Pekka Itvuo
a,
, Matti Vilkko
a
, Antti Jaatinen
b
, Keijo Viilo
c
a
Department of Automation Science and Engineering, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 692, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland
b
Minerals Processing Systems, Metso Automation, P.O. Box 237, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland
c
Crushing and Screening Equipment, Metso Minerals, P.O. Box 306, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Available online xxxx
Keywords:
Crushing
Screening
Modeling
Process control
a b s t r a c t
As a common practice, steady-state models are used for simulation and process dimensioning of crushing
circuits. However, intended circuit performance is rarely achieved due to constantly uctuating feed-
material size and characteristics. This gap between theoretical and realized performance has the potential
for process control.
Little scientic attention has been paid to the analytic control system design of crushing circuits. The
current lack of suitable dynamic process models for the task is direct evidence of this. Therefore, it is not
surprising that currently existing control applications are biased towards heuristic, model-free, non-ana-
lytic approaches.
This paper presents an effective way to produce dynamic process models from established steady-state
models. The resulting simulator makes it possible to develop control methods that fully utilize the capac-
ity potential of crushers and facilitates efforts for energy-efcient operation of crushing circuits.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Crushing plays an important role in the aggregates and mining
industries by reducing the particle size of granular solids, such as
rocks and ores. Before the desired product size is reached, the feed
material undergoes 24 crushing stages that form a circuit.
Each crushing circuit consists of a unique combination of unit
operations for crushing, screening, conveying, feeding, and storing.
Contrary to the steady-state modeling that primarily focuses on
crushing and screening, every unit operation in the circuit contrib-
utes to the dynamic presentation.
Dynamic modeling of crushing circuits for analytic control sys-
tem design has not received much attention in scientic literature.
Traditionally, interest has been limited to the narrow range of min-
ing applications to control crusher load by manipulating the feed
rate. Controlling crusher product size and shape by using manipu-
lated variables (that is, the closed side setting (CSS) or eccentric
speed (ES)), has not been addressed from the dynamic modeling
perspective. However, crushing control has major possibilities for
efciency and protability.
The purpose of this paper is to: provide models for analytic con-
trol system design of cone crushing circuits, and serve as a starting
point for future dynamic modeling endeavors.
Section 2 gives a state-of-the-art review about dynamic
modeling of crushing circuit unit operations. Section 3 presents a
thorough description of dynamic process models for control sys-
tem design. Section 4 uses the presented models to give a dynamic
simulation example.
2. State-of-the-art review
This section presents a short review about dynamic modeling of
crushing circuit unit operations. Borison and Syding (1976) empir-
ically concluded that material ow dynamics in feeders and crush-
ers can be approximated using rst-order lag transfer functions.
Whiten (1984) later discussed dynamic expansion of static models
by adding small time delays to crusher and screen outputs.
Moreover, he proposed that conveyors can be modeled as simple
time delays, and ore bins, surprisingly, as a LIFO-queue with
variable time delay.
Herbst and Oblad (1985) presented the rst dynamic simulation
model specically made for control system design that incorpo-
rated disturbances such as feed-material size, rate, and properties.
Herbst and Oblad linked feed-hopper material level with crusher
ow rate, power, and product size distribution, using a static rela-
tionship. Moreover, they approximated that a step change in feed
rate to the hopper causes rst-order lag to the hopper level.
Sbarbaro et al. (2005) empirically modeled feeder-conveyor
combinations with rst-order with time delay (FOTD) transfer
functions. The model structure is in line with Borison and Syding
(1976). In another paper, Sbarbaro (2005) discussed feed-hopper
material balance and the relationship between material mass and
volume. Moreover, he approximated the dynamics between
0892-6875/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mineng.2012.07.019
Q
8
i1
C
i
; 9
where Q
u
is the mass ow of undersize particles in the feed, A
s
is the
effective screening area, and Q
s
is the basic screen capacity. The cor-
relation factors C
1. . .4
are the oversize, half-size, deck location, and
wet-screening factors. C
5. . .8
are the material density, effective
screen-surface open area, screen-opening shape, and the moisture
factors. Corresponding correlation factor values are available in Vii-
lo (2011). The resulting factor C
J
is then scaled into value J, which
represents the efciency of undersize recovery (that is, the amount
of passed undersize material divided by the amount of undersize
material in the feed). By substituting the parameter J into the
following equation:
I
Z
a
0
1
a x
a w
2
!
n
d
u
x dx; 10
where
n
ln2
ln 1
ax
50
aw
2
; I 1 J; 11
x is the particle size, a is the screen aperture, w is the screen wire
diameter, and d
u
is the particle-size distribution density function
of undersize particles, the value of an unknown parameter x
50
can
be iterated in a way that the amount of impurity in Eq. (10) matches
with the calculated screening efciency J. The cumulative particle-
size distribution of impurity transported to the oversize stream
can be nally constructed by substituting the upper limit of the
integral in Eq. (10) with particle sizes 0. . .a, and by dividing the
resulting vector with I.
