Boddington project full steam ahead

The Boddington Gold Project’s process control system will soon mobilise to a site-based phase.

The Boddington Gold Project’s process control system will soon mobilise to a site-based phase.

The control system provides the window into the process for the plant operators.

The system handles the continuous control of all process operations, sequence control of plant start-up and shut-down, safeguarding of plant assets, and the gathering and presentation of plant information for operations, engineering and management personnel.

The control system project has involved an extensive design effort in Perth, Santiago (Chile), Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Automation supplier Yokogawa Australia shipped the hardware for the control system to site, and has completed the first major software Factory Acceptance Test.

The remaining software design will occur over the next four months, in parallel with site commissioning of the initial system delivery.

The large scale project has posed a number of challenges for all involved. One has been the use of a radically new graphical user interface concept and the integration of an unusually-large number of communication interfaces to third-party devices and vendor packages.

The project owner has elected to use an operator graphics solution known as Advanced Process Graphics.

This comprises an ergonomically optimised library of graphic objects that is used to construct all process graphics.

Each of the objects has been crafted with the express purpose of providing useful information to the operator in a manner that can be perceived and acted upon quickly, while minimising mental workload.

This is achieved through colour standards that help operators focus attention on important conditions; a design philosophy that emphasises the provision of information, not just data; a consistent graphic design; the use of ergonomically designed graphical objects; and the use of multiple navigational aids.

Another innovation used by Yokogawa on the project is a new suite of engineering tools, which allowed bulk generation of almost 70% of the control logic based on predefined database rules.

Engineering deliverables were exported from the client’s database, which provided complete traceability between design data and final control logic.

The overall result has been a saving in engineering time and cost, and the ability to delay the required engineering start date until later in the project schedule.

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