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ISSUE No. 88 | www.bus-ex.com

Best practices in conveyor relationships Agnostic automation vendor selection: Objectivity required

WEEKLY EDITION PowerStream

Why the cloud is not always the answer for distribution centers

Skating to the puck Showing the way to leverage new technologies and business models in the interest of customers

Resource Generation:

copper fox metals:

SaskPower:


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contents 6

In brief

The week that was

In this section youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find news, views and comments as we take a look back at the last seven days including Will India see more economic stability under Modi?

10

operations

Deal with an irate customer, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lose them

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The hardest part of any job can be dealing with angry, upset customers. Here are the secrets to placating, and more importantly retaining such individuals.

14

22

manufacturing

14

How a collaborative experience among partners, manufacturers and end users creates a culture of best practice.

22

Best practices in conveyor relationships

manufacturing

Agnostic automation vendor selection: Objectivity required

When selecting a vendor for agnostic automation, objectivity is of paramount importance.

26

manufacturing

Why the cloud is not always the answer for distribution centers

How the lag time of cloud based warehouse management systems are driving more distribution centers to warehouse control systems.

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[ Issue 88 ] BE Weekly

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Copper Fox Metals

Dedicated to development The growth of the business over the last 18 months and the important strides it expects to make in 2014.

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Proof that hard work pays off Continuing to lead the way when it comes to heavy civil infrastructure construction, mining applications and energy development.

COver story

32 PowerStream

Skating to the puck A relatively recently formed energy supply company, PowerStream has already shown the way to leverage new technologies and business models in the interest of the customers and communities it serves.

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SaskPower

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Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris Country (METRO)

Catching carbon In the final stages of completing a truly innovative programme that has attracted the attention of environmentally aware power utilities from across the world.

Navigating Space City Delivering vital public transportation services to the people of Houston and its surrounding areas for the best part of 35 years.

H. J. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

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Resource Generation

Steady going at Boikarabelo One of the most strategically important coal resources in South Africa, the Boikarabelo project owned by Resource Generation Ltd is on track to produce its first coal in 2015.

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Winners & losers

Ups and downs in the week that was... Apple & Google Apple and Google agree to bring an end to the long running patent lawsuits following years of disputes

Germany Its gross domestic product grows by 0.8 percent in Q1 of 2014, beating economists’ estimations

Centamin Gold miner Centamin to commence paying dividends earlier than expected

Ryanair Has seen its profits dip for the first time in five years

Walmart Reports five percent fall in Q1 profits as a result of bad winter weather

Malaysia Airlines’ Loses widen following the disappearance of Flight 370

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Japan Economy grows at fastest pace for three years ahead of sales tax rise

DirecTV AT&T to purchase satellite TV provider DirecTV in cash and share deal

Britain Britain’s wealthiest people have more capital than ever before

Elizabeth Arden The cosmetics company’s shares plunge to five year low

General Motors Fined a record $35 million over latest vehicle recalls for faulty ignition switches

Sony The electronics giant predicts it will remain unprofitable until at least 2015


in brief

India: more economic stability under Modi? With nearly all 543 seats declared by the morning of May 17 the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP)’s victory in India’s general election was secure as Narendra Modi arrived in New Delhi. The BJP announced that he would not formally take office until after Tuesday, however speculation as to the implications of this landslide for India’s economy is already rife. Modi faces overwhelming challenges on the economic front, though his victory comes at an auspicious time, with a background of world economic recovery and a strengthening currency. He will be under pressure to remove diesel and gas price controls, continue with economic reforms, privatise state-run firms, address the question of subsidies on basic commodities and reform labour laws. He will have the opportunity to use his majority to increase the cap on foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from the current 26 percent to 49 percent, and address the issue of toxic loans which form ten percent of the banks’ aggregate lending. However the next couple of months will be a period of uncertainty ahead of his first budget, expected in late June or early July. Meanwhile renewed buying by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the Indian equity market has strengthened the rupee. This has had both positive and negative outcomes – on the one hand it will make imports cheaper and reduce the pressure on government finances due to the high cost of oil subsidies; on the other India’s export industries will take a hit as their products become less competitive in international markets.

economics

“We will get a better indication of the direction of the Modi government’s economic thinking when he presents a budget in late June or early July”

We will get a better indication of the direction of the Modi government’s economic thinking when he presents a budget in late June or early July. For now, however, it seems certain that importers and exporters alike will welcome his business-friendly stance. “The age of divisive politics has ended; from today onwards the politics of uniting people will begin,” Modi said. “We want more strength for the wellbeing of the country ... I see a glorious and prosperous India.”

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business

AT&T announce plans to purchase DirecTV The US telecommunications firm plans to pay $48.5 billion in cash and stocks in order to gain access to DirecTV’s 40 million digital TV customers in the US and in Latin America. The deal would also

give AT&T a new source of revenue beyond its traditional telecommunications business. Under the terms of the merger, DirecTV shareholders will receive $95 per share, comprising $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock. DirecTV’s premier content includes exclusive pay TV rights to ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ which gives subscribers access to every American football game played on Sunday afternoons, which they can view on TV, laptops and mobile devices. AT&T’s Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen Randall said in a statement: “This is a unique opportunity

that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens - mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes.” While the board of directors of both companies have approved the merger it remains subject to approval by DirecTV shareholders as well as several US regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. Nevertheless, both companies remain hopeful that the transaction will be complete within the next twelve months.

economics

Japan’s economy grows, but will sales tax hike curb future spending? The country’s GDP rose 1.5 percent in the January-to-March period, against a revised 0.1 percent in the prior quarter. The figure, led by a rise of 2.1 percent in consumer spending, beats previous forecasts of 1.0 percent growth and came ahead of a sales tax increase introduced at the beginning of April. Capital spending by businesses also outperformed, rising by 4.9 percent, which was more than double analyst expectations. Private consumption accounts for about 60 percent of Japan’s economy, however, economists have warned that spending may taper off now that the April tax hike has been introduced.

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“Japan’s economy expanded rapidly ahead of the sales tax hike, but is set to slump thereafter,” Marcel Thieliant, Japan economist at Capital Economics, said. “Looking ahead, the economy will certainly contract in the second quarter of the year, as consumers rein in spending after the tax hike, and residential investment is set to plunge.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying to revive growth in the world’s third-largest economy. His policy of “Abenomics” has helped Japan’s economy grow faster, but concerns remain about whether the recovery is durable. Figures released earlier this week highlight that exports grew six percent quarter-onquarter as a weaker yen made Japanese goods cheaper to overseas buyers.


in brief

Best from the web this week

We’ve done the searching, so you don’t have to! BBC

EU and US restart transatlantic trade talks

Andrew Walker It would be the biggest trade deal of all, involving the world’s two biggest developed economies - and it is very controversial. American and European trade negotiators get back to business on Monday, as they work for a new trade agreement, called the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP for short. Read the rest

inc.com

ted talks

Why good leaders make you feel safe

The Least Scary Way to Start a Business Paul B. Brown Read the rest

Simon Sinek What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility. Watch it now

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Deal with an irate customer donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lose them The hardest part of any job can be dealing with angry, upset customers. Here are the secrets to placating, and more importantly retaining such individuals Words by

John Tschohl

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F

acing off with a screaming, unreasonable, irrational customer represents the ultimate test of any employee’s service skills. It can take you to your breaking point if you’re not careful.  Staying grounded and above the fray requires you to find inner strength, and persevere beyond the initial difficulties. Dealing with irate customers is one of the most pressure-packed experiences you will ever encounter on any job.  During every confrontation it is important to remember: 1) Every customer is a different person with a unique set of circumstances and personality traits. 2) Irate customer encounters can emerge out of nowhere—the key is to be ready. 3) You represent an opportunity to set things right. 4) Compassion is essential. 5) Despite your best efforts, sometimes there is nothing that can save a situation. Ditch the “I’m Sorry” Script Sorry, just doesn’t cut it sometimes.  Saying “”I’m Sorry” is so overused it sounds insincere.  Be specific by saying “I apologize for th i s i s s u e …”  Make sure your apology directly makes reference to the actual issue, and

ALWAYS try to use the customer’s name when addressing them. It adds a personal connection to them. Get on the customer’s side of the counter Visualize for a moment an upset customer walking in your door and approaching you.  The first thing an angry customer does is attack you.  It’s very important to remember that you are not personally being attacked but are listening to someone who is in an attacking mode. Partner with your customer Let the customer know that your job is to go to bat for them.  This tells them that you are their emissary and you want to resolve it together. The 4 C’s of Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations It’s all about: 1) Compassion –  Listen carefully and react to their words, not just their behavior.  Examine the facts. 2) Calm – Remain calm and don’t lose your cool. 3) Confidence  – Handle the situation knowing you are following company guidelines—and serve the customer. 4) Competence  – Save the customer with your competent handling of

“Make sure your apology directly makes reference to the actual issue, and ALWAYS try to use the customer’s name when addressing theM”

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operations

“Remember, it costs at least five times as much to gain a new customer than keep an existing one and with social media it’s even more costly”

the situation so he or she continues to be a customer. Regardless of how a problem is solved, getting it done now is the best way to stop the venting and to bring an irate customer around.  You need to show your customer than, as an employee and as the face of your organization you are invested in solving the problem. 5 Steps to Handle Irate Customers 1) Listen carefully and with interest. Put yourself in your customer’s place 2) Ask questions and actively listen to the answers 3) Suggest alternatives that address their concerns 4) Apologize without laying blame 5) Solve the problem quickly and efficiently. Remember, it costs at least five times as much to gain a new customer than keep an existing one and with social media it’s even more costly.  The average number

of friends on Facebook is 130. Keeping a complaining customer, according to Tschohl, should be the top priority, and at these cost ratios you can afford to be generous in your time and effort.  Take Care Of Yourself Dealing with irate customers will drain you physically and emotionally and put your skills to the test.  You must find ways to take care of yourself.  As part of your “recovery time”, know that dealing with irate customers is allowing yourself to relax, recharge and assess your role.  Recovery separates you from the situation and gives you a chance to breathe. Learn from every complaint Do something!  Fix the process; train staff in the issue; eliminate the fault.  Wherever possible let the complaining customer know that they have helped you resolve a problem – they’ll feel great and come back again and again (and will probably tell their friends!).

