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Risk-Based Design for Slurry Launders

Author(s): Robert H. A. Janssen

Linked Author(s): Robert Janssen

Keywords: Slurry launder; Risk; Uncertainty; Six Sigm

Abstract: A risk-based design approach using the principles of Six Sigma has been developed and applied to the design of open channel launders used to convey slurry in mineral processing plants. The proposed risk-based design approach extends beyond the traditional risk assessment used in hydraulic engineering by quantifying severity, likelihood, and detectability of failure scenarios as a single Risk Profile Number (RPN). A base case design with a rectangular open channel launder, two enhancements to the base case, and an alternate pipe launder design were compared. The enhancements to the base case showed promising improvements to the RPN without high capital costs but presented operational limitations. Redesign of the launder using a pipe (part full flow) instead of a rectangular open channel would require a higher initial capital cost, but provided a very robust option with very little impact on the upstream process. The re-designed pipe launder option had the lowest RPN of all alternatives, which provided justification for its selection as the preferred option in spite of a higher capital cost. RPN ratings for severity, likelihood, and detectability based on standard Six Sigma guidelines allows stakeholders to assess the risk criteria using a common benchmark. The RPN is a quantitative assessment of risk that can be used in capital investment and design decisions. Use of standard Six Sigma approaches provides a rigorous and accountable process for risk assessment.


Year: 2007

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