A Training Simulator for Crushing Plant Operators
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Crushing plants are widely used around the world as a pre-processing step in the mineral and mining industries and as standalone processing plants in the aggregates industry. Despite automation and different advanced model predictive control a lot of the process is still managed by operators. The operators affect a lot of the performance. The numbers of the improvement they can achieve are at least as big as the advanced control algorithms’, today. Therefore it is also important to train the operators so they know how to behave in different situations.
Models for crushers and other production units have been developed during the years and the latest add is the different units’ dynamic behavior being brought in, which gives the crushing plants dynamic time dependant performance. This can be used as a simulator for operators training. By connecting a Human Machine Interface (HMI) to a dynamic simulator with the models incorporated, a training environment for operators can be achieved.
In this paper a dynamic crushing plant simulator implemented in MATLAB/SIMULINK has been connected to an HMI via a PLC. The HMI is placed in a control room at the university and complemented with monitors showing sequences from the process connected to the simulations, thus creating a realistic control room for training. In the created training environment the operators can be trained under realistic conditions. Simple training scenarios and how they could be simulated are discussed. Apart from the increased level of knowledge and experience among the operators, the time is an important factor. While a real crushing plant is still being built, the operators to be can already be trained, saving a lot of the commissioning time.