Digital twins and AI for more efficient production

Plant start-ups, inspections and service work can be outsourced systematically and automation can be increased with the aid of digital solutions. Now it's possible to use digital twins to train artificial intelligence into operate a mineral processing facility.

At this years Euro Mine Connect  Mr. Sohail Nazari, PhD, P.Eng. talks about how the experienced team of ANDRITZ Automation has developed a unique and continuous way of training artificial intelligence to operate a mineral processing facility using ANDRITZ's digital twin.

A digital twin is a precise digital replica of something in the real world – a process, machine, factory or even an entire city. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors gather data from the physical world and send it to computers to reconstruct. The digital twin is continuously updated to mirror the state of its physical counterpart.

The trained AI's ability to quickly process information and recommend data-driven solutions will allow for the improvement of the operation, such as start-up and shutdown, and assist operators to achieve plant-wide optimization.

Process industries value the IDEAS Digital Twin as a single, interconnected, fully dynamic, first-principals based model of their process operations; used from pre-feasibility process design, through controls validation, operator training and for on-line virtual instruments, condition monitoring and fault tolerant autonomous controls. The latest application of IDEAS is for the IDEAS Intelligent Control. This innovative technology just won 1st prize in the Goldcorp Disrupt Mining challenge - using IDEAS to train an AI agent controller using the principals of reinforcement learning. The IDEAS Digital Twin has been mitigating risk, increasing safety and creating value for projects and operations for over 15 years - yet many people are only aware of some of the uses.

Mr. Sohail Nazari, PhD, P.Eng. is the Director of Digital Transformation for ANDRITZ AUTOMATION and has designed and implemented asset condition monitoring analytics, remote monitoring architecture and advanced process control strategies for the mining, oil and gas and automobile industries. Mr. Nazari is responsible for Andritz Automation’s Business Development in the Mining Industry and was instrumental in winning first prize at Goldcorp’s 2019 #DisruptMining innovation competition.