Converter Controls and Remote Operations at Xstrata Nickel

In a critical project for Glencore (as Xstrata), BESTECH successfully upgraded converter controls to enhance safety and operational efficiency. Across two phases, we modernized the control systems for two converters, transitioning operations to remote control booths equipped with advanced monitoring and control hardware. This upgrade not only improved safety conditions for personnel but also increased production efficiency, demonstrating BESTECH's expertise in delivering tailored industrial automation solutions.

Xstrata Nickel needed to upgrade converter controls at their facility in Sudbury, Ontario, focusing on enhancing personnel safety and production efficiency. The project required a phased approach to minimize production impact, with each converter being upgraded individually.

BESTECH managed this project across two phases, with each focusing on upgrading the controls for one converter. Phase 1 involved upgrading the No.5 Converter controls, moving them into a safe environmental control booth for remote operation. This phase included the addition of new instrumentation, communication, and monitoring hardware, as well as video surveillance. Phase 2 replicated this setup for the No.6 Converter, further improving safety and production efficiency.

Key Features:

  • Phase 1 (No.5 Converter): Upgrade of converter controls, implementation of remote operation from an ergonomic console, addition of video surveillance and process control screens.
  • Redesign of the relay panel with new Allen Bradley relays and power supplies.
  • Phase 2 (No.6 Converter): Duplication of the No.5 converter’s upgraded system to maintain consistency and efficiency.
  • Focus on reducing personnel exposure to hazardous conditions and enhancing production efficiency.

Completed between 2007 and 2008, these upgrades significantly improved the safety conditions for personnel and increased the efficiency of converter operations at Xstrata Nickel. The remote control systems and enhanced monitoring capabilities provided by BESTECH set a new standard in operational safety and efficiency for the facility.