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Vale – Nickel Refining – Flex Process LTD

Case study: Vale – Nickel Refinery

The Problem

Many processes have operated for many years without significant changes. In this case, the client was living with operating problems in preference to making changes that could potentially make things worse, especially as there was very little original design documentation available. The client approached Flex Process to reverse engineer their process and make much needed changes to overcome the operating problems and improve operation & efficiency.

The Solution

  • Use our quality process to build a high fidelity model of the existing process to fully understand the chemistry and physics.

  • Test the robustness of the changes and any sensitivity.

  • Optimise the parameters ahead of start up, prepare the commissioning documentation.

  • Ensure that all information is documented so that the knowledge remains safely in house.

The Benefits

  • Better understanding of all energy and mass flows. Revealed errors in instruments such as hydrogen consumption.

  • 5% reduction in energy and natural gas consumption by optimising parameters.

  • Reduced start up time as staff are prepared for the new process conditions.

  • On hand troubleshooting tool.

Services Provided

  • Plant Survey.

  • Steady State Model.

  • Dynamic Model.

  • Design Optimisation.

  • Plant Data Repository.

  • Training for Commissioning team.

  • Detailed Reporting.

  • Option to expand model to surrounding processes.