Page 1





Metals & Mining One tough industry

SA mining industry in perspective Challenges and solutions Mining for operational excellence Wonderware solutions at work IT in industry? It’s about time! Remote Operations Centres in mining And what about workforce contribution to real-time profitability?


Award winning innovation in HMI / SCADA Implementation

upgrade to advansys Advansys provides specialised Industrial Control and Automation Engineering and Consulting services to the manufacturing and InnovatIon award 2009 / BESt EMI aPPLICatIon 2009 toP SI award 2010 / BESt HMI aPPLICatIon 2010 / toP SI award 2011

utilities sectors throughout Southern Africa. Our services include: ▪

Advansys invites you to contact us for Wonderware related project initiatives and software licensing as follows: 1.

HMI / SCADA Standards Design and Development


ArchestrA System Platform Implementations


Production / KPI Reporting Solutions


Wonderware Licensing


Wonderware aligned Customer First Support package with your annual renewal

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

011 510 0340 | |

Process analysis and performance optimisation Control system design, specification and project management Instrumentation specification and installation PLC solutions SCADA / HMI solutions S88 Batch solutions S95 MES and “vertical” integration solutions Reporting solutions Manufacturing Intelligence solutions Software Applications solutions







2 Editor’s notes 3


The South African mining industry in perspective Wonderware solutions in the Metals and Mining industry


Information is a diamond mine’s best friend at Debswana


“Proof of the pudding” in action at SA’s newest iron ore mine


Invensys Wonderware’s ArchestrA helps SIs encapsulate and market IP

Some of the challenges facing

11 the Metals and Mining industry in South Africa

58 thin clients replace stand-

53 alone PCs at RBCT with help from Wonderware




Applying best-practice IT and other principles to industry Remote Operations Centres in mining Driving real-time profitability across mining enterprises


Keeping the networks in check at Lonmin


The cost of operating outside baseline in mining


Metals, Minerals and Mining dictionary

Real-time operations

24 management in the metals,

63 Events: X-CHANGE 2013

minerals and mining industry

68 Invensys Sentinel Services 26

Mining for operational excellence


Dynamic Performance Measurement (DPM) Performance excellence for the

36 mining and minerals industry with

70 Customer FIRST 71

2013 Training Schedule (Johannesburg)


Use Protocol Magazine to generate business opportunities

ArchestrA Workflow Software

Protocol Magazine Owner and Publisher:

74 On the lighter side 40

Wonderware solutions at work in the SA Metals and Mining industry

76 Protocol crossword #56

Invensys Operations Management Southern Africa

Marketing Manager: Jaco Markwat

Editor: Denis du Buisson, GMT Services

Advertising Sales: Heather Simpkins, The Marketing Suite

Distribution: Nikita Wagner

Contributors Many thanks to the following for their contributions to this issue of the magazine: • Lorraine Kearney of for the article on the South African mining industry • Mike le Plastrier of Invensys Operations Management Southern Africa for the article on applying bestpractice IT and other principles to industry • Bob Cook, Serena Lang and Peter G. Martin of Invensys Operations Management for the article on driving real-time profitability across mining enterprises

Facebook: Twitter: YouTube:

Wonderware Southern Africa WonderwareSA WonderwareSA

• Russell Barr and Robert E Cook of Invensys Systems Inc. for the article on mining for operational excellence • Dr. Kobus van der Merwe of Industrial Management Enhancement for the article on operating outside baseline in mining

November/December 2012 | 1

Editor’s Notes

Metals and Mining – one tough industry

Figure 1

When we talk about the “supply chain”, we normally talk about manufacturers, their suppliers and their customers. But metals and mining, like farming or oil production, is at the very start of a large number of supply chains. This can be a good or bad thing. It’s a good thing because if one manufacturing industry slows down (e.g. automotive), others may continue unaffected by market conditions. It’s a bad thing because conversely, slow-down in any industry that uses metals as raw material for its wealthcreating processes (of which there are many – e.g. construction) will affect the metals and mining industry. Figure 2

In addition, mining is a capital and labour intensive activity fraught with hazards

production (figure 2). The reason for this

our metals, minerals and mining industry

and dangers while metal refining relies

is probably because, irrespective of what

could achieve.

on complex processes which, if not done

happens and market conditions, the world

exactly right, can make the difference

needs metals and minerals and always will.

We’re not just sitting on a gold mine. We’re

between profit and loss. And then there’s

Substitutes may be found for petroleum but

sitting on a golden opportunity.

the pegging of metal and mineral prices by

there’s no viable substitute for iron, gold,

world markets which means that any increase

platinum or any of the other fundamental

Until next time,

in profitability has to come from improved

minerals this industry produces.

Denis du Buisson

efficiency. The total world dependence on this industry So why on Earth would anyone choose to

and huge potential revenues are some of

start a business in this industry? Figure 1 may

the very good reasons for getting into this

provide a clue.


Mineral sales keep on rocketing in spite

So, if South African production can be

(or perhaps because?) of a reduction in

improved, it’s staggering to think what

2 |

The South African mining industry in perspective

The South African mining industry in perspective

ASSMANG’s Khumani iron ore mine

By Lorraine Kearney, reporter August 2012

Survey and among the largest reserves of gold, diamonds, chromite ore and vanadium. With South Africa’s economy built on gold

Mining and minerals in South Africa

and diamond mining, the sector is an important foreign exchange earner, with gold accounting for more than one-third

South Africa is a world leader in mining.

of exports. In 2009, the country’s diamond

The country is famous for its abundance

industry was the fourth largest in the world.

of mineral resources, accounting for a

South Africa is also a major producer of coal,

significant proportion of world production

manganese and chrome.

and reserves, and South African mining companies are key players in the global

There is considerable potential for the

World-class primary processing facilities


discovery of other world-class deposits in

work with carbon steel, stainless steel,

areas yet to be exhaustively explored. South

aluminium, gold and platinum. South Africa

Africa’s prolific mineral reserves include

is also a world leader of new technologies,

precious metals and minerals, energy

such as a ground-breaking process that

South Africa’s total reserves remain some of

minerals, non-ferrous metals and minerals,

converts low-grade superfine iron ore into

the world’s most valuable, with an estimated

ferrous minerals, and industrial minerals.

high- quality iron units.

the country is estimated to have the world’s

Given its history and mineral wealth, it

Contribution to the economy

fifth-largest mining sector in terms of GDP

is no surprise that the country’s mining


companies are key players in the global

With the growth of South Africa’s secondary

industry. Its strengths include a high level

and tertiary industries, the relative

It has the world’s largest reserves of

of technical and production expertise, and

contribution of mining to South Africa’s

manganese and platinum group metals

comprehensive research and development

gross domestic product (GDP) has declined

(PGMs), according to the US Geological


over the past 10 to 20 years.

Mineral wealth

worth of R20.3-trillion ($2.5-trillion). Overall,

November/December 2012 | 3

• Accounts for 50% of volume of Transnet’s rail and ports.

largest in-situ value of mineral resources, the country only accounts for 3% of total greenfield mining projects planned for the

• Accounts for 94% of electricity generation

next decade.

via coal power plants. • Takes 15% of electricity demand.

Beneficiation and other policies

• Supplies coal for about 37% of the

In the 2011/12 Fraser Institute Survey, South

country’s liquid fuels.

Africa was ranked 54th out of 93 countries and provinces (from 67th out of 79 the year

The chamber says total mining expenditure

before). The Fraser Institute, a leading

in 2010 was R441-billion, of which:

Canadian think tank, measures the policy attractiveness of mining destinations by

• R228.4-billion was spent on purchases and

polling mining company executives.

operating costs (timber, steel, explosives, An arc furnace in action

electricity, transport, uniforms, etc.

Lucrative opportunities exist for downstream processing and adding value locally to iron,

Nonetheless, the industry is continually adapting to changing local and international

• R78.4-billion went on salaries and wages for mine employees.

world conditions, and remains a cornerstone of the economy, making a significant contribution to economic activity, job creation

carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, PGMs and gold. A wide range of materials is available for jewellery, other than gold,

• R49-billion on Capex (the lifeblood of mining).

platinum and diamonds; there is also tiger’s eye and many other semiprecious stones.

and foreign exchange earnings. Mining and its related industries are critical to South

• R17.1-billion in tax.

Africa’s socio-economic development.

developed a minerals beneficiation strategy • R16.2-billion in dividends (only 3.7% of

The sector accounts for roughly one-third


of the market capitalisation of the JSE, and continues to act as a magnet for foreign investment in the country.

For this purpose, the government has as a key area for potential growth. It is planned to transform the industry from being largely resource-based to knowledge-

• R38-billion on depreciation and impairments.

based. Downstream activities are already well-developed, and downstream products from the industry used locally include

Mining, according to the Chamber of Mines:

• R13-billion on interest to the banks.

• Creates one million jobs (500 000 direct

Of this, R409-billion (92%) was spent locally,

cement, steel, liquid fuels, electricity, polymers and plastics, with an estimated

and 500 000 indirect). • Accounts for about 18% of GDP (8.6% direct, 10% indirect and induced). • Is a critical earner of foreign exchange at

much economic value and jobs as the direct

South Africa’s beneficiation strategy

mining sector contributed. In addition, the

compliments other government

listed mining companies represent more

programmes, and the mining industry value

than 30% of the market capitalisation of the

chain has been prioritised as an economic

Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

growth node in the New Growth Path, which

more than 50%.

highlights a path for the industry out of its There are other contributions to the

• Accounts for 20% of investment (12% direct). • Attracts significant foreign savings (R1.9trillion or 43% of value of JSE).

total sales value of R200 billion ($24.6 billion).

and the spending multipliers created as

depression until 2020.

economy: extraction-related industries are a key driver of the Johannesburg Stock

The Mining Industry Growth Development

Exchange, representing 42%, or R1.9-trillion,

and Employment Task Team (Migdett) was

of its value. Mining also provides the

established at the height of the global

feedstock for about 94% of the country’s

financial crisis in 2008, with stakeholders from

electricity generating capacity.

the government, industry and labour. They

• Accounts for 13.2% of corporate tax

committed to achieve two critical outcomes:

receipts (R17-billion in 2010) and R6-billion

The value of total sales increased by 24.8%

in royalties.

to R302.2-billion ($37-billion) in 2010, and the

• To help the industry manage the negative

three top-selling minerals – PGMs, coal and

effects of the global economic crisis and

gold – accounted for 66.3% of total mineral

to save jobs; and

• Accounts for R441-billion in expenditures, R407-billion spent locally.

sales. • To position the industry for growth

• Accounts for R78-billion spent in wages and salaries.

4 |

South Africa’s mineral reserves are well-

and transformation in the medium to

mapped, but despite having the world’s

long term.

The South African mining industry in perspective

Overview of ASSMANG’s Black Rock manganese beneficiation plant.

Black economic empowerment

royalties and ownership.

By the end of 2011, South Africa’s mining

In August 2012, President Jacob Zuma

industry was the largest contributor of

told a meeting of diplomats that South

economic transformation, with broad-based

Africa had rejected the proposal of a

Unused mining rights held by mining

black economic empowerment (BBBEE)

blanket nationalisation of mine, and would

groups, but not used for years, were

deals worth R150-billion completed. Black

instead focus on proposals that sought to

awarded to newly established junior

economic empowerment targets apply to all

ensure the country benefitted more from

companies that showed themselves to be

companies in the country, meaning a certain

mining without disrupting the sector. State

true mining entrepreneurs.

percentage of local assets must be sold to

involvement could take the form of part

black South Africans.

ownership or full ownership of mines for

The Nedbank South African Junior Mining

selected minerals to help drive development

and Exploration Index, established in


September 2006, provides a measure of

mining rights not used by mining companies to exploit minerals in the ground would

But with black ownership of the mining sector at 8.9% in 2009 – well below the

revert back to the state.

performance of all the South African-

target of 15% by 2007 – the government

There is also a proposal for a tax on windfall

listed junior mining and exploration

is putting significant pressure on mines to

profits on mining. Zuma said this would help

stocks, excluding oil and gas. To meet

reach the next target of 26% by 2014.

facilitate economic growth and employment

investor demand for a tradeable entry

creation. A final policy is expected to be

into these shares, a derivative version of


adopted for implementation in December.

this index was launched a few months

The nationalisation debate holds sway over

Junior sector and small-scale mining

later. The Nedbank South African the industry and investment in it, despite the government and the ruling African

Junior Mining & Exploration Index Excluding Dual Listed Shares (NSJMEX) was constructed mainly to satisfy forex

National Congress repeatedly stating that

The junior mining sector in South Africa

regulations of the Reserve Bank regarding

nationalisation of mines is not policy. The

was born of new legislation in the form

constraints on inward dual listed shares

party’s Youth League and other groups have

of the Mining and Petroleum Resources

and derivative products.

called for mines to be nationalised, and

Development Act of 2006. The law enforced

there are ongoing debates about licences,

a “use it or lose it” principle, stipulating that

Listings from all the JSE’s boards qualify, but

November/December 2012 | 5

individuals or groups in abandoned mines is an ongoing hazard.

Environmentally responsible Through the implementation of more stringent regulations, South Africa’s mining industry has become safer as well as more socially and environmentally conscious. Companies are required to allow for environmental trust funds and rehabilitation of disturbed land. There is also a R70-million project in place to solve the legacy problem of acid mine drainage.

Sources: Richard’s Bay Coal Terminal

• Chamber of Mines Top40 Index constituents (or similar-sized

inadequate or non-compliance with

stocks) and companies controlled by other JSE-

regulatory requirements.

• Statistics South Africa

designed as a performance benchmark and,

Historically, small-scale mining has

• South African Yearbook

because of low liquidity, it is not recommended

comprised mainly alluvial diamond and

for use as an investable product.

in-land salt mining, but more recently the

listed companies, are excluded. The index was

• Department of Mineral Resources

bulk of the demand for small-scale mining The Department of Mineral Resources believes

ventures has been associated with industrial

small-scale mining has an important role to

commodities, such as slate, sand, clay,

play in community upliftment, job creation

sandstone, dolerite and granites for the

and poverty alleviation. It is developing a

production of infrastructural development

new approach to maximise the impact of

products such as tiles, clay and cement

small-scale mining, with particular focus on

bricks as well as aggregates.

poverty nodal points with mining potential,

• Department of Trade and Industry • South African Investors Handbook • BuaNews • Oxford Business Group

intended to contribute meaningfully towards

These activities should not be confused

the livelihood of these communities.

with illegal mining, which is mining in the

Read more at: http://www.southafrica.

absence of land rights, mining licence,


There are many challenges, however,

exploration or mineral transportation permit


such as a lack of access to finance

or of any document that could legitimise the

and markets, shortage of skills and

on-going operations. Illegal mining by single

6 |

imagine a better future Cost Reduction


Resources Optimization

Building intelligence

Better Services

Public Utilities management

integrated management of the City

Traffic that flows. Intelligent buildings that save energy. A public infrastructure that delivers whole new levels of service at lower cost. Systems, assets, people and the environment living in harmony. You have imagined ArchestrA, the Wonderware technology that lets you manage your infrastructure as you like in an integrated way. Open, scalable, affordable. Turn imagination into reality with Wonderware. Visit for more info.

Facility Management • Environment • Power • Smart Cities • Transportation • Waste • Water & Wastewater Avantis








Wonderware November/December 2012 | 7

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Invensys, the Invensys logo, Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, InFusion, Skelta, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware are trademarks of Invensys plc, its subsidiaries or affiliates. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Wonderware solutio Metals and Mining

8 |

ions in the industry

Introduction The mining and refining industry spans a wide variety of applications and environments. As such, its process control and production information delivery systems need to have special attributes that include coping with geographically distributed situations and rugged environments while integrating diverse and disparate technologies that have been adopted over possibly decades. Mining companies that are contemplating adopting today’s industrial automation and information technologies are concerned about preserving these past investments while operating in a challenging present and being wary of uncertain future global market trends. As if this weren’t enough, these companies also depend on a large labour force as well as extremely costly and capital-intensive plants. So when it comes to industrial automation and information solutions, these had better be true solutions rather than another layer of challenges

The benefit of Wonderware solutions from Invensys Operations Management Innovative solutions and global reach With over 1,900 sites and 24,000 licences installed across the global metals and mining industry, many of the world’s leading companies depend on Wonderware solutions for their industrial and manufacturing needs. This is especially true in Southern Africa where the great majority of mining companies use Wonderware products ranging from SCADA / HMI and MES to EMI and Enterprise Integration. As the first major HMI software offering to begin running on Microsoft Windows more than 20 years ago, Invensys’ Wonderware brand has been synonymous with continuous innovation and ease of use. Over this long history, the ARC Advisory Group’s HMI software and services study has consistently listed the Wonderware brand as one of the top market share leaders. In the 2011 ARC report, which covers the 2010 calendar year, Invensys Operations Management outpaced

November/December 2012 | 9

market growth to gain the #1 position in

customisation becomes an open exercise

market share, increasing its percentage lead

where anyone with the required intellectual

over its nearest competitor.

property can contribute application

• Highest Customer First renewal rate (88%). • Highest customer satisfaction index.

knowledge and where disparate solutions Wonderware has always pioneered solutions

from a variety of suppliers (even hardware) can

most wanted and needed by industrial

coexist in harmony and have a future.

automation engineers. From InTouch 1.0

• High degree of self-sufficiency and local expertise with less than 5% of support cases escalated to Invensys Level 2

in 1990 to ArchestrA technology in 2003

This is the domain of Wonderware’s System

and today’s virtualisation-ready solutions,

Platform based on ArchestrA technology as

Wonderware has always stayed ahead of the

are all of Wonderware’s products. We don’t

pack. Today, Wonderware’s extensive range

pretend to have all the solutions needed

engineers that have passed an average

of integrated industrial IT solutions conform

for your mining company but we most

of 5 Certified Solution Provider

to and facilitate the use of international

definitely have the key functionality you


standards so that you never get stuck

require underpinned by the most advanced

with proprietary solutions that can’t be

object-oriented industrial Service Oriented

The addition of Invensys Sentinel

maintained beyond the longevity of their

Architecture (SOA) technology that will allow

Services has ensured the constant (24/7)


you or your system integrator to optimise

remote monitoring of the performance

processes and to customise systems to meet

of Wonderware software assets and the

This is an important point because mining

your exact and evolving real-time decision

hardware on which they run. This proactive

companies distinguish themselves through

support needs.

approach helps to detect threatening

their ability to remain profitable in a

support. • Highest proportion of certified support

trends and to fix issues before they affect

Expert support


approaches to wealth creation. It stands to

Wonderware’s innovative and proven

reason, therefore, that “one size of industrial

technology is backed by a training and

Large and knowledgeable system integrator network

IT solution doesn’t fit all” – especially at the

support organisation that ensures customers

production level. So how does one develop

get the most from their investments. In

Wonderware Southern Africa’s customers are

enterprise information and control solutions

2012, Wonderware Southern Africa won

system integrators or end-users who have the

that are unique to each company without the

the prestigious Distinguished Distributor

technical expertise to implement their own

stigma of “bespoke solutions” that smack

Award for the Europe Russia and Africa

solutions. We are fortunate to be associated

of dead-end, proprietary software that is

(EURA) region for achieving some notable

with a large group of system integrators who

a nightmare to support and expensive to

milestones including:

are true experts in the metals and mining

highly competitive global industry. They thrive because they are all unique in their

industry and who are responsible for some

maintain? • Highest percentage of customers in the

A solid foundation

world-leading implementations in Southern

EURA region registered on Invensys’

and sub-Saharan Africa. If you don’t want

Customer First programme - a multi-

to implement your own systems or software

It can be done with an infrastructure that must

level software maintenance and support

solutions, we’ll make sure you’re in good

encourage and actually enforce the use of

initiative to help customers get maximum


company, industry and international standards.

value from their Invensys Wonderware

This means that bespoke development and

software solutions.

