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Siemens modernizes the drives in three copper ore crushing mills for Rio Tinto

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

The mining company Rio Tinto has commissioned Siemens Industry, Inc., to modernize three SAG mills in its Kennecott copper mine in Utah, USA. The DC drives will be equipped with new control and automation technology. Together with enhanced diagnostic features, the modernization ensures operational reliability and availability of the plant while at the same time the maintenance costs can be reduced. Retaining the power section of the rectifier is the key feature of the modernization concept developed by Siemens, leading to significantly reduced investment cost for the modernization. The modernization project will start in early 2011 and will be finished in the beginning of 2012.
The three mills equipped with Twin Pinion DC motor systems installed in the Kennecott Mine in 1998 will be equipped with a new control system. The system is based on Simatic S7 for the general control of the mill and a Sinamics DCM converter for the drive specific control of the rectifier. Thanks to the modularized concept of Sinamics DCM to implement control and power section separately, a modernization concept was designed where the power section of the existing rectifier remains in operation. Together with the possibility to also retain transformer and motor, investment cost for the modernization can be reduced significantly and the length of the shutdown period is minimized
Simatic PCS7 is the central system for all visualization and diagnostic tasks for all three mills. The scope of supply also includes an additional diagnostic system for enhanced diagnostics, as well as operating data acquisition and remote service features: This will enable unplanned shutdowns to be largely avoided and maintenance costs to be reduced. Siemens is responsible for the hardware and software engineering including installation and commissioning at site.
The Kennecott Bingham Canyon Mine run in Utah by Rio Tinto is one of the world’s largest copper mines. In addition to copper, it also extracts gold, silver and molybdenum. There are four SAG mills with Siemens drives working in the mine.
(Ref 2030)

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