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Post at 26 Jul 2017

Headquartered in UK, Anglo American is a global and diversified mining company supplying raw materials essential for economic development and modern life.

It operates in mining, expansion projects and operating and marketing activities in South Africa, South America, Australia, North America, Asia and Europe.

Challenges

Due to the size, number of cities involved and the large number of environmental licenses required for project implementation,  the Minas-Rio project took several years to complete which increased the mining company’s challenges.

The project includes an iron ore mine and an enrichment unit located in Conceição do Mato Dentro and Alvorada de Minas in the state of Minas Gerais; A 529-kilometer pipeline that runs through 33 municipalities in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro; and the iron ore terminal of Puerto de Açu, in which Anglo American has established a partnership with Prumo Logística, which has a 50% stake, and is located in São João da Barra (RJ).

Different suppliers participated in the project in the different areas of the process.

From the beginning, Anglo American’s engineering area was concerned with ensuring standardization in the way it operates and in control between areas.

Other important challenges were the large distances involved between the different areas of the Minas-Rio System and the need for an integration between them.

The implementation time of the system brought a series of additional challenges, such as the same technological advance, which could make the process control system out of date, even before starting to operate.

Challenge
  • Ensure standardization in the mode of operation and control between sectors
  • Large distances between the different areas of the Minas-Rio System created the need for an integration between them
  • Outdated legacy DCS
Solutions
  • The control system was divided into four parts, each with its own servers, controllers and operating room
  • Web-enabled operating stations allow for monitoring of the system remotely
  • The PlantPAx distributed control system has more than 20 thousand instruments and is connected to 800 motors
  • The DCS is integrated with the Process Information Management System (PIMS) and the Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
Results
  • The distributed control system implemented reduced the commissioning time of each of the process areas
  • The system, with multiple monitors, made the operation simpler and more flexible. The use of a modular and standardized solution facilitates maintenance work, as well as allowing new instruments and motors to be easily added to the system
  • The integration of the distributed control system with the PIMS and the MES helps in decision making
  • Anglo American made its first shipment of iron ore ahead of schedule and at a lower cost than the budget
Category: Metal & Cements