The development of the process control system for the Boddington Gold Project in WA, a joint venture by Newmont and AngloGold-Ashanti located 130km southeast of Perth, is about to mobilise to a site-based phase.
The control system provides the window into the process for the plant operators. The system handles the continuous control of all process operations, sequence control of plant start-up and shut-down, safeguarding of plant assets, and the gathering and presentation of plant information for operations, engineering and management personnel.
To date, the control system project has involved an extensive design effort in Perth, Santiago (Chile), Melbourne, and Brisbane. Effective teamwork by multiple partners in different physical locations has been vital to the success of the project to date.
Automation supplier Yokogawa Australia has shipped the hardware for the CENTUM CS3000 distributed control system to site, and has completed the first major software Factory Acceptance Test. The remaining software design will occur over the next four months, in parallel with site commissioning of the initial system delivery.
The large scale project has posed a number of challenges for all involved. One has been the use of a radically new graphical user interface concept and the integration of an unusually-large number of communication interfaces to third-party devices and vendor packages.
The project owner has elected to use an operator graphics solution known as Advanced Process Graphics (APG), provided by Acuitē Technologies Limited of Ireland. This comprises an ergonomically optimised library of graphic objects (e.g. meters and equipment) that is used to construct all process graphics.
Each of the objects has been crafted with the express purpose of providing useful information to the operator in a manner that can be perceived and acted upon quickly, while minimising mental workload.
This is achieved through colour standards that help operators focus attention on important conditions; a design philosophy that emphasises the provision of information, not just data; a consistent graphic design; the use of ergonomically designed graphical objects; and the use of multiple navigational aids.
Yokogawa Australia has implemented the graphic object library within CENTUM CS3000 and constructed the graphic displays in accordance with Acuitē specifications.
The approach uses colour to highlight abnormal situations while placing less emphasis on normal operating conditions. This assists operators to avoid data overload by helping them to manage their attention, particularly during upset scenarios.
The communication interfaces to third-party devices include Profibus to approximately 1000 Telemecanique TeSys T relays for low voltage fixed speed drives; Profibus to approximately 200 Telemecanique ATV71 low voltage variable speed drives; Modbus TCP over fibre to approximately 150 Multilin high voltage switchgear protection relays; and Modbus RS485 to low voltage switchgear, battery chargers and various other analytical devices.
Third-party vendor packages were based on various platforms including Rockwell’s SLC5, CompactLogix and ControlLogix PLCs. The total I/O count for the plant is approximately 30,000, comprising around 10,000 hard-wired I/O and 20,000 soft-connected I/O points.
Another innovation used by Yokogawa on the project is a new suite of engineering tools, which allowed bulk generation of almost 70% of the control logic based on predefined database rules.
Engineering deliverables were exported from the client’s database, which provided complete traceability between design data and final control logic.
The overall result has been a saving in engineering time and cost, and the ability to delay the required engineering start date until later in the project schedule.