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Industrial Automation - Mining & Mineral - 4/19/2013 -

GTH Teams with Schneider Electric to Upgrade Control System at Local Mine
In 2007, Denver-based Newmont Mining Corporation, one of the world’s largest gold producers, made the crucial decision to begin the process of upgrading their control system to ensure future years of continued service, support, reliability and component availability. Newmont contacted Schneider Electric to upgrade their current PLC processor technology by migrating 12 Modicon 984-785E hot standby programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to 12 Modicon Quantum hot standby PLCs.

The Challenge
Factory acceptance testing (FAT) had to be done off-site to prove that the Ethernet-based system would work and to complete the assembly, making installation faster and easier once onsite. To accomplish this goal, the Schneider Electric team brought a local system integrator and Alliance Partner, the George T. Hall Company, on board.

The Solution
The seamless collaboration between the George T. Hall Company and Schneider Electric was the key to the success of the project. As in phase one, Newmont required factory acceptance testing for all upgrades connecting all networks, proving communications and system would work as the current system did. The upfront work that was done, including preparation of conversion racks and connector tools as well as testing every rack at the George T. Hall facility before installation, allowed the install and set-up schedules to be reduced from two weeks for the processor update to just two days.

Benefits include:
  • Simulated test of the complete system conducted jointly by Newmont and Schneider Electric engineering staff.
  • State-of-the-art control system utilizing Quan-tum hot standby processors and redundant dedicated Ethernet peer-to-peer communications networks
  • Maintain the redundant legacy Modbus plus SCADA and remote PLC networks

The results included successful commissioning of all 12 Modicon Quantum hot standby nodes with each node executed with no issues. The off-site preparation, planning, assembly and testing enabled the onsite installation work, which was given a two week window, to be complete in just four days

The upgrades have yielded extremely positive results, with overall performance being improved and the new processors have reduced scan time by 30%.

Newmont Mining

 

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