Real-time intelligent diagnostics and optimisation of reheating furnace performance
The Smartfire project was undertaken to identify ways of optimising the operation of reheating furnaces, maintenance and product quality by providing furnace diagnostic tools for monitoring and controlling process parameters. In one work stream, a technique was successfully developed to produce diagnostic signals from flame imaging. It also demonstrated for the first time that even nominally identical burners produce different characteristic signals. Without recalibration, this limits the transfer between burners, making furnace-wide application difficult. In another work stream, statistical... and physical models of furnace features were developed and linked with furnace databases to form on-line real-time diagnostic systems, although the developed flame analysis system was not included in these diagnostic systems, as had originally been planned. Through development and implementation of these systems their benefits were demonstrated. The project was successful in developing a range of diagnostic techniques to help improve the operation of reheating furnaces as well as product quality. By exploring the techniques and by implementing models developed across a range of different furnaces, the project partners demonstrated broad applicability of the diagnostics they provide. The work will be beneficial for all furnace operators supervising their own furnaces.