The ore handling muck circuit in the mine, controlled by three PLCs, was facing a significant technological challenge.

These PLCs, which were at the end of their operational life, needed an upgrade to align with the mine’s transition to the new Modicon M580 PLC platform. The specific components identified for this upgrade were the 2600L and 3935L rock breaker PLCs, along with the 3935L Crusher PLC. This modernization was essential to maintain operational efficiency and ensure compatibility with the mine’s evolving technological infrastructure.

A notable enhancement in the project was the installation of new remote controls for the rock breakers. These controls were designed to be operated from the surface but were installed underground, significantly improving operational safety and efficiency. One of the major challenges encountered during this upgrade was the outdated nature of the existing drawings for all three PLCs. In some cases, these drawings were completely missing, posing a significant hurdle in understanding and modifying the existing systems.

To overcome this, extensive site investigations were undertaken to create accurate as-built drawings. This meticulous process not only updated the outdated information but also filled in the gaps where previous documentation was non-existent. These newly created construction packages for each of the three PLCs provided a comprehensive, up-to-date blueprint of the systems.

The client reaped substantial benefits from this standardization and modernization effort. By adopting a standardized PLC design that conformed to site-wide standards in design, hardware, and equipment identification, the mine enhanced its operational consistency and ease of maintenance. Additionally, the removal of obsolete systems from the drawings clarified the current state of the ore handling system. This clarity, combined with updated and expanded system drawings and documentation, provided the client with a detailed and accurate representation of the operational framework, ensuring smoother operations and easier future upgrades or maintenance. This project not only brought the ore handling muck circuit up to current technological standards but also positioned it for more efficient and safe operations in the future.