About the author

John Tschohl John Tschohl, the internationally recognized service strategist, is founder and president of Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by USA Today, Time, and Entrepreneur as a “customer service guru,” has written several books  on customer service including his new program Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations. John’s strategic newsletter is available online. www.johntschohl.com

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Best practices in con How a collaborative experience and end users creates a Words by

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Thom


nveyor relationships among partners, manufacturers culture of best practice

mas R. Cutler BE Weekly [ Issue 88 ]

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T

he historical perspective is easy to grasp. Automated product movement is a well-established, easily understood concept. It is so familiar and normative that many in the material handling sector consider conveyance technology little more than a commodity. That is a wild over-simplification. Conveyor solutions are developed from dynamic and complex challenges which require safe, ergonomic, tested and proven products, developed by creative people with a focus on lean manufacturing continuous process improvement. According to Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

“Hytrol Conveyor Company’s first conveyor, designed by founder Tom Loberg in 1947, moved bags of seed in preparation for stacking, and folded when not in use”

(MHEDA), the only trade association dedicated solely to improving the proficiency of the independent material handling equipment distributor, conveyor systems have been an integral part of material handling for more than a century, and transport of bulk materials by conveyor belts dates back to around 1795; the vast majority of these early iterations were used to move grains over very short distances. The first conveyor belt systems were very primitive and consisted of a leather, canvas or rubber belt traveling over a flat wooden bed. This rudimentary system was successful enough to provide incentive

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for engineers to consider conveyors as an economical and efficient way to haul large quantities of bulk material from one location to another. By the turn of the 20th century, conveyors were being used in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to unload wooden shingles from railcars. Conveyors are now used for thousands of additional applications, particularly moving items in manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Hytrol Conveyor Company’s first conveyor, designed by founder Tom Loberg in 1947, moved bags of seed in preparation for stacking, and folded when not in use. Loberg discovered that the right angle reducer he had designed for a rotary lawn mower was just the right size to make a belt run at the proper speed on a conveyor. The Tested Conveyor Element Designing an automated conveyance system on paper lacks the kind of rigorous testing needed to ensure that postinstallation the technology solution works the way it was designed and intended. Few organizations have an internal testing system. Based in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Hytrol installed a test system at their Technology Center, allowing customers and integration partners fully test products prior to implementation. This unique resource provides a level of confidence and reassurance to customers. All issues and workability concerns are addressed before conveyors are at the customer plant floor. Until very recently service was a major determining factor in selecting Motor Driven Roller (MDR) equipment. Providing the best 24 volt conveyor drive technology globally is another way to assuage material handling and manufacturing concerns. E24, 24 volt (MDR) conveyors are being


manufacturing

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widely used due to their simplicity and flexibility. Since the drive train is distributed along the conveyor length a single piece of equipment can perform multiple functions. This includes different speeds, multiple directions, and starting/ stopping individual sections. This breakthrough E24 technology is unique among conveyor providers and the modular design allows for easy

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This breakthrough E24 technology is unique among conveyor providersâ&#x20AC;?

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configuration with minimal maintenance. The safe, quiet, and energy efficient operation offers greater speed options because the conveyor speed is not based on fixed gear ratios. Since one motor is used for all widths and speeds, there is only one motor to stock. The minimum conveyor width is not limited by drive components and multiple motors per zone are available for long zones. The People Element Designing and manufacturing for major companies all over the world, Hytrol made clear that these are some of the most advanced conveyor systems in the material handling industry. More than 700 dedicated employees consider themselves


manufacturing

a member of the Hytrol family. It is this cultural context that evaporates the notion that these conveyors are a commodity. The products and services represent personal integrity and dynamic lean thinking. The Partner Integration Element Bob West, Vice President of Corporate Development at Hytrol extended the values of the organizations and noted, “Strong relationships build success. A key component of the Hytrol Advantage is the success of our integration partner network, which is focused on bringing you the best solution. With more than a hundred locations around the world, Hytrol’s network of local service providers offers you great piece of mind. Through

“A key component of the Hytrol Advantage is the success of our integration partner network”

our strong relationships, Hytrol is able to provide local presence, on-site expertise, and the instant assistance needed by customers today.” This sentiment was echoed by Matt Farris, Director of Business Development at Hytrol who remarked, “Our integration partners are experts managing the total

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project with best-of-breed software and equipment. They go beyond just selling equipment and explain how our system solutions can improve your methods. They work hard to develop a deep understanding of each customer’s business in order to recommend the right solution every time.” An integration partner can be on a job site at a moment’s notice. They work with end users to make sure that they understand the system. Strong integration partners integrate conveyor equipment

“Lean principles are at the core of everything we do here at Hytrol”

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with other technology to fit the customer’s needs. Local integration partners know local codes and they understand local law providing conveyor. They are familiar with customers in that area; they are neighbors. The real relationship is at a local level, which makes them accessible anytime the customer needs them. From concept to implementation the integration partner network is a unique business model that allows heightened customer service. The Lean Element Lean manufacturing is a comprehensive approach to preserving value, from concept to completion. Lean manufacturing is infinite and ever evolving. Chris Glenn, Hytrol’s Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering Operations emphasized the importance of lean manufacturing and urged, “Lean principles are at the core of


manufacturing

everything we do here at Hytrol. It’s a unique way of thinking, a philosophy built on efficiency that offers the most value to our customer.” The execution of best-practice and continuous process improvement was articulated by Chris Taylor, Focus Factory Manager at Hytrol. “It’s all about how the product flows through the facility. It’s about problem solving and streamlining processes to improve production and eliminate waste. We implemented lean principles into the Hytrol facility in 2004, and we’ve never looked back. It’s ingrained in our culture.” Few conveyor companies have been as wise to build the entire enterprise around operator-centric processes. An operator brings value to the manufacturing and assembly of a product that a piece of automation does not always provide. Every Hytrol conveyor system is geared toward supporting that operator and getting product out the door. By continually investing in people, the is a customer competitive advantage driven by these cultural imperatives. Integrating Best Practice Elements The most important thing about fulfilling a customer’s needs is the

“We implemented lean principles into the Hytrol facility in 2004, and we’ve never looked back. It’s ingrained in our culture”

total solution. Putting all of the technologies together with the correct controls and the applications ensures a total system and promises that the implementation goes as smoothly with integration partners. The concept of conveyance is easy to grasp; the execution of great conveyors indeed rests with centers of excellence, supported by comprehensive testing, knowledgeable partners, and creative and passionate people. The conveyor culture modelled at Hytrol illustrates the dynamic requirements of manufacturing best practices. This conveyor culture creates a collaborative experience among the manufacturer, the end user, and the integration partner.

About the author

Thomas R. Cutler Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 5000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 500 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. Cutler is the most published freelance industrial journalist worldwide and can be contacted at: trcutler@trcutlerinc.com @ThomasRCutler www.trcutlerinc.com

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Agnostic automation vendor selection: Objectivity required When selecting a vendor for agnostic automation, objectivity is of paramount importance Words by

John Hayes

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epresenting an AGV vendor is often a conflict of interest. The end-user customer’s interests may not align with the AGV vendor’s interests. The only way to avoid these conflicts is a vendor agnostic approach to automation. As a sales manager for several automated guided vehicle (AGV) companies there was an intention: sell AGVs. Performance was measured by number of vehicles sold per month, per quarter, per year, year over year, and at a measured profitability. It took courage to say to the customer and to C-level AGV management, “Sorry this isn’t the right product for you.” Rather than entering an automation conversation with a pre-designated solution, there are steps to clearly recognize the best-practices, the leanest solutions, the most rapid return-oninvestment (ROI), while avoiding the landmines and confusing games played by many AGV salespeople. Knowing the “tricks of the trade” has inspired the creation of No Risk Automation. Asking the right questions from the beginning drives a much more precise selection of appropriate automation solutions. This knowledge and experience-based approach cannot be duplicated or Google searched. It requires having walked in the shoes of the AGV vendors and the AGV automation purchaser.

