MMK Launches Machine Vision-Powered Gas Leakage Detection System
Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works has launched a system for automatic gas leakage detection from doors and ascension pipes in the upper structures of coke oven batteries at its coke oven production shops.
The system is based on machine vision technologies and neural networks used at the production site and is aimed at improving the Company’s environmental impact and increasing the safety of production processes.
The project was implemented at coke oven batteries No. 7 and No. 8. Each of them has 130 coke oven doors – 65 each on the machine and coke oven sides. Due to various reasons, including breakage or seal failure, these doors can leak raw coke oven gas containing such toxic compounds as benzopyrene.
Previously, such leakages were monitored by coke shop specialists only visually. Gas leaks couldn’t be removed in a timely manner due to the lack of a systemic approach, which led to an increase in hazardous emissions into the atmosphere and deterioration of the workplaces.
MMK’s automatic gas leakage detection system makes it possible to promptly detect toxic coke gas leakage thanks to video cameras installed both on the battery itself and in its immediate vicinity, as well as a sophisticated software system. More than 30 video cameras, capable of "seeing" many times better than the human eye, monitor and record door gassing at the coke batteries 24 hours a day in live mode. The neural network, in turn, makes it possible to detect malfunctions without human intervention.
In case of the slightest deviation from the norm, the hardware-software complex records the event, enters it into an interactive log, and sends a notification to the control room with a photo and indication of time, battery number and furnace where the leaking is happening. Information about the strength and frequency of gas leaks on coke oven batteries is recorded into the database, where it is statistically processed. Data collection on each event enables MMK to generate significant additional information about the wear of the doors, the need for their repair or replacement, and the effectiveness of the personnel who seal the doors.
The cameras are not the only tools used to reduce coke oven gas leakage into the atmosphere. The replacement of coke oven doors has also played a big role. MMK has already installed more than 100 doors with increased gas insulation manufactured by the Japanese company Bluesky at batteries No. 7 and No. 8, which have enabled the Company to almost completely eliminate or localise uncontrolled emissions. This move substantially reduces gas and dust emissions into the atmosphere, decreases door coking and operational costs thanks to the increased service life of the coking doors.
The use of modern equipment in the technological processes of coking has enabled MMK to reduce its environmental footprint, both at the production site and in Magnitogorsk. In addition to improving the technological discipline of its personnel and the condition of its workplaces, MMK has reduced gross emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. In particular, measures taken by the Company have decreased benzopyrene emissions by many hundredfold, according to ecologists' estimates.