First published in Mineral Connection 02/2017

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Asset management generates up to 40% savings on maintenance

Vale S11D invested in a digital system that monitors condition of more than 6,000 assets of its plant

The monolithic S11D Carajás complex, which includes an open-pit mine, factory, railway and port, and includes operations in both Pará and Maranhão, reportedly produces 90 million mt of ore annually. The ore is moved via a half-dozen stackers and a sprawling, 9-km conveyor system dubbed the Long-Distance Belt Transporter. [Photo: Ricardo Teles / Vale ]

Managing a system of the size of S11D at Vale in Pará, requires a gigantic work of monitoring each stage of the various processes involved in the operation. To make this task feasible, the miner is committed to cutting-edge technology and has contracted the Asset Management System based on the ABB Ability™ AssetVista Condition Monitoring solution from ABB.
"The delivery followed the overall implementation schedule of the project. From the contract to the start of the commissioning, three years have passed, "explains Eduardo Botelho, ABB's Global Mining Material Handling Service Manager. The supply was made entirely by ABB Brasil, using engineering and local know-how . Investment should yield good results. "According to studies by the US Department of Energy, the use of maintenance based on the effective condition of assets provides savings of up to 40% on reactive maintenance and 12% over preventive maintenance, extending the life of assets, " reports Botelho .
"According to studies by the US Department of Energy, the use of condition-based mantenance provides savings of up to 40% over reactive maintenance and 12% over preventive maintenance, extending the life of the assets."

Enabling close monitoring of more than 6,000 critical assets on the site

The focus of monitoring is plant equipment including long-distance conveyors, crushers, vibrating screens and mobile material handling machines. More than 6,000 plant assets are being monitored, including process equipment, electrical, IED (intelligent relays) instrumentation, automation, IT, control and mechanical assets (including interfacing with expert vibration monitoring systems). Assets of the Carajás mine and the Carajás Railroad (EFC) are subject to monitoring, but were not included in the scope of the agreement.

Designing a decision-making tool for daily use by various maintenance functions

The biggest challenge in implementing the system, according to Botelho, was "to ensure that the Asset Management System / AssetVista gives full support to the plant maintenance decisions, making operations even more effective and accurate, reducing losses and increasing productivity."

According to Botelho, the Asset Management System was designed to be used as a decision-making tool for daily use by various maintenance functions. From management, engineering maintenance and reliability, to supervising and planning and control specialists. The system can be accessed in the control center, however the users of the tool are in the maintenance area and the system is accessible through PCs, notebooks, tablets and cell phones. Managers / Managers can access consolidated management information through dashboards and specific reports generated online.
The system is available in the control center, however the main users of the tool are maintenance people accessing it through PCs, laptops, tablets and cell phones. Managers get consolidated information through dashboards and specific reports generated online.

Constantly creating and refining monitoring algorithms to all kind of equipment from any supplier


ABB Ability™ AssetVista Condition Monitoring is an asset management solution that enables:

  • monitoring of existing equipment data already available in control systems; 
  • integrating information from different expert condition monitoring systems (such as vibration analysis) into a single platform with fully maintenance-oriented dashboards and reports; 
  • interface and information exchange for existing maintenance management systems (EAM / CMMS); 
  • being flexible and modular, lets evaluate the criticality of the assets and make use of existing good practices of RCM reliability, such as failure tree / FMECA / FMEA analysis. 

It is accessible via Intranet or Internet, through wiring or wireless network.

ABB Ability™ AssetVista is a holistic PAM (Plant Asset Management) solution, according to definition by ARC Advisory Group. It can be applied to virtually all types of critical assets in mining and other industrial operations, removing the silos of information and organizing it into a single focal point. 

ABB Ability™ AssetVista algorithms are designed and built based on maintenance engineering and reliability technologies

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