“It took courage to say to the customer and to C-level AGV management, ‘Sorry this isn’t the right product for you’”

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Four Steps to No Risk Automation Step 1: Application Study and Analysis A comprehensive vendor agnostic study of potential automation applications is essential. Some automation projects are simply a waste of time, a poor project concept, or ignore applications that may have immediate positive return on investment. Again an AGV vendor sales pitch essentially suggests to a prospective customer that a prescribed AGV solution is best. Perhaps it is; often it is not. Stopping after this first step may be sufficient to avoid the substantial financial hemorrhaging from poor automation technology solutions. Step 2: Specification Development Automation vendors write proposals based upon what a prospective customer request. If the automation needs are not properly vetted, and a rigorous specification document developed, these same vendors will provide the proposal they deem best (often targeted to their sales goals and profit margins. This step is only needed when a decision has been made to pursue an automation project. The risk is eliminated by clearly directing vendors to propose the specified solutions. All the unneeded bells and whistles, add-on services, and superfluous functionalities are eliminated. Stopping after this second step may also prove efficacious when there are sufficient internal resources to move forward with the internal automation project. Step 3: Vendor Selection Without the need or incentive for advocating a particular automation AGV supplier, a comprehensive and objective viable pool of vendors can establish a fair, unbiased selection process. Instead of “making a solution fit the automation demand” the opposite paradigm is developed. Vendor selection is expressly guided by the


manufacturing

metrics, deliverables, cost-constraints, and objectives of the customer. The goal is to both exclude vendors lacking the specific project automation expertise and include the best vendors with proven knowledge and experience delivering targeted automation solutions. The step is only possible with decades of knowledge about the players in AGV automation. Knowing the successes and failures, the strengths and limitations of each vendor is a shortcut to avoiding an expensive and ineffective automation decision. Vendor selection may be another opportunity to internally handle the implementation, staff permitting. Step 4: Project Manage Once the automation system is purchased, the next risk danger is a poorly implemented solution. If there are sufficiently experienced automation experts employed by the customer, this project management need not be sourced to a third party firm. Often there is a champion of automation, perhaps an operations director, or material handling vicepresident. The daily operational demands and copious responsibilities on that experienced management team member can detract from a correct, efficient, and cost-contained implementation.

“There is no single way to completely eliminate all the risks in automation selection”

Being vendor agnostic at the first phase is critical to eliminating risk, by the time implementation occurs, internal stakeholders have their own interests within the organization. The automation decision team may have consisted of three or four people. By the time project management rolls around an expanded group of individuals at each customer location must be addressed. Each has a different agenda and in most companies the margins are increased by change orders. Effective project management, especially from an outside source, can ensure this does not happen. There is no single way to completely eliminate all the risks in automation selection. There are steps and processes that mitigate the likelihood of costly mistakes. These steps are the same as putting on a seatbelt and having airbags. They go a long way in protecting the automation customer.

About the author

John Hayes John Hayes is a solutions-finder for the material handling industry. For more than twenty years he has been evaluating, designing, developing, and implementing innovative software and hardware solutions for businesses in high-volume retail, wholesale (B2B), and direct-to-consumer (B2C) distribution systems. Hayes is a 2014 Supply & Demand Chain Executive “Pros to Know” recipient with vast and specific expertise in automated guided vehicles (AGVs). NoRiskAutomation is an organization founded by Hayes to inform and protect automation decision-makers. @NoRiskAutomate www.noriskautomation.com

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Why the cloud is not always the answer

for distribution centers How the lag time of cloud based warehouse management systems are driving more distribution centers to warehouse control systems Words by

Thomas R. Cutler

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R

ich Hite, President of QC Software, a Tier 1 warehouse control systems solutions provider, suggested, “Even the best WMS has a brief lag time in transmitting of instructions to a high-speed sortation system. There are simply too many warehouses with tens of thousands of decisions being made daily that require split-second timing.” Hite, along with other industry leaders agree there is a place for both warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse control systems (WCS). Thomas N. Williams is a global expert on WMS and WCS solutions. His client roster includes Home Depot (Atlanta, GA), UPS Airhub (Louisville, KY), and Under Armour (Baltimore, MD). As a systems and industrial engineer with thirty-five years of experience, he has designed, developed, and implemented highly productive and costeffective software and hardware solutions for high-volume distribution systems. His company has won national awards for design in both the US and Canada. Williams noted, “The Material Handling industry continues to change. Recently, ecommerce and multichannel distribution have added new layers of complexity to the supply chain. The IT industry has evolved in response to these changes.” James Cooke, Editor at Large for DC Velocity has covered logistics and transportation as well as supply chain strategy and technology for two decades. A former editor at Logistics Management

magazine, he has earned numerous awards for his well-written, in-depth articles spotlighting developments in distribution. Cooke helped drive the launch of Supply Chain Management Review. He is a frequent speaker on the logistics conference circuit. Cooke offered warnings about cloudbased WMS solutions suggesting, “When it comes to their software, a lot of warehouse and DC managers have their heads in the clouds these days. Rather than buying a traditional warehouse management system (WMS) and installing it on their corporate servers, they’re opting for cloud-based applications that are hosted by the vendor or a third-party on an offsite server, often far away, and delivered via the Internet.” He also acknowledged, “Much of the appeal of cloud-based solutions is their low cost. Companies can avoid a hefty upfront capital outlay for software licenses as well as ongoing expenses for upgrades and maintenance. At present, most cloudbased WMS users are small warehouses that use basic equipment like forklift trucks, bar-code scanners, and radiofrequency devices in their operations.” The WMS is the freighter moving slowly across the ocean (or more literally in a cloud-based transactional modality. The WCS is the agile solution that operates within the four walls of a plant or distribution center. WCS is the speed boat. There is value in both the WMS and WCS, yet as the high volume distribution

“At present, most cloud-based WMS users are small warehouses that use basic equipment like forklift trucks, bar-code scanners, and radio-frequency devices in their operations”

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manufacturing

Tier-1 Warehouse Control System

Inventory Management

Shipping Management

Order Management

Conveyor Management

Core Components

PLAN

EXECUTE

VERIFY

REPORT

SLOTTING LOCATION CONTROL CROSS DOCKING

RECEIVING PUT-AWAY PRODUCT TRANSFER REPLENISHMENTS

CYCLE COUNTING PHYSICAL INVENTORY QUANTITY ADJUSTMENTS AUDIT TRAIL

PALLET BUILDING BOL / MANIFESTING ADVANCED SHIP NOTICE LOCATION METRICS

RATE SHOPPING SHIP METHOD OVERRIDE ADDRESS VALIDATION

MULTI-CARRIER SHIPPING DOMESTIC/INTERNATIONAL CARRIER COMPLIANT LABELS AUTOMATED PRINT & APPLY

EMAIL SHIP NOTIFICATION BUSINESS RULES SHIP LABEL CONFIRMATION

CARRIER COMPLIANT DOCS END OF DAY PROCESS SHIPPING COST

WAVE PLANNING SKU ALLOCATION CARTONIZING WORKLOAD BALANCING

PAPER PICKING RF PICKING PICK-TO-LIGHT VOICE DIRECTED AUTOMATED PICKING SYSTEMS

CONTENTS LIST MANUAL PACK VERIFY WEIGHT CHECK VERIFICATION SCAN/PACK AUDIT RULES

INVOICES/PACK SLIPS FILL COUNTS PICK PRODUCTIVITY SKU METRICS

ROUTE PLANNING FLEXIBLE MAPPING

REAL-TIME SORTATION HOST/WCS DIRECTED ROUTING ZONE SKIPPING ROUND-ROBIN SORT RATE CONTROL

IN-LINE SCALE DIVERT CONFIRMATION CARTON TRACKING SCANNER LOG

SCANNER STATISTICS SORT STATISTICS

FLEX SCREENSTM GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE SECURITY CONTROL SYSTEM PARAMETERS

HOST INTERFACE SERVICE MANAGER EMAIL/TEXT ALERTS

DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS STATISTICS DEBUG TRACING

FLEX REPORTSTM EXCEL EXPORT CRYSTAL REPORTS

©2014 Queen City Software Inc./QC Software

centers with B2C (Business to Consumer) focus attempt to cope with exponential proliferation of SKUs, the WCS is keeping an important reality check. Cooke consulted several industry experts who insisted, “To prevent these kinds of delays, a robust warehouse control system is essential.” Hite agreed that a WCS, installed at the warehouse, serves as a local agent for the remote WMS, downloading information on what items need to be put away or retrieved from inventory and then converting the information into instructions for the sorters, carousels, conveyors, carrying out the required tasks. Because the WCS processes data on-site, delays caused by communication disruptions are virtually eliminated.”

Often a WCS executes instructions provided by an upper-level host system, such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a WMS system. Tierone WCS software provides advanced management capabilities including inventory control, resource scheduling and order management. The best-of-breed WCS systems are modular in nature, easily configurable and platform independent, with a scalable architecture to satisfy the needs of any size warehouse. There is confusion when to apply a WMS software solution versus a WCS which directs real-time data management and interface responsibilities of the material handling system as well as provides common user interface screens for monitoring, control, and diagnostics.

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“Cartonization allows picking directly to shipping container and eliminates movement from pick container to shipping carton”

The focal point for managing the operational aspects of the material handling system, WCS provides the critical link between the batch-time data host and the real-time programmable logic controller (PLC) material-handling system. The PLC coordinates the various real-time control devices to accomplish the daily workload. At each decision point in the distribution process, the WCS “determines” the most efficient routing of the product and transmits directives to the equipment controllers to achieve the desired result. The decision-making process is often controlled by two separate utilities, the sort manager and the route director. Cartonization allows picking directly

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to shipping container and eliminates movement from pick container to shipping carton. The size and number of cartons are projected up front and the shipping method and cost can be calculated up front as well. This aspect of a warehouse control system (WCS) is vital. Looking the available carton sizes defined by the customer or the carrier also allows for MHE considerations. Cartonization also allows for in-line weight tolerance checking. This is but one element of the WCS and is quite distinction from the purpose and functionality of a warehouse management system (WMS). Wave Management controls release of work to the floor and is an important part


manufacturing

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Often the conversation of WCS versus WMS arises when other inefficiencies are located in the packaging operationâ&#x20AC;?

of warehouse control systems (WCS) and differentiates warehouse management systems (WMS). Work flow can be managed via a wave or waveless operation; group picks are made by order attributes such as shipping method or delivery zone, order types, or pick zones. WCS allows warehouses to limit wave size to balance picking activity and balance picking by zone. There is also the ability to limit work by destination, if required. Often the conversation of WCS versus WMS arises when other inefficiencies are located in the packaging operation, such as orders picked into a tote, not into shipping cartons. This presents a challenge because when the tote is sent to the packing area, the packing operator must select the correct box for the contents, pack it, seal it, and forward it to shipping. Most companies require a system that allows for multiple carriers, where the server passes information only once per day.