10 |

Some of the challenges facing the Metals and Mining industry in South Africa

Some of the challenges facing the Metals and Mining industry in South Africa

Health and safety

Event resolution

Intelligent information

Whether it’s a safety emergency or a

to supply speciality steels is yet another

production stoppage, the right personnel

differentiator and highlights the supplier’s

One of the major contributors to health and

must know what to do without hesitation

flexibility in meeting market demands).

safety is accurate real-time information on

because this is not the time for trial

tap anywhere throughout the mine. This

and error. This makes human workflow

Mining is an extremely expensive business

information needs to be available 100% of

mapping and management mandatory,

that relies on the optimisation of all

the time irrespective of power failures, server

especially in cases of staff changes.

production processes for a healthy bottom

malfunctions or network failures. Whether

Workflow management provides the

line. Minimising production costs includes:

it’s alarm, machinery or process status

degree of escalation and the definition

information, it needs to be available instantly

of responsibility and actions necessary

by a wide variety of users. Intelligent

for the rapid resolution of abnormal

alarming coupled to telecommunications


factors for customers looking to differentiate suppliers from one another (the ability

facilities or widely-distributed low-cost compact panel computers are alternative

Process optimisation Heavy plant such as ROM Mills need to be optimised since their output largely defines

Minimising production costs

ways of ensuring that the right people get

the efficiency of downstream processes. These plants are also large consumers

the right message at the right time. Portable

With resource prices fixed on the open

of electricity. Getting it right is often a

computers and smart phones also allow for

market, the only way to increase turnover

tricky business that requires the use of

the monitoring of real-time activities and

is to increase mining volumes and the only

Advanced Process Control and Statistical

the entry of observations while on the move.

way to increase profitability is to reduce

Process Control (SPC) algorithms that can

Other contributors to health and safety are

costs in the face of increasing raw material

be adjusted on-line for optimum results.

the centralisation of operations irrespective

and energy costs. In other words, the way to

Continuous and incremental process

of the diversity of disparate systems in use

create shareholder value is to mine efficiently

improvement is one of the keys for sustained

at the mine.

and improve product quality – the important


November/December 2012 | 11

“galaxy” of all these remote systems (with full redundancy) so that all plants can be looked at in a single virtual environment. Such a system means that changes can be made to the master template and propagated instantly to all instances of that item throughout the whole geographic spread of the mine. This can greatly reduce engineering costs on expansion projects especially since all the engineering can be done centrally irrespective of the size of the mine or even how many mines are involved or their geographical locations. Standards also result in a lower cost of ownership for the automation system as a whole.

Reduced maintenance costs The capital-intensive equipment used in mining operations and refineries needs to be monitored on a 24/7 basis and its operational life needs to be extended A dilemma facing production engineers is

maintenance based on reality rather than the

as long as possible. In order to do this,

that more tonnage may mean lower quality


it’s important that maintenance be done

(or poor grind), which increases mining recovery costs. On the other hand, lower

through intelligent diagnosis rather than by

Reduced downtime

tonnage and a good quality grind means

schedules. In that way, there is a proactive approach to maintenance rather than fixing

lost processing time and lower revenue

It goes without saying that downtime on

things that only need repairing because

for the mine. Another issue that must be

high-value production lines is an expensive

a calendar said so. One way of reducing

accounted for is that quantity and quality

business. Reducing downtime involves the

maintenance and production costs is

are usually inversely related. Attempting to

optimum use and maintenance of plant,

through the real-time measurement of

increase or improve on one is often at the

which is difficult to achieve without the

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

expense of the other.

real-time determination of OEE, historical

Obviously, it is desirable to operate a

trending and precisely matching production

A key aspect of reducing maintenance costs

with demand.

is to ensure that the Planned Maintenance

process as close as possible to the point of maximum profit for as long as possible but

System (may be stand alone or as part of

Proactive process control

this is not always easy to achieve, especially

the ERP) is kept up to date with detailed production data (motor running hours,

when the “optimum” point is variable or

Fixing problems after the fact is often

compressor start/stops, tons throughput,

changes occur in parameters outside the

unavoidable but costly. It’s far better to

etc.). If such updates between shop floor

plant operation leading to a shift in the

monitor trends and to detect potential

and maintenance systems are handled

“optimum” operating point.

problem areas before they become

automatically, this encourages maintenance

threatening. This can be achieved through

based on usage rather than on elapsed time.

These mission-critical juggling tricks can’t

access to real-time data that is collated and

be performed without human knowledge

presented in the form most relevant to the

and expert systems as well as effective

decision makers who have to use it.

Preserving past investments Most mines have a collection of disparate

and dynamic real-time information tools designed to cope with change.

Reduced engineering costs

Improved capital plant ROI

The mining industry has to perform under

valuable assets, what’s far more valuable is

increasingly tight budgetary constraints but

the engineering time and effort that was

Mining machinery such as refrigeration

with fewer and fewer engineers. One way of

invested in their proper operation. Yet, the

plants, conveyors, diggers, trucks, etc. is

doing this is to define, deploy and maintain

information from these diverse systems

costly and its life needs to be extended

standards with regard to plant items. Most

must all contribute to a seamless real-time

as long as possible. This can be achieved

mining groups have a large geographic

database from which all the necessary

through the rigorous, real-time monitoring

spread between shafts and above ground

decision-support information can be

of downtime and Overall Equipment

beneficiation plants. Only Wonderware’s

collated. What’s needed in these instances

Effectiveness (OEE) as well as effective

System Platform can create a single robust

is a system that is designed with this very

PLCs and automation systems as they evolved over time. Although these are

12 |

Some of the challenges facing the Metals and Mining industry in South Africa

scenario in mind and that can make all these

on a real time basis. both are absolute

blended into an advanced process control

systems work in concert.

requirements in the precious metal industry

system with purpose-built diagnostic and

while production accounting is often all that

recovery algorithms.

Streamlining beneficiation / refining processes

is required in base metal and other mining environments.

Optimising energy usage

Predictable product quality


Throughout the metal refining process,

The competitive edge allowing a supplier

With high value metals such as gold and the

real-time determination of the efficiency with

to increase revenue is product quality.

Platinum Group Metals or PGM (platinum,

which that energy is used is key to reducing

In product beneficiation and refining,

palladium, gold, rhodium, ruthenium

production costs.

consistent product quality is an indication of

and iridium), the lack of security can lead

a successful process that has less wastage

to significant erosion of profits because

and rework. In order to consistently and

criminals are only interested in the final

predictably deliver quality products,

(and therefore most valuable) version of the

Metal refining and processing is the tip of a

processes need to be standardised and

product. So, at the system level, security

large production pyramid and bottlenecks

strictly controlled. This means that software

functions should include the facility to define

here tend to be far more visible than

solutions must enforce the development,

groups of users, material flows and operator

elsewhere. But identifying bottlenecks isn’t

deployment and maintenance of company

functions per activity and per location. User

as simple as it sounds. Just because process

standards as well as the implementation

access to the system should be limited

B seems to have a lot of material piling

of international standards with respect to

to their areas of responsibility. Regarding

up doesn’t automatically mean that it is to

the interchange of information between

transaction security, any information system

blame. It could have to contend with poor

disciplines such as SCADA, MOM

should check that the material is received at

quality output from process A that, in turn,

(Manufacturing Operations Management)

the requested destination, that the received

could be accepting sub-grade material from

and ERP. A refinery process, for example,

mass is within the specified tolerance for

the mine. Identifying bottlenecks requires

can’t happen in the absence of the

that particular material and that the correct

the recording and real-time analysis of

company’s business processes and the ease

group of users receives the material. This

production events as well as the ability to

of interaction between them is a definite

includes more business rules that have

“play these back” where discrepancies

contributor to lowering costs through the

to do with the dispatcher of the material

in process performance can be readily

improved exchange of decision-support

in question. A failed transaction should



then automatically warn the appropriate

energy is an important consideration and the

responsible person by cell phone (because

Metal accounting


there’s no time to lose) and also by e-mail for confirmation.

Based on the premise that “what goes in must come out” and due to the very

Identifying bottlenecks

With the increasing need for speciality steel, comes the need for enterprise flexibility that

Audit trail

high value of processed metals, real-time

can specify, implement and monitor new processes at a moment’s notice.

inventory is mandatory for precious metal

This is yet another aspect of security

accounting purposes. It’s important to keep

because, due to the high value of the

a tight rein on the crucial parameters of

processes in question, it is vital to know

“input” and “output” mass and components

where responsibilities lie and who was

Steel products must be made to comply

because a discrepancy could be an

responsible for which actions and/or

with complex and changing customer

indication of a process or security problem.

decisions as well as who was responsible

requirements, which, in turn, must lead

Maintaining proper metal accounting

for authorising them. Maintaining an

to strict and repeatable process control

procedures won’t reduce production

audit trail is one way of keeping track of

procedures in a difficult environment of

costs but will explain their “inexplicable”

responsibilities. Those mining environments

changing variables. Today’s MES (and ERP)

rise. Today, metal accounting is being

that are under the Sarbanes Oxley whip will

solutions are designed to handle problems

continuously refined through tighter security

find that audit trails are an essential part of

of such complexity.

measurements and sophisticated advanced

doing business.

Increasing first-pass efficiency

Dealing with the “not-soobvious”

process control applications for the detailed diagnosis of even the most complex process

Dealing with complexity

problems in real-time. In the platinum refining industry for example,

Since quantity and quality are often inversely

Metal accounting is a statistically rigorous

increasing the first pass (concentrate

proportional, “maximum output” doesn’t

process with an extensive audit trail, which

dissolving) efficiency plays an important part

necessarily dovetail with “maximum profit.”

should not be confused with production

in reducing the production costs of the final

Determining that optimum point can only

information/accounting systems, which

product. This will require the integration

be done with careful measurements in real

typically provide best available information

of real-time data with intellectual property

time coupled with knowledgeable decision-

November/December 2012 | 13

making. Also more input tonnage may seem

Distributed data sources

able to check on production status and problem areas at will and this requires

like a good think but may actually “clog up the works” with low-grade ore that will

From the mine to the refinery to the

that they have drill-down access to the

simply erode profits since the processing for

laboratory is still one enterprise. This

mine’s real-time information base. Financial

low and high grade ore is the same.

requires an approach called GeoSCADA

planners need to tie production to their

(geographically distributed SCADA systems)

business plans while monitoring plant

with a centralised data collection and

ROI and efficiency. Business managers

collation facility that ensures the information

may have to satisfy customer demands by

integrity of the supply chain. This becomes

combining the production of a number of

even more important when having to

mines and this may mean that they have

integrate with the enterprise’s ERP system

to treat the enterprise’s mines as a single

From underground conveyors to stacker/

and true MES functionality is impossible

production facility rather than individual

reclaimers, mining machinery and operations

without it. Since laboratory analyses are the

units. All this can’t happen without ties

are spread over a wide area, hostile to

control for refinery operations, they need to

between the enterprise’s ERP, MOM/MES

standard computing platforms and networks.

be validated and tight LIMS integration is

and production control systems. It also can’t

Yet, all these areas are sources of data that


happen without a mine model that reflects

Maintaining information integrity System availability

contribute to knowledge about the status of the mine and they can’t afford to be off-line. This is the domain of ruggedised box, panel, tablet and “thin client” computers as well

the company’s business model.

Implementing enterprise integration (production, MOM/MES and ERP)

as wireless connectivity where it makes

While the Wonderware System Platform allows for Enterprise Integration, those mining houses using SAP would make use

sense. Another aspect may be the necessity

A mine is the mining company’s “shop

of Wonderware’s tight integration to SAP

for nothing less than “five nines” (99.999%)

floor”. Its need for SCADA and MOM/

xMII (Cross Application for Manufacturing

availability of servers which, in turn, must

MES functionality can’t be divorced from

Integration and Intelligence). This has

offer 100% redundancy facilities with respect

the needs of the enterprise as a whole.

already been used extensively in Southern

to data storage and integrity.

Head office management needs to be


14 |

Applying best-practice IT and other principles to industry

Applying best-practice IT and other principles to industry Introduction

to as OT – Operations Technology) may be missing out on numerous benefits

The traditional arsenal that plant managers

which can be realised from adopting

and automation engineers have had at

business IT principles, approaches and

their disposal to get the job done has

best practices. In these difficult economic

included everything from sensors, data

times, it’s probably a good idea to examine

loggers and PLCs to CNC machines, robotic

how industrial IT could benefit by using

welders and bottling lines to name a few.

the well-invented wheel of its business

In addition, this arsenal includes everything

counterpart. It’s important to note that what

to do with automation including DCS,

follows isn’t new technology by any means

SCADA and historians as well as a multitude

and it’s certainly not new to business IT,

of sophisticated software solutions and

yet it will make a significant and financially

complex computer networks. Interestingly

beneficial difference to industrial operations

almost all of these “items” now belong to


the connected world – very few of them reside in a disconnected state. This results in the opportunity to ensure that we are able

IT best practices applicable to industry

to apply globally-recognised best practice

Mike le Plastrier, MD, Invensys Operations Management Southern Africa

tools to manage these assets. While some

Thin client computing

industrial environments are doing this, our finding is that many are still managing

Thin clients have, in the past, been seen by

their connected assets largely in isolation

many as “dumb”, “green screen” terminals

of traditional “business” IT influence and

of doubtful value. But all that has changed

well-proven approaches.

dramatically. Today’s thin clients provide all the rich functionality of PCs and sometimes

Traditional IT has a very formalised structure

even more. And they do it at greatly reduced

with well-defined governance which

cost, increased reliability and with minimal

mediates an orderly approach to information

maintenance needs and support costs.

management and associated systems. This is also the case in some of the better

Thin clients have no moving parts (fan,

organised industrial environments but

disc) and so are ideally suited to the

many don’t have fully-managed networks

hostile environments often encountered

or a well-defined infrastructure. And very

on mining and manufacturing sites

often this infrastructure is not visible to the

(heat, dust, vibration, shock). Thin client

CIO. According to Gartner, architectural

computers are excellent for SCADA/HMI

decisions should embrace the plant floor. An

applications requiring remote, secure and

architecture that does not reach the sensor

locked-down operations, protecting against

level is incomplete. The bottom line is that

potential system tampering.

manufacturing CIOs can and should exercise governance over technology from an

Insofar as maintenance is concerned, in

architectural perspective, as well as a tactical

the rare event that a unit should fail, it can

operational one.

simply be replaced by a working model – instantly – no software to be loaded or

The result is that industrial IT (often referred

reconfiguration necessary because thin

November/December 2012 | 15

Figure 1: Terminal servers can provide redundancy and load sharing while working in collaboration with existing servers

clients get everything they need from their

software to be used in this environment is

central servers, a failure here can’t be


certified as thin client-ready).

tolerated so multiple servers can be installed

Then there’s the issue of support. Imagine

Thereafter, personalised desktops are not

sharing (figure 1).Note that while standard

a large mining site with say, 40 widely-

associated with the PC but with the user. So,

Microsoft Terminal Services provides many

dispersed workstations. Comes the day

an engineer, for example, can move from his

of these features, our experience has

for a software upgrade and somebody has

own workstation to the server room or the

indicated that specialist add-ons such as

to travel to each and every PC, install the

control room and he will always get the same

ThinManager from ACP handles redundancy

software, reboot the system and make sure

desktop that he needs which means that

and load sharing better and usually provides

everything is as it should be – possibly an

dedicated engineering stations are no longer

an enhanced thin client environment.

hour’s work per machine. If this was a site

needed. The same is true for operators. This

based on thin client architecture, the new

job or function-based concept of desktops

Banks have been using the concept of

software would simply be installed on the

means that users can’t do anything they’re

thin clients for years and probably the only

terminal server and all the clients would all

not entitled to do. And because there’s

reason it is not being used more extensively

have immediate and simultaneous access

no USB port or disc slot, playing games or

in industry may be because industrial IT

to it.

introducing malware is impossible.

personnel are not fully aware of its huge

A thin client environment starts with

A single thin client computer can have a

should make the decision to adopt this

the installation of a terminal server and

mouse and keyboard as well as up to five

technology a no-brainer.

associated operating system, HMI software,

monitors. It can also be connected to a

HMI development tools, e-mail client

video camera for views of the production

software and any other necessary software

process or for safety or security reasons.

allowing for automatic redundancy and load

financial and operational benefits that

such as PLC communications (note that it’s important to verify that any HMI or other

16 |

Virtualisation The availability of increasingly more powerful

Since all thin clients are dependent on

computers, especially servers, has meant

Applying best-practice IT and other principles to industry

Africa offers such a service by installing special agent software on each Wonderware server located at customer sites. These agents monitor the system continuously to ensure that critical resources are performing within best practice norms. If an unacceptable threshold is reached, an alarm is raised and Invensys engineers are alerted before an issue develops. This triggers an event management process which remains active until resolution of the problem. Preempting faults before they escalate into real downtime, results in increased uptime for the production plant. While a number of companies use their IT systems to monitor shop floor computer Figure 2: Virtual servers configured within redundant and load sharing physical servers

status (e.g. RAM, hard drive, CPU, etc.) as well as network traffic density and

that their full potential is rarely used with

The enabling technologies for virtualisation

performance, they can’t monitor the

CPU utilisation typically in the 5-15% region.

are Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and

performance of applications. While such an

This has prompted the field of virtualisation

VMware. As with thin client servers, software

arrangement will detect a rise in network

where several virtual servers can run on a

must be certified to run in the virtual

congestion, for example, it won’t be able to

single physical server, saving space, power


track down the reason to, say, polling retries

and optimising the use of existing assets.

or scan overruns.

Monitoring of industrial IT assets While this sounds like putting all the eggs

Change management and disaster recovery

in one computing basket with the danger of

Throughout the IT world, the monitoring of

losing everything if something goes wrong,

technology assets is standard practice to

the reality is quite different. That’s because

the degree that it would be difficult to find

Another given in the world of traditional

redundancy is so much easier to manage

an IT department that would contemplate

business IT is the concept of backups. Once

and implement in the virtual environment

operating without this. Yet the hardware and

again, no IT department would ever consider

with a second physical server that can take

software assets that monitor and control

this as anything else but a mandatory and

over automatically in the event of failure.

a mining or manufacturing company’s

well-regulated practice but this doesn’t

Also, this same technology provides for load

very reason for existence are left largely

seem to be the case in industry. High quality

balancing so that applications can be run on

to their own devices. Industrial IT isn’t

change management software products can

the server with more spare capacity when

infallible and who gets called when it fails?

do it all at the industrial level automatically

needed. Maintenance is also much easier.

The maintenance technician, who might

by monitoring software changes to PLCs,

For example, it’s possible to make a copy

be a genius insofar as repairing electrical

robots, drive systems, human-machine

of a virtual server, update all its software

circuits, instrumentation and even some

interfaces, computer-based real-time control

off-line while the original does the work and

computer aspects, but hasn’t been trained

and data acquisition systems as well as

then replace the original with the updated

in establishing the reason for an abnormal

documents that are related to those systems.

copy without interruption of service. This

level of polling retries by a SCADA system,

is especially applicable to the testing of

for example.

Benefits include real-time version control, reduced process downtime, fast and

software before final deployment. Monitoring asset performance from SCADA

accurate recovery, pinpointing the location

Yet another feature is that each virtual server

to MES and beyond requires specialist and

of unknown changes, complete source

runs its own operating system which means

specific knowledge, not only in detecting

warehousing, historical records, source code

that even the oldest of DOS or Windows

anomalies but in suggesting a cure

protection and insurance against mishaps.

NT4 applications, for example, can be

before they become mission-affecting. In

hosted whereas this wouldn’t be possible on

production, a problem manifests itself in a

It usually only takes one 2-hour, R2 million

a modern-day server.

plant shutdown by which time it’s already

shutdown while everyone scrambles around

much too late. Failures rarely just happen.

for the last known working version of PLC

Using virtualisation, the server room

Potentially threatening trends need to be

code to attract people’s attention to the

depicted in figure 1 could probably be

detected on a 24/7 basis by experts in the

importance of such an initiative.

reduced to two or three physical servers as

field. So much for the most important IT best

shown in figure 2. Invensys Operations Management in South

practices that should be adopted in industry.

November/December 2012 | 17

• Formalising the procedures - this may include a workflow capability (see next) • Development of a dynamic simulation models to assist in process/production optimisation A central information room based on this will ensure that the company focuses its best human assets into a centre of excellence at the point of maximum leverage for improved enterprise-wide results.

Human-level workflow management Process malfunctions, for example, need to be handled immediately and consistently and this is a job for humans whose workflow and collaboration to handle these situations needs to be mapped as carefully as for any process control system. Procedures to rectify process or human errors are normally on paper and prone to different interpretations. The effectiveness of any action taken is Figure 3: Workflow management is a useful tool for the tracking and enforcing of event resolution

difficult to measure and rarely documented. Did the procedure work or was it a waste of

What follows are other best practices which

locally, but they would be available in a

time? Lots of paperwork isn’t the answer and

are becoming increasingly important in any

consulting and advisory capacity to guide and

what happens if the person with the skills to

production environment.

optimise processes and for troubleshooting.

fix the problem leaves the company? Was

Other best practices

Such a centralised information facility

the problem escalated by the right person at the right time? Who dropped the ball?

must be able to access systems from every

Central Information Room

solution vendor and, while data at the

A workflow management solution is needed

local sites needs to be of high resolution

which will ensure that the right people are

For many large distributed companies that

for control purposes, the information sent

involved, that will monitor follow-ups and

operate nationally or across a continent like

to the central information room needs to

manage escalation while also providing an

Africa, putting skilled engineering personnel

be validated (which will require human

auditable trail of actions.

at every plant can be costly and impractical

intervention), aggregated for bandwidth

– this is especially true of mining companies

reasons and contextualised (collated with

which, by definition, are geographically-

linked and supportive information) if it is

dispersed according to the distribution of

to make sense to the experts and analysts.

