National Engineering Technology Center on Metallurgical Automation was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1997. The Center is composed of the R&D base (i.e. “Research Center of Automation in Northeastern University”) and the industry base of Shenyang NEU Automation Co., Ltd. The R & D base has built laboratory building in 5100 square meters, 9000 square meters in the test base covering 60 acres, and industrial building in 12,000 square meters. The Center also hosted a national journal –“Control Engineering” magazine.
In these years, the Center substantially develops to form the following three researches areas: i. measurement technology and device to measure the parameters in complex industrial process which are difficult to obtain; ii. intelligent optimization control technology and operation management technique and system to achieve energy-saving; iii. integrated automation technology and system to achieve the optimization of integrated production targets, flatness of management, and the improvement of knowledge productivity. A number of integrated automation new technologies used for optimization of production targets, flatness of management, and improvement of knowledge productivity are proposed. By using these technologies, international advanced level results are made to promote the level of automation for process industries, to help energy-saving, and to improve competitiveness of the enterprises in China. The technical results play an important role in solving the major key scientific and technological issues in the field of industrial automation for the northeast old industrial base. The center has built a innovative base to R&D the national process industry automation technology which is leading in domestic and famous in international research. In the metallurgical industrial processes (e.g. beneficiation, alumina, rare earth extraction, steel, etc.), the center takes advantages in integrated automation technologies, establishes some demonstration projects of integrated automation system in achieving optimization of comprehensive production index and flatness of management, and eventually achieves significant application results.
In the year of 2010, the center approved a total of 125 national projects and major automation projects cooperated with the enterprises, with the contract amount of 215.324 million yuan, won 5 patent applications, and 3 granted patents. In this year, 21 academic reports and seminars are carried out, and 39 international exchanges and visits are conducted. In addition, 33 master students, 7 Ph.D students graduated in this year. Further, 35 achievements and promotion are achieved to have a direct economic benefit of 145.79 million yuan.
The Center focuses on the development of new theories, new methods, new technologies in industrial process automation, and the applications of them in the areas such as metallurgy, electric power, environmental protection, national defense research, and high-tech research and development of industrial automation. A number of researched results which have significant economic and social benefits at home and abroad are achieved. A number of demonstration projects of integrated automation system in the field of metallurgy, electric power, environmental protection and etc are set when high technology transformation and upgrade of traditional industries are incorporated. The center has published more than 200 research papers indexed by SCI, EI and ISTP. The center has won 2 National Science and Technology Progress Awards, 8 grand prize awards of provincial and ministerial level or first prize, 4 second prize awards of provincial and ministerial level. A total of 9 post-doctoral students, more than 50 Ph.D students and more than 130 master students have graduated from the center. The goal of the center is built to be the domestic first-class, internationally renowned research center and the high-tech industrial R & D base of our country.
In the development of the center, a closely collaborated team which engages in advanced control technology research and development, major key technologies, demonstration projects, product development is cultivated. The leader of the team is Chai Tianyou who is a member of Academy of Sciences. He is currently also the deputy director of the national fifteenth 863 experts committee in the field of advanced manufacturing and automation, a member of Subject Evaluation Group of the State Council, a member of the National Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Committee.
The center focuses on the combination of teaching and researching, the combination of high-tech research and technological transformation of industrial automation, the combination of national goals and the market needs to explore the scientific research mechanism and Enterprise-Academy-Research mechanism which are more suitable to the situations of our country. There are more than 30 teaching and research staffs in the center. The overall laboratory covers a area of 2000 square meters to establish a national CIMS process industrial sites, system simulation laboratory, process control systems laboratory, advanced control technology and products development laboratory.
Consistent with China’s local situation, the Center will be built to a first-class research center with international standards in scientific research and talent cultivation.