The TiRO process is a new process for the production of Titanium metal, originally conceived by the CSIRO Division of Process Science and Engineering, and co-developed with Coogee Chemicals as a commercial partner since 2008. The first commercial 24/7 pilot-scale production facility has been constructed in Melbourne, with ICON Technologies as the instrumentation system integrators.
TiRO is an advanced continuous feed process that uses a fluidized bed reactor and vacuum sublimation chamber to produce Titanium powder under an Argon atmosphere. The instrumentation system includes 12 distributed IO Chasses/Controllers, over 400 analog, digital, and motion IO points, and a mix of conventional PID and custom control logic.
The instrumentation system meets the major operational targets for the facility:
- To continue to perform basic research on the TiRO process
- To test full commercial scale implementations of advanced manufacturing equipment and techniques
- To run as a 24/7 production facility capable of producing quality controlled product in quantities suitable to supply as test samples to target customers
…while also addressing the different, and often opposing, needs of the two major stakeholder groups: The research scientists and engineers investigating the process, and the process engineers charged with running a controlled commercial facility.
The solution was to develop a custom system based on CompactRIO PAC hardware and LabVIEW software. The end result is a system that meets the needs of both the research scientists for flexible data acquisition, data processing, and control, and the process engineers for safe, robust 24/7 operation.
PACE Zenith Awards 2013 Finalist: Mining, Minerals and Exploration
NI CompactRIO, LabVIEW Real-Time, LabVIEW FPGA, LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Toolkit, LabVIEW Statechart Module
Read about the advantages of the unique TiRO process at the CSIRO’s Making itanium Metal Powder article.