There is no doubt as to the financial and

mineral resources.

They must, in turn, be able to drill down to

operational benefits of adopting best

the local detail level if necessary.

practices – that’s why they’re called best

To be effective, each mine should have an


practices. They are proven effective and no

expert metallurgist on hand to determine

The implementation of an effective

experimentation is necessary. The industrial

if, for example, the crushing is being done

information room will include the following:

world would benefit tremendously by

effectively or if the correct chemical mixture

readily accepting sound, tested and proven

is being used when extracting minerals. It’s

• Establishing a physical central monitoring

traditional IT principles and it would also

difficult to have this level of skills available

facility – bringing the people together

benefit the company by having a uniform

everywhere and the answer is to centralise these skills at one location for the benefit of

standard by which information and its • Development of standardised operational

all remote sites. These specialists wouldn’t

procedures based on a common

control the plants as this would still happen

information platform

18 |

supportive technology is deployed and employed throughout the enterprise.

Remote Operations Centres in mining

Remote Operations Centres in mining Denis du Buisson, editor, Protocol magazine

necessary to incorporate and integrate a number of emerging

Any nationally or internationally-distributed

technologies. These technologies

company has two main problems regarding

include new intelligent sensors, real-

their geographical distribution: Knowing

time data collection and management,

what’s actually going on in their various

advanced data and application integration,

remote sites and servicing these sites with

expert systems for alarm management and

the knowledge and expertise necessary to

escalation, robust communications networks

keep them profitable.

within and between sites, linked geospatial and document management systems and

In South Africa, Eskom, Transnet as well as

collaboration rooms with both video and

all distributed companies are examples of

data feeds.

enterprises faced with the daily reality of optimising their geographically-dispersed

The mining industry can learn from these

operations with limited technical resources

industries to achieve: fewer personnel

and expertise. This is especially true of large

exposed to hazardous situations, better

mining companies

reaction to tactical production issues and emergency situations, more efficient and

Running complex operations in

reliable operations, better production

remote mining locations is becoming

throughput as well as better and more

more challenging due to the

collaborative strategic decisions.

increased difficulty of attracting experienced staff to work in these

The mining industry does not need to

locations. The increased focus on both

break new ground to implement significant

defence, there has been a revolution in

safety and production growth is also

improvements in the remote management

battlefield management, with the increased

leading to an increased interest in remotely

of operations. The lessons already exist for

use of remote sensor and communications

operated equipment. The escalating costs

designing, developing, implementing and

technologies providing real-time information

of providing a 24x7 manned operation is

running Remote Operations Centres.

back to remote control and command

another driver for optimising the staffing levels both on site and in the back-office.

centres. While safety is a clear driver, the For example, in 2010, mining giant Rio

increased flow of information also leads

Tinto launched its remote operations

to better tactical and strategic decisions.

Remote Operations Centres (ROCs) are

centre as part of its “Mine of the Future”

The “fog of war” is gradually being lifted

collaborative environments that are used

concept. The centre features more than

by the use of smart technologies, which all

for more than just managing the day to

200 controllers and schedulers and 230

come together in the ROC.

day operations of equipment. Increasingly

planning and support staff to control mining

they are used to monitor and control every

operations in the Pilbara region of Western

aspect of the operation, including providing

Australia - 1500km away from the centre’s

the data and information necessary at

home in Perth. In a statement, Rio Tinto said

different levels of the business for a variety

that the “high-technology, purpose-built”

Mining operations are complex and need

of purposes. The ROC is the nerve centre

operations centre is now the primary control

on-site management by skilled people such

of the operation which has been evolving in

centre for the company’s network of mines,

as metallurgists and engineers – but such

capability to handle an increasing number of

rail systems, infrastructure facilities and port

experts are not readily available and so it

tasks through its application in a number of

operations in the Pilbara region.

makes sense to optimise their contributions

Optimising the contribution of valuable human assets

from a central location so that all remote

different industries. ROCs are not new but a tried-and-proven

sites can benefit from their knowledge.

A common theme from these industries

concept where “mission-critical” means

This, in turn, leads to a more uniform and

is that for ROCs to be successful, it is

just that – and at the highest level. In

standardised approach to the resolution of

November/December 2012 | 19

issues and decision-making not to mention the benefits that can be gained from experts collaborating and communicating with one another in a single locale and without delay to address particularly thorny problems. There’s also an indirect but highly-desirable benefit to this centralised approach. For anyone to make an informed decision remotely, the data alone are not sufficient. What’s also needed is the context in which the data were obtained. For example, data

Rio Tinto’s ROC

about a seemingly unproductive night shift might have nothing to do with the personnel

and better reaction to tactical

that deliver the right information to

involved but with delayed laboratory results,

production issues and emergency

the right people in the right time,

ore quality, machinery failures or countless


who collaborate more widely

other contributing factors. The necessity for context forces the gathering of linked

• Increased depth and breadth of

• All this leading to higher production at lower cost and lower operational risk.

ancillary information which, in turn, leads

information, analysed in an integrated

to a better understanding of operating

and timely manner, leading to more

conditions and ultimately, ideas for their

efficient operations, such as through the

Acknowledgement: Portions of this


detection of equipment degradation

article are extracts from the synopsis of a

before it impacts production

Paper by Colin Farrelly and Rus Records, presented at the CRCMining 2007

Today, we have Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence solutions that are designed to do just that.

• Optimised production through more timely and accurate operational information delivered to all levels of

Some of the benefits of ROCs

planning and operations, regardless of location

• Greater visibility of entire operations to a wider audience, including offsite specialists, leading to faster

20 |

• More informed strategic decisions based on improved business processes

Australian Mining Technology Conference, Perth, October 4-6, 2007

The clearest path to modernisation. Bypass the risk and cost of obsolescence through our unique and comprehensive approach. To start mapping out your path, visit us at

Secure your future with Foxboro and Triconex

0800 INVENSYS | |










Real Collaboration. Real-Time Results.


November/December 2012 | 21 Š Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Invensys, the Invensys logo, Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, InFusion, Skelta, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware are trademarks of Invensys plc, its subsidiaries or affiliates. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Driving real-time profitability across mining enterprises Authors: Bob Cook, Director - Mining and Metal Processing, Invensys Operations Management Serena Lang, Business Value Consultant, Invensys Operations Management Peter G. Martin PhD, Vice President and Invensys Fellow, Invensys Operations Management

real-time profitability control not only

such variables as flow, level, pressure,

creates higher levels of profits, it also

temperature and speed are commonplace.

provides a collaborative environment

But with the increased volatility in business

through enterprise-wide visibility. This leads

variables, measuring efficiency – although

to improved morale, better employee

absolutely necessary – is no longer

retention, increased levels of safety,

sufficient. In order to bring profitability

improved environmental stewardship and

under control, the key business variables of

more exciting working environments to

production value, energy costs and material

better attract and retain the best talent.

costs also need to be part of the real-time measurement system. Since these variables

The need for real- time profitability control

all impact the safety and environmental

has been driven by a transition of mining

integrity of mining enterprises, it is also

business variables from high stability

critical to bring safety and environmental

over extended time frames, to real-time

risk measures into the real-time domain.

volatility that has negatively impacted the

Invensys has developed a patented

The metals market downturn of the past

industry over just the last decade. Mining

approach to measuring these key business

decade is certainly behind us, but the

executives have recognised that although

variables in real time right down to the

mining industry faces huge challenges as

their operational efficiency may be well

nodes of the value chain, that capitalise on

global economic volatility is combined with

controlled, their profitability often appears

the installed sensor base and the available

rising energy costs, constrained supply

to be out of control. Invensys has developed

business information to build a new real-

and an ever-changing set of parameters

real-time profitability control for mining

time business measurement database easily

for which miners have to make decisions.

enterprises to meet this need. Implementing

accessible across the enterprise.

Meanwhile metal prices remain high and

real- time profitability control involves

future demand forecasts are positive. On

measuring the key business variables across

top of the market volatility, many mining

the mining enterprise, empowering all

complexes are characterised by aging

personnel to make business decisions that

assets, challenging locations, constrained

drive profitability, safety and environmental

talent pools, traditional organisational

integrity, and driving specific initiatives that

Once the real-time business

silos and unpredictable profitability. These

measurably improve the business.

measurements are in place, they can be

Mining industry dilemma

challenges have exacerbated the transition

Empowering people to make better decisions for the business

effectively utilised to empower people


Measuring the business in real time

Meeting these daunting challenges

Mining and mineral processing operations

they need. This contextualised real-time

requires a leap from the traditional

have invested for decades in the effective

decision support significantly helps

production approach to measurable,

measurement of efficiency throughout their

bring new talent up to performance

real-time profitability control. Measurable

operations. Process sensors that measure

levels in half the traditional time and

from limited production to almost unlimited

throughout the enterprise with the exact information they need to make good business decisions in the time frame

22 |

achieve performance levels never previously attainable. Real-time decision support information also enables every

many mining companies from moving

Profitable safety and environmental integrity

person in the operation to be real-time

forward. Invensys has developed a new open system concept that allows all of the systems across a mining enterprise

performance managers; perform their

The primary constraint functions impacting

to be effectively unified into a single real

job functions more effectively, agilely,

the profitability of most mining enterprises

time domain for less than one tenth of

collaboratively, safely and profitably.

are tied to the safety of the operations, the

the traditional cost. These new Enterprise

Job attractiveness and satisfaction have

people and the environmental integrity of

Control Systems finally make moving

been shown to significantly increase as

the operation. Managing profitability within

forward to real time profitability viable

employees feel they are a more integral

reasonable safety and environmental risk

and cost effective. They also enable either

part of the business and to business

domains is essential. Invensys has developed

local or remote Collaboration Centres

performance improvement. Invensys has

a patented approach to measuring safety and

that meet the professional and personal

developed great expertise on how to

environmental risk in real time which provides

requirements of today’s workforce, and

most effectively empower all personnel

operational personnel the information they

further improve employee morale and

who impact profitability with the precise,

need to both effectively and safely increase

satisfaction leading to higher levels of

real-time information contextualised to

the profitability of mining enterprises.

personnel retention.

Enterprise Control System


One of the key technical challenges

The volatile dynamics of the minerals

imposed on the drive to effective

marketplace and the demands placed

measurable real-time profitability

on mining enterprises have presented

improvement is the installed automation

huge challenges to mining executives.

Once the real-time performance

and information architectures in mining

It is clear that business as usual will not

measurements and empowerment portals

enterprises. Unfortunately, most mining

meet these challenges. Recognising

are installed and operating across the

enterprises operate with a variety of

the real driving forces and moving to

enterprise, the incremental cash flow from

systems provided by a variety of vendors

a measurable real-time profitability

any new performance improvement initiative

and installed over a long time frame. Most

improvement business model is the key

becomes clearly visible. Mining executives

of these systems cannot work together

to meeting the challenges. Invensys has

quickly discern the return on any investment

without the expenditure of significant

decades of experience in working with

and can direct capital to those activities

capital to support their integration, and

mining executives to drive performance

that drive the most value. Invensys has

even integrating these systems together

improvement and has pioneered real-

developed a “theory of constraints� process

does not ensure effective interoperation.

time profitability for mining enterprises.

for determination of the most valuable

Often the only solution appears to be

The challenges are great. The solution is

performance improvements that can be

ripping out the existing technology and

measurable real-time profitability --- from

made in mineral processing enterprises and

replacing it with systems from a single


measures success on the results.

vendor. This huge capital hurdle prevents

their exact responsibilities, experience and education levels to make them as effective and profitable as possible.

Measurable real-time profitability improvement

November/December 2012 | 23

Real-time operations management in the metals, minerals & mining industry In a nutshell ...


market today, and Invensys’ Real-Time Operations Management complements

Extracting minerals from ore is an extremely

these programmes to increase their overall

Invensys employs Real-Time Operations

energy-intensive operation. With the soaring

effectiveness within the industry.

Management to significantly drive

costs and growing demand of construction,

business value improvements in Metals,

along with globalised competition, mineral

By using an effective operations

Minerals and Mining operations.

processing complexes are required to

management programme from Invensys,

Real-Time Operations Management is

achieve very high throughput rates — all

Metals, Minerals and Mining operations can

designed distinctively to complement

while continually looking for ways to

keep pace with the speed and demand of

the rapidly evolving Metals, Minerals

maintain or increase production and reduce

today’s changing business environment.

and Mining industry by managing

energy consumption.

throughput, energy, and yield in real time. Users can easily measure and

Energy has become one of the highest

be more proactive about business

variable costs for Metals, Minerals and Mining

intelligence, transition control, and

operations. In most facilities, the cost of energy

optimise competing objectives in real

changes significantly in real time. Throughput

time — all key requirements to keep

has emerged as one of the top challenges —

pace with the speed and demand of

specifically, how to maximise production while

today’s changing business environment.

balancing utilisation and availability.

Real-time operations measurement • Real-time measurement of throughput, energy, and metallurgical accounting • Key performance indicators at each consumption, production, transfer, import, or export point in the mill

Many initiatives and offerings that are available, focus directly on production,

• Plant-wide, real-time production reports,

energy, and yield management, with most

efficiency, and maintenance cost

involving large expenditures that may not

accounting with contexts from the ERP

drive results for a year or more. Industrial

and Supply Chain Management systems

executives are continually searching for new approaches to operations management that are more aligned with the demands of

Real-time operations empowerment

today’s business environment. • Multi-level, role-specific intelligence views Real-Time Operations Management is based

that empower personnel

on a simple four-component model (see left image) designed to match the demanding requirements of industrial operations.

Part of an enterprise approach

• Robust, real-time forecasting and prediction of impending events • Role- and condition-based alerts and adaptive collaboration guided by supervisors and specialists

Real-Time Operations Management addresses specific operations management

24 |

• Real-Time Operations Intelligence that

issues that drive immediate bottom-line

delivers 3-5% average reduction in energy

value within Metals, Minerals and Mining

consumption, improvements in critical

operations. Various operations management

production measures, and increases in

programmes are currently available in the

utilisation by up to 0.25%

Real-time operations management in the metals, minerals & mining industry

Real-time operations control

• Invensys Consultants analyse current operational strategies, business plans,

• Reduction of unplanned outages to less

and operations culture, and recommend

than 1 per year — increases utilisation

decisions and actions to drive and

by more than 2% and reduces energy by

measure the value of each improvement

more than 5% per year • Improvements from Real-Time Operations • Invensys Consultants specialise

Control and Optimisation deliver

in maintenance, energy, remote

additional reductions in energy cost from

collaboration, and safety improvements.


They analyse current safety and control strategies and recommend specific

Invensys proactively drives solutions

actions to drive improvements with a

value and sustainability by continuously

projected value for each action.

improving technologies for Metals, Minerals and Mining operations with Real-Time

• Invensys Delivery specialists team

Operations Management. By applying

with client engineering to implement

safer techniques, such as alerting operators


and engineers before issues arise, Metals, Minerals and Mining facilities will promote

Real-time operations optimisation

safer elements for evolving performance cultures.

• Proactive guidance allows users to make informed decisions for conflicts, such as short-term and long-term throughput, energy, and yield

November/December 2012 | 25

Mining for operational excellence Authors: Russell Barr, director, Performance Measurement Group, Invensys Systems Inc. Robert E. Cook, member SME, vice president of mining, Invensys Systems Inc.

26 |

Mining for operational excellence

Operational excellence is generally known

processes and services.

critical functions that are geared towards

• Be geared towards improving quality. • Controlling costs and profitability with

continually improving operational performance. Functional areas such as health, environment and safety, quality

• Align the various operations with the

programmes. Operational excellence also

different pressures and price fluctuations.

overall enterprise strategy. • Managing environmental factors for

and human resources are the focus of many corporate-wide operational excellence

• Expanding operations globally, extending best practices to new operations.

as a management system integrated across

• Be geared towards continuous improvement.

different mine properties in different parts of the world.

focuses on improving areas such as customer orientation, employee empowerment as

A composite of operational excellence

Increasing regulatory requirements can

well as process, and systems optimisation. It

definitions suggests that it is:

further burden systems and processes. However, a company must be responsive in

is widely viewed as critical to sustaining business performance improvement.

• Geared towards helping the organisation achieve sustained profitability;

foundation in many respects, operational

• Tied to strategic alignment and business objectives; • Tied to solid investment strategies;

factors, other similar institutions or

towards operational excellence (Taylor, responsiveness are not just seen as required responses to the regulatory environment but

developed their own version of organisation excellence, influenced by such individual

and processes in order to continue the drive 2006). Safety and environmental

excellence remains a popular term in the business world. Many organisations have

functions make further adjustments and drive more inefficiency out of the systems

Although it is difficult to find a universally accepted definition, or even common

order to stay in business, requiring that its

• Integrated as part of the culture, process, time plan and performance;

rather as a part of the fabric of the company and being responsible to societal and business stakeholders.

even third-party service providers. • A relevant performance measurement A mining organisation is no different


and implementing effective operational excellence programmes can

• Extended to include all aspects of the supply chain (including external suppliers);

interests. This paper brings together

enterprise in a way that drives business value. Therefore, mining companies must strive to be excellent beyond just financial

dramatically improve business execution and performance across regional or global

With all of these challenges, it is critical that mining operations improve across the entire

from other organisations in that adopting

• Integrated with health, safety and environmental (HSE) aspects.

dimensions. These companies must be excellent along other dimensions such as innovation, social responsibility

various perspectives of operational excellence and reconciles them for a useful

And, while the pursuit of operational

and employee responsiveness as well being

composite for the mining industry.

excellence intuitively suggests that

able to respond effectively to a changing

businesses should improve, it is very

environment as a business operation

While most agree that operational

difficult to achieve given the difficult

(Chakravarthy, 1986). As mining

excellence should include normal functions

challenges facing companies today. Mining

companies continue to expand and change

in a manufacturing operation such as

businesses face numerous pressures to

through organic growth or through mergers

production, maintenance and engineering

perform in a global marketplace such as

and acquisitions in places that they have

and processes such as quality, environmental

demand, energy cost, variable cost and

never done so before, it is more critical than

and continuous improvement, many other

pricing fluctuations as well as infrastructure

ever that mining organisations strive for

factors for operational excellence seem to

challenges to further confound the

operational excellence to be able to develop

vary from perspective to perspective. Thus,

environment. Companies generally

sustainable operations with reasonable

programmes that manufacturers engage

must look to the following:


• Improving profitability.

A model for operational excellence

in may seem the same, but may, in fact, be different in key areas. This may affect organisational performance in tangible ways. Management

• Maximising existing and acquired assets.

must buy into the company’s definition of operational excellence and be

The model presented in figure 1 is a • Optimising value chain.

dedicated to achieving it. A review of many of the existing definitions

operational excellence currently available. • Driving more efficiency from labour,

of operational excellence, explicit or

transportation and other parts of the

embedded as part of a programme, should


yield the following common factors:

While this is a general model, it can be applied to the mining industry. Operational excellence programmes should

• Becoming more agile to take advantage • Help organisations better execute their

composite of many existing definitions of

of opportunities.

include many interrelated and interacting components such as quality (Q), continuous

November/December 2012 | 27

prices and high costs). To compete successfully, a mining company must use its assets in the best possible way. It must also have the best people and processes. Frequently, companies have turned to continuous improvement programmes, formal or informal, that drive activities to solve problems that were not aligned with the original direction and were not clearly measurable in terms of benefit to the business performance. Through the careful use of real-time performance measurements to support continuous improvement processes, additional productivity will be realised and sustained. As global competition increases, manufacturing has become more strategic. Assets are becoming tools in broad global corporate strategies that need faster and better information to maximise profits beyond the previous standard of cost reduction. Competition has come from developing areas of the world that had been off the radar of many companies. To remain competitive, companies must get the

Figure1: A model for operational excellence

maximum out of their existing asset base. improvement (CI), knowledge management

To ensure that continuous improvement

Continuous economic optimisation and

(KM), human resource development (People),

projects and initiatives are adding value

improvement remains critical.

