GE and Aluminium of Greece Sign Agreement to Develop Digital Smelting Technology
15 February 2017 by Staff
American conglomerate General Electric (GE) and Mytilineos Group subsidiary Aluminium of Greece (AOG) entered into a ten-year agreement on Monday to develop digital smelter technology at GE’s laboratory in Dubai.
According to officials from both firms, the technology under development is expected to usher in new and improved methods in smelter monitoring worldwide, leading to smelters that are more energy efficient, use less aluminium fluoride, and are better able to predict pot leakages.
The technology under development utilizes proprietary cloud-computing software and virtual sensors that will measure parameters on a potline like temperature and chemistry. Such variables are not typically measured at smelting plants, but doing so is anticipated to help monitor the pot’s health and overall condition.
“We will be able to recreate an actual smelter using artificial intelligence and physics-based models,” said Chief Digital Officer for GE Power in the Middle East and Africa Bhanu Shekhar. “This is a living digital model that will continuously generate smelter data, and will be a game changer in helping to address the challenges of power usage and the consumption of raw materials in the smelting industry.”
The monitoring technology in question is being assembled by engineers and developers in San Ramon, USA, GE Power’s Digital Smelter Center of Excellence (COE) in Dubai, UAE, and GE’s Global Research Center in Bangalore, India. The project is to be carried out by the COE team based in Dubai at a smelter in central Greece.
“The application of the digital smelter solutions will contribute to the operational efficiency improvement of the Aluminium of Greece, by lowering raw materials’ consumption, decreasing energy consumption, and reducing pot leakages,” said Dimitris Stefanidis, CEO of Aluminium of Greece.
“As the largest vertically integrated bauxite, alumina and aluminium production and trading unit in the European Union, we are constantly looking at innovative technologies to enhance our performance standards. The application of digital industrial solutions is a remarkable opportunity to achieve process optimization across our operations and to push productivity levels,” Stefanidis went on. “With GE’s digital smelter solutions, we are setting a global first for the aluminium industry that will contribute to our operational efficiency and set new benchmarks in the sector.”
“GE has been at the forefront of digitizing the future of industry globally and in the region, providing digital industrial solutions for power generation and the LNG industry, among others” said Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE’s Power Services business in the Middle East and Africa. “By bringing together the strengths of our multi-locational teams and GE Power’s Digital Smelter Center of Excellence in Dubai, we will collaborate with AOG to create a new chapter in the history of smelting operations as well.”