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Freelance DCS at Northam Platinum Mine, South Africa

Increase productivity and to keep production stable while simultaneously reducing energy consumption.

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The customer called for a more compact controller, improved presentation of alarms and results and an excellent cost/benefits ratio. That’s where Freelance with AC 700F came into play.

Replacement of a PLC with AC 700F for improved presentation of alarms

Northam Platinum Ltd. is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and mines and produces precious metals. Convertors are used to extract platinum from ore. These convertors are driven using electrical motors. Until now, a PLC controlled the motors’ direct motor starters. This operating mode was not reliable and efficient enough for Northam, as the motors thus operate constantly at full output. That  reduces the lifespan of the components and causes higher repair and maintenance costs to increase.

When the application was modernized and converted to frequency converters to increase energy efficiency, the outdated PLCs were to be replaced. Customer requirements were a more compact controller, an improved presentation of alarms and results and an excellent cost/benefits ratio.

Northam opted for the new AC 700F controller when replacing PLCs for the converters. Northam has  been using the Freelance system to control its smelting furnaces and other applications for many years and is convinced by the system's performance.

Easy adjustment of the motor output allows up to 50% of energy savings

One AC 700F controller now regulates one variable-speed drive. The motor output can be adjusted at any time to the current operating requirements of the application, as frequency converters can be simply driven by the controller. The adjustment allows up to 50% of energy savings and processes can be better controlled.

The increase in efficiency resulting from the intelligent speed control can be used in two ways: to increase productivity or to keep production stable while simultaneously reducing energy consumption.

Main facts

Industry Mining
Customer ​Northam Platinum Limited
Country South Africa
Solutions

The Freelance DCS with:

System integrator
​NJCSI

Separate tools for programming the PLCs and to create operator images are no longer needed

Integration of the AC 700F controller into the existing Freelance system and the easy engineering with just one engineering tool simplify commissioning and maintaining of the entire application. The configuration is particularly simple as the visualization is also created with ​Freelance Engineering. Separate tools for programming the PLCs and to create operator images are no longer needed. Technicians now only need to handle a uniform engineering tool system wide.

As a result of its positive experience, Northam will modernize additional converters and other small plants using the AC 700F controller in the near future.
Replacement of a PLC with Freelance AC 700F controller increases productivity and helps to save energy.