Global Optimisation of Multi-Plant Manganese Alloy Production

This paper studies the problem of multi-plant manganese alloy production. The problem consists of finding the optimal furnace feed of ores, fluxes, coke, and slag that yields output products which meet customer specifications, and to optimally decide the volume, composition, and allocation of the slag. To solve the problem, a nonlinear pooling problem formulation is presented upon which the bilinear terms are reformulated using the Multiparametric Disaggregation Technique (MDT). This enables global optimisation by means of commercial software for mixed integer linear programs. We demonstrate the model and solution approach through case studies from a Norwegian manganese alloy producer. The computational study shows that the model and proposed optimisation approach can solve problem sizes of up to ten furnaces to a small optimality gap, that global optimization approach with MDT scales well with larger, real problem instances, and that the model outperforms the current operational practice.



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