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The ALUNI aluminium production plant consists of 4 large sections, each containing many electrolytic cells in which aluminium is produced

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The ALUNI aluminium production plant consists of 4 large sections, each containing many electrolytic cells in which aluminium is produced. These are referred to as "pots". alumindata_a2_2022.xlsx gives data on pot operating conditions like temperature, power consumption and production conditions such carbon consumption, alumina consumption etc, from previous year. The provided data correspond to the operating data of pots after 10 weeks from the point when the pot was reconstructed. Each pot is classified as malfunctioned pot or healthy pot. Malfunctioned pots need to be taken out of operation and must be reconstructed. If Pot Fail is recorded as 1 then it implies the pot developed complications between 16 and 20 weeks of operation. In normal conditions a pot is expected to last for more than 30 weeks and reconstruction before 25 weeks of operation is considered as premature. Operations manager of the plant is faced with the challenge of planning for efficient and timely pot reconstruction. Each day spent in reconstructing pot results in huge financial implication due to production loss. Pot reconstruction takes at least two weeks and at most 4 weeks depending on the supervising engineers assigned to the task. The main issue is pots are damaged prematurely due to operating conditions and/or quality of inputs such as anode etc. The quality of the inputs can be quite variable, and the company is investing in new technologies to improve the quality, however, it will take at least two years for the new technology to be procured and commissioned. Operations manager is looking to use data-driven analytics models to predict pot-fail numbers in each section, this information on number of pots that may fail prematurely can be extremely useful in resource planning. 

Each of the sections adopts a different technology and hence needs different procedures to reconstruction process. Table 1 details technologies of each section. The plant currently has 10 premature pot reconstruction expert engineers, however, not all have equal amount of expertise in all technologies. That is, all experts can supervise all sections, but each expert received specialist training in one or more technologies as detailed in Table 2. If the supervising engineer received specialist training in the corresponding technology the expected reconstruction time is 2 weeks, otherwise it is 4 weeks. Each engineer can supervise up to 2 pots at a time which can be located in different sections. If an engineer is assigned to supervise more than 2 pots, then reconstruction happens in lots of 2 in series with all sections treated equally.    

 

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