KGHM Polska Miedz SA

11/26/2021 | Press release | Archived content

At express pace from hackathon to smelter - KGHM implements winning project

Greater energy efficiency of the flash furnace is envisaged in the project of young programmers - winners of the Cu Valley Hack hackathon organised by KGHM. Just five months after the event, the copper company began implementing an innovative solution at the Głogów smelter.

"We do not delay good projects. When we see potential and a tangible business effect, we get down to work. We know that the sum of small but good solutions translates into a better result. This is how we build our efficiency and innovation. We organised the Cu Valley Hack hackathon because we are open to new ideas and look for innovation. But the greatest success is the fact that we do not shelve these ideas, but implement them and put them into action," said Adam Bugajczuk, KGHM's Vice President for Development.

During the hackathon, KGHM was looking, among others, for a solution to stabilise the flash furnace and optimise the parameters responsible for regulating heat loss. The submitted concepts were evaluated for the greatest potential for production implementation and the most innovative approach to solving the problem.

The team of young analysts and programmers DATA DRIVERS won. The winners presented a plan including an accurate loss-producing model and an easy-to-implement optimisation algorithm. The project consists of three parts: scripts that process source data, a total loss model of a flash furnace and a Flash Furnace Operation Stabilizer, and simulation and visualization of its operation.

Supervision of the work of programmers and the quality and security of the project is handled by KGHM Analytics Centre, a KGHM Group company coordinating the digital solutions of KGHM.

Application of the winning solution can have a tangible effect - stabilising heat losses during the process in the flash furnace will optimise the amount of copper concentrate smelted. The effect of implementing the algorithm will not only be to make the process more efficient, but also to automate it based on data. The system will autonomously select the parameters of the regulated variables. This will relieve the workload of many people involved in supervising the operation of the flash furnace.

CuValley Hack was a hackathon organised by KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. in June this year. At the time, nearly 300 participants submitted their solutions within the developing Copper Valley. The financial prize pool amounted to PLN 100 000, and the first of the winning projects has just been delivered to the KGHM department.