SCORS software helps coal plants track performance

A coal mining service provider has developed software to improve plant performance. Michael Mills reports.

Coal Handling and Pre paration Plants (CHPPs) can now be operated more effectively with the latest developments in industrial information technology.

Brisbane-based minerals processing services provider Sedgman designs, builds and operates CHPPs for coal miners around the world.

In an effort to boost the performance of these plants, the company has been rolling out the second version of its SCORS software across many of its operations.

According to Sedgman chief executive Mark Read, the soft ware is designed to act as an overarching management sys- tem on top of a plant’s normal instrument control and Super visory Control and Data Acqui sition (SCADA) systems.

“The software allows our process engineers to monitor plant performance remotely from a central location,” he told Australian Mining.

“It can be configured to provide whatever informa tion is important to the client, but generally it provides per formance data, such as reports on production, availabilities, downtimes and yields.

“We could actually operate all of our plants in the Bowen Basin from Brisbane and build up a full information suite for the business.”

The software can provide a variety of data for all levels of staff, including stockpile quality reports for control room operators and financial performance analytics for chief executives.

Read said the software had already helped the com pany ensure its plants were constantly running at their peak levels.

“If there is an issue, our engineers can remotely examine the problem,” he said.

“Instead of wasting hours flying to and from a site, the engineer can have a produc tive couple of hours in front of the screens, making any changes to the plant as need be.

“Eventually, with another year or two’s worth of data, we will be able to examine any overall trends and issues and see if we can resolve them by modifying the technology.”

The software was recog nised by Engineers Australia’s Queensland Division with an Excellence Award in October last year.

According to Read, the SCORS software is part of the company’s strategy to lead the way in coal processing technology.

“Our business model is dif ferent from other companies’, because we work with clients from start to finish,” he said.

“We are there when they get their core samples out of the ground so we can design a plant that best suits the project.

“It means we create a cycle and at every stage we learn more for the next project.

“Because of this, we are constantly improving from one plant to the next.”

The company hopes feed back provided by SCORS will help build on this cycle and therefore shape future devel opments and designs.

Read said the company was also developing other technol ogy to complement SCORS and act on the data provided.

“We are looking to get technology onto the market that can make the plants work harder, provide higher avail abilities and produce larger yields,” he said.

“We are also looking to market SCORS outside of our contracted client-base, to miners that operate their own plants.”

Read envisions the com pany will one day be able to operate a multitude of plants around Australia from Bris bane, with remote cameras and minimal crews on site.

“It is simply a more effici ent and streamlined way to operate these facilities,” he said.

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