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Mountain View Quarries uses latest technology to boost productivity of crushing and processing plant

Gordyn & Palmer called on their longstanding relationship with Rockwell Automation and NHP Electrical Engineering Products to deliver a turnkey solution for the new 600 tonnes per hour quarry that leveraged the latest technology in networked intelligent motor control.

The solution features ControlLogix® controllers and the latest E300™ Electronic Overload Relays, connected over an Ethernet communications network. According to George Boloutis, automation systems manager at Gordyn & Palmer, “Working together with Rockwell Automation we came up with a solution that helped us put every motor in the plant on the Ethernet network, which simplified the whole process.”

“Using Ethernet simplified everything including the design and installation and provided a much neater switchboard. Rockwell Automation is the only supplier that could deliver a completely integrated solution,” explained Boloutis.

Working closely with NHP Electrical Engineering Products, the distributor for Rockwell Automation, Gordyn & Palmer were the first in Australia to use the new E300 Electronic Overload Relay. “Being one of the early adopters of the E300s proved to be a valuable investment in consideration of the benefits that it would bring to the project. Gordyn & Palmer continue to be on the forefront of the latest technologies to help their customers maximise throughput with minimal downtime,” explained Nasser Hojok, automation sales supervisor at NHP.

The E300 relays are the next generation electronic overloads and feature a modular design, communications options, diagnostic information, simplified wiring and integration into Logix, which makes it the ideal overload for this application.

“The network capability of the E300s provides built in intelligence that relays extensive diagnostics back into the PLC in terms of motor currents and faults. The real time diagnostics are transformed into actionable insights that allows for preventative maintenance to help minimise downtime of the crushing and processing plant,” said Rob Campbell, OEM account manager at Rockwell Automation.

The E300 Overload Relay provides flexibility, reduces engineering time and helps maximize uptime for important motor starter applications. This technology enabled motors to be accessed and configured remotely via both the plant network and a web interface replacing the former method of manually testing and configuring. This brought a new level of diagnostics and meant that every motor across the site was connected via the plant network.

Even though the E300 was a new product, Boloutis was confident that the benefits it would provide outweigh the risks of the learning curve associated with using new technology. “We had complete confidence that Rockwell Automation and NHP would support the solution and we also knew that the E300 would provide the most effective solution for the plant,” Boloutis says.

Making crushing and processing easy

The plant is separated into four zones reflective of different plant areas – primary crushing, secondary crushing, wet zone and blending. Each zone is clearly identified by colour coding and there is an equipment list and flow chart illustrating the zones in each switchroom. This means that to perform work or maintenance on a piece of equipment there is a single isolation point for the whole area which results in increased safety and reduced chance of error. It also mitigates the need for field isolators and a higher category safety rating as the entire zone is isolated. While one zone is isolated, the other areas of the plant can continue to run.

To add redundancy and robustness to the E300s, they were strategically grouped in ring networks relating their position in the plant flow using Stratix™ switches to make sure a communication fault to one module would not result in an entire plant shutdown.

“A key feature of the solution is that the PLCs, switches and the E300s are all part of the Rockwell Automation solution, providing a single programming environment within the Logix software. The plant incorporated 75 E300s which made ease of integration and programming a very important consideration in this project,” said Boloutis.

“In addition, we also have the facility to view and edit the system online, which means that we can access the system remotely and securely. The system provides comprehensive reporting because there is concurrent monitoring throughout the plant. We have also installed the infrastructure to implement power monitoring software with maximum demand capping in the future,” he said.

The plant is now successfully producing over 600tph of blended aggregate and the finished product is highly functional, robust and boasts a state of the art control system putting it amongst the most advanced quarries in Australia.

Setting the benchmark

Based on the success of the solution, Gordyn & Palmer were awarded a prestigious Excellence Award by the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA).

According to Ivo Rigoni, project engineer at Barro Group, “It is without reservation that we commend Gordyn & Palmer on a well-planned and managed project from design, supply, installation and safety management. Their experience with the requirements of a modern large scale quarry crushing plant has enabled them to deliver a plant that they should be very proud of. We have no doubt that as the end user, we will continue to appreciate the systems that have been put in place to assist with achieving maximum plant throughput with minimal downtime.”

The biggest accomplishment of this project was bringing the latest technology in motor control to the forefront of the quarry industry while still maintaining a simple and intuitive user interface to allow operators to run the plant to its maximum potential. The extensive electrical and software development completed in-house by Gordyn & Palmer has resulted in a completely integrated system, which is robust enough to cope with the harsh environment in which it operates.

“Gordyn & Palmer should be congratulated on being early adopters of new technologies, they are at the forefront of the latest advances in technology. This project is an excellent example of how a completely integrated intelligent motor control system can deliver flexibility, reliability and maximised uptime,” said Campbell.

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