First-of-their-Kind Digital Smelter Solutions Will Drive Efficiency at Aluminium of Greece
Under an agreement signed today between GE and Aluminium of Greece (AOG), a Mytilineos Group subsidiary, GE will develop and implement global first-of-their-kind digital smelter solutions for AOG to enhance its aluminium smelting process and contribute to increased operational efficiency and productivity.
The digital solutions for smelting operations are being created by a team of GE’s engineers and developers based in San Ramon, USA; GE Power’s Digital Smelter Center of Excellence (COE) in Dubai, UAE; and GE’s Global Research Center in Bangalore, India. The project will be executed by the team based at the COE in the UAE, while the facility that the solutions will be implemented at is in Greece.
The digital solutions will operate in the cloud, powered by Predix*, GE’s operating system for the Industrial Internet. Virtual sensors will facilitate the ongoing evaluation of parameters such as temperature and chemistry that are not ordinarily monitored continuously. This, in turn, will help to anticipate the health and condition of the pot, providing timely monitoring reports on the operations of the plant.
“As the largest vertically integrated bauxite, alumina and aluminium production and trading unit in the European Union, we are constantly looking at innovative technologies to enhance our performance standards. The application of digital industrial solutions is a remarkable opportunity to achieve process optimization across our operations and to push productivity levels,” said Dimitris Stefanidis. “With GE’s digital smelter solutions, we are setting a global first for the aluminium industry that will contribute to our operational efficiency and set new benchmarks in the sector.”
GE has estimated that using digital solutions to achieve even a 1% increase in the efficiency of an aluminum smelter could contribute to annual global savings of US$970 million across the total cost of production and boost output by US$936 million.
In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, where the aluminum smelting industry accounts for nearly 10% of global production, this type of efficiency gain would translate into US$28 million in savings for aluminum smelters, on operations and maintenance alone.
The digital smelter solutions being developed by GE and AOG can help achieve some of these efficiency gains and chart the next generation of smelting operations globally.