One of the schemes many WMS solutions providers utilize to drive increased revenue is to modify a WMS solution to resemble a WCS. Modification is code for charging more money. Once WMS modifications are made, upgrades need to be verified as compatible and integrated with other IT systems (including, but not limited to, ERP - enterprise resource planning software). Some WMS upgrades are a deliberate revenue generating plan for the technology vendor via verification processes and procedures. The cost of these modifications, verification checks and double-checks are often more expensive than the outright purchase of a Tier 1 WCS. Warehouse control systems are not for everyone; yet as lean efficiencies are mandated many companies are looking at WCS solutions which enable them to streamline warehouse operations with a low total cost of ownership.

About the author

Thomas R. Cutler Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 5000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 500 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. Cutler is the most published freelance industrial journalist worldwide and can be contacted at: trcutler@trcutlerinc.com @ThomasRCutler www.trcutlerinc.com

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PowerS

Skating to

PowerStream is a relatively recently formed energy s leverage new technologies and business models in the words by

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John Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hanlon


Stream

o the puck

supply company but it has already shown the way to e interest of the customers and communities it serves research by

Candice Nice BE Weekly [ Issue 88 ]

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PowerStream maintenance crew

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PowerStream

eregulation (better described as re-regulation) came later to Ontario’s energy sector than for example to the UK where it happened in the 1980s. The Energy Competition Act of 1998 (ECA) had as its ultimate goal the creation of a competitive market in the electricity and natural gas industries. Before then the power utilities supplying Ontario were discrete bodies located in various municipalities and in the years immediately following the act there was a frenzy of acquisition in the province, with Hydro One, one of the successor companies to the former provincial utility Ontario Hydro, buying up no more than 80 municipal utilities. In the cities too this was a good opportunity for other municipal utilities to come together to benefit from advantages

D

services provider, not just a larger electricity distribution company.” It was, and remains to this day, the largest voluntary merger between municipal electric utilities in Ontario. 2004 might seem recent enough but the energy landscape has changed more in the last decade than in the half century preceding the birth of PowerStream. Technology is a huge part of that, and the biggest change has been the introduction of advance metering infrastructure (AMI), or smart metering systems of which more later. Today PowerStream taps into Ontario’s diversified generation fleet, from which coal has been eliminated but which includes a balanced mix of nuclear, hydro and natural gas with a small but significant element of wind and solar. But consumer choice and expectation have

“We’d like to get a little bigger and achieve additional economies of scale” of scale in preparation for the new realities of the sector. To the north of Toronto, the municipally-owned utilities in York Region were no exception. Three utilities, Markham Hydro, Hydro Vaughan and Richmond Hill Hydro came together under a joint board, at which point it became clear that here were significant synergies of capital planning, operations and advocacy to be had if these utilities were brought together. Reporting to that board sat Brian Bentz, now President and Chief Executive Officer of PowerStream, the company created by the merger of the three utilities in 2004. “We had identified a number of synergies and made our business case,” he recalls. “We were aiming to take around 15 percent of costs out of the combined utility to create value, with the vision of building a full energy

both changed, especially around reliability and electricity pricing, says Bentz. The merger allowed PowerStream to grow big enough to specialise and invest in innovation and new technology, while staying small enough to be nimble; to move and adapt quickly, he says. “We’d like to get a little bigger. We have around 400,000 customers now, and would ideally like to be larger to achieve additional economies of scale.” Over the course of the last decade PowerStream has nevertheless been able to make real progress towards identifying and meeting the expectations of its customers. Customers in every community served by PowerStream have seen some rate benefit as a result of the merger, and some have seen distribution rates come down by a third. Reliability has improved and technology has given the

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Enterprise Document Management Made Easy The FileNexus Enterprise Document Management System gives organizations the ability to capture any type of document from any source (i.e. paper, host system reports, client statement and payment streams, PC Files, IVR recordings, etc.), organize, and archive them for future recallâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;providing a single cohesive repository for all document management, workflow, management reporting, retention, compliance, and business continuity needs.

Loris Technologies Inc., 1179 King Street West, Suite 110, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3C Tel: 416.252.4701 | Fax: 416.253.7849 | E-mail: sales@loristech.com


C5


Loris Technologies

Instant recall Every business needs to know where it is and where it’s going: the FileNexus Document Management System from Toronto-based Loris Technologies gives instant access to essential data.

The business world is at once a messy place yet interconnected. Paper records, microfilm archives, maps, drawings, manuals as well as electronic files like host generated reports, client statement streams, emails, and voice recordings are all examples of the different formats that management and staff have to track and manage on a day-to-day basis. Worse still, if a business is in the process of expanding, the information from many new systems must also be absorbed, making the task more difficult still. Just imagine – no paper, no microfilm, no logging into multiple applications – everything instantly available at the click of a mouse. That’s what Loris Tech. has been offering its clients since 1980, when it was among the first technical developers in the field of document management software. Today, the FileNexus Enterprise Document Management System has been adopted for mission critical workflow and compliant record management archival by representative organisations employing millions of people worldwide in such sectors as financial services, utilities, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing, and others. Just as is the case with all organizations, Utility companies need to keep track of their data and FileNexus supports a large number of them right across North America, says Sal Bevan, who has been Loris’s President for over 20 years. “It gets rid of traditional storage media sources and allows the information to be filed any way the client wants. Once we have captured it, we can automate the associated day to day workflow processes in such departments as finance, customer service, procurement, human resources and so on. The

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net result is faster business resolutions and a dramatic improvement in both staff efficiency and costs associated with the production, handling and storage of traditional media.” The cost savings of deploying FileNexus can be huge to any organization, in any department, for virtually any task. One financial services company, on their annual audit alone, reduced the need for outside auditors from seven people for five weeks; to two auditors for two days! A life insurance company reduced their contract service time from days to hours and required 50 per cent less staff to do so! Another major client, the north Toronto area PowerStream, grew from the merger of some six utilities each with its own systems. The original company, Richmond Hill Hydro, had implemented FileNexus, says Bevan. “We were able to take all of the information from these systems and bring it into one cohesive repository, so that wherever the information started from originally, it could now be found and managed instantly.” Today more than 30 of the 80 or so utilities in Ontario alone use the System, as well as many others across North America, he says. 416.252.4701 sales@loristech.com www.loristech.com


PowerStream

PowerStream linesman

“We offer conservation and demand management programs to residential and business customers”

citizens a taste at least of the benefits that it is certain to deliver going forward. “We have a implemented a 24/7 System Control Centre with state of the art technology leveraging our AMI system, understanding where outages occur by monitoring meters and voltage in real time, having automated distribution on the system, as well as automated switches and a SCADA system that integrates with all of these systems.” There is a cost to innovation and installing new technology but there would be no change

if no risk were taken. The most important investment, he says, is of time and commitment on the part of PowerStream’s people in changing their focus and approach. “It is leveraging what we have now, and learning the art of the possible. Getting people to think from the customer’s point of view making best use of the building blocks we already have in the system. The question to be asked is, how can we change that value proposition to our customers and think of new ways to provide new energy solutions for consumers?”

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Bentz’s vision is for PowerStream to become Ontario’s premier integrated energy services provider by 2020. The foundation is already in place, he says as he checks off some of the achievements to date: “We offer conservation and demand management programs to residential and business customers. We have built on our core distribution business. We have a rooftop solar generation fleet that soon will be delivering between 30 and 40 MW of power. We also operate a sub-metering business administered by a new affiliate

company, PowerStream Energy Services, a subsidiary.” To sum up his approach to innovation he turns to an aphorism coined by the great Ontario-born hockey star Wayne Gretzky: “We want to skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been!” Anticipating a 50 percent increase in demand over the coming 15 years, PowerStream is working with all the major energy stakeholders, especially large business customers and developers of residential and commercial property to forecast the shape

“There is no reason why developers shouldn’t be planning solutions that will give them greater control over their energy requirements”

Aerial of solar panels at Barrie

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PowerStream

PowerStream system control centre

of demand to come. A big new phase but are close enough to Did you know? be included in planning. development will no longer Pulling these systems just apply to be connected to together and developing them the grid – it will be offered a 400,000 jointly with commercial partners comprehensive suite of energy PowerStream’s and communities was the services including conservation, current inspiration for PowerStream’s demand management, building customer base Micro Grid initiative which marks efficiency, energy efficiency, the next phase in the company’s energy benchmarking and also 50% aim of supporting smart grid energy production. There is no Expected development at the provincial reason, Brian Bentz stresses, demand level and raising awareness for why developers shouldn’t be increase in the the need to leverage innovative planning solutions that will give next 15 years ‘smart’ technologies in Ontario’s them greater control over their electricity sector. PowerStream energy requirements using the will be implementing the Micro technologies now coming on Grid in two phases, over a twostream. Solar, geothermal and year period. In phase one, the demonstration CHP are quite well tried technologies. Battery phase, working with GE and other technology storage on a project of civic scale and vehicle partners, the company will draw electricity to grid (V2G) systems, which make sense when from existing assets – a solar array, a wind a fleet of vans and trucks can be connected to turbine, a natural-gas generator, a lead acid the grid when parked and used as a storage battery and a lithium battery – in order bank, are emerging from the experimental

