Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPLAT) is a 48% black-owned and controlled, mid-tier platinum group metals (PGMS) producer.
Royal Bafokeng Platinum originated from a joint venture between Anglo American Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBH) known as the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine Joint Venture (BRPM JV)
What motivated Royal Bafokeng Platinum to use Time-In-State®(TiS)?
Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s operation at Rasimone generates huge amounts of data – RBPlat identified the need to extract latent information from process data with the aim to facilitate operational performance improvement. Experience based knowledge is biased because cause-and-effect relationships are distorted – distortions occur because process changes and distortions take time to propagate through the process.
Multiple sources can introduce process disturbances and there is a time lag before disturbances are observed in downstream processes. Without the ability to interpret data it is very difficult to determine where the disturbance originated and secondly what the cause of the disturbance was. Operational personnel consequently form opinions that contain only elements of truth. RBPlat required a platform that consistently interpret data and visualize results in a format that delivers team learning.
From an equipment performance point of view RBPlat expressed the need for early warning of deteriorating performance in order to facilitate condition based maintenance on certain equipment.
A prerequisite of the big data and IoT project was that it has to align with and support their ’14 Elements of a World Class Journey’ management objectives.
How did Time-In-State®(TiS) Help Royal Bafokeng Platinum?
The first activity aimed to quantify operational risk exposure – Time-in-State®(TiS) Analytics indicated that the Primary Mill & Classification circuit complied with the Optimum Operating Envelope (OOE) definition for 40% of the time. Time-in-State® identified specific issues around density management within the milling circuit as well as gearbox conditions.
Visualization of conditions assisted the client team to gain insight into latent variable inter-relationships. Time-in-State® presented early warning of deteriorating gearbox conditions more than 20 days in advance. The technology also successfully detected conditions that could have resulted in a mill overload – the latter facilitated timely corrective actions.
Time-in-State®(TiS) helped prevent major process interruptions averting multi-million dollar losses. Royal Bafokeng Platinum subsequently signed a long term agreement with Time-in-State.
Cape Kraft Mill
The Time-in-State intervention was an eye opener to our operational staff at the mill. Time-in-State facilitated workshops and got all departments together to explain the process. The key departments involved were production, engineering, process, logistics, and Sheq. The Time-in-State process allowed us to identify the control parameters to run a controlled process. We knew how to permanently contain these variables, but the solutions were costly. We then opted for a zero cash outlay solution and chose to control the process for only 80% of the time. The other 20% was when the operator could leave the workstation for inspections etc. It took 2 months to change the BOP’s and the behaviour. I can recommend this improvement process with Time-in-State to any industry. Cape Kraft will certainly make use of his services again shortly.
IME has been servicing Neopak since 2015 continuously. During this interval, IME deployed its Time-in-State technology and services to monitor various aspects of the process and equipment. Utilising this technology made it possible to obtain early warning of deteriorating performance. This technology contributed not only towards a better understanding of equipment/process behaviour and process interruption. This predictive capacity is by far one of the strongest features of IME’s TiS methodology. Neopak rates the quality of the technology and services as very effective in providing great value.
BRPM contractor plant, a joint venture with Anglo Platinum
IME utilised their Time-in-State technology and services to identify very specific operating and equipment conditions that associate with higher performance. The PoC was deployed in the milling section of the process, which is a constraint in the process. The technology proved it’s applicability by identifying early warning of a gearbox failure in the matrix of data. The same approach was used to detect the drifting of an instrument measurement – the control system and maintenance personnel didn’t detect this issue. This detection potentially prevented a major process interruption. These events demonstrated effective process monitoring and management of TiS technique.
IME deployed their services to monitor various items of equipment. By utilising this technology, it was possible to obtain early warning signs of deteriorating performance of equipment. In the absence of this technology, the equipment may have failed to result in substantial production losses. Nkomati highly rates the quality of technology and IME’s services. We feel it was highly effective and provided excellent value.
ABB South Africa
IME Solutions has delivered services to ABB since 2010. During this period IME has deployed its Time-in-State technology and services to monitor various aspects of the process and equipment. By utilising this technology, it was possible to obtain insights into plant and equipment performance. The information facilitated the quantification of risk exposure, plant and equipment performance training relative to the optimum state, and general performance improvement. The technology and services were used at various operations including Sappi, Arcelor Mittal, and Skorpion Zink. We rate IME’s quality of services very highly as they provided excellent value towards mitigating risks and optimising our plant process.
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