ASSMANG Khumani expansion project
ASSMANG Khumani expansion project again turns to Iritron and Wonderware
ASSMANG’s Khumani iron ore mine is an ambitious undertaking by any definition. Completed in just two years from a foundation of Kalahari
sand, Khumani is well on the way of becoming a principal player on the global and competitive world of primary metal production.
ASSMANG’s Khumani iron ore mine is situated in the Northern Cape Province of South
Africa and close to Sishen. The Khumani deposits are among the best iron ore resources
in the country in terms of quality and quantity. Based on current reserves, a new mine producing 8,4 million tons annually would have a life in excess of 40 years and at double that
capacity, a life in excess of about 25 years.
ASSMANG Limited is a South African
company that supplies raw material to
the world’s steel mills and alloy plants.
Most of the group’s production is
exported to the Far East, Europe and
the USA.
By any standards, the Khumani mine is a gigantic project. Starting in June 2006 with a budget of R4 billion, 60 000 cubic metres of structural concrete, 10 000 tons of steel, 3250 tons
of plate work and 650 kms of instrumentation and electrical cabling were forged together to
form this mega iron ore mine in just two years.
System Integrator Iritron was contracted by Dowding, Reynard and Associates (DRA) during the initial ASSMANG Khumani project to take responsibility for the implementation of
the overall supervisory and control system using the Wonderware System Platform (based
on ArchestrA Technology) and also to form part of the C&I team responsible for the systems
engineering, instrumentation design and PLC control systems for the plant.
Originally named The Associated
Manganese Mines of South Africa Limited, the company changed its name to
ASSMANG Limited in 2001. ASSMANG,
which is owned equally by African Rainbow Minerals and Assore, currently has
three operating divisions structured to
handle its three commodities of chrome,
manganese and iron ore.
In 2008, system integrator Iritron was appointed by the principal contractor of this gigantic
greenfields project to implement the SCADA and production information system for the
Expansion project
For the ASSMANG Khumani Expansion Project, ASSMANG again appointed DRA Mineral
Projects as the Managing Contractor for the project and Iritron was again contracted by
DRA to implement the extensions to the already-installed Wonderware System Platform.
Wonderware Southern Africa • Block D, Gillooly’s View Office Park, 1 Osborne Lane, Bedfordview, South Africa
Tel: 0861 WONDER (0861 966337) • Fax: +27 11 607 8478 • www.wonderware.co.za
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Pienaar: “ArchestrA technology is really now
paying off.”
ASSMANG expansion project
Iritron is a certified Wonderware System Platform
integrator and has a long track record with ASSMANG and
extensive knowledge of their standards and requirements. To
date, Iritron has successfully implemented five large Wonderware ArchestrA projects as far afield as the United States and
the Northern Cape and the company is currently busy with
another four projects. Iritron is also actively involved in the Beta
and systems testing of Wonderware System Platform 3.1 and
future releases.
“One of the main advantages of the Wonderware System
Platform is its scalability, flexibility and ease of expansion once
standards and templates have been developed for a specific
implementation,” says Iritron director Johann Pienaar. “In this
case, the standards and templates that were developed during
the initial phase of the project could be re-used for all the new
plant sections.”
In terms of hardware, the existing System Platform was expanded by adding an additional pair of redundant Application
Object Servers and six additional InTouch View Nodes in the
new plant sections – King Primary Crushing, 2nd Load-Out Station and the Jig Plant Extension. No other hardware additions
were required – the existing servers and networks had more
than sufficient spare capacity in terms of processing power and
In terms of software development, the effort put in during the
definition and development of the standards and templates during the initial project finally paid off. “All that was required was to
create new instances of the existing templates (motors, valves,
conveyors, crushers, screens, etc.) for each piece of equipment
that had to be added,” says Pienaar. “No testing and integration was required, seeing as these templates had already been
thoroughly tested. The same applied to the PLC programmes.”
Once the object instances had been created (exports from the
FDES instrumentation design software and CSV imports were
used to automate this process in both System Platform and in
RSLogix5000), the new mimics were created by dragging and
dropping the associated object graphics on to the mimic pages
and adding the static detail. The graphics and animation form
part of the object templates, so no additional configuration or
testing was required.
The size of the Khumani Expansion Project is about 50% of
the original project, but the SCADA development took less
than 10% of the original development thanks to the standards enforcement of the underlying ArchestrA technology.
The savings in time will be even more pronounced during
“We are thankful for Wonderware’s ArchestrA technology because its developers obviously understood our very real needs
and built an environment that allows us to grow painlessly,
quickly and to the benefit of our clients,” concludes Pienaar.