Add some wisdom to nonferrous metallurgy

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Add some "wisdom" to non-ferrous metallurgy through hard work

academician GUI Weihua (middle of the front row) discussed with the students the picture provided by the scientific research team

in June, in Changsha, the COVID-19 stabilized, and all walks of life pressed the restart button. GUI Weihua, Professor of the school of automation of Central South University and academician of the Chinese Academy of engineering, gradually fell to the ground. For several months, a nonferrous metal smelting intelligent factory he was concerned about did not receive the news of shutdown during the epidemic

no news is good news. GUI Weihua believes that this means that the key technology of metallurgical automation developed by them is stable and reliable

from 2014 to 2019, with the support of the innovation research group project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (hereinafter referred to as the innovation group project), GUI Weihua, as an academic leader, carried out research on the theory, technology and application of complex non-ferrous metallurgical process control. They focus on artificial intelligence, add some wisdom to the non-ferrous metallurgical process, and help the transformation and upgrading of the non-ferrous metal industry, with a view to achieving green and efficient production

closed loop of Automation Science

since the reform and opening up, China, as a large manufacturing country, has ranked first in the world in terms of non-ferrous metal output and consumption for 16 consecutive years. However, compared with industrial developed countries, China has a large gap in energy consumption utilization, environmental pollution prevention and mineral recovery. One of the main reasons is the low level of automation of non-ferrous metallurgy in China

GUI Weihua has deeply experienced this in his decades of scientific research career. As a regular customer of non-ferrous metallurgical enterprises, now standing in the intelligent factory with a high degree of automation, he can't help recalling his years as an electrician in the aluminum factory: embrittlement - the reduction of ductility due to physical or chemical changes, the environment is very bad, and the production efficiency is very low

this hard personal experience has prompted him to think about how to automate the equipment in industrial production and reduce the problems of unstable quality and low efficiency caused by human operation, so as to maximize the energy conservation in the production process, reduce energy and material consumption, and finally achieve green and efficient production

the biggest feature of automation is its close integration with industrial production. GUI Weihua told China Science Daily that to do research on Automation Science and technology, we must have an in-depth understanding of the actual needs of technological processes and production processes

in 2014, the team led by Gui Weihua received funding from the innovation group project, which injected a strong impetus into their further breakthroughs in automation theory. In 2017, the team received the second phase of continued funding

over the years, they have summarized the complete closed loop of automation science. Discover key technical problems in industrial production, refine scientific problems, solve scientific problems, and finally creatively propose effective solutions. GUI Weihua stressed that the most important thing is to finally land, effectively bring changes to industrial production and add sustainability to the national economic development

forge ahead to promote sustainable development

from production to production, with the support of innovative group projects, scientific researchers face the major needs of national industrial development

nonferrous metals play a special role in China's national economy and military industry, and are important strategic resources of the country. Over the years, GUI Weihua led his team to travel all over the country, honed in large and small non-ferrous metal production enterprises, focused on independent innovation, established intelligent optimized manufacturing key technologies suitable for the characteristics of China's non-ferrous metallurgical process, and carried out engineering application research, so as to promote China's non-ferrous metal industry to achieve substantial energy conservation, consumption reduction, emission reduction and sustainable development

for example, in view of the problems of high production energy consumption and serious pollution caused by the poor production environment of aluminum electrolysis, strong multiphase and multi field coupling in the electrolytic cell, variable working conditions and difficult control, the team proposed a comprehensive optimization method for the structure, process and controller of large aluminum electrolytic cell based on multiphase and multi field coupling simulation, which solved the problem of high efficiency and energy saving of large aluminum electrolytic cell under low voltage, A low-voltage energy-saving optimization control technology for large aluminum reduction cells with independent intellectual property rights has been formed

it is understood that the new generation of fully distributed aluminum electrolysis energy-efficient control system developed based on this new technology has been applied to multiple production lines of many aluminum plants. Relevant achievements won the second prize of the 2014 National Science and technology progress award

in view of the characteristics of zinc concentrates in China, and around the difficult problems of modeling, optimization and control in the zinc hydrometallurgy process, the team has developed the optimization control technology of main process processes such as leaching, purification and electrolysis with independent intellectual property rights, which has played an important role in improving the adaptability of raw materials in the zinc hydrometallurgy process, reducing energy and material consumption in the production process, and improving the recovery rate of valuable metals. The research results were applied to Zhuzhou smelting group, a leading enterprise in zinc smelting in China, which significantly reduced the consumption of zinc powder and power consumption per ton of zinc, and provided key technical support for the stable and optimized operation of zinc smelting under complex resource conditions

realistic centripetal force

this team led by Gui Weihua is the earliest research team engaged in nonferrous metallurgical automation in China. Being honest and doing things in a down-to-earth manner have been the values of the team for 40 years

this sentence comes from a gift. Around 2003, all Postgraduates of grade 1978 of Central South University of mining and Metallurgy (the predecessor of Central South University) planned to send a gift to their alma mater after 30 years of enrollment, and guiweihua was also one of them

