Inventory information & Safety
The customer is an aluminum plant in Iceland. The material (alumina) they receive to feed the operation must be dispatched well in advance as it is delivered by vessels from distant suppliers around the globe.
The alumina is received into a large silo from which material is drawn into the operation. To maximize production, the silo should be close to empty when a ship arrives so that the maximum sized shipment can be received without halting production. To achieve this, precise knowledge of the volume of material in the silos is critical to make the optimal dispatching decisions in a long lead-time environment.
The customer also faced operational challenges when unloading the vessel as there was no information that could be used to adjust the silo’s 17 filling points individually. The material loaded into the silo was sometimes very unevenly distributed. To correct uneven loading, the operators could only slow the loading process to allow the material to slide down to a more even distribution. When the operators were able to see this effect during ship unloading, they were able to adjust different groups of filling points to make the filling more even. This ultimately allowed the customer to reduce unplanned and costly berth times.