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Vehicle to grid (V2G) system

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PowerStream

“PowerStream’s forwardlooking Micro Grid provides a benchmark for utilities across North America and globally” to provide electricity from loads such as lighting, air conditioning and refrigeration at its head office location. Electricity generated from this combination of clean and renewable sources will also be used to power the company’s electric vehicle charging stations (which energise the company’s fleet of electric vehicles) and to maintain a steady charge in the Micro Grid’s storage batteries. “We want to demonstrate that we can optimise the use of battery technology, NG generation, renewable sources, and electric vehicles (both charging and potentially discharging the vehicle’s battery back into the load),” explains Bentz. Phase two will see the roll out of what has been learned from what is essentially an in-house operation to commercial customers. The longer term goal, he says, is to deliver packaged, scalable Micro Grid type solutions that can be deployed on a mass scale. PowerStream’s forward-looking Micro Grid provides a benchmark for utilities across North America and globally, but so does its management of the day-to-day job of keeping the lights on. As an example it has adopted Loris Technologies’ FileNexus enterprise document management technology to help it become more efficient, give better service and push out the boundaries as it evolves organisationally, picking up awards on the way. Most recently, on April 22, PowerStream was named one of “Canada’s Greenest Employers”. A few weeks earlier, the Electricity Distributors

Brian Bentz, President and Chief Executive Officer

Association (EDA) awarded the company its “Environmental Excellence Award” for the third time in six years, at the same time presenting Brian Bentz with a citation for his outstanding, dedicated service to the EDA and the industry over an extended period of time. In January the company was named as one of the “50 Most Engaged Workplaces in Canada” for 2013 for the second consecutive year, and in 2013, among many other recognitions, it was proclaimed “Smart Community Employer of the Year” in north Toronto.

PowerStream

1-877-963-6900 info@PowerStream.ca @PowerStreamNews www.powerstream.ca

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SaskPower

Catching

carbon SaskPower, the electricity generating authority of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, is in the final stages of completing a truly innovative programme that has attracted the attention of environmentally aware power utilities from across the world words by

John Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hanlon

research by

David Brogan

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Boundary Dam power station

askatchewan covers a similar area to Texas, the largest of the United States barring Alaska, but while Texas has nearly 26 million people Saskatchewan is home to just 1.1 million. Some might say that would make it much easier to supply power to everyone, but considering the power grid covers the entire province from the 49th to the 60th parallel that is not necessarily so. “We have a significant infrastructure to maintain,” says the CEO of SaskPower Robert Watson, “and I think we do a good job.”

S

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This is a growing province. Its energy consumption increased last year by 6.4 percent so SaskPower has all the normal problems of keeping the lights burning over a huge area and in conditions that has just experienced one-in-60 severe winter conditions. To do that the utility has a mix of generating options on stream: no nuclear but 25 percent hydro and 30 percent gas fired generation. The strategy is to maintain and increase that diversity and there are a number of options here. Manitoba to the east has huge hydroelectric resources


SaskPower

“Five years ago SaskPower started to guarantee production from private suppliers: today it has eleven such agreements”

that Saskatchewan could buy into, and five years ago SaskPower started to guarantee production from private suppliers: today it has eleven such agreements including three gas plants and two windfarms in the scheme, and will continue to encourage small scale enterprises of this sort, through its Small Power Producers programme says Watson. However the lion’s share of power is, and will continue to be, provided by coal. The company’s three coal fired power stations, Boundary Dam, Poplar River and Shand, are

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TOGETHER, WE CAN HELP FLATTEN THE CO2 CURVE OUR TECHNOLOGY CAN BETTER CAPTURE YOUR CO2 EMISSIONS Shell Cansolv is continuing to lead efforts in the large scale commercial development of innovative post combustion CO2 Capture technology. Our system reduces CO2 emissions helping to achieve a lower carbon energy future. Want to know how? Talk to us: +1.514.382.4411 mail@cansolv.com www.shell.com/shellcansolv

Shell Cansolv


SaskPower

Poplar River power station

“There are hardly any logistical challenges or supply risk – we just bring it to the surface and burn it”

all situated on the southern Saskatchewan coalfield, right on top of the reserves that feed them. That is a considerable bonus for the company says Watson: “There are hardly any logistical challenges or supply risk – we just bring it to the surface and burn it.” Of course it is not quite as simple as all that. Coal is supposed to be in the descendant, being phased out by greener alternatives. But there are ways coal can continue to be viable in the face of ever more rigorous environmental legislation – indeed ways its disadvantages can be turned into positives. Saskatchewan is in front in America and globally in realising that vision. Its Boundary Dam Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project is leading the way to make a viable, technical, environmental and

economic case for the continued use of coal. The project is the world’s first and largest post-combustion capture, coal-fired energy generation project of its kind, a $1.35 billion partnership between the Government of Canada and SaskPower. At last, power utilities will be able to study the full integration of a rebuilt coal-fired generation unit with carbon capture technology into the operation of a commercial power station, resulting in lowemission electricity and at the same time producing carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery operations or storage in a deep saline formation underground. In late 2010, SaskPower kick started the project by committing to rebuild the ageing Unit 3 boiler at Boundary Dam, installing a

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“It is to SaskPower’s credit that with the support of provincial and federal governments it has turned a problem into an opportunity”

Robert Watson President and CEO Before joining SaskPower in August 2010, Mr. Watson served as president and CEO of SaskTel. Prior to that appointment he held several senior executive positions in the Canadian communications industry. Mr. Watson is a graduate in electrical technologies from Ryerson University. He has attended the international executive development program at the INSEAD Centre in Fontainebleau, France, as well as the executive management program at Ashridge Business School in the United Kingdom. He also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. Watson currently serves as a Board Member for the Canadian Electricity Association, Energy Council of Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Association. In the community, Robert is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, serves on the Prostate Cancer Canada Board and on the Board for One Life Makes a Difference.

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state-of-the-art steam turbine, extending the plant’s lifespan by 30 years and at the same time ensuring it can operate with the planned carbon capture system. Early the following year Babcock & Wilcox were contracted to carry out that work, which has proceeded much as planned, though rebuilding the power facility is taking a little longer than anticipated. “When you take these old units apart you don’t know what you are going to find,” admits Watson. SNC Lavalin and Shell subsidiary Cansolv Technologies Limited were selected in March 2010 to oversee EPC activities and in July 2011 SaskPower placed a $30 million contract with Stantec for engineering consultancy during the design and construction of the system. The good news is that the new facility for capturing sulphur dioxide (SO2) and CO2 will be ready to run as soon as the remaining work on upgrading the boilers and associated steam pipework has been completed. It is to SaskPower’s credit that with the support of provincial and federal governments it has turned a problem into an opportunity. Doing nothing was not an option. Canadian federal legislation being introduced in 2015 says that old coal-fired power stations must close down if they can’t meet new performance standards fixed at 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide per gigawatt hour. “Our unit is expected to achieve emissions in the


SaskPower

Shand power station

of the gas that is not reused stays region of 150 tonnes of CO2/ Did you know? underground permanently, so GWh. It will beat almost any gas one way or another it is all kept plant out there for emissions,â&#x20AC;? from re-entering the atmosphere. Watson enthuses. 5 million The project will thus transform Sulphur dioxide will be made Hours worked the Boundary Dam power into sulphuric acid and sold, without LTI station into a reliable, longand the CO2 that till now was term producer of 110 megawatts nothing but a nuisance will 1 million tonnes (MW) of base-load electricity start to earn its living. Using a of CO2 will be and the CCS facility will capture pioneering amine-based carbon captured annually approximately one million tonnes capture process developed by by Boundary of CO2 per year (the equivalent Cansolv, the gas will be sold Dam CCF to taking 250,000 vehicles off to the Canadian oil extraction the road every year). company Cenovus which will CO2 from the project not pump it 1.5 kilometres down used in enhanced oil production into its adjacent oil resources. will be stored in a safe, permanent deep Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using CO2 is a saline formation, the nearby Aquistore well tried technology that Cenovus has been Project, hosted by SaskPower and run by using at its Weyburn facility for ten years: the Petroleum Technology Research Centre the CO2 molecules attach to the heavy oil, (PTRC). Research has shown that CO2 can be reducing its viscosity of the oil, forcing more safely and permanently stored in underground of it to the surface, where it is stripped out and geological formations: what the combination of recycled by the oil company. The proportion

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“We aim to create a real centre of excellence here in southern Saskatchewan”

what is the world’s first post-combustion coalfired carbon capture facility with Aquistore and the EOR plant will finally demonstrate is the commercial viability of carbon capture to energy authorities across the world. The final piece of the jigsaw is a joint venture with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems located at SaskPower’s Shand facility. The Carbon

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Capture Test Facility (CCTF) which will test a range of carbon capture technologies and assess their viability. What makes the CCTF unique is that it has been sized to manage measurement uncertainty and is the only facility emerging from a full-scale project. It should be in operation around the same time as the Boundary Dam facility comes


SaskPower

Boundary Dam power station

on line. “We will get the project running this year and then we will run it for a couple of years to just ensure its integrity and precisely what level of efficiency we can get out of our carbon capture facility,” says Robert Watson. “We aim to test not only the technology itself but also the operating processes, the financial model and the regulatory model creating a real centre of excellence here in southern Saskatchewan.” Totally focused this year on completing not one but three big coal projects, he is looking forward to unveiling his vision and SaskPower’s leadership at a symposium to be held at the end of September in the Saskatchewan provincial capital Regina. It will

be a great opportunity not only to showcase SaskPower as a company but to pay tribute to the teams that have delivered the facility, to whom he gives all credit, and will not fail to mention their outstanding safety record with over 5 million hours worked without a single lost-time incident.