HSE compliance and management,

to the company, a real-time performance

and performance measurement within an

measurement system must be coupled

In the past, the results of continuous process

aligned business. Processes, procedures,

with continuous improvement programmes.

improvement efforts were measured in

knowledge and other aspects of mining

Real-time business intelligence can

productivity terms, such as tons per day, and

operations as part of a larger operational

also be applied to greenfield projects

not in financial terms, such as revenue per

excellence programme should be shared

to provide all layers of the business

ton or other pertinent metrics. Even if these

as best practices across the enterprise (i.e.

with an unprecedented view in to the

were measured in financial terms, they were

across mines, mineral processing, freight,

business performance in the mineral

based on budgeted amounts that gave

etc.) on a vertical or horizontal basis.

processing operation. With this business

misleading direction when used in real-

intelligence, people can make better

time. It is easy to see that these continuous

decisions to improve performance by at

improvement processes helped, but they

least 3 to 5 percent. This enables operations

can be improved. For example, in the mining

Continuous improvement can be generally

to earn project payback in a shorter

industry, as assets are stretched to keep

described a set of activities designed to

timeframe. A proper real-time performance

up with demand while minimising capital

bring gradual, but continual improvement

measurement system that provides business

expenditures, measurements that provide

to a mining process through constant

intelligence is critical to showing the value

information on incremental revenues per

review. These activities typically consist of

of projects to the company, recovering

ton become more important because nearly

waste elimination, cost reductions and other

investment as soon as possible and ensuring

each dollar in sales less the variable cost of

efficiencies (Blanchard, 2009). Continuous

the strategic nature of initiatives and

production falls to the bottom line.

improvement enables mining companies to

projects in a timeframe, resolution

embed the principles of sustainability into

and reach that makes sense. It brings

At the operator level, real-time performance

their business. As mining companies look

together the proper elements of finance,

measurement information presented in a

to improve their operations in the face of

strategy and operations to effectively

meaningful and actionable way is critical to

increasing global pressure and competition,

measure performance, to provide timely

driving business performance as the front-

continuous improvement programmes

feedback to the right people and to enable

line decisions typically have high value,

have been undertaken by companies in an

performance improvement.

especially in variable cost containment.

Continuous improvement

effort to remain competitive and improve their position.

28 |

At the plant management and executive The mining industry is continually facing

management levels, performance

tough economic pressure (low market

measurements that have a financial

Mining for operational excellence

component become more important, especially if they are in real-time or so-called right-time. They provide management with the opportunity to respond to financial issues before being blindsided by a problem that only reveals itself after the financial reports are out. Opportunities for continuous improvement in mining and mineral processing are vast and well-documented and involve the balancing of the value produced by control of availability and use of the plant assets. These include but are not limited to: • Fleet management. • Ore quality management. • Crusher control. • Mill load control. business with society’s well-being in focus. HSE factors vary from region to region in • Mineral processing.

or systems of HSE across the operations, adopting or converging on the more

• Labour management.

aggressive approach.

terms of regulation, impact on society and on firm profitability. Air emissions from

Proactive mining operations are involved

smelting and roasting processes can have a

with local regulatory and academic

significant impact on the environment and

constituencies to help monitor, form

yet their regulation is very strict in developed

and train societal interests in HSE affairs.

nations and can be nonexistent or not

Some research even suggests that

enforced in less developed countries. There

those companies proactively involved

is, however, evidence that responsible

in improving their respective position

manufacturers are getting ahead of the

in environmental affairs experience “superior

Many mining companies have global

environmental regulation curve and are

economic returns,” (Thomas, 2001). Some

interests that vary in terms of environmental

improving their emissions control ahead of

mining companies have invested in local

regulation and challenges. Opportunities

regulatory changes.

educational institutes and have invested in

• Energy management. • Operator training.

Health, safety and the environment

for improvement in health, safety

housing interests to benefit the local

and environment as part of operational

Many mining operations are improving

environment. Such activities by mining

excellence in mining and mineral processing

smelting control to lessen mineral content

outfits are helping to improve society

are vast and well-documented. They include:

in the tailings. This has a dual impact on the

and their impact on the environment.

business. First, less of the mineral product

Incorporating these and other practice

is wasted, in effect making better use of raw

across the operations helps miners strive

material inputs. Secondly, fewer minerals

towards operational excellence and

are deposited in the soil, which lessens the

sustainability efforts for long-term societal

impact on the local environment.


Areas in lesser-developed parts of the world


• Air emissions management. • Tailings management. • Mine air management. • Water management.

are undergoing substantial exploration and development with many new operations

Another important part of our definition of

getting their start from junior and major

operational excellence involves the impact

mining companies. Standardisation of best

of quality throughout the operations. The

practices and processes is a critical part

impact of quality on the business operation

of the operational excellence foundation.

is widespread and can have a major impact

These, and many other factors, are critical

Many companies have differing regulatory

on performance along many business

to a mining company’s ability to thrive in

policies, depending on constraints of

related dimensions. Quality has impact

terms of short-term profitability and longer

local government policies. When possible,

throughout the operation including raw

term sustainability of a viable and reputable

operations strive towards uniform framework

material, utility, final product and ore quality.

• Mine safety review. • Supplier management.

November/December 2012 | 29

Figure 2: Grinding resource management – Collaborating with content from multiple sources presented in a secure and highly-interactive form

Opportunities for quality improvement in

Mining companies look to improve

conceptual schematic of a technology

mining and mineral processing are vast and

such functions as waste management and

solution needed to bring together different

well-documented, including ore quality

energy management through continuous

mineral processing operations together.

management, concentration water content,

programmes with measurable economic

In this conception, grinding operations

mine air-quality and final product quality.

goals and benefits. Success in these types

across the enterprise can be analysed and

of programmes and activities requires a high

improved in a central location by experts.

Quality management is integral to

level of employee participation.

Managing change

operational excellence and must be tied to company profitability. Quality is connected

The mining industry is battling a significant

to people, continuous improvement,

problem in the “greying effect” and on

Making changes in the way an operation

performance measurement, human resource

the decline of professionals and students

is run in any of the operational excellence

development and knowledge management.

in mining industry education programmes.

dimensions will likely have a resulting impact

Mining operations are cognisant

This has stressed the workforce in terms of

on people within the organisation. Human

of this, integrating quality into ore

mining experience and knowledge needed

resource management is one of the

management, intermediate product and final

for efficient operations across multiple

most important strategic areas in

product analysis as well as various products.

dimensions. Given the current economic

mining operations today. The human

climate, fewer people are generally

resource function is on the front line

Requirements for quality systems differ

engaging in mining-related educational

of helping employees deal with changes

depending on the application. For

programmes. As a result, fewer new

in the organisation and is integral to

example, quality requirements for grade-

people are being introduced to the industry

communicating and maintaining the culture.

control programmes will be different than

while senior mining employees are starting

greenfield exploration projects. Typically,

to retire. With the scarcity of mining

Organisational excellence changes can

laboratory information management systems

talent and remoteness of many mining

occur along any of previously discussed

(LIMS) play critical roles in measuring,

operations, organisations must now look for

dimensions and the effects of the changes

analysing and managing quality

other ways to rally experienced people to

to the people in the organisation can

information and is often integrated with

deal with a multitude of issues.

vary widely. Generally, the following should be undertaken in change management

other systems such as mine modelling and production planning systems.

With a strategic operational excellence


programme in place, a highly collaborative


environment can be enabled by application integration (dissimilar operating systems)

Clearly, employee involvement

and incorporating visual content from

and empowerment in operational

multiple sources. This will allow people to

excellence programmes are critical to

work in a physically separated environment

success measured on many dimensions

and allow plant interaction and optimisation

including organisational performance.

on a virtual basis. Figure 2 presents a

30 |

• Define what needs to change and the role of change agents. • Evaluate climate for change and develop a plan. • Find and cultivate a sponsor.

Mining for operational excellence

• Communicate change and prepare the path for change. • Integrate the change in to the culture and solidify change leadership. • Attain small wins and continually communicate. • Measure change progress and integrate lessons learned (Mento). Change management is critical to the successful improvements in mining operations as it relates to key dimensions of the organisational environment: people, process and technology. Change can manifest itself in larger reorientations to smaller incremental changes, requiring adaptive change management techniques and effort to effectively manage change with different magnitudes. Irrespective of change magnitude, communication is a critical success factor that must be supported and facilitated by management (Woodward, 2007).

Empowering employees Employee empowerment is critical to

to improve performance against goals.

to long-term performance improvement,

Communication of goals and improvement

it must be validated and tested within

mechanisms to attain goals is continuous

innovation, marketing, engineering or other

and considered a requirement for these

appropriate functions in order for it to

types of programmes.

be useful to the company and focused

making improvements in any dimension of operational excellence. In fact, empowered

on the business (Smith, 2005). However,

Knowledge management

employees are critical to success of any

this validation, or approval process, can sometimes function to limit creativity

business and changes in a business,

Effective knowledge management is critical

and, thus, must be properly guided

especially in mining operations where

to the sharing and creation of innovation

and monitored. Firms must realise this

operations are in diverse and remote

and knowledge within mining companies

and be open to different approaches to


and is critical in developing new products,

knowledge creation and management.

approaches, process improvements and Human resource analysis within the above

other factors for attaining and maintaining

Knowledge creation, organisational

context should also take place. As a

a firm’s competitive advantage (Halit,

learning and innovation rely heavily on

company strives to improve its competitive

2005). Two main themes come to light in

social processes within the organisation.

position, the employee is being looked

understanding knowledge management:

Acknowledgment and support of this

at as an asset that can be used to provide

dispersion or circulation of existing

reliance is critical to knowledge creation

and drive more value through the plant. A

knowledge with a technology focus and

(McElroy, 2003). However, because of its

company that is looking to improve and

management and creation of knowledge

nature as a social process, it is very difficult

optimise performance should provide

in terms of processes, social aspects,

to really manage knowledge creation

its workers with better information and more

environment and its requirement for

and sharing of knowledge.

authority. Employees who know what their


metrics are will be more apt to perform to

Knowledge management is critical

them and will work as an integral part of the

The current manifestation of knowledge

to successfully implementing

operational team.

management in industry is really

improvements to be more efficient

associated with knowledge sharing where

as well as to be more innovative in

As mining operations look to get more

existing systems are used to make old or

mining organisations. Knowledge

from their people resources, they must

existing learning/knowledge available and

management efforts typically focus on

also institute performance management

reusable for current workers to improve

organisational objectives such as improved

programmes to improve the context

performance (McElroy, 2008).

performance, competitive advantage,

and control of goal setting and improvement activities in the operation

innovation, the sharing of lessons learned While the creation of knowledge is essential

and continuous improvement of the

November/December 2012 | 31

Figure 3: Operational Excellence model

organisation. Mining companies tend to

networking. In some instances, business

operational dimensions of performance in

rely on their technical staff to bring in new

planning is outsourced.

addition to standard financial reporting

ideas and innovation. The main system for managing the knowledge management

systems and operational reports.

Performance measurement

function tends to be through management

Corporate performance measurement

meetings and is usually driven by its

Effectively measuring performance across

has more recently been associated with

formalised business planning methodology.

a business is decisive to its success and its

measuring performance across an enterprise

ability to execute its strategy across the

along multiple dimensions in addition to

Knowledge management efforts can help

operation. Operations of a given business

financial reporting systems using various

individuals and groups to share valuable

can range from small, custom shops to

systems, processes and tools.

organisational insights, to reduce redundant

multinational corporations spanning several

work, to avoid reinventing the wheel, to

product and business lines. In mining terms,

Balanced scorecards aid in balancing

reduce training time for new employees and

junior operators can run smaller exploration

short- and long-term objectives, using a

to retain intellectual capital as employee’s

and development businesses where larger

measurement framework beyond traditional

turnover in an organisation. Some new

multi-nationals can operate exploration,

financial and accounting to also

technologies immersive virtual reality (IVR)

research, mine and mineral processing

include shareholders, customers, internal

help companies meet the knowledge

operations in multiple base mineral or

processes, and innovation and learning. This

management, training and retention

precious domains on multiple continents.

provides a perspective that many companies

challenges they encounter in the face of an aging and dwindling industry workforce

use to measure the performance of Performance measurement crosses multiple

strategic execution through many layers in

domains and functions in mining companies

the organisation if analysed and implemented

A lack of knowledge within an organisation

and is essential to understanding, analysing,

properly. Scorecarding systems take many

in a certain area tends to drive outsourcing

improving and sustaining performance while

forms including those developed by

programmes and many times focus on legal,

striving towards operational

Kaplan and Norton as well as other third-

accounting and financial services (largely

excellence. Many mining companies use

party and home-grown measurement and

compliance), capital raising and IT/

scorecard systems to assess strategic and

scorecard systems.

32 |

Mining for operational excellence

Scorecarding systems are usually historical

and strategic dimensions in conjunction

in perspective (i.e. daily, weekly and other

with operational KPIs and process variable

• Blanchard, David, “Achieving Competitive Excellence,” Industry Week. Cleveland:

time frames) and are not easily actionable

data. Newer process technologies have

Jan 2009. Vol. 258, Iss. 1; pg. 44.

for users and usually are not well circulated

been developed to effectively develop and

among the different layers in the

implement real-time strategic, financial

organisation to aid in decision-making.

and operational performance metrics for

Environmental Stock and Abnormal Stock

manufacturing operations domains. These

Price Returns: An Empirical Investigation,”

Managers and supervisors typically use

technologies enable mining operations

Business Strategy and the Environment,

operational reports that provide critical

to measure performance along multiple

May/June, 10/3, 125-134, (2001).

data such as production rates and

dimensions in real-time and provide the

amounts of various products and lines,

critical decision-making information to

raw material and energy consumption

all relevant domains in the form of easy-to-

management process: Grounded in both

rates. Operational reporting systems

use dashboards and reports.

theory and practice,” Journal of Change

• Thomas, Alison, “Corporate

• Mento, Anthony J., “A change

Management, 3/1, pgs. 45-59.

are also used to measure the efficacy of the operation in terms of production

Figure 3 presents a conceptual model

related activities such as truckloads

of strategic decomposition, dynamic

of ore moved, shovels processed,

performance measurements of

tons of ore crushed, concentrator

plant performance and business intelligence

throughput, electrical consumption per

of the most important performance

unit processed and other measurements

measurements on a role-basis for

Between Explicit and Tacit Oriented KM

providing insight in to operational and

each relevant layer in the operation.

Strategy, and Firm Performance,” Journal

• Woodward, Nancy Harch, HR Magazine, May 2007, Vol. 52, 5, pg. 64-65. • Keskin, Halit, 2005, “The Relationships

of American Academy of Business;7, 1,

maintenance performance, including:


pg. 169

• Overall production. Operational excellence encompasses many • Production per product. • Shovels.

• McElroy, Mark W. (2003), “The New

functions and areas in a mining operation

Knowledge Management: Complexity,

and requires the involvement of many

Learning, and Sustainable Innovation,”

people in order to be successfully supported

Butterworth-Heinmann, Boston.

in the operation. Clearly, attaining • Ladles. • kWh per ton. • BTU per ton. • Concentrate produced.

proficiency and excellence in the six critical

• Smith, Ken G., Christopher J. Collins,

dimensions of operational excellence —

and Kevin D. Clark (2005), “Existing

performance measurement, continuous

Knowledge, Knowledge Creation

improvement, health, safety and

Capability, And The Rate Of New Product

environment compliance and management,

Introduction In High-Technology Firms,”

quality, knowledge management, and

Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 48,

human resource development — presents a

No. 2, 346-357.

big challenge for mining operations to • Availability.

ensure a thriving well-aligned business.

• McElroy, Mark W. (2003), “The New

• Ore quality.

Operational excellence is about striving to

Learning, and Sustainable Innovation,”

be the best and showing this excellence

Butterworth-Heinmann, Boston.

Knowledge Management: Complexity,

• ... and other measurements.

in a way that the financial community looks at, admires and rewards. In order

• Zorabedian, John, http://www.

These reports are typically evaluated daily,

for initiatives and programmes associated

weekly and/or monthly and should be

with operational excellence to be

view/6637/31/ , Energy Executive

integrated from plant asset-based metrics

effective and thrive, complete buy-in and

Magazine, April 1, 2008.

to plant- and mine-level metrics and be

participation from the people who it affects

available and used by all relevant layers

is critical (Zorabedian, 2008).

within the organisation.

References This does not necessarily provide actionable measurements of performance for strategic

• Taylor, Patick, “Driving Financial Process

execution or even financial accounting

Improvement,” Strategic Finance, January

performance in the mine or mineral

2006; 87, 7. pg 52-55.

processing areas of the operation. A significant problem in most mine/mineral

• Chakravarthy, Balaji S., “Measuring

processing operations is the lack of real-time

Strategic Performance,” Strategic

performance measurement along financial

Management Journal, Sep/Oct 1986; 7/5.

November/December 2012 | 33

Dynamic Performance Measurement (DPM) So, technology can do it all – then what? DPM is a system of measurement rather than a system of nuts and bolts or another expensive acronym. By measuring what matters and letting everybody know what’s happening – and that means everyone from operators to CEOs – DPM lets people see how their actions contribute to or detract from the company’s strategy to achieve its objective. DPM is a concept that extends business performance measurement beyond traditional accounting to the realities of real-time production. It was developed after more than 300 CEOs underlined the inability of their office systems to provide the information required to address problems in a timely manner. Capitalising on the fact that access to enterprise–wide information is no longer a problem, DPM focuses on supplying

The synchronised enterprise. By extending performance measurement beyond monthly financial

individuals the exact information they need

reports to the world of real-time production, management can be supplied with information

to monitor and adjust their activities and

dashboards on the status of their various processes. This allows a far greater level of control and

performance in terms of the company’s

optimisation at the time when it matters rather than after the fact.

profit-making strategy and that means stepping across the artificial boundaries of

information ‘just in case’. DPM can also

and operational information all the time –

ERP, MES and automation. Why? Because

reduce measurements to the common

not just after month-end

CFOs need some production and financial

denominator of money – including real-time

information as well as a good reason if they

profit and loss. This provides personnel

are to authorise or veto the installation of

with a measurement of their performance

scenarios at the operational level while

new plant. Because production managers

in terms of a measurement unit that’s real

measuring their effect at the financial

need scheduling, customer and production

to everyone and encourages them to better


information if they are to optimise

“own” their processes – just like professional

throughput. Because production personnel

knowledge workers are supposed to do.

need maintenance information and some

• They need to monitor cause-and-effect

• They want to share their responsibilities with the rest of their staff who need

financial feedback if they are to remain

Top management are attracted to the

right-time information to be effective at

profitable and competitive.

concept of DPM because of four main

all levels.

reasons: DPM precisely defines the critical performance measurement information

Implementing DPM need not entail • They no longer want to work with isolated

purchasing more hardware or software.

that IT must provide to support decisions

solutions and want a holistic approach to

Many mines already have the necessary

at all levels of the organisation. There’s

their information needs

infrastructure and the technology required

no more guesswork as to what people may want to know or swamping them with

34 |

isn’t at all new. We can measure and monitor • They need access to up-to-date financial

anything we want so it makes sense that we

Dynamic Performance Measurement (DPM)

measure business processes just like we can measure production processes. Extending business performance measurement beyond finance into the realtime world of MES and production will mean that IT of the top floor and IT of the coal face will have to work in concert if they are to deliver the information goods at all levels of the organisation in time frames that will allow for corrective action to be taken. If this sounds complex, it is, in fact, less complex than what has to happen in the real-time environment of mining operations every day. DPM is not a package that one can simply install and run. It has to be crafted for each company depending on the systems they have, the information they need at all levels and, most importantly, the attitude of management and staff towards an environment where transparency and

A real-time information dashboard using Dynamic Performance Management that allows

performance accountability are key. While

for drilling down to more details for analysis and troubleshooting purposes. Note the panel

the bottoms-up approach has driven

displaying real-time operating profit.

manufacturing companies to new heights over the last decade, DPM is a top-down approach that needs to be driven by CEOs, CFOs and COOs who realise the immense benefits to be had from measuring their business processes with the same efficacy as their production processes and empowering the very people who can make all the difference to their bottom line.

Conclusion Today, with the shortage of skilled technicians and engineers, companies and educational institutions need to foster the concept of the knowledge worker. We have all the technology necessary to derive the correct information to support any decision. But somebody has to make that decision and it can’t always be the same person.

DPM at work in a large South African petrochemical enterprise where each dot represents an

DPM takes information to the next level and

hourly average. The black dots show normal operation. Midway through DPM Month 1 the DPM’s

will predictably become the tool of choice

Business Intelligence Dashboards were turned on resulting in significant cost reductions (orange).

for knowledge workers at all levels of the

The clincher came in the second month of DPM deployment where the drastic improvements are


obvious and unarguable (red). The ability of DPM to unlock people’s creativity and to enlist their cooperation offers virtually limitless possibilities. And it can all be done without new systems.

People should want to become professional knowledge workers because knowledge workers are more valuable to any company

workers,” says Peter G. Martin PhD, Vice

their tasks in the most beneficial manner

and companies should want knowledge

President and Invensys Fellow, Invensys

for the operation and observing the results.

workers for the same reason.

Operations Management. “This will drive

Experience has shown that the results can be

improved bottom line results. We can best

very dramatic.”