The nal retained Q
r
and passed Q
p
material-mass ows can be
easily calculated from the following equations:
Q
r
Q Q
u
J; 12
Q
p
Q
u
J; 13
where Q is the feed-material mass ow. The following screen decks
can be calculated in a similar manner.
3.3.2. Dynamic expansion
The resulting steady-state model is then expanded into a dy-
namic Hammerstein system with Eq. (1) for the material retained
from the screen decks, and with Eq. (3) for the undersize material
of the lowest deck. This is done by assuming non-mixing plug ow
behavior and identical material-transport velocity for each deck.
The apparent time delay s is given by the ratio of screen length l
and material-transport velocity v. This can either be determined
empirically or analytically calculated (e.g., Soldinger, 2002). For
the stream of undersize particles, a time constant T relative to
the average residence time 0.5s is used.
3.4. Conveyor and feeder
A belt conveyor with constant speed can be modeled as a pure
delay with Eq. (1) (Whiten, 1984). The apparent time delay s can be
determined as a ratio between conveyor length l and speed v. A
model for a conveyor with variable speed drive is a bit more com-
plex. The transfer function has to be partitioned into a series of
FIFO buffers with respect to the conveyor length in order to main-
tain the material balance during transients (Sbarbaro, 2005). In this
case, the dynamics of transients should also be considered.
Vibrating feeders can be modeled as a rst-order lag-transfer
function given by Eq. (3) (Sbarbaro et al., 2005; Borison and Syding,
1976). The value of the apparent time constant T is usually empir-
ically determined.
4. Simulation
This section presents a dynamic simulation example of the Met-
so LT300GPB tertiary mobile cone crushing plant. The simulated
plant layout is given in Fig. 5. The plant consists of a Metso Nord-
berg GP300 tertiary cone crusher (medium chamber, 32-mm
stroke length, 330-rpm ES and 16-mm CSS), a Metso B2100T
two-deck screen (length 6.25 m, width 1.6 m, material speed
Fig. 5. Metso LT300GPB mobile cone crushing plant.
P. Itvuo et al. / Minerals Engineering xxx (2012) xxxxxx 5
Please cite this article in press as: Itvuo, P., et al. Dynamic modeling and simulation of cone crushing circuits. Miner. Eng. (2012), http://dx.doi.org/
10.1016/j.mineng.2012.07.019
0.3 m/s, screen decks: #20-mm, #9-mm) and Conveyors 14.
Conveyors are run at a constant speed of 1.5 m/s, and are 17 m,
9 m, 8 m, and 8 m in length, respectively. Feed material is granite:
feed size 0/60, LA-value 18.5, density 2.7, moisture 0.5%, and ak-
iness index 22. The material is fed to Conveyor 1 using a feeder
with a constant rate of 395 t/h and 3 s time constant. Two step
changes are performed during the simulation. Feed moisture
changes to 3% at 300 s and CSS setpoint changes to 19 mm at 450 s.
The simulation results are presented in Fig. 6. It takes approxi-
mately six full circulations (250 s) until the process stabilizes dur-
ing start-up. There will be a notable increase to this number with
increased plant complexity. The moisture disturbance causes
rather intense changes at different parts of the process due to de-
creases in crusher throughput and product size. Moreover, the
most signicant plant dynamics appear to be the result of the
material transport in the conveyors, screen, and feed hopper;
material only takes 1.5 s to pass the crusher. The material transport
times in unit operations are summarized in Table 2. According to
the simulation, CSS seems powerful and rapid enough to control
material size. The observation of screen separation efciency re-
veals the strong dependency between feed rate and efciency.
5. Conclusions
This paper has presented dynamic simulation models and
modeling techniques for control system design of cone crushing
circuits. It also presented the generic method for dynamic expan-
sion of existing steady-state models.
The previous work has shown that current operating modes are
not suitable for particle-size distribution control of crushing cir-
cuits, and therefore unable to provide optimal operation with re-
spect to time (Itvuo et al., 2011). With help from the dynamic
simulation model, it is possible to develop control methods that
fully utilize the crushers capacity potential. Moreover, it is possi-
ble to develop control schemes that provide optimal energy ef-
ciency of crushing circuits.
Acknowledgements
This work was funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for
Technology and Innovation (Tekes). Metso Minerals (Tampere)
provided the necessary data and facilities for the process
experiments.
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0 100 200 300 400 500 600
0
200
400
600
Material flow rate
t
/
h
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
8
10
12
14
Mean particle size
m
m
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
80
90
100
Screen performance
%
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
0
0.5
1
Feed hopper material volume
time [s]
m
3
Feed
Conveyor 1
Conveyor 2
Crusher product
Screen product 8/16
Deck 1 efficiency
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Fig. 6. Simulation results for Metso LT300GPB.
Table 2
Apparent dead times for LT300GPB unit operations.
Crusher Feed hopper Screen Conveyors 14
Dead time (s) 1.5 030 20.8 11.3, 6, 5.3, 5.3
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10.1016/j.mineng.2012.07.019
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