The goal of the project is to develop technology to monitor flows of raw materials with the help of embedded electronic sensors. The sensors should be able to create measurement data from remote locations, such as a conveyor belt, but can also generate information inside processes, such as a blast furnace or a kiln. For example, the project will follow the flows of LKAB's iron ore pellets.
– We will create sensors that look like pellets. These should then be able to follow the flow on the conveyor belt, says George Nikolakopoulos, research manager for the project and Associate Professor at the Division of Signal and Systems.
– The sensors can collect data, such as temperature, humidity and vibration, and send that information to those governing the process.
Holistic flow in the processes
For Luleå University of Technology, the research will to some extent be a continuation of the research conducted within the project ePellet. A further development of an existing prototype of sensors that look like pellets.
– We already know that the technology works, says Pär-Erik Martinsson, Project Manager at Process IT and also Project Manager for Disire.
– We will continue to work upon already existing platforms. Among other things, we need to bring down costs and enhance the prototype sustainability.
The use of sensors will lead to more holistic industrial processes. The data acquired from the sensors will contribute to improved control of individual processes and improve overall logistics. The technology will also generate more energy efficient processes that ultimately lead to reduced use of fossil fuels, reduce the proportion of waste products and provide a higher quality end product.
The Disire project har received six million Euros funding from the EU venture Spire, which is part of the Horizon 2020. The project is coordinated by Luleå University of Technology and among the other 15 project participants are universities and industrial companies from Germany, Poland and Italy. The project starts in January 2015 and will run for three years.