“Executives of industrial firms can help

understand what the knowledge worker has

catapult this faster way forward by

to offer by empowering each of them with

converting all their workers into knowledge

the information they require to perform

November/December 2012 | 35

Performance excellence for the mining and minerals industry with ArchestrA Workflow Software Increasing costs, competition and the need

delivering high levels of quality, while

to optimise production units are some of the

ensuring lower operating costs. These

key challenges faced by the Metals, Mining

demands force companies to evaluate and

Metals, Mining and Minerals Industries

and Minerals industry today. The industry

improve their business processes across the

challenges include responding to

also faces a number of issues such as:


• High energy and raw material costs with

ArchestrA Workflow Software can help,

In a nutshell ...

changing market demands, stiff competition and dwindling margins. ArchestrA Workflow Software from

dwindling profit margins

Invensys enables them to establish repeatable, reliable procedures to

enabling companies to digitise manual and automated processes that include people

• Skilled manpower shortage and loss of

and/or systems. Using ArchestrA Workflow,

capture and standardise best practices

process knowledge, due to an aging

companies can Model, Execute, Analyse

and operating standards to meet these


and improve their processes both inside


and outside of their organisation to drive • Stringent regulatory and environmental

Business Value

compliance requirements

higher levels of collaboration, productivity and innovation, allowing them to excel in a highly competitive environment.

• Increase process agility

• Lack of “off the shelf” communication and collaboration tools

• Optimise resource utilisation

institutionalise work processes and efficiently manage normal, unscheduled or disruptive

• Disparate systems, leading to a longer • Facilitate innovation

With ArchestrA Workflow, companies can

process cycle

events within their operations environment-providing the right people with the right information at the right time.

• Maximise productivity

• Lack of operational indicators and dashboards

• Reduce operational costs • Requirements for making changes on • Enable knowledge management

ArchestrA workflow software enables the metals, mining and minerals industry to:

the fly to continuously optimise grinding processes (i.e., alert operators to change

• Standardise, visualise and track

charge cycles, based on modelling output

processes across all domains within your

changes due to ore hardness variations)


• Lack of automated decision support systems

• Digitise Standard Operating Procedures, Good Manufacturing Practices and work instructions

• Need to enhance capacity to increase output on demand

• Coordinate human-centric and systemcentric tasks

Adding to these challenges, companies in the industry are also tasked with responding to changing market demands,

36 |

• Support comprehensive compliance management and audit trails

Performance excellence for the mining and minerals industry with ArchestrA Workflow Software

• Synchronise with supply chain and other automation/enterprise applications

ArchestrA workflow addresses key operational issues of the metals, mining and minerals industry, such as: • Effective vendor management for better cost control: with connectors to the ERP, specifications can be matched and orders generated, minimising manual interference. • Comprehensive knowledge management to help with workforce integration: GMPs, repair and maintenance procedures, SOP’s can be linked to workflows, so that information is available on demand. • Effective change management: enable your organisation to handle sudden changes like capacity, personnel, management; establish corporate procedures, facilitating mergers and acquisitions activities. • Efficient process automation: achieve

ArchestrA workflow software works with your current automation applications SCADA/HMI applications:

ERP applications:

• Operator alarm response

• Material receiving and inspection

• Electronic work instructions

• Master data approval

• Model-driven HMI logic

• Production order download

operational efficiency and better energy utilisation. • Comprehensive order-to-pay cycles: reduced processing time and increased visibility enables better margins.

synchronisation • Better issue management and

MES applications:

resolution: expedite troubleshooting and problem resolutions with multi-channel

• Production order reconciliation • Specification change management

notifications. • Positive QA release • Management of inventory control: track assets for optimal use, and feed

• QA hold resolution

preventive maintenance plans, to maximise asset health and reduce accidents and downtime.

• Synchronising with EAM and LIMS applications • Model-driven business rule management

November/December 2012 | 37

The route to a simple solution is usually extraordinary Get an end to end solution tailor-made for your business with Business Connexion’s Professional Services When it comes to making extraordinary connections, nothing comes close to the human brain. That’s why it’s the inspiration behind our Professional Services. With our unique understanding of your business model, value chains and strategy, we can supply you with an end to end solution that helps you make the most of your Business Processes, Applications Portfolio, Application Management and third party solutions. With our unique integrated solutions, we can help you build systems that enable you to enhance and grow your business. We call it the amplifying power of Connective Intelligence™. 38 |

November/December 2012 | 39

Wonderware solutions at work in the SA Metals and Mining industry

40 |

Information is a diamond mine’s best friend at Debswana

Information is a diamond mine’s best friend at Debswana About Debswana Debswana Diamond Mining Company Ltd, or simply Debswana, is a mining company located in Botswana and is the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value. Debswana is a joint venture between the government of Botswana and the South African diamond company De Beers. The company is the largest private sector employer in Botswana, employing approximately 4 545 people, of whom over 93 percent are citizens of Botswana. Contributions to the economy of Botswana include: • 70% - 80% of foreign exchange earnings • 60% - 70% of government revenue • 40% of GDP Debswana operates some of the richest diamond mines in the world. Its flagship Jwaneng Mine is the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value and Orapa Mine is the world’s largest running mine by volume. In 2010, Debswana production increased to about 22.2 million carats, up from 17.7 million in 2009. Carats sold were 23.9 million, with Debswana Diamond Mining Company


total sales of P18.2bn($2.68bn). The revenue improvement was a result of the increase in

saw the need to log and collate data from its valuable Orapa, Letlhakane

There existed a stand-alone DAS Server

and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) in order

at OLDM’s Plant No.1, which came about

to implement an automated production

during a successful proof of concept

For 2011, Debswana had recovered 7.4 million

reporting solution at Orapa’s Plant No.

implementation. However, without a

carats and sold 7.3 million carats as at the end

1, its oldest facility. These data would

structured method of capturing data it was

of April. The revenues for the period stood at

need to be modelled, transformed

difficult to implement a dynamic intelligence

P7.3bn ($1.1bn), also influenced by favourable

into meaningful information and made

solution. The main goal of the project was

prices. The production target for the year is 25

available within the OLDM consolidated

to implement a data mining and reporting

million carats.


system which would provide real-time

prices after the 2009 downturn.

November/December 2012 | 41

The new system would transform the plant’s

To achieve Plant No1’s project goals, the

data into useful information and make it

following would have to occur:

openly accessible in a standardised format (using ISA-95 guidelines) to all areas of the

• Upgrading of the System Platform hardware.

business. This would facilitate the more effective use of plant information that would ultimately result in more refined

• Implementing a redundant Application Object Server (AOS) configuration

performance indicators, better optimisation of plant operations and improved allocation of resources at the plant.

• Having independent AOS servers in order to reduce system downtime and improve performance

Implementation • Configuring the Wonderware Information Debswana was already using Invensys

Server (WIS) to generate reports detailing

production and performance information for

Wonderware solutions and it made sense to

the plant performance and production

OLDM’s Plant No.1.

continue with a company that Debswana saw


as being able to provide the best fit solution “Previously, Plant No.1’s data had to be

for the given problem and that had provided

e-mailed to end-users on a daily basis,”

a detailed user information and system

• Providing capability to import manuallyentered details such as production target

says Debswana IT Analyst Zwikamu Dubani.

specification for this implementation.


“Only a few people on the list had access to the information and the report was only

Bytes Systems Integration was selected

sent once a day in the morning. Now the

as the system integrator for the project

order to accommodate more equipment

data are available to more users at anytime

because of their local representation, good

as required.

with live data continuously updating the

past relationship with Debswana and the


company’s skilled and ArchestrA-certified

“The Plant No.1 project was a complex

in-house team.

undertaking ,” says Dubani “and for

Figure 1: Planned System topology at OLDM. The envisaged architecture at Jwaneng is similar.

42 |

• Designing a system that is scalable in

Information is a diamond mine’s best friend at Debswana

“In my view, one of the most compelling aspects of the Plant no.1 project has been moving from manual capturing to automated data retrieval. This not only greatly reduces errors but also speeds up the delivery of accurate information. Now I no longer have to worry about ‘death by spreadsheet’.”

effective management and streamlining of

looks into other possibilities. Once there, the

on-going projects, we also needed effective

road is endless.”

planning, communication and stakeholder engagement to enhance buy-in on the


incoming new technology and systems.” The data are sourced from the equipment Bytes’ solution required the use of a

located at the plant and transformed into

Wonderware System Platform for the plant

information which is then published to

which included a Galaxy repository, an AOS

Wonderware Information Server reports for

Server, a Wonderware Information Server

analysis. There is a daily dashboard which

and a Wonderware Historian at OLDM.

outlines key information on a single screen for all WIS users on the company’s intranet.

“Plant No. 1 was to be completed in 6 months and gathering the required

The key performance indicator is the amount

information within the project timelines and

of carats mined and to what degree this

budget proved to be quite a challenge,”

compares with the daily and yearly forecast.

says Esenthren Govender, systems engineer

Another important statistic is the tonnage

at Bytes Systems Integration. “Other

of ore mined, from which it is possible

it to succeed, we identified some

issues that had to be addressed included

to estimate the carat yield that can be

critical success factors that included

modifying the IT infrastructure since new


the continued availability of financial,

servers were required for the plant and

human and material resources backed by

redesigning complex Excel reports for use

All the information is used for production

strong leadership and support of senior

with the Information Server. Excel is seen

reporting as well as for a new maintenance

and executive management. Apart from

as the standard for data capturing until one

system Debswana is implementing. 9 WIS

Zwikamu Dubani, IT Analyst, Debswana

Figure 2: System architecture for Plant No. 1

November/December 2012 | 43

Plant No.1

reports track key production data relating

‘’The magnitude of the overall Wonderware

to different sites and different mining

System Platform implementation will span

operations at Plant No.1. All reports are

across a gigantic landscape which will

available all the time and updated in real

include 12 sites within the company. Such an


implementation requires pinpoint planning and good operational synergy between all

The road ahead

operations in order to successfully integrate thousands of pieces of data into a single

Currently, there is a project which is near

enterprise data store,” says Kago Rendoh,

completion which aims to increase the

Ivara – Wonderware System Platform

Wonderware structure to an AOS Server

Project Manager at Debswana (Ivara is

for each of the remaining 12 areas as well

the name given to the asset maintenance

as a Wonderware Information Server and

management system).

a Wonderware Historian at the Jwaneng Mining Operations. The OLDM and Jwaneng Historians would then send plant-

Hennie Serfontein Jr., Systems Engineer, Bytes Systems Integration

• Reports now include real-time and accurate daily production figures • Historical data going back more than a

Benefits realised at Plant No.1

critical data to an enterprise historian at the Debswana Corporate Centre in Gaborone.

“Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but data is a mine’s best friend.”

year are now available for analysis • Central location for all plant-related

• Data are now available that conform to


the ISA-95 standardised structure The Wonderware System Platform roadmap will also look into further enhancing the

• Moving from manual capturing to • Using the Wonderware Information Server,

reporting by retrieving data that will be

real-time reports are available to key

sourced from the plant, the mine and

stakeholders continuously without them

engineering services equipment located at

having to rely on daily e-mails

12 areas at the Jwaneng and OLDM mining operations.

44 |

• Reduced manual capture of information

automated data retrieval

“Proof of the pudding” in action at SA’s newest iron ore mine

“Proof of the pudding” in action at SA’s newest iron ore mine About ASSMANG ASSMANG Limited is a South African company that supplies raw material to the world’s steel mills and alloy plants. Most of the group’s production is exported to the Far East, Europe and the USA. Originally named The Associated Manganese Mines of South Africa Limited, the company changed its name to ASSMANG Limited in ASSMANG’s Khumani iron ore mine is an

instrumentation and electrical cabling were

2001. ASSMANG, which is owned equally by

ambitious undertaking by any definition.

forged together to form this mega iron ore

African Rainbow Minerals and Assore, currently

Completed in just two years from a

mine in just two years.

has three operating divisions structured to

foundation of Kalahari sand, Khumani is well

handle its three commodities of chrome,

on the way of becoming a principal player

The Khumani mine project was to be

on the global and competitive world of

implemented in two phases:

manganese and iron ore.

primary metal production. • Phase 1 was to be completed in


there, the ore is transferred by conveyor

September 2008 and would have a

to stockpiles ahead of the beneficiation

capacity of 8.4 million tons of iron ore

plant. The run-of-mine ore is stockpiled on

ASSMANG’s new Khumani iron ore mine

per year. Phase 1a, to be completed in

blending beds in two categories, ‘on-grade’

is situated in the Northern Cape Province

December 2008, would have a capacity of

and ‘off-grade’.

of South Africa and close to Sishen. The

10 million tons per year.

Khumani deposits are among the best

The on-grade ore is crushed, washed and

iron ore resources in the country in terms

• Phase 2 would have an annual production

of quality and quantity. Based on current

level of 16 million tons and was scheduled

The off-grade ore goes through an identical

reserves, a new mine producing 8,4 million

for completion in late 2010 / early 2011.

crushing, washing and screening process,

tons annually would have a life in excess of 40 years and at double that capacity, a life in excess of about 25 years.

graded according to four size categories.

followed by a jig beneficiation plant to match its • A possible further expansion to 22

chemical composition with client specifications.

million tons per annum is presently at the feasibility study stage.

By any standards, the Khumani mine is a

There are 8 Geoscan on-line analysers installed at critical locations in the plant to

gigantic project. Starting in June 2006 with

The iron ore is mined from a series of open

monitor the chemical composition of the

a budget of R4 billion, 60 000 cubic metres

pits by conventional drilling and blasting

ore in real-time, so that immediate remedial

of structural concrete, 10 000 tons of steel,

before being loaded onto trucks for hauling

action can be taken if the ore deviates from

3250 tons of plate work and 650 kms of

to the primary and secondary crushers. From

the chemical grade requirements.

November/December 2012 | 45

technology and includes Wonderware’s real-

ensures that all future development

time Historian, the Information Server web

conforms to the norms already developed

portal, ActiveFactory real-time production

and this will save engineering time in

performance analysis and reporting

the future, especially with the planned

software and InTouch for the SCADA/HMI

extensions to the plant.”

applications serving some 44 000 I/O tags,” says Iritron director Johann Pienaar. “In

Standards don’t only apply to plant

addition, we used the Topserver I/O Servers

objects but also to the whole plant and

from Software Toolbox to communicate

to integration with other disciplines in

between the PLCs and the System Platform

the company. One of the key standards

as well as MDT Software’s AutoSave for the

that helps businesses build a coherent

change control management of all 63 Allen-

organisation is ISA-95.

Bradley ControlLogix PLCs.” “Khumani’s plant model is based on the “These solutions were chosen to give us

ISA-95 standard which was facilitated by

Pienaar – “When the time comes to expand

comprehensive data analysis facilities so

Wonderware’s System Platform Application

the system, the initial work done on

that we could check production status

Server and its best practices guide supplied

standards means that defining new capability

and identify potential problems at any

by Wonderware Southern Africa,” adds

will be a matter of hours rather than weeks

time, “ says Marius Malan, control systems

Pienaar. “This standard was implemented

or months.”

supervisor, ASSMANG. “We also need

and adhered to throughout the project and

continuous operation without loss of control

will greatly facilitate integrating the system’s

Products are stockpiled ahead of a rapid

or data as well as web access facilities and

information with ASSMANG’s planning and

load-out station, which has the capability to

links to our planning and ERP systems. Most

ERP systems.”

load 342 x 100-ton wagons in 8 hours – that’s

importantly, it all has to work through a user-

one 100-ton wagon every 90 seconds. From

friendly and intuitive operator interface.

there, the product is railed 860 kms to the port of Saldanha Bay for export.

Solution selection

Another important ArchestrA attribute that safeguards expansion at minimal cost is that

“But these are all things we need to do now.

of scalability. At Khumani, they know they

This is a brand-new mine with a long future

will have to double their capacity in two

and we will need to adapt production to

years and, in ordinary conditions, this could

meet with market demands. That means

mean some expensive system rework.

DRA Mineral Projects were appointed as

we’ll have to expand the system as and

the Managing contractor for this project

when required and we’ll also have to do it

“When the time comes to expand the

and EPCM contractor for the plant and

quickly and at minimal cost.”

system, the initial work done on standards

infrastructure. DRA Mineral Projects is an engineering company that specialises in

means that defining new capability will

System implementation

project management, engineering design

be a matter of hours rather than weeks or months,” says Pienaar. “In addition,

and implementation and has implemented

Allowing for the expansion of systems at

ArchestrA has been proved to handle more

successful projects on five continents. DRA

minimal cost is a cornerstone of ArchestrA

than a million I/O tags and we’re currently

appointed system integrator Iritron for the

technology and one of the ways this

looking at (only) about 44 000. This, together

Wonderware ArchestrA System Platform

happens is through the development of

with a self-configuring historian, makes

3.0 implementation portion of the project.


system expansion painless.”

engineering, instrumentation design and

Standards allow companies to define, apply

ASSMANG’s Khumani mine, a major

PLC control systems aspects of the scheme.

and enforce their engineering criteria so

contributor to the company’s financial well-

that everyone works from the same page.

being, can’t afford unplanned production

This was a natural choice since African

Standards also mean that plant objects are

delays during its lengthy and productive

Rainbow Minerals and ASSMANG have

built from templates and that changes to a

life. The mine has to produce quality

standardised on Wonderware industrial

single master template can be propagated

products that will be accepted worldwide

automation solutions for all their SCADA,

to every instance of that object throughout

in an extremely competitive market and to

historian and plant web portal requirements

the plant.

do that, it needs industrial information and

Iritron was actively involved in the systems

and Iritron is an ArchestrA-certified system

automation equipment equal to the task.

integrator that has provided Wonderware

“The standards enforced by ArchestrA are

solutions and support to ASSMANG since

allowing us to describe plant objects and

“ArchestrA’s management of dual


their behaviour to reflect our experience

redundancy procedures not only guarantees

and needs,” says Malan. “Being ASSMANG

delivery of data to the Historian but has

“To effectively monitor this huge complex,

standards, they reflect our best practices

saved us a significant amount of complex

we implemented Wonderware”s System

and can be used by other companies in

software engineering to resolve this critical

Platform which is based on ArchestrA

the group. The enforcement of standards

issue, says Malan. “In fact, we no longer

46 |

“Proof of the pudding” in action at SA’s newest iron ore mine

Figure 1: Part of the system topology at the Khumani Mine

Figure 2: Load-out stacking and Load-out mimic (dual screen)

think “redundancy” but rather of decisions

– which don’t mean much if said quickly but

provision for discrete sub-systems. Of

that have to be made given the wealth of

are key to versatility and freedom of choice.

equal importance is our ability to change

available information – in other words, forget the technology and focus on the business.”

our mind with respect to the structure of “In a situation such as ours, it’s important

our system and its interaction with others.

that only authorised personnel has access to

ArchestrA technology gives us that choice.

Apart from standards, scalability and system

various levels of the system to make changes

For example, we had to integrate with a

availability, ASSMANG needs a few more key

to set points and other parameters,” says

number of third party stand-alone InTouch

attributes from a system in charge of one

Malan. With the System Platform, security

applications incorporated into the Metso

of its primary wealth-creating facilities and

and alarming are uniform across the

crushers, the Bateman load-out station, a

these are security and architectural freedom

entire system and we don’t have to make

QMastor stockpile management system

November/December 2012 | 47

and a CCLAS LIMS system. Well, it all just

in one year,” says Pienaar. “ArchestrA’s

but also in terms of how it will process them.


integrated development environment gave

Today, no enterprise can survive without

us the tools to develop complex applications

efficiency and a major contributor is how well

without bothering unnecessarily about the

processes can be measured and controlled.

details of interfacing with PLCs at one end of

Wonderware’s System Platform will be

“For us, the most significant aspect of this

the spectrum and ERP systems at the other

providing Khumani mine’s managers and

project was that ArchestrA technology gave

while providing the functionality to do both.”

operators the plant intelligence they need


us a multi-user development environment

for efficient operation far into the future.

that allowed us to design, develop,

From the start, ASSMANG’s Khumani mine is

implement and maintain a large project

a winner, not only in terms of its rich deposits

the already-installed Wonderware System

says Iritron director Johann Pienaar. “In


this case, the standards and templates that were developed during the initial phase of

Iritron is a certified Wonderware

the project could be re-used for all the new

System Platform integrator and has a

plant sections.”

long track record with ASSMANG and extensive knowledge of their standards

In terms of hardware, the existing System

and requirements. To date, Iritron has

Platform was expanded by adding an

successfully implemented five large

additional pair of redundant Application

Wonderware ArchestrA projects ranging

Object Servers and six additional InTouch

from the Northern Cape to the United States

View Nodes in the new plant sections – King

Figure 1: Control Room of the ASSMANG

and the company is currently busy with

Primary Crushing, 2nd Load-Out Station

Khumani iron ore mine

another four projects. Iritron is also actively

and the Jig Plant Extension. No other

involved in the Beta and systems testing of

hardware additions were required – the

Khumani Mine expansion project

current and future releases of Wonderware

existing servers and networks had more

System Platform.

than sufficient spare capacity in terms of

For the mine’s expansion project in 2010,

“One of the main advantages of the

ASSMANG again appointed DRA Mineral

Wonderware System Platform is its

In terms of software development, the

Projects as the Managing Contractor for

scalability, flexibility and ease of expansion

effort put in during the definition and

the project and Iritron was again contracted

once standards and templates have been

development of the standards and

by DRA to implement the extensions to

developed for a specific implementation,”

templates during the initial project finally

processing power and licensing.

