Computerized approaches to coal blending

Gershon, M.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Four computerized approaches for coal blending are described and their strengths and weaknesses are explored. Spreadsheet analysis Other than word processing, spreadsheet software is the most commonly used software. Its wide availability and ease of use are two desirable features that have led many to try to adapt it to the purpose of coal blending. These are the two main advantages of this approach. To use a spreadsheet for coal blending, each row of data represents one source of coal. Each column represents a quality of the coal, with the last column specifying the tonnage of that coal in the blend. The calculated figures are. the blended qualities, which can be programmed to appear in the bottom row. A trial-and-error approach is then used to develop the best blend. Inserting any blend in the last column provides the blend characteristics at the bottom of the page. If any specifications are not met, the blend can be changed, all calculations being immediately updated. This process is repeated until all specifications are satisfied. A third advantage of this method is that it is exactly the procedure that one would go through if doing this by hand. With a spreadsheet, many more blends can be evaluated in much less time, allowing the designer to try to improve over satisfactory blends to find the best of them. The resulting improved blends or cost savings are a fourth advantage of this approach. There is only one major disadvantage of using the spread- sheet. This is that most probably the best blend is not found. As an inexpensive introduction to computer-assisted blending, which can be easily understood and cost just a few hundred dollars, this is a recommended place to begin.
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