Modern DCS Plays Key Role in Mining Efficiency

Modern DCS Plays Key Role in Mining Efficiency

If you work in mining, you expect a volatile market. That’s why mining companies are always looking to refine processes and optimize operations.

Through advances in control technologies and the move toward ‘smart’ or more connected mines, companies are able to achieve these goals like never before.

But many companies are focused on the latest available IoT technology when perhaps the most essential element to any mine-optimization effort is the ‘glue’ that ties these technologies together: a modern distributed control system (DCS).

Why a modern DCS? A modern DCS will become the foundation of a real-time information and monitoring system across your operations – connecting your operations and allowing you begin increasing productivity immediately.

A truly modern DCS centralizes control by connecting all aspects of your mining operation – rendering disparate and disconnected control systems obsolete.

And unified control allows you to better track, troubleshoot, and optimize product as it moves around the mine.

As the market continues to improve, it’s important to think about how you will scale up operations. With a reliable architecture, a modern DCS can scale up (or down) quickly and easily.

Implementing standardized process-control programming functions in all corners of your mining operations will allow your operators to more easily access plant information from anywhere within the mine.

Connect and Visualize Across Your Mine

Equipment issues in vast mining operations can easily go undetected and bring operations to a screeching halt. And every minute spent troubleshooting issues once production has stopped costs you money.

A modern DCS provides better connectivity and visibility into equipment performance by detecting failures and abnormalities before they can impact production.

Site managers and operators can see what is happening in real time and make necessary adjustments immediately – before production is impacted. This reduces the costs that come with unexpected backlogs or operational delays.

Quality management is another area where better connectivity and visibility can make a big difference.

A modern DCS can help manage complex operations by tracking large volumes of material, as well as their varying yields through the entire production process. This makes a consistent quality product much easier to achieve.

Finally, by standardizing technology across a mine, a modern DCS can reduce the lifecycle costs associated with engineering, inventory, training, maintenance and future system expansions.

As companies look to improve output of their mines, the planning process often includes scheduling a control system overhaul, which can require a full shutdown of the mine and a full replacement of the control technology. 

But with a modern DCS, individual systems can be replaced when necessary.

This allows mining companies to operate in a constant state of renewal, helping to minimize downtime in the operation by eliminating time-consuming infrastructure overhauls.

Are you looking to get more out of your existing mining operations? What steps are you taking to maximize recovery and improve your mine’s efficiency?

Learn more about Modern DCS for mining operations..

Hein Hiestermann
Posted June 12, 2017 By Hein Hiestermann, Global Director, Mining Industry, Rockwell Automation
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