Boral Quarry invests in intelligent motor control solution

Boral is a leading provider of construction materials and building products in Australia. Products include cement, aggregates, concrete, asphalt, bricks, roofing, masonry products and timber.

With an extensive network of concrete, asphalt and manufacturing sites across Australia, Boral’s leading position is underpinned by around one billion tonnes of quarry reserves strategically located close to key markets.

Boral’s Charlton quarry is located in Victoria, almost half way between Melbourne and Mildura. It is one of the few hard rock quarries in the region with the capability to produce notable volumes. The quarry produces a range of quarry products and supplies product to infrastructure projects in the region.

With a commitment to delivering high-quality building and construction solutions, Boral Quarries holds Quality Management System Certification to ISO 9001:2015 for its operations.

Boral works to maintain an engaged and reliable workforce and minimise environmental impact. In keeping with this mission, Boral recently invested in an industry leading motor control solution for their Charlton quarry to improve uptime and leverage the longevity and compliance provided by the latest motor control technology.

Productivity and Reliability

Boral engaged SS Electrics, a progressive electrical contracting business based in Ballarat, Victoria, to implement a solution to modernise the electric equipment at the quarry.

“We have worked with Boral on projects at their other quarries previously and therefore understood the importance of minimising downtime onsite during commissioning.

“The Rockwell Automation MCC was the most appropriate choice for this application because it is a fully designed and integrated system that is essentially 75 per cent commissioned upon arrival. This really helped reduce engineering time and helped meet the tight commissioning timeline for this project,” explained Chris Nunn, director, SS Electrics.

The Allen-Bradley Centerline 2500 motor control centres (MCCs) offer optimal safety, performance and reliability to help quarries meet their production requirements.

The Allen-Bradley Centerline 2500 MCCs offer optimal safety, performance and reliability to help quarries meet their production requirements. Modern motor control solutions need to be able to integrate with existing systems and provide advanced diagnostics capabilities.

The Centerline 2500 meets these requirements with premier integration and reduced engineering time.

“The quarry required a MCC solution that would meet the highest standards and also one that would be cost effective as well as adopting some of the integration benefits,” explained Matthew Treeby, account manager, Rockwell Automation.

SS Electrics worked with Rockwell Automation and their distributor NHP Electrical Engineering Products to select the smart components which are at the heart of the 12 column MCC including the E300 Electronic Overloads, SMC Flex soft starters, Point I/O modules, Guardmaster safety relays, Stratix switches, ControlLogix control system and PowerFlex 525 variable speed drives for the crushers, conveyors and processing equipment.

“The MCC provides a reliable solution for motor control in Boral’s Charlton quarry. The MCC is a ‘best of both worlds’ solution because it is not only high quality, fully tested and compliant, as would be expected from a global supplier, but the customer was also able to customise the solution to meet their unique requirements because the design and project management is done locally,” explained Treeby.

Intelligent Software and Safety

With a strong commitment to employee safety, Boral chose to include ArcShield Technology in the MCC. ArcShield helps to reduce arc flash hazards and provides increased protection against internal electrical arcing faults.

Offering a scalable safety solution, the MCC’s Guardmaster safety relays (GSR) address both the compliance standards and functional safety requirements for the quarry.

Boral’s MCC also features IntelliCenter technology, which enhances the intelligence of the MCC by using built-in networking to capture information that can be used for predictive maintenance, process monitoring, and advanced diagnostics. Connecting motor control devices over Ethernet allows operators and maintenance to realise the benefits of the connected enterprise by monitoring and analysing operations from anywhere at any time.

The MCC was pre-built in a portable room prior at SS Electrics’ facility prior to being shipped to site.

Hassle-free installation and commissioning

To help reduce engineering time, the MCC was assembled in the Rockwell Automation Shanghai manufacturing plant. Boral and SS Electrics took the opportunity to visit the plant and assess the MCC’s capabilities prior to shipping to Australia.

The smart motor control solution was programmed using Studio 5000 software and wiring was connected at SS Electrics’ factory. This provided the opportunity for further testing and programming, therefore reducing the engineering time required for commissioning on site in Charlton.

By providing consolidated programming, device and system configuration, operation and maintenance within the Studio 5000 engineering environment, complexity and potential errors can be minimised.

In addition, the requirement for onsite engineering work was reduced significantly as the MCC had a complete set of electrical drawings, allowing SS Electrics to start the commissioning process from their facility in Ballarat, even before the MCC arrived in Australia. Upon arrival, commissioning was completed at SS Electrics’ facility where it was pre-built in a portable room prior to being shipped to site. This also allowed the MCC to be customised to meet the site specifications of the quarry.

The new smart motor control solution provides key diagnostic information that optimises performance with real time access to operation and performance trends.

Improved uptime and compliance

Boral’s Charlton quarry is now benefitting from the new smart motor control solution which provides key diagnostic information that optimises performance with real time access to operation and performance trends. As the quarry moves towards a more connected enterprise, this increased visibility into the system and real time diagnostic data can be transformed into actionable and insightful information.

“A key focus of the Charlton project was to replace end of life electrical equipment for improved compliance and safety, while minimising any required downtime at the quarry,” explained Jake McClellan, asset manager, Boral Australia.

“This was achieved with the new solution and the help of SS Electrics and Rockwell Automation. It was a very smooth project, and thanks to the increased visibility into the system, fault-finding time has been reduced from hours to minutes and what was previously a very manually controlled process is now completely automated.”

“In addition, the plant manager can now monitor production trends and energy consumption in real time, which assists with plant optimisation. With the new MCC, the quarry can confidently service customer demand well into the future. As a result of the success of this project, we have plans to implement similar systems in our other quarries,” said McClellan.

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