Pressure Oxidization Asset Health, Risk Management & Reliability Improvement

The customer is a tier one mining company based in Australia and is one of the world’s largest gold producers with operating assets across the globe. The targeted site is one of the world’s largest gold deposits located in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The site was looking to improve the management and monitoring of its Pressure Oxidization (POX) processing area, manage risks associated with POX operation, and improve the reliability of the operating assets in turn reducing costs.  Through the deployment of MPPIglobal’s Asset Health Solution, the POX Area was able to greatly improve reliability, move from a reactive time-based maintenance strategy to a predictive real time strategy, gain deep insight and manage previously hidden risks, and improve the cost position.

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CHALLENGE

The customer struggled to efficiently manage the POX area within the large gold processing facility. The circuit containing multiple autoclaves including one of the world’s largest, is a complex processing operation consisting of a multitude of assets, equipment types and instrumentation for process control and monitoring purposes. The complexity is further increased by a large number of software systems containing important data that were not connected or integrated. Due to the sheer quantity of inputs and outputs from the process and connected systems, manual interrogation and analysis of process data to understand risks to production, people, equipment condition and cost drivers was laborious, time consuming and often done manually. As a result, the high pressure, high temperature and potentially volatile environment was often left exposed as defects could exist for prolonged periods of time without detection, often presenting as a total failure. With a predominantly time-based maintenance strategy this often-meant some of the autoclaves were shut-down well before required maintenance, or suffered failures that could have easily been prevented if detected.    

Solution

MPPIglobal implemented our Asset Health Solution using Optimum Software, an advanced software purpose-built for the mining industry. The solution contains a number of standard modules including Analytics, CPEMDefect Elimination, Data Portal and Reports. The solution contains intuitive dashboards with full analytical drill-down capability into any asset for condition diagnoses. The Dashboards reflect asset condition based on colour for simple identification of risks. Exceptions or deviations that are generated are prioritised into a central repository for investigation and are managed by the site Reliability team. Historical exception data with investigation such as RCA’s and 5 Why’s are stored for future reference. Optimum stores and manages advanced algorithms within the software by defining acceptance criteria. Optimum also allows for continuous monitoring and instantaneous detection of conditions that are detrimental to equipment health. Data is collated within Optimum software from numerous sources onsite including; PI, DCS, SAP, laboratory data, downtime data, condition monitoring data, and manual inputs for analysis and interpretation. 

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Implementation

The Pressure Oxidization Asset Health, Risk Management & Reliability Improvement Project began with an in-depth design period, in which MPPIglobal liaised with the site team to identify operational parameters of critical importance, that would give insight into the long-term health, reliability and risks to site assets. With these vital parameters identified, PF curves and algorithms were designed that could correlate various live signals into functional condition to detect failures before they occurred and provide condition-based input into dashboards. Further analysis was undertaken of SAP where critical strategies were analysed and interpreted to reflect condition status based on execution timing and findings. Data integration and systems were identified, and integration layers established with PI, DCS, SAP, laboratory data, downtime data, condition monitoring data, and manual inputs.

Examples of some algorithms include:

  • Blocked Sparge Valve Detection
  • Letdown valve remaining life
  • Agitator Blade Condition
  • Campaign Valve Cycle Counts under Pressure
  • Flash Vessel Dispersion Angle
  • Brick failure Detection
  • Autoclave Residence Time

Following the design phase, MPPIglobal’s engineers configured the solution over a 12-week period. The system was then deployed on site and went through an extensive commissioning period in which algorithms and workflow were validated and refined to further increase system accuracy and usability. A comprehensive training and change management plan was incorporated as part of system handover.

results

The Pressure Oxidization Asset Health, Risk Management & Reliability Improvement Project has provided the site with analytical data now used to identify risk, improve reliability and extend shutdowns using real-time data.

  • Extended the operating campaign life of the autoclave based on asset condition from real-time data.
  • Gained deep insight into the Maintenance Management Execution of critical PM’s and Defects that place the asset at risk.
  • Increased reliability through preventing failures of equipment that had previously not been managed via data.
  • Provided automatic root-cause condition analysis of asset health risks through a simple drill-down capability on any equipment.
  • Estimated to have reduced costs by USD$10M per year.
  • Increased Availability for the area by 4%