IDEAS Intelligent Control: prize-winning innovation


Following several rounds of intense assessment, including a “sharktank”- style judgment panel, ANDRITZ’s IDEAS Intelligent Control was named winner of the Newmont Goldcorp #DisruptMining competition in March 2019, earning a $1 million contract with the Canadian company. This came several months after ANDRITZ Automation’s Director of Innovation, Arthur Gooch, won ANDRITZ’s internal entrepreneurial Ventures competition with the innovative technology. ANDRITZ Ventures helps to fasttrack and fund the development and commercialization of industry- leading innovations.


Left to right: David Garofalo, President and CEO, Goldcorp; Arthur Gooch, Director of Innovation, ANDRITZ; Sohail Nazari, Director of Digital Transformation, ANDRITZ; Rick Mercer, Master of Ceremonies

© CNW Group/Newmont Goldcorp

IDEAS Intelligent Control was developed with the assistance of entrepreneurial consultants, the ANDRITZ board, and CEO Wolfgang Leitner. It is engineered to create tangible value for ANDRITZ customers using reinforcement-learning artificial intelligence technology. The backbone of its success are three industry-proven components:

1. Artificial intelligence (AI) controller. As used in many business and consumer applications such as Google, stock exchange trading, and inventory management. ANDRITZ partners with AI specialist PSIORI for this technology.

2. Reinforcement Learning. The AI controller is trained by being rewarded for the right action or penalized for heading in the wrong direction.

3. IDEAS simulation models. Pulp and paper and mineral processing companies have been using the IDEAS high-fidelity dynamic process simulation models for over 15 years in various applications, including piping and instrumentation validation, dynamic control system check-out, and operator training simulators.

The $1 million prize from the #DisruptMining competition is being used to fun two proof-of-concept projects for IDEAS Intelligent Control: one at a (currently confidential) pulp mill and the other at Newmont Goldcorp’s Pensaquito mine in Mexico.

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