The overall purpose of the project was to provide a tool for simulation of granular matter and a working process for optimizing balling plants at LKAB. An ultimate goal was that the simulation tool should also be usable in other applications and by consultants working for LKAB. The project was a collaboration between LKAB, Algoryx, Optimation and Umeå University, and indirectly also with other parties in the SIMOVATE project. The simulation tool was used in the project to test new ideas for outlet design in a balling plant currently under revision, which had to be improved. Existing CAD models for the balling plant were used as input to the simulation tool at the beginning of the project. Then at the end of the project, revised CAD models were used for delivering the result of the improved outlet design. The simulation results were continuously presented to factory engineers, in the form of films, for feedback and discussion.

The simulation based method allowed for rapid prototyping of different ideas. One of the most interesting aspects of the tool is that it’s general CAD-oriented nature allows it to be used for different applications. The visual nature of simulations allowed for easy presentation of ideas among key personnel in the development process. This led to better discussions and an improved understanding of the relationship between outlet design and outlet performance.


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