PI Cloud Connect Customer Examples

Peter recounts the PI CC customer presentations he viewed at the most recent OSIsoft user conference. The first use case describes how the mining and precious metals producer Anglo American Platinum solicited assistance from their equipment and service provider Outotec to help them optimize their filter performance. The second case describes a large specialty chemicals and solutions provider who utilized the PI CC platform to provide condenser analytics and recommendations to their power generation customers.

Anglo American Platinum—Outotec

Anglo American Platinum (AAP) strived to optimize energy consumption and reduce overall operating costs. They explored receiving assistance from external service providers in these areas. AAP made the decision to outsource the analysis and improvement of these issues by providing operational data to Finnish-based filter provider and engineering consulting firm Outotec. AAP's main concern was to find a reliable and secure method of sharing their real-time data. In the past, large data sets were exchanged in spreadsheets with no clear knowledge of how the data was obtained. Usually, the data had been filtered and averaged, losing its value to build models for using operational modes in the analysis of the process units and equipment.

Mineral concentrates are the product of ore-dressing operations whereby valuable metals recovered through mining operations are separated from waste rock prior to shipment to market. In many mining operations, ore is crushed and wet milled to liberate the valuable mineral. This concentrated slurry is then filtered to form a dry mineral concentrate that is shipped to refineries that produce metallic products. The type of filtration equipment required depends on the particle size, mineralogy, and shipping requirements. As with all mining operations, the required equipment should be robust and reliable even under the toughest operating conditions (Bascur and Halhead 2013).

AAP uses many filters in their operations. Outotec offered two series of automatic pressure filters: the Larox PF and the Larox DS. Outotec had been providing support by having an engineer periodically visit AAP to check the filters. Flowever, AAP preferred 24/7 support. To accomplish this, Outotec required the filter data, which was provided via PI CC from the EIDI implemented by AAP (Bascur et al. 2016).

FIGURE 9.3

PI Cloud Connect environment at Anglo American Platinum.

The EIDI selectively shared using PI CC between AAP and Outotec (Halhead 2014; Figure 9.3). The data published by AAP represented sets of advanced filters used for material separation. As such, the operational data was shared by the customer to the service provider in real time. It drastically reduced the time spent in accessing the data and enhanced its use by Outotec. As a result, Outotec advised optimal tuning of the filter cloth and cycling times to reduce humidity of the concentrates, resulting in optimal energy use. AAP continues to explore new possible use cases as they are now capable of reliably and safely transmitting their data at the original resolution to service providers.

The requirements for AAP and Outotec to create a reliable, secure data exchange were

  • • Easy transmittal of data by AAP and easy data access by Outotec;
  • • A secure connection that did not compromise AAP IT network entry;
  • • Data exchanges that were auditable; and
  • • A standard, time-efficient method to publish new data points for Outotec's consumption.

In Figure 9.4, AAP's EIDI AF data model is shared by the plant to the service provider, so the provider has much better insight into the data being collected and more information about the particular asset they are monitoring. Optimizing the filter operations has several benefits for both AAP and Outotec.

Benefits for Anglo American Platinum

• Reduced energy consumption by controlling humidity for the concentrate during smelting operations

FIGURE 9.4

AAP's asset data hierarchy is made available to Outotec for remote analysis.

FIGURE 9.5

Outotec remote service methodology and process workflow.

  • • Reduced usage of concentrate water, which in turn decreased transport costs, because of reduced material weight
  • • Optimized operations caused by reduced cycle times
  • • Optimal filter cycle times and proactive equipment monitoring resulting in increased filter availability (Figure 9.5)

Benefits for Outotec

  • • Provided a reliable, constant 24/7 remote service to their customers (Figure 9.6)
  • • Reduced travel time and travel expenses for their customers
  • • Enhanced their knowledge of filter performance
  • • Utilized highly granular filter data, at their original resolution, versus averaged and summarized data, which is much less useful
 
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