knowledge and procedures used by the tripper operators when operating the tripper in manual mode. The results obtained with the autonomous positioning advisor allowed the tripper to operate consistently in automatic mode and showed improved operational performance.


autonomous machines; expert systems; industrial automation; mineral processing; tripper control

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DOI: 10.3895/jaic.v6n1.5764


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ISSN: 2594-3553

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