Remote operations centre opens in Adelaide

IPACS Australia has opened a new mining remote monitoring operations centre in South Australia.

The centre will focus on remote sensor data analytics, predominately predictive maintenance services.
Managing director of IPACS Australia,  Kailash Nath Sriram, 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 (algorithms and predictive analytics).

 “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.”

In recent pilot tests service providers had trialled the use of sensors collecting data on the wheels of mining trucks, where the type of vibrations had indicated wear on the gear box and the components of crushers, with the streamed live data alerting engineers to potential problems in the crusher screen, predicting maintenance needs.

“By taking vehicles in need of maintenance off-line for repairs, the remainder fleet can operate unimpeded; in addition, trucks can safely operate for longer periods between servicing.”

Speaking at the opening, SA minerals and energy resources minister Tom Koustantonis said the centre, located at Mawson Lakes, will help the state’s industry through the current downturn.

“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,” Kousantonis 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.

“That will drive increased competitiveness for mid-tier mining service companies, which are the backbone of our resources and energy operations in South Australia.”  

The centre is one of the projects under the wider Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence, and “a further example of a smart state in action,” Koutsantonis said.

The state provided $660,000 in funding towards the $2.074 million centre.