Siemens provides MES for world's largest coal terminal | Automation.com

Siemens provides MES for world's largest coal terminal

July 27, 2007 - Richards Bay Coal Terminal Company Ltd. has engaged the Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group (I&S) to equip the world's largest coal terminal in South Africa with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES). In addition to monitoring of the production level, the system also enables planning on the business level, thus ensuring a high degree of efficiency in manufacturing facilities. Thanks to its modular design, it will be easy to expand the system in future when necessary. Commissioning is scheduled to take place end of 2008.

The Richards Bay coal terminal exports around 72 million metric tons of coal per year. An expansion program is intended to increase the annual capacity to over 90 million metric tons by 2009. The deep-water port is in the north of KwaZulu-Natal province on the east coast of South Africa. The coal supplies come from mines in the hinterland and are transported to the terminal via a 560 kilometer-long railway network. On arrival, up to 5500 metric tons of coal can be unloaded every hour and temporarily stored in coal tips with a total capacity of over 6 million metric tons. The quay of the terminal is 1.6 kilometers long and has five moorings at which four ship loaders load up to 400,000 metric tons of coal per day. In the meantime, around 700 ships a year are handled and can be loaded with up to 11,000 metric tons of coal per hour.

As part of the expansion program, Siemens is equipping the coal terminal with an MES (Manufacturing Execution System), which coordinates and monitors all movements of raw materials. The flow of information covers the arrival and storage of the raw material, handling and internal order processing, as well as flexible processing of the key production figures for the management level. In this way, it is possible to facilitate the economically efficient achievement of business objectives. Apart from production management, the system efficiently controls order processing in respect of incoming and outgoing material.

The most important feature of the system is Simatic IT Framework, the Siemens platform for MES. Thanks to the data integration service, the gap between the existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and the monitoring level is closed. The entire production process is displayed on a screen in a clear graphic display. Integrated KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) libraries, equipped with monitoring and reporting functions, lead to more transparency in the process. The all-inclusive display of all the process enables forward-looking planning and rapid decision-making by the management. These features allow migrating all RBCT operations- and planning functions step by step into the Simatic IT platform in future. This, in turn, results in increased productivity and greater availability.

It is the first integrated, Simatic IT project that is based completely on the ISA95 standard and is being implemented for the mining and materials processing industry. The system will be commissioned by Siemens and handed over as a turnkey solution.

The Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group (I&S) is the integrator of systems and solutions for industrial and infrastructure facilities and global service provider for the plant and projects business covering planning, installation, operation and the entire life cycle. I&S uses its own products and systems and process technologies in order to enhance productivity and improve competitiveness of companies in the sectors of metallurgy, water treatment, pulp and paper, oil and gas, marine engineering, open-cast mining, airport logistics, postal automation, intelligent traffic systems and industrial services. In fiscal 2006 (to September 30) I&S employed a total of 36,200 people worldwide and achieved total sales of EUR 8.819 billion, according to U.S. GAAP.
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