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Victorian operation leads way in intelligent motor control

Boral’s Charlton Quarry is off Victoria’s Calder Highway, 240km north-west of the Melbourne CBD and 320km south of Mildura. It is one of the few hard rock quarries in the region that produces notable volumes of different quarry products, which are supplied to infrastructure projects in its vicinity.

As part of its commitment to delivering high quality building and construction solutions, Boral Quarries works to maintain an engaged and reliable workforce and minimise environmental impact. In keeping with this mission, it recently invested in a motor control solution for the Charlton Quarry, to improve uptime and leverage the longevity and compliance provided by the latest motor control technology.

Boral engaged SS Electrics, a Ballarat-based electrical contracting business, to modernise the quarry’s electric equipment.

“We have worked with Boral on projects at their other quarries previously and therefore understood the importance of minimising downtime on-site during commissioning,” SS Electrics director Chris Nunn said. “The Rockwell Automation motor control centres (MCCs) were 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 meet the tight commissioning timeline for this project.”

The Allen-Bradley Centerline 2500 MCCs offer optimal safety, performance and reliability to help quarries meet their production requirements. Modern motor control solutions have to integrate with existing systems and provide advanced diagnostics capabilities. The Centerline 2500 meets these requirements with sound integration and reduced engineering time.

“The quarry required an 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,” Matthew Treeby, the account manager for Rockwell Automation, said.

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

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


Intelligent software, 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 address the quarry’s compliance standards and functional safety requirements.

Boral’s MCC also features IntelliCenter technology, which enhances the MCC’s intelligence 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 the ethernet allows operators and maintenance to realise the benefits of “the connected enterprise” by monitoring and analysing operations from anywhere at any time.

To reduce engineering time, the MCC was assembled in Rockwell Automation’s Shanghai manufacturing plant. Boral and SS Electrics representatives visited the plant to assess its capabilities before shipping to Australia.

The smart motor control solution was programmed with Studio 5000 software and the 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 at Charlton Quarry.

By providing consolidated programming, device and system configuration, and operation and maintenance within the Studio 5000 engineering environment, complexity and potential errors can be minimised. In addition, the requirement for on-site engineering work was reduced significantly, as the MCC had a complete set of electrical drawings, allowing SS Electrics to start the commissioning process from its facility in Ballarat, even before the MCC arrived in Australia.

Upon arrival, commissioning was completed at SS Electrics’ facility, where the MCC was pre-built in a portable room before being shipped to site. This allowed the MCC to be customised to meet site specifications.

Improved uptime, compliance

Boral’s Charlton Quarry is now benefiting 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 being 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,” Jake McClellan, the mechanical engineer and asset manager at Boral Construction Materials, said.

“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.”

Allen-Bradley, ArcShield, Centerline, ControlLogix, E300, Guardmaster, IntelliCenter, Point I/O, PowerFlex, SMC, Stratix and Studio 5000 are all products of Rockwell Automation.

Source: Rockwell Automation

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