Figure 2: Part of the Wonderware System platform Topology at the ASSMANG Khumani Mine

48 |

“Proof of the pudding” in action at SA’s newest iron ore mine

paid off. “All that was required was to create

is about 50% of the original project, but the

new instances of the existing templates

SCADA development took less than 10%

could be redeployed with confidence

(motors, valves, conveyors, crushers, screens,

of the original development thanks to the

etc.) for each piece of equipment that had

standards enforcement of the underlying

necessary scalability, flexibility and ease of

to be added,” says Pienaar. “No testing and

ArchestrA technology. The savings in time

expansion the project required

integration was required, seeing as these

will be even more pronounced during

templates had already been thoroughly



“We are thankful for Wonderware’s

Proof positive that the bottom line is

ArchestrA technology because its

impacted positively when industrial

Once the object instances had been created

developers obviously understood our very

production solutions “understand” the

(exports from the FDES instrumentation

real needs and built an environment that

long-term view rather than cater for the

design software and CSV imports were

allows us to grow painlessly, quickly and

immediate fix. Based on soaring world

used to automate this process in both

to the benefit of our clients,” concludes

demand, it’s predictable that Khumani will

System Platform and in RSLogix5000), the


continue to expand and continue to hone its

• The System Platform provided all the

tested. The same applied to the PLC programmes.”

new mimics were created by dragging and dropping the associated object graphics on

production processes to maximise profits.


detail. The graphics and animation form part

Through design, the solutions now in place “understand” that this is the norm of today’s

to the mimic pages and adding the static • Using standards developed during the

industrial marketplace and will continue

of the object templates, so no additional

initial phase of the project greatly reduced

to deliver results that keep pace with the

configuration or testing was required.

engineering time

inventiveness and ingenuity of their owners. After all is said and done, it’s results that

The sise of the Khumani Expansion Project

• Thoroughly tested existing templates

count – not promises.

November/December 2012 | 49

Invensys Wonderware’s ArchestrA helps SIs encapsulate and market IP About AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Gold Mine Geita first came into prominence as the site of a German colonial gold mine. A German gold prospector discovered the mineral in the early 1900s in the hills surrounding modern-day Geita town. This and other discoveries triggered a gold rush in the surrounding area, attracting German and native prospectors alike. The colonial government established a mine to exploit ‘Bismarck Reef’. Mining activities significantly declined, however, when Germany ceded control of its colonies to the British after their defeat in World War I. Geita regained its prominence in the mid to late 1990s when the Tanzanian government opened the mineral sector to foreign investment. A number of medium to large-scale mining houses, including Ashanti and Anglo American, conducted extensive exploration activities in

Traditionally, system integrators have

the surrounding areas.

developed custom solutions that were


specific to a particular configuration

In 2006, decreasing production at the Geita

The most significant outcome of these

of hardware and software. This made

Gold Mine in Tansania prompted AngloGold

developments was the construction of the

them unmarketable to a broader

Ashanti to investigate and to make some

open-pit Geita Gold Mine, now owned by

audience while often limiting their

hard business decisions. The loss of

AngloGold Ashanti, a leading global gold

scope for modification with the original

skills at all levels throughout the process


client through non-conformance with

plant necessitated the implementation

standards. This has all changed with the

of automated control as far as possible

introduction of the ArchestrA Object

to reduce variability and increase control



Source Wikipedia

50 |

Invensys Wonderware’s ArchestrA helps SIs encapsulate and market IP

“This solution allows us to fine-tune rules instantly. The Expert Operator releases the operator for other duties. Where previously the operator had to change mill parameters every six minutes, the metallurgist now changes the rules every few days. Average throughput is up by as much as 30%.” Phillip Stevens, Senior Instrumentation Technician, Geita Gold Mine

AngloGold Ashanti called in South Africa-

Figure 1: InTouch screen for the Expert Operator Controller showing mill status

based system integrator Systems Anywhere, who had previously successfully addressed such problems for the company. Over a twelve month period, Systems Anywhere installed a completely revamped control system based on Invensys Wonderware solutions that would: • Apply the corporate standard • Standardise the control philosophy • Improve the alarming and alarm logging for analysis • Maintain a history of production data • Provide for real-time and scheduled

Figure 2: ArchestrA graphics “skin”

reporting • Incorporate an Expert System based

few days. Average throughput is up by as

and checking them against their set

much as 30%.”


on fussy rules to reduce milling process variation and improve production.

About the Expert Operator

• Comparing the result of each variable against the rules that are stored in the

Other client requirements included a

The Expert Operator is a rule-based

database. The result is analysed to

maintenance plan and 24/7 support of

(Fussy logic) system which allows an

determine whether the set point needs to

the control system software in spite of the

“expert” to configure a controller to

be increased or decreased

remoteness of the site.

respond to predefined scenarios in a desired manner. The Expert Operator

• This is then applied to a time interval (i.e.

The end result was a great success for both

takes over the functionality of changing

how quickly the system needs to react to

client and system integrator: “This solution

the set points from the human operator to

the rule to ensure that production is kept

allows us to fine-tune rules instantly,” says

bring the mill to peak performance in the


Phillip Stevens, senior instrumentation

shortest time. The Expert Operator is programmed to

technician at the Geita mine. “The Expert Operator releases the operator for other

To do this, three elements are involved:

to change mill parameters every six minutes, the metallurgist now changes the rules every

check the average of the variables and to adjust the set point every “x” minutes in

duties. Where previously the operator had • Filtering of the process variables individually through a moving average

order to maintain peak performance, in spite of an ever-changing environment

November/December 2012 | 51

“What we can now do is develop small, manageable increments of technology and integrate them into ArchestrA. This will make the whole greater than the sum of its parts and far less risky than developing huge applications.” Barry Searle, Software Development Manager at Systems Anywhere

Expert Operator packages are imported at the click of a button. The database comes pre-configured with proven defaults and complex functionality can now be implemented in minutes. Provision is also made for multiple profiles so that users can set up profiles for common scenarios. This means that a simple configuration change allows users to change the mill from an aggressive profile to a more conservative one. System Anywhere’s Expert Suite of solutions can run through ArchestrA or

What’s next for Geita?

stand-alone and has a SQL Server database. “It allows us to incorporate innovative

• Equipment utilisation – Systems

“This is a very complex system,” says Barry

solutions into ArchestrA without having to

Anywhere has developed an ArchestrA

Searle, software development manager

maintain a separate codebase,” says Searle.

plug-in that writes aggregated equipment

at Systems Anywhere. “However, with the

“By wrapping the object in an ArchestrA

utilisation data to the system’s database.

help of ArchestrA, the Expert Operator was

layer, the plug-in is scalable, versatile, fast

All that’s required to use this is to drag it

able to be implemented faster than with

to implement and brings our knowhow to

under the equipment to be monitored in

traditional means which means a lower-cost

customers in a convenient format.”

ArchestrA and it starts logging.

solution for the client. Also, the operator is now free to multi-task rather than focus


only on monitoring the mill performance. The operator is also free to fine-tune that

runtime and service interval tracking with • Throughput up by 30% (e.g. 300 ounces

performance without recourse to us or

at nearly $2000/ounce = $600 000 DAILY

anyone else. What’s more, the operator

or more than $13 million of additional

no longer has to tweak the mill every few

monthly revenue)

minutes because the metallurgist can directly control the Expert Operator to cope


the automatic generation of work orders etc. for maintenance systems such as SAP. • MMRS Integration – Integration with the AngloGold Ashanti global business

• Operator freed for other tasks

with new rock conditions or other issues through the selection of pre-configured

• Expert maintenance – This includes

management system. “We’re now able to link into any of the company’s business

• A complex control solution is implemented in a fraction of the time it

management system for reporting purposes,” says Searle.

normally takes

The next step – packaging the solution

• Economy of scale brings the cost down


Now that Geita mine had a proven Expert

• The Expert Operator gives Geita

Systems Anywhere is using the ArchestrA Operator productivity solution, the next

predictable, peak performance at all times

step was to “wrap up” all the rules and technology that made up the Expert Operator into a single package.

Object Toolkit to take system integration to the next level while Geita Gold Mine is pushing the envelope to extract the

• Change the profile, not the rules. One of the chief reasons for metallurgists having

maximum from their plant as well as from their investment in Wonderware solutions.

to change the rules is changing rock To do this, Systems Anywhere used the

conditions. Adding the Expert Supervisor

“From a system integrator’s point of view,

DotNet3.5 engine, C#, SQL Server database

level of control allows the metallurgist

the ease of implementation of complex

and the ArchestrA Object Toolkit. “The

to add multiple profiles. This means

solutions can’t be overstated. If you can

toolkit allowed us to take technology that

that, instead of changing the rules, the

dream it, ArchestrA can do it,” says Searle.

would have taken a system integrator

metallurgist just selects the profile that

“But more than this, solutions often aren’t

weeks to implement on site, into a single

best matches current rock conditions

a perfect fit and, as in this case, we were

convenient package that not only caters for previous work but that can be deployed in a

able to fill the gap with the Object Toolkit • The upgrade requires installation of a

which has allowed us to integrate 12 years of

matter of minutes,” says Searle. “This then

new object, but this is instantaneous and

custom solutions and the expertise that went

becomes a licensed object that prevents it

doesn’t require intervention by the system

into their development into a de facto world

from being copied indiscriminately.”


standard – ArchestrA.”

52 |

58 thin clients replace stand-alone PCs at RBCT with help from Wonderware

58 thin clients replace standalone PCs at RBCT with help from Wonderware

About the Richards Bay Coal Terminal Company Limited RBCT is the single largest coal export terminal in the world. Opened in 1976 with an original capacity of 12 million tons per annum, it has grown into an advanced 24-hour operation with a design capacity of 91 million tpa. Positioned at one of the world’s deep sea ports, RBCT is able to handle large ships and, subsequently, large volumes. As such, it has gained a reputation for operating efficiently and reliably. The 276 hectare site currently boasts a quay 2,2 kilometres long with six berths and four ship loaders and has a stockyard capacity of 8,2 million tons. RBCT shares a strong co-operative relationship with South Africa’s national utility, Transnet, which provides the railway services linking the coal mines to the port and the shipping coordination of more than 700 ships per annum.

Mountains into molehills. For more than

assistance of SCADA systems that keep

The company equipment includes 5 tipplers, 10

three decades, Richards Bay Coal Terminal

their operators informed of their real-time

stacker-reclaimers, 4 ship loaders and a number

has been reducing the mountains of South

operational status.

of high-speed conveyors.

Africa’s rich coal deposits into the molehills of the more than 700 ships that call there

Since these machines are constantly

every year to satisfy the world’s hunger for

in motion, vibration is an important

more centralised solution based on thin

energy. Such a vast strategic facility cannot

environmental consideration for traditional

client technology,” says Eric Gumede,

leave performance to chance. That’s why

PCs with hard drives. Another consideration

control systems specialist, RBCT.

RBCT decided that a traditional PC-based

is that these PCs are distributed over a vast

SCADA approach was no longer good

and dusty site where cooling fans, while

enough for their unique operations.

doing their job, also contribute to the

About thin clients

accumulation of coal dust. The same applied

A thin client is a low-cost computing


to all servers.

device that works in an application server

RBCT’s 10 stacker-reclaimers, 5 tipplers and

“Reliability problems with standard PCs as

of-the art, powerful processors and large

4 ship loaders are large, complex machines

well as the difficulties presented by backups

amounts of RAM or ROM. In addition, thin

whose operation is impossible without the

and upgrades prompted us to look for a


environment. It does not require state-

November/December 2012 | 53

54 |

58 thin clients replace stand-alone PCs at RBCT with help from Wonderware

Benefits of terminal services clients to RBCT • Reduced engineering cost on PC budget – Lower hardware costs as well as easy maintenance and deployment of applications • Improved software integrity - Backup is only done on the server so that changes can only occur at one point. • Reduced power consumption – Thin clients don’t have any moving parts (disc drives, fans) and reduced computing power. • Reduced likelihood of theft - Thin clients are useless to thieves because they have little resale value Figure 1: System topology

• Reduced downtime on SCADA systems • Don’t have hard disc drives, CDROMS or cooling fans

Solution selection and implementation

– Thin clients are physically more reliable than their PC counterparts, quick to configure and operators cannot make

• Run with very low processing power.

System integrator Quad Automation was


chosen based on their credibility and • Are about one third the size of a conventional PC.

availability for support after completion

• Increase end-user productivity - Operators

as well as their knowledge of the plant.

are limited to authorised applications only.

Wonderware’s InTouch was already the plant • Work the same way as a desktop PC. • Support the GUI environment of Windows®.

SCADA/HMI standard so it made sense to

• Multiple connections possible to

continue on the same route but this time

different servers creating redundancy – A

with the Terminal Client Servers (InTouch

technician can access a thin client from

View) version which would be supported by

any part of the plant rather than only

Microsoft’s Terminal Services.

control rooms.

• Can be configured on as low as 16Mb of RAM. This is a component in Microsoft Windows

• The system allows terminal servers to

• Offer the same feel as working on any

that allows users to access applications and

obtain and manage terminal server client

Windows-based operating system®.

data on a remote computer over a network.

access licence (TS CAL) tokens for devices

It also lets administrators install, configure,

and users connecting to a terminal server.

Project goals

manage and maintain applications centrally on a few servers. All application logic runs on

It was decided to replace all 58 plant stand-

the server while the processing and storage

alone PCs with terminal clients to achieve a

requirements for client machines are minimal.

The process

“Because of the impact non-performance

RBCT’s import section receives coal-laden trains

could have on an operation of this

whose trucks are individually emptied onto

magnitude, it was important that both the

conveyors by tipplers.

system that is: • Manageable – For quick and easy configurations

old and new systems run in parallel before • Cost effective – Cheaper to maintain • More secure– Not open to abuse

the old system could be removed,” says

The conveyors take the coal to the stockyard

Gumede. “The implementation was carried

where it is distributed by stacker-reclaimers

out during 2006/7 and only took five months

onto stockpiles.

to complete.” • More reliable – Less maintenance and less downtime. • Accessible – Easy accessibility of reliable HMI reports.

These same machines are responsible for Gumede is also considering the

“reclaiming” the coal for conveying to RBCT’s

opportunities offered by ACP’s Thin

export section and sampling plants as well as to

Manager in order to extend the capabilities

the ship loaders.

of the system.

November/December 2012 | 55

Keeping the networks in check at Lonmin Lonmin at a glance Lonmin is one of the world’s largest primary producers of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) which are essential for many industrial applications, especially catalytic converters for the control of internal combustion engine emissions. PGMs also have a widespread use in jewellery. • Lonmin’s operations are based in the North West and Limpopo provinces of South Africa and comprise 14 extraction shafts, 9 concentration plants as well as extensive smelting and refining facilities. • Resources include 175 million troy ounces of PGMs and 43 million ounces of reserves • The number of full time employees is around 27,800 (year ending 30 September 2011) • Lonmin has a primary listing on LSE and the JSE

Figure 1: Previous system topology

The bidirectional flow of information

stations for the shift boss, mine captain or

concentrate (1.436m ounces of

between business IT and manufacturing IT

engineer (figure 1). But, in order to conform

total PGMs) produced and 721,000

is critical to real-time decision-making at all

with security policies, it was decided to

ounces of Platinum sold (year

levels but presents its own set of problems

separate the control network from the IT

ending 30 September 2011)

regarding security. The owners of these

network which resulted in the topology

networks are naturally weary of providing

shown in figure 2 where the production and

access to information and functionality which

control networks are two VLANS running

could prove dangerous in the wrong hands.

on one control domain separate from the

• 719,000 ounces of platinum in

IT domain. The production and control


networks are present in the control rooms, process plant and in the production areas

The original IT network had a flat topology

but not in the office areas.

with a DAS I/O server collecting data from the PLCs and communicating this to view

56 |

This arrangement, however, disconnected the

Keeping the networks in check at Lonmin

“In my view, the most appealing aspect of this project was that we could use old existing technology and incorporate it with ArchestrA as a solution to our Remote View problem. With this technology, we gained a lot more control than expected over the remote viewing of SCADAs.” Johan Louw, automation specialist, Lonmin

• No Wonderware installation required – this allowed Lonmin to be self-sufficient

Figure2: Current system topology

shift boss, mine captain and engineer from

real-time while conforming with all security

the SCADA system and they lost the ability to

policies and at minimum cost.

engineers expected me to me busy for an hour or more, I was finished in a matter of

view production information in real-time. To address the problem, a DMZ (Demilitarized

• Quick Implementation – “Where some

Selecting the solution

two to three minutes,” says Louw.

Zone) was implemented. A DMZ is a network that serves as a buffer between a secure

Three approaches were considered. The

• Easy access and security control – all

protected network (Control Network) and

first was to use ArchestrA read-only view

access to the system is controlled from

an “insecure” client network (IT Network). A

stations but this would incur the additional

one server and this allows the full control

DMZ usually contains servers which provide

network infrastructure costs just mentioned

of where SCADA access is available

services to users from the client network, such

and require the ability to maintain multiple

and also provides for the instantaneous

as the web and, in this case, terminal services.


granting or withdrawal of access rights to individuals. It was previously impossible

These servers are open to limited access from the client network, but protected by a firewall.

“The second option was to make use of

to know who had access to which SCADA

the Wonderware Information Server,” says

system or if this access was permitted.

But this brought with it the issue of how to

Johan Louw, automation specialist, Lonmin.

deal with security because office personnel

“Although Information Server allows access

could not be allowed unqualified access to

from any network PC, this was a real-time

applications are maintained and updated

the control systems. One way around this

SCADA reporting environment which this

at a central location without the need

was to deploy additional view stations on

solution supports but which is better served

for deployment to a multitude of

the control domain only by extending the

by the third option which was the use of

workstations. “The traditional approach

network and its infrastructure (equipment,

Terminal Server.”

is to load the operating system on each

• Easy application maintenance – all

and every workstation which may all be

fibre links, PCs, etc.) but this would prove costly per view station and would also

Terminal Server, which supports Microsoft’s

in widely-separated locations, configure

require time to implement.

Remote PC Connection, provided Lonmin

the networks including their security,

with a list of features that met their specified

load service patches and finally load

The challenge therefore, was how to provide

requirements with a remarkable degree of

the application software with service

the office area with plant information in

accuracy and which included:

patches,” says Louw. “Needless to say,

November/December 2012 | 57

this can be very time-consuming and costly not to mention inconvenient. With the Terminal Server architecture, everything is done once only at a central location and end-users all have simultaneous access to multiple applications, all of which are up-to-date.” • Multiple applications hosted on one server – all of Lonmin’s multiple mine shafts, each with its own SCADA system and applications, can be hosted on a single server thereby providing convenient access to those who need it. • Client can view multiple applications at once – terminals are not dedicated to any single application and can switch between applications at will. Figure 3: System Platform / ArchestrA Integrated Development Environment view of

“Finally, Terminal Server gave us the speed

software deployment

we were looking for while also minimising the load on the network,” says Louw.

Applications start automatically when


selected but server access beyond the


permitted range of applications is prohibited thereby preventing any wilful or inadvertent

• Real-time process information is available in the office to support informed decision-making

The first step was to set up Terminal Server

damage to the system. The application run

and to install the Terminal Server (read-

time can also be specified so that if a shift

only) edition of the InTouch HMI / SCADA

boss or engineer forgets to sign off from

networks while providing a secure access

application. “The read-only version prevents

the application, it will self-terminate in the

from one to the other

any user from changing / stopping or

specified time period. This feature also

starting any equipment on the SCADA. We

lessens the network and server loads.

then deployed the System Platform and its

• Independence of IT and production

• Easy and secure end-user access to multiple applications

view engine as well as all the applications,”

The System Platform’s Integrated

says Louw. “The next step was to define user

Development Environment shows which

access and their sessions which involved

platform and view engine is in use as well

specifying which applications each user can

as changes to any software releases. New

access. Thereafter, the only thing left to do

software releases can then be deployed to

was to set up remote access to the server –

all remote users instantly.

