Last week, Minerals and Energy Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis officially opened the new Remote Operation Centre in Adelaide’s north which was established by IPACS Australia with contributions from the University of South Australia, HP, OSIsoft and their pilot customers, Lucas TCS/Arrium and Thiess/OZ Minerals.
The Remote Operation Centre is one of the foundation projects under the Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence and features IPACS Australia-developed remote sensor data technology that will enable resources companies to keep tabs on plant equipment from a central office location.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at Mawson Lake, Mr Koutsantonis said the new remote operation centre will drive increased competitiveness for South Australia’s mid-tier mining service companies and save them millions of dollars in operating costs.
“In an economic environment of sharply lower commodity prices, it is vital that South Australian businesses embrace technological innovations that can deliver more cost-efficient operations,” he said.
“Companies using the Remote Operations Centre will be able to more accurately detect faults before they occur, which reduces maintenance costs and increases reliability, productivity and efficiency.”
Kailash Nath Sriram, Managing Director of IPACS Australia, said people were familiar with the benefits of remote monitoring centres in sectors like traffic flow management, through to the centralised monitoring of water levels and water quality.
“Now, we are monitoring the real-time asset performance of mining vehicles, boilers, smelters, SCADA systems and mining fixed-plant infrastructure for some of the world’s largest miners and contract miners,” he said.
“Mining service operators can deploy sensors across essential operational equipment in their mines and oil fields thousands of kilometres away, stream that data back to this operations centre, where it is plugged into diagnostic models that use smart mathematics. Remote operators can then readily assess equipment performance and schedule repairs or maintenance only when required, reducing operating costs, maintaining or increasing production, and, vitally, averting costly production shut-downs.”
The State Government has contributed $660,000 towards the $2.074 million centre.