SaskPower

(306) 536-2886 info@saskpower.com @SaskPower www.saskpower.com

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Metropolitan Transit Authori

Navigating

For the best part of 35 years the Metropolitan Transit Auth public transportation services to the people of Houston, th words by

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Will Daynes

r


ity of Harris County (METRO)

Space City

hority of Harris County (METRO) has been delivering vital he fourth largest city in the US, and its surrounding areas

research by

David Brogan BE Weekly [ Issue 88 ]

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amed after the famed General Sam Houston, former President of the Republic of Texas and the man responsible for commanding and winning the Battle of San Jacinto, the city of Houston was founded back in 1836 and incorporated a year later. Today the city is arguably best recognised as the home of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, itself housing NASA’s Mission Control Center, and with a population of over 2.1 million people is the fourth-largest city in the United States. Houston, Texas is also the seat of Harris County, the third-most populous county in the country and home to the fifth-largest metropolitan area, with more than six million inhabitants. Servicing this vast population is the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). Based in Houston, this major public transportation agency operates the county’s bus, light rail, bus rapid transit and paratransit services, the latter under the name METROLift. It was in 1973 that Texas State Legislature authorised the creation of local transit authorities in the state. Five years later, Houston-area voters created METRO and approved a one-cent sales tax to support its operations. METRO officially opened for business in January 1979, when it took over the bus service owned by the city, then known as HouTran. Today the authority’s

N

“Based in Houston, this major public transportation agency operates the county’s bus, light rail, bus rapid transit and paratransit services”

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METRO

“The METRO of 2014 boasts an expansive and heavily used bus system, in fact its bus service is the most used system of its kind in all of Texas and the Southwest”

service area encompasses approximately 1,285 square miles and it provides employment for around 3,800 people. The METRO of 2014 boasts an expansive and heavily used bus system, in fact its bus service is the most used system of its kind in all of Texas and the Southwest. The service also includes the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Park and Ride System, with Park and Ride stations found alongside the city’s freeways and used heavily during peak times. The METROLift service meanwhile provides transportation needs for people with disabilities and who are unable to board or ride a regular METRO bus. METROLift vehicles are shared ride, transporting multiple customers or groups of individuals in distinctly marked buses. METRORail, the light rail service operated by METRO currently runs along a single line called the Red Line, which was extended at the end of last year, and will soon expand to include the new East End/Green Line. At 12.8 miles in length the Red Line is the second major light rail service in Texas following the DART system. A fleet of Siemensbuilt Avanto light rail vehicles operate along the line, each measuring 29 metres in length and with a capacity of 72 seated and 148 standing passengers.

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Stertil-koni

#1 in Heavy Duty Vehicle Lifts Stertil-Koni is the global market leader in heavy duty truck lifts and bus lifts and is the preferred supplier to the world’s leading companies in the truck and bus industries. As the vehicle lift leader, Stertil-Koni’s breadth of lift products meets all ranges of lifting needs and includes mobile lifts, two-post, four-post, in-ground lifts, parallelogram lifts, half-scissors lifts and the innovative axle-engaging, inground, scissor-style heavy duty hydraulic lift configuration. Stertil-Koni is also the creator of the revolutionary DIAMOND LIFT -- a stateof-the-art high pressure telescopic piston lift designed to set new standards in precision heavy-duty lifting performance, durability, ease of use and environmental containment. The company’s lifts are ideally suited to provide

superior lifting performance for a full range of heavy duty vehicles, including articulated buses, fire and rescue vehicles as well as multiple axle trucks. 800-336-6637 www.stertil-koni.com

#1 in Heavy Duty Vehicle Lifts Stertil-Koni is the leader in heavy duty vehicle lifts. From bus lifts to truck lifts, we do it all. Our world-class product range includes award-winning mobile column lifts and inground lifts – including piston lifts and scissor lifts – as well as 2-post lifts, 4-post lifts, platform lifts, accessories, and more.

ECOLIFT

DIAMOND LIFT

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SKYLIFT

4-POST LIFT

Tel. 800-336-6637 | www.Stertil-Koni.com 58

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2-POST LIFT


METRO

“All planned expansions exist within Houston’s city limits and are expected to ultimately reach the cities two major airports”

In November 2003, a vote approved the laying of additional rail across Houston, with the plans for the expansion of the METRORail system undergoing several revisions in the years that followed. All planned expansions exist within Houston’s city limits and are expected to ultimately reach the cities two major airports, George Bush International Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. Further down the line it is the authority’s intention to roll out further expansions to the network that will service many of Houston’s well populated suburbs.

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“The need to design, construct and open new transportation infrastructure is very real and is a puzzle that METRO is taking the initiative on solving” At the heart of METRO’s growth plans for the future is its large transportation and infrastructure plan, dubbed METRO Solutions, which it expects to have complete by 2020. The plan calls for a number of advances to Houston’s transportation network, including 30 miles of Light Rail

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Transit. This will be made up of the University Line from Hillcroft to the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, and eventually the city’s Eastwood Transit Center. Light Rail plans that fall under the METRO Solutions plan also includes the aforementioned extension of the Red Line


METRO

and creation of the proposed Southeast, East End and Uptown Lines. METRO Solutionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; plans also call for 28 miles of Commuter Rail Transit (CRT) to be introduced in and around the city, the introduction of 40 miles worth of Signature Bus Service/Suburban Bus Rapid Transit routes, the building of ten new transit facilities, including five transit hubs and four Park and Ride lots, and further conversions of roads and highways to transform them into dedicated HOV lanes. All of this has and will continue to require a massive amount of work, however the needs of the city requires it, and these needs are simple. Findings commissioned by METRO

indicate that the population of Houston has the potential to increase by up to 3.5 million people by 2030. The need to design, construct and open new transportation infrastructure is very real and is a puzzle that METRO is taking the initiative on solving.

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO)

713-635-4000 info@ridemetro.org www.ridemetro.org

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Copper Fo

Dedicated to deve

Chairman, President and CEO of Copper Fox M of the business over the last 18 months and th words by

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Will Daynes


ox Metals

development

Metals, Elmer B. Stewart, discusses the growth he important strides it expects to make in 2014 research by

Peter Rowlston BE Weekly [ Issue 88 ]

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ince 2009, when I became President, we had been working on the Schaft Creek project in north-western British Columbia, slowly grooming it to the point where a major producer could step in as the operator of the project. That moment came last year when, in July, we concluded a joint venture agreement with Teck Resources Limited,” explains Chairman, President and CEO of Copper Fox Metals, Elmer B. Stewart. Teck was indeed the most logical choice to take on this role by virtue of the option agreement that had been in place between the two parties since 2002. The completion of the joint venture agreement also resulted in Copper Fox Metals receiving cash payments from Teck in the order of $24 million. “The terms of the joint venture call for a total of $60 million in cash payments, the first of which being $20 million plus an additional $4 million for expenses incurred at Schaft Creek in relation to the port and storage facility, and the acquisition of other mineral lands,” Stewart continues. “The next $20 million is to be received on the date a production decision is made, while the remaining $20 million is to be received on completion of the construction of all facilities at Schaft Creek. The funds from the first $20 million have allowed us to provide a small dividend to our shareholders and given us sufficient capital for two to three years of exploration work on our Arizona projects and cover G&A expenses.” The Arizona projects he refers to are the Van Dyke copper oxide deposit and

S

“The terms of the joint venture call for a total of $60 million in cash payments”

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Drilling at Van Dyke


Copper Fox Metals

“The funds from the first $20 million have... given us sufficient capital for two to three years of exploration work on our Arizona projects” the Sombrero Butte project, which were acquired by the company in 2012 and early 2013 respectively. Located in the GlobeMiami Mining District of Arizona, the Van Dyke property was first developed in the early 1900s, when a shaft was sunk to a depth of 1,692 feet, and is reported to have produced 11.8 million pounds of copper between 1929 and 1945 from copper oxide mineralization with a reported grade of 5.0 percent copper. “The Van Dyke project has a historical estimate on it which was completed by Occidental Minerals back in the 1970s,” Stewart says. “In situ metallurgical recovery testing carried out by Occidental Minerals provided it with estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of the copper oxide could be recovered using in situ methodologies.” It was decided by the company that the next logical step for the project, having compiled a vast amount of historical information on the deposit, was to complete a preliminary economic assessment (PEA). After taking around 470 of the original pulps recovered from the site and having them tested in a laboratory, results showed a direct correlation between the total copper grade and the oxide copper grade as highlighted by Occidental. “The modelling we have conducted to date suggests that the Van Dyke deposit itself is larger than what Occidental identified in their historical estimate,” Stewart highlights. “The

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“At present we are working hard to acquire all the historical information regarding this area in order to identify whether a copper target is close to surface or not” next task for us therefore is to complete a verification drilling programme that will give us a good idea if that interpretation stands up to scrutiny. All of this takes us closer to completing a PEA on the deposit, which we hope to have completed this year.” The Sombrero Butte project can be found

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east of the San Miguel-Kalamazoo area and covers an area of some 2,887 acres of land. The property itself contains at least two main clusters of mineralised breccia pipes, which in other parts of Arizona overlie associated porphyry copper systems. “Based on the alteration, the mineralisation that we have


Copper Fox Metals

Panoramic view of drilling taking place at Van Dyke

recorded to date and the distribution of the breccia pipes, we believe that we could be looking at a large porphyry copper system here,â&#x20AC;? Stewart enthuses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At present we are working hard to acquire all the historical information regarding this area in order to identify whether a copper target is close to surface or not. If so we will look to carry out a Titan-24 geophysical survey before commencing with drilling. Nevertheless, we must also consider that if we find that in fact a target rests 500-600 metres or beyond below surface that we would not commence with drilling as the target would be too deep to be of any immediate interest.â&#x20AC;? A proportion of the funds the company

has available thanks to the Schaft Creek joint venture agreement will also be used to fund a proposed investment in what Copper Fox Metals believes could be a large porphyry copper-molybdenum-silver system in Northern British Columbia, named the Eaglehead project. This investment is expected to be approved before the end of May 2014. The company have been seeking an acquisition or investment opportunity since the summer of last year, during which time it has looked at a number of potential opportunities without success. With Eaglehead, Copper Fox Metals sees an asset with a great deal of potential when it comes to finding new mineralisation.