• No interference with SCADA system operation possible • Greatly reduced software support, maintenance and deployment costs

something which is really quick to do.” • High system speed and minimal network loading

58 |

The cost of operating outside baseline in mining

The cost of operating outside baseline in mining The TIS Management programme links operating and equipment conditions to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The latter establishes a platform to calculate the cost of operating outside baseline state. By implication, assessments provide insight into operational risk exposure. TIS Management programmes evaluate plant performance (process and equipment performance) at the functional unit level.

About Industrial Management Enhancement

A functional unit is a logical grouping of measurements describing a function within a

Experience has shown that most production

Production Function. A Production Function

plants operate in an unstable or high risk state

is the functional relationship between inputs

for 60% or more of the time.

(feed material) and output (product). In the

Dr. Kobus van der Merwe of Industrial Management Enhancement

context of maintenance, a functional unit is

Operational risk encompasses the potential loss

a logical grouping of equipment fulfilling a

due to the breakdown of controls. Breakdown

Technical Function.

of control results in unpredictable and unstable production processes. By implication, this

When all functional units associated with a

condition results in an inability to meet

Production Function perform within baseline

production targets.

state, desired / ideal performance follows. Using the Time-in-State Metric to quantify

The Time-in-State Metric quantifies the

IME delivers Operational Performance

operational performance

time that each functional unit operates

Management solutions to the process and

within ideal state. The time that functional

manufacturing industry. A structured and proven

Efficiency improvement initiatives are

units, associated with a specific Production

methodology is utilised to construct process

more productive when motivated by top

Function, operate within baseline state

status maps and to analyse and troubleshoot

management. Since operational efficiency

may not necessarily overlap. The time

the process to quantify Operational Risks.

impacts contribution margin, it is in

that a Production Function operates in

Projects are characterised by high returns, a

management’s interest to have insight into -

baseline state is calculated as the average

strong emphasis on training and development,

Time-in-State Metric value reported on

and solutions facilitating asset sweating.

• The source of the problem (plant or section)

the respective functional units (another way to describe this relationship is to view a Production Function as a unit consisting

Compiling a Time-in-State Metric on

of a network of functional units serving

historical process data delivers quantification

on Key Performance Indicators and its

a common objective which is to fulfil the

of a functional unit’s contribution to overall

monetary value)

production function).

performance. The following relationships

• The magnitude of the issue (the impact

exist within processing plants: • The nature of the issue (e.g. is it a design

This approach provides the ability to explain • Contribution Margin: A positive

problem, limited experience or material

the circumstances under which performance


was realised. In other words, KPIs report

correlation exists between Contribution

aspects such as production rate, quality,

Margin and Time-in-State

Time-in-State (TIS) Management

energy consumption per unit, etc. at the

programmes study plants in terms of their

Production Function level. The Time-in-State

operation in relation to baseline conditions.

Metric provides quantitative description of

OEE is the product of ‘Production Rate’,

Baseline conditions are associated with high

how Production Functions performed in the

‘Quality’, and ‘Availability’. A positive

efficiency, reliability, availability and stability.

context of recorded KPI value.

correlation exists between Time-in-State

• Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE):

November/December 2012 | 59

and each of the elements of OEE. • Energy Efficiency: A positive correlation exists between energy efficiency and Time-in-State. • Operating Cost: Operating cost follows the same trend as maintenance cost i.e. higher Time-in-State implies lower operating cost • Stability: A positive correlation exists between stability and Time-in-State • Yield: A positive correlation exists between yield and Time-in-State • Maintenance Cost: A negative correlation

Figure 1: Percentage Time-in-State metric vs. Production Rate

exist between Time-in-State and maintenance cost. That is, the higher

for calculating the Time-in-State (TIS) Metric

the Time-in-State value the lower the

value. The output of this analytical process

maintenance cost.

generates the following results:

Comments In figure 1, each data point represents a week’s production. The time interval utilised for the

Mining example

• The relationship between TIS Metric and KPIs

In an open-cast mining application, ore supply

• Having derived the relationship and TIS

TIS Metric calculation is adjustable and adapted to match circumstances and requirements. The objective is to establish a metric that provides

from the mine is a function of how well equipment

Metric parameters it is possible to track and

information facilitating better decision-making.

is utilised within the mine (shovels, haul trucks,

monitor the impact of operating outside the

The same reasoning applies to the detail

etc.). In this example, a primary crusher receives

baseline state, in real time. This method

contained on the TIS Metric.

the ore from the mine, crushes it and transfers

of quantification also improves decision-

ore to a primary stockpile. The stockpile level

making and root cause analysis.

should be maintained to allow for scheduled

In the above example, the TIS Metric is utilised to track performance at a relatively high level.

maintenance and production downtime on the

Figure 1 illustrates how production rate

The client is interested in knowing whether

primary crusher without causing downtime /

varies according to the %Time-in-State

selected initiatives are delivering expected

delays in the downstream process.

Metric (each point represents a 7 day

results. The weekly assessment provides high

production interval). Ideal operating

enough granularity for timely modification

An inability to sustain ore supply, during

conditions (i.e. baseline state) realises a

or adjustment if initiatives are not delivering

intervals that the crusher is available, has

production rate of 1180t/h.

results - i.e. little lag time in performance

a definite cost impact. The magnitude

feedback. It should be noted that the traditional

of impact will vary based on operating

The cost per ton is proportionately higher

approach is to evaluate maintenance cost,

conditions. An extreme case illustrates this

under conditions where TIS Metric is 62%

availability, reliability, etc. over a time interval of

point: When the crusher is available and the

compared to the interval reporting an 81%

several months. Apart from potentially missing

primary stockpile is full, poor ore supply rate

TIS value. Under conditions where TIS is

opportunities, it can also negatively influence

from the mine will have no cost implication.

low, the plant utilisation and availability was

human behaviour and motivation.

lower. From a financial point of view, the A Time-in-State model quantifies

return on net asset decreases under these

Developing and deploying TIS Metrics takes

crusher performance using the following

conditions. (These numbers are typically

place in multiple phases. The priority and


captured in a financial model constructed

criticality of equipment and plant functions

during the project execution phase.)

differ and the latter motivates a multiphase

• Stockpile level • Crusher Motor Power

approach. Furthermore, the structure proved Applying the Time-in-State Metric to

to be successful in managing project risk while

different, interconnected plants generates

maximising the internal rate of return (IRR).

valuable insight into key areas of concern. • Lubrication System Pressures and Flow • Mantle Positioner Hydraulic Pressure The model defines the parameters required

60 |

For plants that are connected in series,

For more information contact: Dr. Kobus van

without decoupling capacity (intermediate

der Merwe

storage), performance is represented by the

Industrial Management Enhancement

product of the Time-in-State Metrics of the

Mobile: +27 (0)82 656 5601

respective plants.


Metals, Minerals and Mining dictionary

Metals, Minerals and Mining dictionary Acronyms

non-metallic elements can only be found on its right-hand side (with the exception


Chief Information Officer


Overall Equipment Effectiveness


Chief Operations Officer


Distributed Control System


Dynamic Performance Management


Good Manufacturing Practices


Human-Machine Interface


Health, Safety and Environment


Platinum Group Metal

of hydrogen). A diagonal line, drawn from boron (B) to polonium (Po), separates the metals from the non-metals. Most elements on this line are metalloids, sometimes called semiconductors. This is because these elements exhibit electrical properties common to both conductors and insulators. Elements to the lower left of this division line are called metals, while elements to the upper right of the division line are called non-metals. Amethyst, a variety of quartz, is an example

Mineral - A mineral is a naturally-occurring

of a mineral (Wikipedia)

substance that is solid and stable at room ROM

Run Of Mine

temperature, which can be represented by a

Differences in chemical composition and


Supervisory Control And Data

chemical formula, which is usually abiogenic

crystal structure distinguish various types


and has an ordered atomic structure. It

and these properties in turn are influenced

is different from a rock, which can be an

by the mineral’s geological environment of

aggregate of minerals or non-minerals



Standard Operating Procedure

and does not have a specific chemical Beneficiation – The process of extracting

composition. There are over 4,900 known

Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) - Platinum

valuable metals or minerals from ore.

mineral species. The silicate minerals

Group Metals include platinum; iridium;

compose over 90% of the Earth’s crust.

osmiridium; palladium; rhodium; ruthenium

Dynamic Performance Management – An

The diversity and abundance of mineral

and osmium.

approach towards process measurement

types is controlled by the Earth’s chemistry.

that will empower the people responsible for

Silicon and oxygen constitute approximately

the success of that process to use their own

75% of the Earth’s crust, which translates

initiatives in making the right decisions for its

directly into the predominance of silicate

PGMs are chemically very similar. Platinum,

continuous and incremental improvement.

minerals. Minerals are distinguished by

iridium and osmium are the densest known

various chemical and physical properties.

metals, platinum being 11 per cent denser

Properties of platinum group metals:

Metal - A metal is an element, compound or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable, ductile and shiny. In a metal, atoms readily lose electrons to form positive ions (cations). Those ions are surrounded by de-localised electrons, which are responsible for the conductivity. The solid thus produced is held together by electrostatic interactions between the ions and the electron cloud, which are called metallic bonds. Metals are sometimes described as an arrangement of positive ions surrounded by a sea of delocalised electrons. Metals occupy the bulk of the periodic table, while

November/December 2012 | 61

than gold and about twice the weight of the

the large volume of nickel ores processed

North America. However it is commercially

same volume of silver or lead. Palladium,

makes commercial recovery possible.

produced from nickel-copper deposits found

rhodium and ruthenium are lighter,

in South Africa and Ontario, Canada. The

palladium having about the same density

Iridium is found with platinum and other

huge volume of nickel-copper ore processed

as silver.

PGMs in alluvial deposits. Naturally

makes this extraction profitable in spite of its

occurring iridium alloys include osmiridium

low concentration in these ores.

Platinum and palladium are soft, ductile and

and iridiosmium, both of which are mixtures

resistant to oxidation and high temperature

of iridium and osmium. It is recovered

Thin client – A low-cost terminal device

corrosion. They have widespread catalytic

commercially as a by-product from nickel

with no moving parts which relies on a

uses. In industry they are often used with

mining and processing.

server for programme execution but which

the addition of other metals, including other PGM.

offers localised capabilities such as access Ruthenium is generally found in ores with

to any data or application and which can

the other PGMs in the Ural Mountains

be linked to multiple displays, a keyboard/

Rhodium and Iridium are difficult to work,

and in North and South America. Small

mouse and CCTV equipment. Ideal for use

but are valuable alone as well as in alloys.

but commercially important quantities are

in environments hostile to PCs and where

Their chemical compounds have many uses,

also found in pentlandite extracted from

instant replacement may be required. No

and rhodium is a particularly good catalyst.

Sudbury, Ontario and in pyroxenite deposits

software maintenance is needed since this

in South Africa.

happens at the server level.

almost unworkable in the metallic state, with

Rhodium - The industrial extraction of

Virtualisation - In computing, this is the

poor oxidation resistance, but are valuable

rhodium is complex as the metal occurs

creation of a virtual (rather than actual)

as additions to other metals, usually other

in ores mixed with other metals such as

version of something, such as a hardware

PGM, and as catalysts.

palladium, silver, platinum and gold. It is

platform, operating system, a storage

found in platinum ores and obtained free as

device or network resources. It’s a concept

Platinum - South Africa, with vast platinum

a white inert metal which is very difficult to

in which access to a single underlying piece

ore deposits in the Merensky Reef of the

fuse. Principal sources of this element are

of hardware (like a server) is coordinated so

Bushveld complex, is the world’s largest

located in river sands of the Ural Mountains,

that multiple guest operating systems can

producer of platinum, followed by Russia.

in North and South America and also in the

share that single piece of hardware with

Platinum and palladium are also mined

copper-nickel sulphide mining area of the

no guest operating system being aware

commercially from the Stillwater igneous

Sudbury Basin region. Although the quantity

that it is actually sharing anything. In short,

complex in Montana, USA.

at Sudbury is very small, the large amount

virtualisation allows for two or more virtual

of nickel ore processed makes rhodium

computing environments on a single piece

Osmium is a naturally occurring alloy of

recovery cost effective. However, the annual

of hardware that may be running different

iridium and osmium found in platinum-

world production in 2003 of this element

operating systems and decouples users,

bearing river sands in the Ural Mountains

is only 7 or 8 tons and there are very few

operating systems and applications from

and in North and South America. Trace

rhodium minerals.]

physical hardware.

bearing ores found in the Sudbury, Ontario

Palladium is found as a free metal and

Workflow – A systematic and human-level

region along with other platinum group

alloyed with platinum and gold with PGMs

process for detecting, responding to and

metals. Even though the quantity of

in placer deposits of the Ural Mountains

resolving abnormal events (usually) but can

platinum metals found in these ores is small,

of Eurasia, Australia, Ethiopia, South and

be applied to any task.

Ruthenium and Osmium are hard, brittle and

amounts of osmium also exist in nickel-

62 |

Events: X-CHANGE 2013

Events: X-CHANGE 2013

X-CHANGE is your definitive window to

In this landmark year of its long history,

in the right context and at the right time – all

the industrial automation and information

X-CHANGE 2013 will be host to the

the time.

landscape and brings together more

entire range of Invensys Operations

industry professionals than any other event

Management range of solutions thereby

The contents of the presentations range

of its kind in Southern Africa. System

appealing to a much wider audience

from technical to more business-oriented

integrators, hardware and software suppliers,

and demonstrating that “sensor to

and you can choose those best suited to

end-users and international industrial

boardroom” is no longer a cliché but a

your current operational or business needs.

automation authorities come together to


Technology Stream

X-CHANGE ideas, network and collaborate at what is widely regarded as South Africa’s premier industrial event. More than twenty years ago, the world’s first Windows-based HMI, InTouch, took its first step into a world it would come to dominate. Notably, few of the other technologies that will be presented at X-CHANGE 2013

Celebrating the conference’s 21st anniversary, X-CHANGE 2013 will be held from 21st to 24th April at Sun City and promises to once again add great value to the lives of industrial automation professionals country-wide.

existed at the time either in fact or even as wishful thinking.

Every year, Invensys Operations Management introduces new and significant products to its wide range of solutions. This is your opportunity to see what these products will do for your bottom line as the presentations highlight the features, advantages and benefits of each solution as applicable to your industry. This year, there

So, we invite everyone who has something

are significant functionality upgrades and

to share or something they want to learn

enhancements to your favourite applications

X-CHANGE has been there at every step

to X-CHANGE 2013. If you’ve never been

as well as some new ones that continue to

of this extraordinary evolution, bringing

to X-CHANGE before, you’re in for a most

populate the Invensys InFusion enterprise

practical solutions to the South African

pleasant and informative surprise. If you’re

control system space.

mining and manufacturing industries who

a regular, on the other hand, we don’t have

have responded by making it the longest

to sell you on the idea and welcome you

running and most successful event of its type


in the region. Today, X-CHANGE is more relevant than

Solutions Stream The solutions stream takes a broader look

X-CHANGE 2013 presentation streams

ever. Come and see how others are coping

at ways of addressing your enterprise manufacturing intelligence needs, improving asset effectiveness, streamlining

with erratic market demands and what’s

The presentation streams have been

your manufacturing execution system

the next step to keeping profitable in a

designed to highlight and address the

for operational performance excellence,

world that is changing at an alarming rate?

information needs of executives, system

getting you started on the road to enterprise

That’s why X-CHANGE looks at the bigger

engineers, production managers, plant

integration, empowering your workforce,

picture of business challenges as well as the

managers and engineers involved in the

corporate energy management and other

supportive technologies and approaches

mining and manufacturing industries. That’s

topics on which the health of your enterprise

necessary to overcome them.

because they all need different information


November/December 2012 | 63

Ecosystem Stream

Vertical Industry Stream

No one company can do it all. The range of

These presentations demonstrate how

Eurotherm, Foxboro, InFusion, SimSci-

information and other solutions necessary

all of the above solutions are applied to

Esscor Skelta and Triconex all contribute to

to ensure the profitable operation of

address the needs of vertical industries

providing a seamless information continuum

companies involved in the manufacturing

such as mining, manufacturing, food and

from sensor to boardroom.

or mining sectors is truly staggering. That’s

beverage, utilities, etc. This stream will also

why Invensys Operations Management

feature user presentations compiled by

forms partnerships with other industry

end-users, their system integrators or both

professionals to provide end-users with

allowing you to determine “from the horse’s

We are fortunate in having access to some

the best possible combination of solutions

mouth” if Invensys Wonderware products

of the leading local and international

available today.

performed as it said on the tin and how they

authorities on subjects as far ranging as how

helped end-users achieve their business and

to survive profitably in the current world

operational goals.

economic climate to the adoption of new

This stream will demonstrate how hardware and software solution from Avantis,

Even the world’s leading supplier of industrial automation information solutions needs help and Invensys finds it by working closely with selected software partners.

Keynote Speakers

approaches to information and control in

Invensys Operations Management Stream

These industry professionals with proven

mining and manufacturing. Once they leave their pedestals, you can have casual chats with them or book sessions where you have

track records provide the tools and support

From valves to virtualisation and from

the chance of discussing your production

needed for the development of value-

sensors to simulation, Invensys Operations

and business issues one-on- one.

added applications that integrate with or

Management does it all. Invensys

complement Invensys Solutions.

Wonderware is only one of nine Invensys

Their wide and varied industry experience

Operations Management business units, so

will save you from reinventing the wheel and

From system integrators to software

it’s no wonder that the range of solutions

cut through complexity to give you fresh,

developers and hardware suppliers, the list

available to you has grown phenomenally

practical insights that you can apply when

of Ecosystem partners is growing rapidly and

and very rapidly since the company started

you get back to the office.

this is their opportunity of showing you what

operations in South Africa in 2011.

they have to offer.

64 |

Events: X-CHANGE 2013

Invensys Operations Management Open and user presentations

(If you are interested in submitting a

partner ranging from sporting activities to

presentation, please see the booking

sightseeing and game-spotting (depending

information below.)

on the venue) among many other events.

We have found that one of the most valuable


On-line bookings

is to speak to the people who use it. The

System integrators as well as hardware and

Visit if you want to do

Invensys Operations Management Open

software partners use this unique venue to

any of the following:

was introduced to encourage both end users

showcase their wares and achievements.

and system integrators to document their

They do so because nowhere else is there

experiences of successful implementations

such an opportunity to talk to a more

using Invensys Wonderware solutions. These

qualified audience eager to see what they

are customers who have used the products

have to offer.

ways to assess a product and its suitability

extensively and their first hand experiences

• Book your attendance at X-CHANGE 2013 • Book a stand at the Expo • Enter the Invensys Operations

offer insights not available from any other

(Should you wish to exhibit your solutions,

Management Open and have a chance of


please see the booking information below.)

attending the conference free of charge

All user presentations are entered into the

Hands-on training

by doing a presentation and providing Invensys Operations Management Open

enough material for us to write a success story of the implementation of Invensys

competition where prizes are awarded

At X-CHANGE 2013 you can look forward

Wonderware solutions in an interesting

for the best presentations in various

to practical hands-on training sessions


categories. The presentations are then

where you get to test-drive the products for

documented in the form of articles and,

yourself. These practical sessions will allow

after approval, sent to various magazines

you to evaluate how and where they may

for publication. These articles also appear

best be applied in your environment.

Ask anyone who has ever attended X-CHANGE in the last 20 years –

on the Invensys Wonderware web site and bi-monthly Protocol magazine as well as

Spouse programme

Invensys Operations Management’s annual international booklet of success stories.

you won’t be disappointed – and neither were they!

Such conferences are always better when shared with your partner – who

Delegates whose presentations are

may, however, not share your enthusiasm

accepted for X-CHANGE automatically

regarding the benefits of advanced

qualify to attend the conference free of

technology. That’s why a rich programme of


entertainment has been planned for your

November/December 2012 | 65

Season’s greetings The management and staff of EOH and Invensys Operations Management Southern Africa wish you and your family the compliments of the season. We hope your holidays will be relaxing and enjoyable and that 2013 will bring you health and prosperity.

66 |

Events - MESA SA “Adapt or Die” 2012 Conference

s e c i v r t e r S o p p u S d an

November/December 2012 | 67

Invensys Sentinel Services In a Nutshell ... Invensys offers advanced remote services technology that enhances our ability to deliver higher availability and reliability of plant assets to your company.

Key benefits • Increased uptime • Frees you to focus on looking after production rather than control systems

Key features • 24/7/365 remote monitoring and notification of issues

Who’s supervising the supervisors?

We achieve this by installing special “agent software” on each Wonderware server located at your sites. These agents monitor

You trust your Invensys Wonderware

the system on a 24x7 basis to ensure that

Industrial IT solutions to supervise your

critical resources are performing within best

wealth-creating processes but who’s

practice norms.

