IDEAS Virtual Instrument – Slurry Density/Flow

Reliable & Cost Effective Alternative For Online Slurry Measurement

The IDEAS Virtual Instrument provides flow and slurry density in real time, giving you a proven backup for a nuclear density instrument or density indication where it is not cost effective to install a physical instrument in the field.

Typical Results: Primary Cyclone Feed Density Over 1 Week

Strong Correlation Between Physical Measurement And Virtual Instrument


  • Online backup to field measurements, allowing loops to stay in auto if a device fails

  • Provide density measurement anywhere a pump measures power, speed, and discharge pressure

  • Automatic identification of a variety of equipment problems

  • Serve the entire concentrator from easy installation on a single PC

Industry-Leading Simulator Technology

Our virtual instrument is based on IDEAS dynamic simulation technology, a leader in the mining industry with a proven record of accurate simulation spanning over 25 years. Our models use the real engineering dimensions of your plant (pump curves, pipe diameters, elevations, etc.) to produce an accurate digital version of your plant. Behind every object is the best available academic literature, creating a physical model that behaves realistically under all operating conditions. 

We read pump power, pump speed, and discharge pressure to synchronize the state of our model with the plant in real time. Because of the physical realism of our model, we are able to output slurry consistency and flow.

Backup Instrument Enables Consistent Automatic Control

The virtual instrument provides a reliable fallback measurement for automatic control if the field instrument stops reading correctly. Under normal conditions, the virtual instrument matches the flow or density measurement closely, typically with less than 5% RMS error. However, density instruments have notoriously poor performance under a variety of conditions, including low densities or losing calibration completely if the pipe goes empty. If that happens, control reverts to the virtual instrument, allowing loops to stay in automatic control.

Add Density Measurements Throughout The Process

The IDEAS Virtual Instrument relies only on the current state of the plant; no historical data is required. Unlike typical soft sensors or Big Data approaches, our instrument does not need to learn the process. The result is that we can provide accurate density measurements, even where there is no field instrument. One IDEAS Virtual Instrument installation can provide flow and consistency information wherever there is a pump with discharge pressure measurement and normal electrical feedback.

Process Diagnostics

We monitor the short and long term relationship between the physical and virtual measurements. Any change to the relationship means that something about the plant equipment has changed, like a sudden pipe obstruction (for short term changes). A long term drift can indicate pump impeller wear. This additional layer of information provides important alerts to plant maintenance personnel. 

One Installation, Many Measurements

Why model only a single instrument? One installation can provide many density/flow measurements at the same time, providing fallbacks to key control measurements, while adding additional information on other streams that improve the material accounting throughout the concentrator. The Virtual Instrument is easy to deploy and is provided with regular service to maximize its value to your operation.

Big Data Analytics vs Simulation

  • Virtual Instruments Brochure

    ANDRITZ AUTOMATION's IDEAS virtual instrument provides flow and slurry density in real time and is a proven back-up in cases where it is not cost effective to install a physical instrument in the field.

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