Russian Federation aluminium giant Rusal announced plans yesterday to incorporate “Big Data” forecast analytics to potroom control systems in several of its aluminium smelters across Siberia. The firm says the ₽20 million (US$317,000) project is a step in its company-wide production efficiency improvement strategy.
Rusal says the plan has twin motives – improvement of reduction cell control quality and reduction of abnormalities during the process of smelting aluminium. The company has identified both problems as major limiting factors to the smelters’ optimal performance, but it says such problems are well suited for the Big Data strategy of forecast analytics.
To this end, Rusal’s Technical Directorate and IT Department recently launched the project, which will use advanced scientific and methodological approaches to detect causes of diminished reduction cell performance, identify optimum production conditions for the equipment currently in use, and predict equipment malfunctions.
“The use of forecast analytics in potroom control is just one step towards our target that we have set within our R&D framework,” explained Rusal’s Technical Director Viktor Mann. “If successful, similar approaches will be enrolled for analysis and to increase efficiency at other stages of the production chain. Such efficiencies will assist in minimising our energy consumption and improve our overall performance of the aluminium production.”
A number of Rusal’s Siberian smelters will receive new potroom technology under the program, though the firm did not identify exactly how many nor which ones. Rusal says the pilot program will install the new system at no cost to its smelters.