Year in Infrastructure Conference a win for mining software technology

Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference has kicked off in London and promises to provide miners with software products to help them drive productivity and efficiency on site.

From new mine planning and surveying software, to reducing risks offshore and advancing construction, the conference agenda is packed full of case studies and technological advancements that are aimed at helping the mining companies work smarter.

The buzz word at the conference so far has been ‘optioneering’, a term used to speak to the way in which software advances gives businesses multiple choices to leverage in their day-to-day operations.

Bentley says these options will streamline processes, saving miners time and money and leading to more efficient ways of running their mines. 

Robert Mankowski, Bentley vice president, simulation and product management, said the company was thrilled to introduce new software offerings to the mining sector.

“We are very excited about our new mining offerings and the powerful optioneering benefits they bring to the mining industry,” he said.

Be Inspired Awards

A highlight of the conference is set to be the Be Inspired Awards which recognises companies around the world using Bentley products to undertake work in lots of different areas including construction, roads, power generation and offshore engineering.

But what we’re interested in is the mining category finalists (which incudes two projects from Australian-based company Ausenco) so here they are;

Finalists in Innovation in Mining and Metals – Be Inspired Awards

Ausenco for the Costancia Project

Ausenco was engaged by Hudbay Peru SAC to provide engineering, procurement, construction, and management services for the USD 1.75 billion Constancia Project. Working 4,100 meters above sea level in a remote part of the Andes in Peru, the team managed data across people, disciplines, languages, and multiple locations. Collaboration among Brisbane, Toronto, and Peru to align existing systems, expertise, and processes was critical to the successful delivery of the project.

Using ProjectWise with AutoPLANT, Ausenco was able to bring these disparate engineering teams together, reducing errors and increasing the data integrity throughout the lifecycle of the project. Ausenco implemented more efficient work processes not only on the Constancia Project, but also for all subsequent projects. ProjectWise enabled the tracking of changes on drawings as well as the linking to other systems such as Oracle and Prism, enabling Ausenco to more easily obtain the documents for regulatory and compliance requirements.

Ausenco for Goldstrike

Electrical and instrumentation engineering work represents significant capital and operating costs in the mining sector. Ausenco’s APAC/Africa regional team saw an opportunity to use an integrated approach to automate processes and significantly reduce engineering hours that could be applied to any project. The team proved this approach on Barrick Gold Corporation’s Goldstrike complex – one of the most prolific gold mining districts in the Western Hemisphere – located about 60 kilometers northwest of Elko, Nevada. Barrick contracted Ausenco to integrate engineering and design drafting processes, gain efficiencies in work processes, standardize on one integrated platform, and eliminate as many manual processes as possible.

Ausenco utilised its customized integrated electrical engineering and design drafting system to automatically produce single-line diagrams, schematics, terminations, instrument loop diagrams, cable schedules, and data reports. A programmable API placed on the front end of promis•e enabled Ausenco to develop a plug-in extension tool that automated project setup and leveraged ProjectWise’s centralized project database.

Vale Manitoba Operations

Brazil-based Vale, one of the largest mining companies in the world, produces 99.99 percent pure plating grade nickel at its Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, mining facility. The goal of this CAN $4.57 million project was to redesign and rebuild the loading pocket – located 4,160 feet underground – without affecting nickel production. Vale used MicroStation, Bentley Navigator, ProSteel, ProStructures, STAAD.Pro, and Structural Modeler from design through fabrication to construction.

This mine typically experiences six days of downtime every year at a cost of CAN $1 million per day in lost production (not including scheduled maintenance shutdown periods), with the frequency of downtime increasing as the infrastructure ages. With the new upgrade and total redesign, the total project ROI was calculated at less than one year.

Another Aussie

QGC has been nominated in the Innovation in Mega Projects category for work on its $20 billion LNG facility on Curtis Island in Queensland. 

In addition to employing contractors using design tools from multiple vendors, QGC needed to track 700,000 pieces of equipment from 2,000 wells, 22 plant facilities, four water treatment plants, pipelines, and the Curtis Island liquefaction terminal. Working with Bentley engineers, QGC developed an engineering data warehouse leveraging eB Information Manager. QGC is now able to convert design data into a common i-model format that can be easily accessed improving collaboration as well as the transparency of data ownership and traceability of changes across the entire project.

What else is on the agenda?

After the award winners are announced, the focus of the conference will turn to forums and discussions aimed at exploring new methods and technologies to improve both project and asset performance.

Emerging trends for offshore, trends for mining in 2015, driving collaboration in engineering and innovation in mining construction are just some of the topics that will be covered over Wednesday and Thursday. 

With speakers presenting from Bentley, Shell, Anglo American, Fiatech and Cyest Technology, the forums are set to present some interesting ideas for Australian miners to tap into.

We will be covering all the action live form the event, and you can follow it on our Twitter @ozmining or by using the hashtag #Yii2014.

Be sure to check our Facebook for pictures and let us know if you have any burning questions for Bentley or the finalists in the Be Inspired Awards.

Vicky V is a guest of Bentley Systems. 

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