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JUL-AUG 2017

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INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2017 11 FAST FORWARD l The mining industry can benefit from a stronger adoption of ISA standards to help accelerate the productivity journey. l The need for good reporting and intelligence is greater than ever to support an efficient operation for maximum production and efficiency at variable throughput levels. l Adopting ISA-95 models, enterprise architecture teams will have a solid starting point for a "connected organization" and are likely to have sufficient control over their overall process. their comminution plant with older equipment and have renewal rates below their depreciation value. That cannot last, and investment will have to return when demand increases. Temporary underinvesting in maintenance-re- lated drivers like safety and downtime needs to be much more closely monitored and controlled to prevent surprises. These factors are ever more im- portant to lean and efficient production and the license to operate. Also, autonomous operation and maintenance—even from within the pit—is on the road map or already in execution with most major companies, a trend that cannot be stopped. Investors have growing expectations for a high level of automation to keep people away from the most dangerous tasks, which helps reduce the risks of assets in their portfolio. The need for good reporting and intelligence is greater than ever to support an efficient operation, not only targeted for "maximum production," but also for "maximum efficiency at variable through- put levels." This puts organizations in position to serve more demanding clients at the right price point and quality without giving away product. It is these high-performing operators that are adjusting their business models to be connected to up- and downstream production. It is a rea- son that ISA already has great supporters from the mining community. This community can see the benefits of leveraging the various standards available through ISA. Take, for example, the inte- grated coal power plants that autonomously con- sume coal based on the "operations schedule," and therefore their site power nominations (figure 2). For gold companies, it is all about tracking the gold production at each stage of the process. Whatever the commodity, the predictability goes up by linking the production schedule to key input variables of the mine as well as to the desired output variables that inform the com - modity trading and risk management function. With consumers increasingly demanding to know how things are produced, the relevance of the ISA standards is ever growing to help meet the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart grids, or the increasing demands for value chain flexibility. Solving such con - straints through ISA-95 standard adoption is likely to accelerate your outcomes. Adopt ISA95 modeling How should companies go about it? Having an experienced team can help beat nameplate levels. Mature teams that have seen more "unexpected" cases and scenarios are most efficient at returning their plants to a desired state. As mining naturally has a lot of variability across many parts of the value chain, the adoption of software, technology, business intelligence (BI), and analytics is key for the success of many mining companies. For these companies to be in position to control their entire process, their IT/OT teams need a language to communicate their various data and information needs. This is where the ISA-95 standard has made a lot of difference. Traditionally, IT has owned the business plan- ning functions (the enterprise resource plan- ning [ERP]/office domain) at Level 4 per the standard (figure 3). The operational technol- ogy team has traditionally owned at least Lev- els 0 through 2 and often Level 3, depending on IT's level of interest in supporting the produc- tion process. The adoption of the standard has helped create interfacing and has led to sound but traditional reporting solutions. Some companies have now started automat- ing the data management side of these reports by using robotic process automation (RPA), which helps finish weekly, monthly, or yearly reporting within a subset of the time when au to- mating 60–80 percent of the manual work. The Level 2 software solutions in the standard address process and equipment control func- tionality, but minimal product control function - ality. Level 3 solutions often address the more complex activities and processes like schedul- ing, but solutions in this space have tradition- ally not been as avail - able and reliable when compared to process control system/su- pervisory control and data acquisition solu - tions at Level 2. Level 4 business planning and logistics software solutions traditionally come with some re- porting functionality, but need proper inte- gration with L0-3 per the standard for these reports to be accurate COVER STORY Figure 1. Volume increases by the majors have pushed others out of the market. (wmt CFR = wet metric ton cost and freight) - - - - 200 150 100 50 0 0 500 1000 1500 2000 Mt/a Volume growth current assets Saturated market Cost per ton recent Example market price

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