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Cut Mine Costs with Intelligent Packaged Power

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The benefits of an intelligent packaged power system can sound like the wish list for mining companies:

  • Improved efficiencies
  • Better access to data
  • Lower capital costs
  • Lower operational costs

But what exactly is intelligent packaged power and why is it valuable?

Before tackling the topic of packaged power, let’s first understand electrical houses or e-houses. An e-house is a prefabricated electrical-distribution substation that is deployed at a mine as a fully manufactured, tested and integrated system. Electrical distribution, motor control and process control are integrated into the e-house using one intelligent system platform.

This approach can help mining companies save significant costs – on up-front capital investments and also with long-term operating expenses.

Capital Savings

Packaging power and process control can produce significant project savings. Here are two key features of packaged solutions that lead to these cost savings:

  1. Pre-engineered, tested and validated system: A packaged approach removes the need to contract with multiple vendors to secure system parts – a single vendor can engineer, test and validate your system before it ever arrives at your mine site. With a packaged solution, the power and control systems arrive as a complete unit at the mine site, helping to reduce startup costs and risk and improving the likelihood projects will be completed on time.

  2. Networked system: When you remove hard wiring, you help to remove extra costs and system complexities. Additionally, you gain the flexibility to more easily configure and add new devices as the need arises. A networked system can help you save expensive engineering hours and keep your project on track.

Want to calculate your mine’s potential savings? Try our free calculator.

Operational Savings

Intelligent packaged power systems also allow mine operators to access energy data and see it in the context of process control data, which helps you understand and control downtime, maintenance, and energy costs.

  1. Downtime: Operators can track a mine’s energy consumption trends versus production and the consumption of each piece of equipment or processing area and use this data to better identify and respond to potential downtime issues. An integrated system can even start to predict when equipment is going to fail. By tracking data such as motor voltages and currents, the system can learn patterns that indicate a failure will occur. For example, if you see abnormal energy usage in a mill which could be an early indicator of equipment failure, you can deploy a technician to investigate before an issue and downtime occur.

  2. Maintenance: When and if equipment fails, an intelligent system provides operators with electrical data to help pinpoint the root cause, making it easier to dispatch the right technician with the right tools to make the right repair. These systems also support remote access, so a remote subject matter expert can help troubleshoot issues and provide repair guidance to minimize maintenance costs.

  3. Energy Costs: Integrating power and process control systems enables energy cost accounting across all mine assets, making it possible to access insights into overall operational electrical costs, as they correlate to production yields.

As mining companies continue their journey to fully connected mines, having the right technology in place is paramount. An intelligent system can help mine workers harness the combined power of energy and process control data to reduce the toll of downtime on the bottom line. Whether deploying a new power facility or upgrading an existing one, an intelligent packed power system can help to reduce project costs – up front and long term.

Learn more about how intelligent packaged power can help you reap the benefits of digital technology and Ethernet connectivity.

Joe Matheys
Joe Matheys
Product Specialist, Rockwell Automation
Joe Matheys

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