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Blend Optimization

The client had a database of different coking coals that includes different chemical and physical properties. These coals are essential to the steelworks process after they are blended and converted into cokes for feeding into a blast furnace. While the client had complex metallurgical models used to determine value in use for a particular coal, they could not determine the optimal blend based on certain constraints. For example, what is the resulting blend of five coals to meet a target specification while minimizing cost?
 
The solution involved enhancing the web based front end to the material specification database to allow an end user to select any specifications they required to be blended, along with any constraints. This was done generically such that any specifications in the database could be blended, not just coking coals. There are physical properties of coals that are not able to be blended linearly. The system understands the different properties on the different material types and how to blend them. Finally the blend model understands how to target the constraints set by the user to produce an optimal blend. This optimal blend can then be fed into the client’s value in use model for further analysis.
The ability to optimize a blend according to any constraints allows the client to target blends in such a way as to optimize value of the resulting blend, while still meeting client specifications. Combining this with a value in use model allows the client to accurately determine how best to blend its products along with the markets that would be best suited for that blend.
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