I have been thinking about what is the most important thing that my teacher and my alma mater gave me with polyurethane film wrapped on the outside. I thought of the word "be realistic". He said that this is a high generalization of being honest and doing things in a down-to-earth manner. This idea was recognized by the students. They engraved the word "truth-seeking" on a stone tablet in the shape of an open book and gave it to their alma mater

over the years, being realistic has also become the centripetal force for team members to forge ahead together

Jiang Chaohui, a member of the team and professor of the school of automation of Central South University, still remembers an event that happened many years ago. At that time, with the support of a major project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the research on high-performance detection methods for the operation information of large blast furnace ironmaking process, Jiang Chaohui led his team to test the endoscope for monitoring the operation information of ironmaking process on the blast furnace of a company in Guangxi. Suddenly, carbon monoxide exploded, and Jiang Chaohui fainted. After being carried off the scene, he insisted on finishing the work. Recalling this scene, Jiang Chaohui said: it is a sense of mission to stick to it

it is precisely because of the rigorous scientific research spirit and realistic and pragmatic attitude towards life that a group of high-level talents in the field of nonferrous metallurgical automation have grown up in the team. Emphasizing dedication and dedication is the greatest treasure of our team. GUI Weihua said

the key to upgrading the manufacturing industry lies in knowledge automation

China Science Daily: with the further promotion and development of artificial intelligence, the deep integration of artificial intelligence in the manufacturing process should be the general trend. What challenges are currently facing

GUI Weihua: in the process of deep integration of artificial intelligence and manufacturing process, there are still considerable challenges. This challenge comes from the insufficient combination of artificial intelligence research and manufacturing process. On the one hand, in the production process of modern enterprises, manual work has been basically replaced by machines through production division and automation technology. In the future, if knowledge-based work can also be completed by machines through automation technology, it will greatly create more new value and knowledge

on the other hand, because industrial enterprises need to face many factors such as market demand, resource supply, environmental protection emissions, etc., the change of working conditions is more complex; At the same time, with the emergence of cloud platforms, mobile computing, IOT and big data, the types and scale of data in the industrial environment have increased rapidly. Changes in the objective situation make traditional knowledge workers feel powerless

therefore, we put forward the concept of knowledge automation, which refers to using effective methods to reasonably extract and process knowledge. Getting rid of the traditional dependence on knowledge workers and realizing intelligent knowledge automation system is the core to solve the efficient and green development of industrial production, and it is also the biggest challenge of the deep integration of artificial intelligence and manufacturing

China Science Daily: can you give a case to illustrate how the application of knowledge automation technology in industrial production can improve production efficiency

GUI Weihua: let's take the raw material procurement decision-making of a zinc smelting enterprise as an example. The raw material of zinc hydrometallurgy is zinc concentrate, which is purchased from hundreds of Mines distributed all over the country, with complex composition and large grade differences. Due to the large production scale, the demand for raw materials is large, and the purchase of raw materials takes up a lot of working capital. The annual purchase capital of raw materials is up to 2billion yuan

with regard to procurement alone, the traditional manual decision-making is difficult to comprehensively consider various factors such as capital, ore source, inventory and supplier relationship, resulting in an increase in procurement costs

after optimization based on procurement and production knowledge, procurement is changed from the original manual decision to knowledge-based automatic decision, so that the average grade and impurity content of purchased raw materials can meet the production requirements, and at the same time, the cost of raw material procurement is minimized, which can save tens of millions of yuan for enterprises every year

it can be seen that knowledge-based work in industrial production includes two meanings, one is the artificial decision-making process, the other is the decision-making behavior that depends on experience. Industrial production process urgently needs to solve the optimization and automation of knowledge-based workflow, and realize knowledge driven automatic decision-making at each decision-making point

China Science Daily: specifically, what are the academic research aspects of knowledge automation? For the industrial production process, what directions do scholars need to focus on

GUI Weihua: at present, knowledge automation allocates more than 3% of the total revenue as research and development expenses. There is still a big gap from realizing the knowledge-based work automation required by the industrial production process, and it is also the key to the future transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry

the research of knowledge processing methods focuses on four directions: knowledge acquisition, representation, reorganization and relevance reasoning. Among them, in terms of knowledge acquisition, how to acquire tacit knowledge in industrial processes is still a research difficulty, and the key to modeling, control and Optimization in industrial process control systems is the acquisition of policy related knowledge rules, which is still a major problem

In terms of knowledge representation, in the process of industrial production, the expression of things and information by knowledge workers is often inaccurate, uncertain and fuzzy. How to express this kind of knowledge is challenging for the realization of knowledge automation system facing control requirements

the research on knowledge reorganization is still in the theoretical stage, and the applied research on knowledge reorganization is relatively few

in terms of knowledge association and reasoning, the reasoning and calculation of incomplete knowledge for complex objects, especially complex production processes, still remain at the level of theoretical discussion, and there are few research results

it is hoped that scholars in the field of automation and artificial intelligence will focus on these issues to solve the urgent needs of the front line of industrial production

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