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Did you know? 25% The interest that Copper Fox holds in the Schaft Creek project $60 million The total value of Copper Fox’s joint venture agreement with Teck Resources Limited

Sombrero Butte forms part of the Arizona projects

$131 million The market capital of Copper Fox Metals

“Our goal going forward is to put a value on our 25 percent interest in Schaft Creek and complete the sale of our interests there” “What we already know about Eaglehead is that mineralisation there extends over a five kilometre strike length and that none of the six zones of mineralisation that have been found in the last few decades of exploration have been delineated,” Stewart says. “The other thing that I find compelling about it is that the alteration, even down to the carbonate alteration, is very similar to Schaft Creek. The fact that it has copper as well as gold, molybdenum and silver is also very significant.” Another aspect of the Eaglehead project

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that has raised Stewart’s interest levels is the fact that a number of the existing drill holes there possess significant intervals, tens of metres of high grade copper mineralisation for a porphyry system. The site also benefits from the presence of road access to the property, a logistical plus that historically results in exploration costs being cheaper than those incurred on a non-road accessible project. “One of our strategies when looking towards the acquisition of, or investment in a project, if it already has a resource, is to ask whether there is enough there from a


Copper Fox Metals

Drilling at the Schaft Creek project

grade point of view to make it economically interesting and enough there from a tonnage perspective to support a standalone project, and at Eaglehead the answer to both of these questions, based on the information we have to hand, is yes,” Stewart reveals. “Obviously what we want to do, working in conjunction with the management of the Eaglehead project, is get a much better appreciation of the project, do some advanced geophysical surveying, and at the same time follow up these results with some very well located diamond drill holds to test the geophysics.” Copper Fox Metals prides itself on the fact that it is a streamlined, focused company with cash in the bank and three significant assets present in North America, and understandably has no plans to deviate from its current strategy. “Our goal going forward is to put a value on our 25 percent interest in Schaft Creek and complete the sale of our interests there,” Stewart concludes. “The joint venture has

approved a budget for 2014 to compete a series of optimisation studies, which is the logical step after the feasibility study and before a production decision is made. The second objective is to advance the Van Dyke project to the preliminary economic evaluation stage. Meanwhile at Sombrero Butte we will slow play the project, compiling the historical information there which will take us a step forward. Completing a Titan-24 survey there will cost us in the area of $200,000 and we have the funds to do all that in the treasury. That is our strategy and we are very excited to see where it takes us in the future.”

Copper Fox Metals

403-264-2820 info@info@copperfoxmetals.com www.copperfoxmetals.com

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H. J. O’Conne

Proof that hard

A leading supplier to Canada’s resource H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC) continues to infrastructure construction, mining a words by

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Will Daynes


ell Ltd. (HJOC)

ard work pays off

e industries for more than eight decades, lead the way when it comes to heavy civil applications and energy development research by

Stuart Platt BE Weekly [ Issue 88 ]

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ince its founding in 1931, H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC) has been a leading figure within the heavy civil engineering and construction industry. Originally led by Montrealer Herbert John O’Connell, the company has spent the last 80-plus years growing to become one of the planet’s leading specialists in heavy civil infrastructure construction, mining applications and energy development, and is today a vital supplier to Canada’s vast and lucrative resource industries. HJOC’s long and distinguished history makes it one of the oldest companies of its kind in Canada, with its continued prosperity being attributed to its innovative approach to business and our continued interest in growth and development. Today its diversified business includes expertise in mining, energy, roads and bridges, as well as municipal, industrial, northern and project management related work. HJOC’s record for delivering first-class quality and value for money is reflected in its blue chip client base, particularly when it comes to the mining and energy sectors. Said list includes the Iron Ore Company of Canada, ArcelorMittal, Wabush Mines, Manitoba Hydro, Abitibi Consolidated, Fortis Inc., Vale Inco, Voisey’s Bay Nickel and a host of others. Since 31 August, 2011, HJOC has continued its important work, as part of Bird Construction, one of Canada’s leading national general contractors. In the last decade in particular HJOC has reaffirmed its position as a leading player when it comes to major mining, heavy civil

S

“Today HJOC is pursuing contracts valued at up to $1 billion”

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H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

“In the last ten years HJOC has made a concerted effort to diversify as a business”

and hydroelectric projects. Such has been the exponential growth of the business that just ten years ago the largest projects it was undertaking were valued at between $10 and $20 million, whereas today it can be found pursuing contracts valued at up to $1 billion. The company as it exists in 2014 operates a modern fleet of over 300 pieces of mining and construction equipment. Recent additions to this fleet have included hydraulic excavators and off-highway tricks, some of which are among the largest owned by any Canadian contractor. Together HJOC’s fleet is capable of moving in excess of four million tonnes of material per month on a given project. Its full range of earthmoving equipment is also boosted by the company’s utilisation of the latest in equipment management techniques, for example its sophisticated computerized preventative maintenance program. For a great deal of time throughout the company’s history mining has provided the bread and butter for the business, a fact that has remained the case right through the most recent growth cycle between 2010 and 2012 when demand from existing clients increased once again. In the last ten years however HJOC has made a concerted effort to diversify as a business and it is this willingness to evolve as a company that has resulted in heavy civil and hydroelectric projects becoming a more regular source of activity and income. Throughout its long history, HJOC has developed considerable expertise when it comes to servicing Canada’s mining industry,

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H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

“When it comes to HJOC’s open pit mining work, perhaps the best example would be its operation of Fire Lake Iron Ore Mine on behalf of ArcelorMittal” with mining related work continuing to comprise the single largest sector of the firm’s business activities. As is to be expected for a company as well regarded as HJOC, it has successfully completed a diverse range of mining projects, from overburden stripping to the construction of dams and dykes for tailings containment, and the foundation of pollution control structures. When it comes to HJOC’s open pit mining work, perhaps the best example would be its operation of Fire Lake Iron Ore Mine on

behalf of ArcelorMittal. It was in 2006 that the company was awarded the contract to operate the mine on a seasonal basis, from May to November. The operation includes drilling, blasting, loading and hauling of the iron ore to a rail spur where it is loaded onto trains. These trains transport the ore to ArcelorMittal’s primary mine, Mont Wright, for processing. In 2010, HJOC was awarded an extensive of the contract for a further five years. Fire Lake Iron Ore Mine has been responsible for producing between ten

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fire Lake Iron Ore Mine has been responsible for producing between ten and 15 percent of the iron ore concentrate that ArcelorMittal produces in Canadaâ&#x20AC;? and 15 percent of the iron ore concentrate that ArcelorMittal produces in Canada. As a satellite mine connected to Mont Wright, transportation of this iron ore concentrate to the processing plant is of critical importance. There is only one train track between the two

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sites and it is HJOCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job to ensure that there is a continuous flow of ore from one to the other. Since it began operating the mine in 2006, the company has not had a single train arrive at Mont Wright without ore, all the while lowering its loading times. Needless to say therefore that


H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

ArcelorMittal has always been very pleased with how the project has progressed. At Mont Wright itself HJOC is responsible for overburden stripping at the mine, a project that has been ongoing since 1989, with the exception of 1992 and 1993. The productive equipment fleet at the Mont Wright stripping project includes up to 20 off-highway trucks in the 50 and 100-tonne sizes, matched with excavators in the eight and 14 cubic yard range. Since the overburden stripping project began, the strategy adopted by HJOC has resulted in “on time, on budget” performance which has resulted in a win-win scenario for all parties.

A further overburden stripping project of note can also be found occurring in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador, of behalf of the Wabush Mines since 1968. Annual contracts between the two range from 1.0 to 4.0 million tonnes of overburden material, with the production equipment fleet used for this work including off-highway Cat 777 trucks, Komatsu PC 2000 excavator, Hitachi 1200 excavator, Cat D8 bulldozers and Cat 16 H graders. One other area of the company’s work that is of particular importance is its Tailings Confinement Programme. This project began in 1981 and has been continuous since 1985.