• Detect and rectify issues or problems before they become mission-affecting • Provide better management of system resources to improve asset performance

supervising them? Let Invensys Sentinel • Streamline diagnosis process

Services (ISS) be your SCADA’s SCADA

If an unacceptable threshold is reached, an

by remotely and constantly monitoring

alarm is raised and Invensys engineers are

and reporting 24/7 on the KPIs of your

alerted before an issue develops. Remote

Wonderware-based systems so that

connectivity is also designed to ensure

potential problems can be nipped in the

that, if there is a problem, Invensys experts

bud. This will give you the peace of mind

can work with you to make appropriate

you need to focus on improving your

adjustments to correct the issue and return

company’s bottom line rather than looking

your system to normal operation quickly and

after systems.


Using technology to provide world-class support

The process


• Fast and systematic event resolution eliminates trial and error and cuts costs • Clear and regular reports provide insight into possible improvements

Our event management system monitors

A key aspect of Invensys Sentinel Services is

Peak performance in our operating plants is a

anomalies or events that occur in the

feedback to you. As a result, we ensure that

continuous process that is being threatened

Wonderware customer environment and

we provide monthly system health status

on a daily basis. As skills scarcity increases,

focuses on detecting issues and generating

reports which include:

most production technicians are stretched

meaningful notifications. These notifications

to the limit with their daily tasks. Little time is

are reported to the Invensys Command

left to maintain the running software systems

Centre which offers a single point of contact

and very few can find the time to develop and

for customer incidents and requests.

maintain specialist knowledge to diagnose

• Overall health status for the month • Critical, major, medium and minor system issues and errors for that month

faults on these systems. • Changes or corrections made to fix As a result, Invensys offers ISS whose job is

errors that occurred in the Wonderware

to monitor the performance of your Invensys


Wonderware assets — continuously.

68 |

Invensys Sentinel Services

• Proposals for Wonderware system modifications to ensure that the system

Optional value-added services

conforms to best practice standards

Contact us For more information please contact:

• Anti-virus reporting

Monitored events

Zaine Domingo, ISS Product Manager — Invensys Operations Management

• Wonderware and Microsoft patch Monitoring includes examining the KPIs


of the Wonderware System Platform and Historian, hardware performance, event logs,

T +27 (0)11 607 8191 | 0800 INVENSYS |

• Operating system platform support

Wonderware machines (where applicable) among others. There is also a monthly audit of OS, Windows and Wonderware version control, Wonderware licence status, IP configuration and more.

November/December 2012 | 69

Customer FIRST Maximise asset performance

to meet contractual obligations to your customers and the loss of business that

Downtime costs businesses millions of Rand

Comprehensive Services

- Customer FIRST support gives you options to maximise productivity by keeping your operations running smoothly.

In a nutshell ...

may ensue. • Customer FIRST also gives you access to Invensys technical resources to

Customer FIRST is not just technical

help you ensure that your system is

support, it’s a comprehensive

Outages, both planned and unplanned,

back to capacity in as short a time as

programme to help you manage your

are costly; businesses increasingly need to

possible. Our world-class global service

systems and protect your investments.

employ effective pre-emptive strategies

organisation is available locally, so the

to reduce risks and employ efficient and

help you need is never far away.

Real Value

effective resourcing strategies to ensure that non-productive time is kept to a minimum.

Asset performance is not just about

Customer FIRST members enjoy the

maximising availability though; you need

many benefits of a closer collaborative

Customer FIRST is not just technical support,

to ensure that your assets are working to

relationship with Invensys.

it’s a comprehensive programme to help

their maximum potential. You also need

you manage your systems and maximise the

to minimise the risk to your business of

performance of your assets.

missed schedules, poor quality or regulatory violations, with the business consequences

Downtime hurts - Customer FIRST can help

• Responsive services • Depth of expertise

that may follow. • Proactive planning Customer FIRST gives you proactive remote

Even the most reliable equipment requires

health monitoring services to spot warning

downtime, perhaps for routine maintenance,

signs before problems occur and advanced

preventative maintenance, upgrades or

consulting services to tune your systems to

replacement. You need to ensure that

maximum performance.

downtime is kept to a minimum and to

• Continuous performance monitoring • Emergency contingency provisioning • Deep discounts on hardware

as a result.

Customer first – our mission: your success

• Software and services

• Customer FIRST provides you with

ensure that there is minimal production loss

Customer FIRST membership gives you

These important elements make the

access to great hardware maintenance,

access to award-winning technical support,

Customer FIRST membership an

software maintenance and comprehensive

hardware and software maintenance

essential part of your business success.

lifecycle management services to help

services, lifecycle management and remote

you optimise your planned downtime and

Services, training and consulting services

minimise unplanned downtime events.

and much more. The programme provides you with comprehensive services and flexible

Recovery time is critical and any delays

options to choose exactly the right kind of

in acquiring either replacement parts, or

programme to suit your business needs and

the expertise required to quickly resolve

help you to maximise asset performance.

problems, can have a significant financial impact on your business.

Contact information

• Customer FIRST provides you with timely

Support Telephone Number:

access to critical spare parts with the

0861-WONDER (0861-966337) or

ability to manage spares more easily and

0800-INVENSYS (Toll Free)

ensure the reliability of your systems. E-mail: What’s more, extended downtime presents other risks to your business such as failing

70 | or

2013 Training Schedule

2013 Training Schedule (Johannesburg)


Did you know that your bottom line is directly proportional to the effectiveness of your workforce?

As the owner of some of the world’s

• 6 – 10 May

most popular, advanced and versatile industrial automation, information and MES software solutions, you’ll want to get the most from your investment and

The dates shown apply to training • 22 – 26 July

that includes getting the best training in the business. We routinely train about 600 professionals like you every year not

at our offices in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. Regional training is

Historian (includes Historian Client)

only on how to use our solutions but how to turn our product features into real


• 24 – 28 June

presented on demand. A minimum of six delegates is required to arrange a course.

• 11 – 14 February

Regional training venues:

business benefits. • 13 – 16 May

InTouch Part 1 Fundamentals (includes New Graphics)

• 18 – 21 June


• 28 January – 1 February

• 19 – 22 August

Cape Town: Durbanville Conference

• 25 February – 1March


• 27 – 31 May

• 4 – 8 February

• 1 – 5 July

Bundled courses

• 29 July – 2 August

In addition to the above, we offer the

Durban: Khaya Lembali,

Centre. Port Elizabeth: Pickering Park Conference Centre, Newton Park.

For system integrators:

following bundled courses at reduced rates:

InTouch Part 2 Advanced (includes New Graphics)

• System Platform – Application Server

For maintenance and engineering personnel:

• 4 – 7 March

(includes InTouch Fundamentals, InTouch Advanced, Historian, System Platform and Application Server)

• InTouch only (includes InTouch • 3 –6 June

Fundamentals and InTouch Advanced)

• 8 – 11 July

• InTouch and Historian (includes InTouch

For non-technical personnel (operators, managers, supervisors):

Fundamentals, InTouch Advanced and

System Platform – Application Server (includes new graphics) • 21 – 25 January • 18 – 22 February


• Historian (includes ActiveFactory basics for non-technical staff)

• System Platform – Application Server (includes InTouch Fundamentals, InTouch

For all your training requirements, contact

Advanced, Historian, System Platform and

Emmi du Preez at

Application Server) or or call Emmi on 011 607 8286.

• 11 – 15 March

November/December 2012 | 71

Use Protocol Magazine to generate business opportunities Protocol magazine continues to be well

you’re a solution supplier) or recognition

The Guideline is in the form of prompts to

received on a bi-monthly basis by 6500

(if you’re an end-user)

which you supply the answers to the best of your ability. This, together with the graphical

industry professionals like you, at every level of the country’s leading mining and manufacturing companies. You can

• It must generate market awareness of your capabilities

information required, will be used to write the article which will be sent back to you for editing, approval, etc.

leverage this highly-qualified readership to be heard.

• It must do all that at a reasonable cost

How do you promote yourself right now?

Protocol magazine meets all these criteria.

The Permission to Publish form must be signed by the end-user of the installation and system integrator / solution vendor

Some of the things you might be doing could include inserting opinion pieces,

If you’re an end-user, your stakeholders are

(if applicable) before work on the article is

adverts, editorials and other material

most interested to know how well you’re

started. This ensures that all the work that

into South Africa’s leading manufacturing

looking after their interests by lowering costs

goes into compiling the story will not be

and mining magazines. A good choice

and improving efficiency. Your colleagues


since these are excellent and professional

in the industry are keen to see how you’ve

publications that land on decision-makers’

implemented Wonderware solutions so that

You are free to use the completed success

desks every month.

they can evaluate if these will have the same

story in any marketing sense you wish and

benefits in their environments.

you have hundreds of examples on our web site and in past issues of A2ware and

What Protocol offers is all the advantages of a professional magazine with a large

If you’re a system integrator, end-users

circulation but the cherry on the cake is

want to know what you’ve done so that they

that all the readers of Protocol have one

can consider you as a solution supplier for

thing in common – Wonderware solutions

their next project.


Opinion Pieces: Once again, there’s no cost involved and

in the areas of SCADA, MES, EMI, BPM and enterprise integration – in fact, anything to

If you’re a hardware or software vendor,

you don’t have to worry about probably

do with industrial and corporate production

end-users and system integrators want to

not having majored in English. Decide on a

IT. Everything in Protocol is aimed at helping

know about how well your offerings work

central theme and the idea(s) you want to

end users get more from their Wonderware

in the Wonderware environment and how

put across, then jot down all the reinforcing

investment and trigger them to look at new

they can help them do a better and more

arguments you can think of (as well as

possibilities. Nobody wants to reinvent a

cost-effective job.

references if applicable). Also include any supporting graphics you feel will better

costly development or investigation wheel to stopping that happening.

What medium will work best for you?

Let’s think for a minute about your perfect

Success stories:

and what you have to offer will go a long way

illustrate the point. Send your draft article to your account manager


They won’t cost you a cent and you don’t have to write them. Simply send an e-mail

• It must convey your message in a

to your account manager stating that you

professional manner to a large, targeted

have the makings of a good story and why

and qualified audience

you think it is so. You will then be sent a

• It must generate incremental business (if

72 |

and, if necessary, we’ll make the necessary edits before returning it to you for approval.

promotion vehicle and what it should do for

Comments to the editor, Q&As, Product and/or service information:

Guideline and a Permission to Publish form

Send your submissions to Denis your

to complete and return.

account manager and they (as well as the

Use Protocol Magazine to generate business opportunities

answers) will be published in the next issue

So what are we really saying?

(if interesting and relevant).

and we have made it as easy as possible for As an end-user or supplier of Invensys

Material formats

In other words, what you have to say matters you to say it!

Wonderware and associated solutions, you form part of the world’s largest ecosystem

You will be talking to people with the same

Text – In Microsoft Word format

of professionals in the fields of industrial

reality as you and who have the same

Graphics – In PowerPoint, Bitmap or JPEG

automation and the delivery of actionable

problems and concerns.

format (the last two in the highest possible

intelligence from the shop floor to the top

resolution you have)



That makes you pretty special.

For all your advertising requirements –

That makes what you have to say significant

including the drafting of effective adverts

and important.

So, what we’re really saying is, use Protocol magazine to say what you believe needs to be said.

from scratch – contact Heather Simpkins at The Marketing Suite.


Did you know that if you don’t talk to anyone, they’re not likely to talk to you or send orders? November/December 2012 | 73

On the lighter side One-upmanship

the dog and said, “I am so sorry for your loss, and this may be a bad time to disturb

German scientists dug 50 metres

you, but I’ve never seen a funeral like this.

underground and discovered small pieces

“Whose funeral is it?”

of copper. After studying these pieces for a long time, Germany announced that the

“My wife’s.”

ancient Germans 25,000 years ago had a nation-wide telephone network.

‘’What happened to her?”

Naturally, the British government was not

The man replied, “She yelled at me and my

that easily impressed. They ordered their

dog attacked and killed her.”

own scientists to dig even deeper. 100 metres down, they found small pieces of

He inquired further, “But who is in the

glass, and they soon announced that the

second hearse?”

ancient Brits 35,000 years ago already had a nation-wide fibre net.

The man answered, “My mother-in-law. She was trying to help my wife when the dog

Israeli scientists were outraged. They dug 50,

turned on her.”

100 and 200 metres underground, but found absolutely nothing...

A very poignant and touching moment of brotherhood and silence passed between

They concluded that the ancient Hebrews,

the two men.

55,000 years ago, had cell phones. “Can I borrow the dog?”

Getting to grips with new technology

The man replied, “Get in line.”

I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law

British humour

last night when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper.

An Irishman had no idea his wife was having an affair, so he was mad with grief when

‘This is the 21st century, old man,’ he said.

coming home early one day he surprised her

‘We don’t waste money on newspapers.

and her lover in the act. He grabbed a pistol

Here, you can borrow my iPad.’

and pointed it at his head, which made his wife burst out laughing.

That bloody fly never knew what hit it .... “What do you think you’re laughing at,” he

Doggone A man was leaving a convenience store with

cried, “you’re next.” •

his morning coffee when he noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching

At an auction in Manchester a wealthy

the nearby cemetery. A black hearse was

American announced that he had lost his

followed by a second black hearse about 50

wallet containing £10,000 and would give a

Feet behind the first one. Behind the second

reward of £100 to the person who found it.

hearse was a solitary man walking a dog on a leash. Behind him, a short distance back,

From the back of the hall a Scottish voice

were about 200 men walking single file. The

shouted, “I’ll give £150!”

man couldn’t hold back his curiosity any longer. He respectfully approached the man walking

74 |

• A man walks into a doctor’s office. He has a

On the lighter side

cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear

• When I have a kid, I want to buy one of

• What’s another word for Thesaurus?

and a banana in his right ear. “What’s the

those strollers for twins. Then put the kid

matter with me?” he asks the doctor. The

in and run around, looking frantic. When

doctor replies, “You’re not eating properly.”

he gets older, I’d tell him he used to have

downtown and get a great parking spot,

a brother, but he didn’t obey.

then sit in my car and count how many

More wit from the pen of Steven Wright

people ask me if I’m leaving. • I went to the hardware store to buy some batteries, but they weren’t included, so I

• I bought some dehydrated water, but I

had to buy them again.

don’t know what to add to it.

neighbourhood was gone.

need?” • You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?

make me stand in a closet for 5 minutes

• I had a friend who was a clown. When he

without moving. He said it was elevator

died, all his friends went to the funeral in


one car.

tried to unlock my house with my car

Canada, they asked if I had any firearms

and when I got back, the entire

• When I was little, my grandfather used to

• The other night I came home late and

• When I was crossing the border into with me. I said, “Well, what do you

• I had parked in the tow-away zone • I invented the cordless extension cord.

• When I get real bored, I like to drive

• If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?

• I once put instant coffee in a microwave and went back in time.

keys. I started the house up. So, I drove it around for a while. I was speeding, and

• I got a dog and named him ‘Stay’. Now, I

a cop pulled me over. He asked where I

say “Come here, Stay!” After a while the

lived. I said, “Right here, officer.”

dog went insane and wouldn’t move at all.

• I saw a sign at a gas station. It said ‘help wanted’. There was another sign below it

• I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.

that said ‘self service’. So I hired myself. Then I made myself the boss. I gave myself a raise. I paid myself. Then I quit. • A cop stopped me for speeding. He said, “Why were you going so fast?” I said,

• I want to get a tattoo of myself on my entire body, only 2 inches taller. • I made wine out of raisins so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to age.

“See this thing my foot is on? It’s called an accelerator. When you push down on it, it

• Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà-vu

sends more gas to the engine. The whole

at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this

car just takes right off. And see this thing


[mimes steering wheel]? This steers it.” • In my house there’s this light switch that • Every so often, I like to go to the window,

doesn’t do anything. Every so often I

look up and smile for a satellite picture.

would flick it on and off just to check. Yesterday, I got a call from a woman in

• In Vegas, I got into a long argument with

Germany. She said, “cut it out!”

the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number.

• I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn’t park anywhere near the place.

• While I was gone, somebody rearranged the furniture in my bedroom. They put it in

• I went to the hardware store and bought

exactly the same place it was. When I told

some used paint. It was in the shape of a

my roommate, he said: “Do I know you?”


• Whenever I fill out an application, in the

• I went to the museum where they had all

part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I

the heads and arms from the statues that

put “DOCTOR”. What’s my mother going

are in all the other museums.

to do? • It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to • The problem with the gene pool is that

have to paint it.

there is no lifeguard.

November/December 2012 | 75

Protocol Crossword #57 When you’ve completed the crossword, the letters in the coloured boxes spell out what is mined at Sishen. Note: This magazine contains the answers to a number of the clues. E-mail your answer to: The sender of the first correct answer received will get a hamper of Invensys Wonderware goodies.

Clues across:

Clues down:

1. What this issue of Protocol is about (6)

1. Copper and zinc, for example (8)

7. What is mined by 33 across at Marikana (8)

2. Raging fire (7)

12. Not the outside (8)

3. Windows® operating system (2)

14. Real-time Event Notification (3)

4. That is (2)

15. Indefinite article (2)

5. National Rescue Institute (3)

16. Non Fiction (2)

6. Alcoholic spirit flavoured with juniper berries (3)

17. A central _____________ room makes the best use of

7. Lowering this is a key item on any mine’s agenda

a company’s knowledge resources (11)


21. Slippery fishes (4)

8. If you had one, there would be nothing else you

23. Gradually got warmer (9)

could carry (6)

25. Rolls Royce (2)

9. Sad rip? (4)

26. Movement for African independence (especially in

10. Preposition (4)

Kenya) which translates to “freedom” in Swahili (5)

11. One of the places that horse hair comes from (4)

28. Alternative Network (2)

13. Denotes “belonging to” (2)

29. Pertaining to the environment (10)

18. Regarding (2)

33. One of the world’s largest primary producers of

19. Exists (2)

Platinum Group Metals (6)

20. Of the ear (4)

37. Victory in Europe day (2)

22. About everything that is of the warm season (8)

38. Universal Entrance (examination) (2)

24. A valley (4)

39. The process of extracting minerals from ore (13)

27. Rhenium symbol (2)

46. Royal Society (2)

30. Eggs (3)

47. To forcibly evict the opposition, for example (4)

31. What the lady of the night said to her client the next

48. To speak at length and pompously (5)

morning (3,3)

49. Of paramount importance to all mining enterprises

32. Father’s sister (familiar) (5)


34. Nota Bene (2)

52. Japanese city (5)

35. The ten commandments are said to have been cast

53. International Common Denomination (medicines) (3)

__ ____ (2,5)

54. Farm machinery manufacturer initially (2)

36. Neon symbol (20

56. Paid (abbr.) (2)

40. Those things that can make one the victim of things

57. Laugh Out Loud (3)


60. ROM mills are best controlled by one of these (6,6)

41. Like a teddy bear (6)

64. Father (2)

42. The thing’s (3)

66. Applied Information Technology (3)

43. Anger (3)

67. That is (2)

44. Good for horses and humans (4)

68. Corrosive substance (4)

45. Crystals found inside a rock, for example, (5)

70. By coordinating the efforts of the right people,

49. Hydrostatic Test Pressure (3)

workflow management helps to bring about swift _____

50. With 47, it’s deadly (2)


51. Novice (7)

74. Product of combustion (5)

55. It is carried (4)

75. You can use one when shopping at a supermarket,

58. Electronic, inter-personal communication (1-4)

for example (7)

59. Backbone (5)

76 |

61. They come with pots (4) 62. Uncommon (4) 63. It’s removed by dredgers (4) 65. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (3) 69. Mountain pass (3) 71. Each (abbr.) (2) 72. Thorium symbol (2) 73. Preposition (2)

Answer to Protocol crossword #56: Question: Because of the reversible nature of its implementation, Foxboro’s I/A Series DCS presents ___ _____ to your migration plans. Answer: NO RISK

Measurement Under Control

Achieving competitive and efficient process plant operation is an increasingly tough challenge in today’s fast moving business environment. Selecting the most reliable and longest life measurement instrumentation is more important than ever. Invensys Foxboro offers time proven innovative measurement solutions that make this possible, leading the way with longer life pH, redox and conductivity measurement sensors and instrumentation.

View our full range of measurement tools and instrumentation at: or call 0800 INVENSYS for more information







When market tastes change. You’ll be ready. Flexibly manage change, while maintaining product quality, consistency and safety with Wonderware and WonderwareMES MESsoftware. software.For Formore moreinformation, information,visit and get a free whitepaper called “Be ready for changing tastes, a new approach to plant software”.

0800 INVENSYS | |

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Invensys, the Invensys logo, Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, InFusion, Skelta, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware are trademarks of Invensys plc, its subsidiaries or affiliates. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Invensys Protocol Magazine – "Metals and Mining – one tough industry"  

Invensys Protocol Magazine - Issue 12, November/December 2012. When we talk about the “supply chain”, we normally talk about manufacturers,...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you