PRO-PLAN can be easily configured to suit most process industries. The version for the pulp and paper industry - "The Pro-Plan Pulp Mill & Recovery Optimization System" - is described here.
The Pro-Plan Pulp Mill & Recovery Scheduling System is a short to medium term scheduling and optimization system to determine the optimal Pulp Mill production rate consistent with constraints on:
It will also calculate the appropriate production rates for evaporators, recovery boilers, recausticizers and lime kilns to achieve and maintain the optimum levels in WBL, SBL, Green Liquor and White Liquor storages.
It is intended as an aid to mill co-ordinators, and Pulp Mill, Recovery and Recaust. operators to determine the most appropriate production rates for maximising production and minimising rate changes. Pro-Plan couples paper machine and pulp dryer demand with pulp mill and recovery production optimization.
With no constraints, the model will calculate production rates to achieve and maintain the levels in the pulp silos and liquor storages that will best cope with unplanned shuts upstream or downstream of each storage.
This is based on the probability of plant downtime upstream and downstream of each storage.
If there is a mismatch in pulp demand and minimum or maximum production, best use will be made of the available capacity in the storages to maintain production.
Constraints include white liquor supply, black liquor processing, steam availability, or plant throughput. Interactions and plant bottlenecks may change from day to day.
If pulp mill production is limited by white liquor supply or evaporator throughput, the maximum production rate is calculated according to the current priorities and available capacity in the white liquor or WBL systems.
A more detailed description of the principles behind Pro-Plan is in:
The system also determines whether:
For more detail on these items, go to Liquor Optimization
Pro-Plan is an effective tool for planning shutdowns. "What if's" can be run to determine the best shutdown strategy. Simulations verify the feasibility of each strategy.
Data input and output:
Optimal production rates
The Business Case
The recommended approach is to undertake a short study to estimate the likely improvement from using Pro-Plan. Historical data will be used to compare:
Other aspects considered include:
This study establishes the business case for installing Pro-Plan, ie. cost, benefits, ROI.
The financial benefits from using the PRO-PLAN Pulp Mill Scheduling System will vary from mill to mill, and are dependent on the types of constraints and the method of operation of the mill prior to using the system.
Typical improvements might be:
Better utilization of capacity
A conservative estimate is that production will increase 1% by operating closer to constraints:
Increased production of 1% of 1000 tonnes/day for 350 days @ $200 margin = $ 700,000 p.a.
One mill study indicated potential increases of 5% over a two week study period. Mill studies have generally shown 3-5% potential increases.
Scenarios showing how Pro-Plan can help maximize production are illustrated in:
Better storage management
If there are 10 unscheduled upsets per year, and the storages are 5% closer to optimal levels:
10 x 5% x 500t x $200 = $ 50,000 p.a.
In todays competitive marketplace, companies need to find new ways to dramatically improve efficiency, productivity, reliability, safety and environmental compliance, often with smaller and more mobile workforces. To meet these challenges, the worlds leading manufacturing companies are deploying intelligent software systems to help manage their operations more effectively.
PRO-PLAN is built using Gensyms G2 expert system. G2 is an integrated, graphical, object-oriented development and deployment environment that allows developers to implement objects, rules, methods, relationships, procedures and other application elements using graphics and a structured natural language. This environment facilitates tailoring of the system to match an individual mills requirements. For more information on G2 and other Gensym products, go to www.gensym.com .
Sales and Support
Distribution and support groups are being set up in various regions.
To discover more about Pro-Plan and its potential payback for your situation, go to the Business Case and ROI Calculator or contact Procex.