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LES FORAGES CCL (1993) INC. are a drill and blast company, specialised in open pit mining. We also perform construction works, diamond drilling and pit wall scaling. Depending on the projects, we are able to mobilise between 50 and 150 employees. Marc-Andre Robichaud has owned the company since 1993. We have performed drill and blast works for LECQ at its Fire Lake site since 2006 and have taken on numerous other projects throughout 2011 and 2012.

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H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

“The most recent hydroelectric project that HJOC have completed work on is the Lower Churchill Project taking place in Labrador” It has seen HJOC take responsibility for the construction of dams, dykes and canals on behalf of ArcelorMittal, which are used to confine the red water and mine tailings within a closed loop basin. This has been a hugely successful and important area of work for HJOC and one that continues to evolve as the volume of tailings storage requires increasing. In addition to its work in the mining sector, and its countless other successes in various industries, HJOC is rapidly becoming the

“go to” company when it comes to Canada’s hydroelectric development projects. At the heart of this is a well-trained team of management and skilled trades personnel that possesses extensive experience in the construction of powerhouses and dams. The most recent hydroelectric project that HJOC has completed work on is the Lower Churchill Project taking place in Labrador. This particular project is aimed at developing the remaining 35 per cent of the Churchill

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Did you know? 1931 The year that HJOC was founded 300+ Pieces of mining and construction equipment make up HJOC’s fleet 2006 Year HJOC began operating the Lake Iron Ore mine on a seasonal basis, from May to November

“Through a cooperative attitude and empowering all workers to be proactive safety leaders, the vision of an accident-free workplace is seen as a realistic and obtainable goal” River that has not already been developed by the Churchill Falls Generating Station. Its two installations at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls will ultimately boast a combined capacity of more than 3,074MW and have the ability to provide 16.7TWh of electricity per year. HJOC’s portion of the civil works, which included drill/blast, excavation and the construction of roller compacted concrete (RCC) dykes was completed in 2013. Another example of the company’s work on such major projects would be its efforts on the Wuskwatim Generation Project. A

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result of close to a decade of planning, studies, negotiations and environmental assessments, the Wuskwatim Generation Project is a 200MW run-of-river hydroelectric generating station being developed on the Burntwood River at Taskinigup Falls, located in the Nelson House Resource Management Area. This type of project design creates a smaller environmental footprint in comparison to traditional hydroelectric dams, with the Wuskwatim Project set to cause less than one-half of one square kilometre of flooding once operational, the least amount of flooding


H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

of any hydro project in the entire Province. Safety is the core value of HJOC. Through a cooperative attitude and empowering all workers to be proactive safety leaders, the vision of an accident-free workplace is seen as a realistic and obtainable goal. H.J. O’Connell Ltd.’s Environment, Safety and Health - Loss Control Program meets, and often exceeds, the demanding standards and requirements enacted by legislation and/or established by industry and project owners. Given the nature of the work carried out by the company, the concept of sustainability comes high upon the list of values that HJOC holds dear. With every project it undertakes, HJOC enters into its work with the vision of leaving a site or location in the best condition possible. This is the approach it takes right from the onset of the planning stages of a job and its desire to leave an area in as pristine a condition as possible has given rise to numerous environmental and health and safety

initiatives and programmes over the years. Looking towards the future, HJOC’s first task will be to ensure that with its existing portfolio of projects continue to improve when it comes to the level of high standards that HJOC adheres to, while at the same time the company will look to improve further upon the quality of its work and seek out further efficiencies across the business. Meanwhile, HJPOC continues to aggressively pursue several other projects throughout Canada, projects that it hopes will contribute to the growth of the business in the latter stages of 2014 and beyond.

H. J. O’Connell Ltd. (HJOC)

514-426-1333 info@hjoc.com www.hjoc.com

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Resource G

Steady going at

One of the most strategically important coal res owned by Resource Generation Ltd is on words by

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John Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hanlon


Generation

t Boikarabelo

sources in South Africa, the Boikarabelo project n track to produce its first coal in 2015 research by

Jeff Abbott BE Weekly [ Issue 88 ]

83


One of the rail link sites

he Boikarabelo field in South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Waterberg region, to the north of the country and close to the border with Botswana, is an outstanding coal asset by any standards. An extensive coal seam, between 120 and 130 metres in depth and containing zones of varying quality thermal and soft coking coal, lies only 20 metres below the surface in terrain that is flat and easy to get at. It is the ideal site for an open pit mine: the shallow overburden means that a small fleet of equipment can produce a lot of

T

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coal. Costs will be relatively low, and multiple mining benches will provide the flexibility to extract the coal quality required for a variety of markets, from thermal coal used in power stations in Asia where capacity is confidently expected to continue rising over the coming decade to South Africa itself where there is an insatiable demand. Nevertheless, with the international coal market currently more nutty slack than briskly blazing, this is a time when only the most outstanding new projects can attract funding.


Resource Generation

“We hope to complete our funding by June of this year and we are concentrating on funding the coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP)”

When we last reported on the Australian and JSE joint listed mining company Resource Generation (ResGen) its focus was on locking down its funding arrangements, and this remains its principal challenge today despite solid progress to date. “We hope to complete our funding by June of this year,” says Managing Director Paul Jury. “We are concentrating on funding the coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP). If we can achieve that we will be able to stick to the development programme and start producing coal at the end of 2015.”

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Resource Generation

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At around $200 million the CHPP is the largest capital item for the Boikarabelo project. In November the company took a major step when it agreed to terms and the design and supply of the plant. Earlier this year it put another piece of the jigsaw in place with the agreement of a $65 million infrastructure loan facility from Noble Resources International, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed global agricultural and mining supply-chain manager Noble Group, which as part of the agreement has undertaken to purchase three million tonnes of domestic middlings coal every year, for eight years after production commences. This loan is repayable by 31 March, 2016, by which time the mine is expected to be in production and generating cash flow, and is in addition to a $55.3 million loan from Noble, agreed in July 2013, for the construction of the rail link from Boikarabelo to the existing Transnet Freight Rail network. The CHPP will crush, screen and grade the coal, stockpiling it into two main categories. Coal for export will be loaded onto rail trucks

“We will be extending the camp over the coming six months to accommodate 1,300 persons”

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for transportation to the ports, while thermal coal for domestic use in the power generating stations of Eskom in Mpumalanga will be supplied direct, also by rail. Jury is hoping to resolve the remaining funding issues sooner rather than later so he can concentrate on the work of building the mine, the processing plant and the associated infrastructure, including road and rail links. The project itself is one of the soundest on the planet, which is evidenced by the fact it has continued to remain buoyant at a time when others have been mothballed or abandoned. Boikarabelo is of strategic importance to

the economy of South Africa. The mine is only 40 kilometres by road from an existing rail system that provides access to domestic markets, and Transnet is making all efforts to ensure that its lines have the capacity to transport the coal to the ports of Durban, Richards Bay and Maputo, which all have potential to expand their coal capacity, for export shipments. The proposed new transKalahari railway (TKR) from Walvis Bay to Botswana will give access to the Atlantic though that is an early stage project that was only given the go-ahead by the partner governments in March.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;By mid-February we had worked 300 shifts without a lost-time injury (LTI) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; more than 135,000 hours!â&#x20AC;?

ResGen employees

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Resource Generation

Digging out the route for the rail link

The 40 kilometre rail link that persons. In addition to that we Did you know? ResGen is building to connect have started the earthworks Boikarabelo with the main line for our major roads. As part is also a long lead item, like the of the work we have to put in $200 million CHPP, however the ground work the provincial road bypass and Capital cost is well under way says Jury. In upgrade the main road going of the CPP fact the site is a hive of activity up onto the mine and prepare already, and that activity will a new access road for the mine. 300,000 tpa increase right up to the start of Those things are going forward Boikarabelo peak mining at the end of next year. and also we are starting the production “We have a lot of construction foundation works for the coal going on on site,” he says. “Apart preparation plant.” from the rail link, we have already The CHPP is scheduled to built the first stage of our construction camp. come on stream in the first couple of months By May there will be a good 200 people living of 2016, ready to receive the coal that will there and we will be extending the camp over be flowing from the mine – initially at a the coming six months to accommodate 1,300 rate of five million tonnes per annum (tpa),

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“Construction of the mine, and ultimately the mining of the coal, will not be possible without the support and assistance of the local communities around the mine” rising to more than 30,000 tpa by 2030. There’s no denying that the mine will have a massive impact on the local community over many years – the mine life is estimated at over 100 years. That being so, ResGen is keen to ensure that impact is seen as a positive one, and not just for South Africa’s

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economy and its energy industry. From two employees on site in February 2013 there are now 250 employees and contractors on site, and their safety is a priority Jury insists. “By mid-February we had worked 300 shifts without a lost-time injury (LTI) – more than 135,000 hours!”


Resource Generation

Aerial view showing the route of the rail link

And it is not just the direct employees that are benefiting. The management of the Boikarabelo coal mine holds regular rounds of community engagement meetings. An Executive Community Engagement Forum consisting of representatives from each community as well as members of the Boikarabelo mine management has been formed. Using the existing, traditional communication structures in each community the partners work together to keep each other informed of developments not just at the mine site but throughout the local community. One of the early priorities was to encourage and support the process by which local entrepreneurs and existing

businesses from Lesedi village and other local communities can supply the mine. Community engagement remains a priority for everyone at Boikarabelo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Construction of the mine, and ultimately the mining of the coal, will not be possible without the support and assistance of the local communities around the mine,â&#x20AC;? Paul Jury acknowledges.

Resource Generation

+61 (2) 9376 9000 info@resgen.com.au www.resgen.com.au

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