Projects - Iron Ore Port

Iron Ore Port sets loading records with Manufacturing Execution System

A West Australian based iron ore port reduced downtime, increased their bottom line and is moving a record tonnage of product since reassessing its systems and software. Effectively managing data is becoming increasingly vital for Australian Manufacturers. These businesses are under pressure to perform as they continue to operate in an environment with reduced profit margins and the challenges of cheap imports. The Iron Ore Port was previously using a home grown, manual system for the tracking of trains, ships, tonnages and stoppages. The technology that the system used was no longer supported and they faced issues such as security and long term support. Following a review, the port management realised the solution was improving their data management. In particular, they needed software that could understand the incoming trains and the type of product they contained, where incoming ore was to be stored and if product were to be direct loaded to a vessel, it needed to know which one. The  port needed to improve vessel loading sequences, better manage its stockpile and to be able to identify stoppages and report on product movements including quality and overall efficiency. The port sought to implement a commercial off-the-shelf software product that could be supported in the future. The new system needed to provide all the current functionality of the home grown solution and provide an automated method for port supervisors and operators to manage the incoming trains and outgoing vessels. Reports needed to be instant, with notification particularly important in improving the ports throughput. The review led the port to Efficientia Solutions  who specialise in software solutions to help industrial businesses measure and improve performance. Efficientia Solutions staff  have over two decades of experience in Industrial Automation IT and offers assistance including,  in product selection, training, consultation and technical support. The Port installed the Wonderware MES system after determining it was the best fit to its needs.

Since installation, the operators have significantly reduced their interaction with the system as most data is automatically generated through the control system, increasing automation and data accuracy. This improvement is allowing the port to investigate and reduce stoppages through continuous improvement programs. Port Management also enjoy a significantly higher level of visibility due to all data being live, achieved thorough the Wonderware web based data and reporting solution. Next year, the plant expects to expand its operation with an additional ship berth and car dumper and due to its object orientated nature, will be able to rapidly deploy the Wonderware MES System.