PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Unplanned downtime a thing of the past

November 2016 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Yichun Luming Mining Co. is the largest molybdenum mine in China with an annual capacity of 25 000 tons. In 2014 Yichun Luming embarked on a project to modernise controls at the plant. The process of beneficiation involves the removal of waste minerals from molybdenum ore to produce a higher grade product concentrate. The process involves a combination of crushing, grinding and milling as well as heavy liquid separation. The safe and efficient handling of the process involves substantial instrumentation including data acquisition, continuous process control and machinery controls. Following investigation of available control solutions Yichun Luming selected PlantCrusie by Honeywell to automate the beneficiation process.

The challenge

Demands in the beneficiation process are many. Frequent startup and shutdown is characteristic of the process, giving rise to potential issues such as:

• Increased power consumption for semi-autogenous and ball grinding.

• Increased wear and replacement of lining plate spares.

• Fluctuation of density fineness which affects quality.

• Decreased production and cost increases resulting in lost opportunity.

As the value of product is high, system failures and downtime cannot be tolerated. According to director Wang Yanbin, “We required a first class DCS to accomplish the centralised monitoring, centralised operation as well as centralised production command and coordination of the entire process including the large-scale equipment with its own control system. Our goal was to optimise control in key processes such as grinding-flotation which separates and dissolves impurities and dosing which controls the flow of effluents. Meanwhile we must improve the equipment running rate, optimise the technological indexes and improve production efficiency. We are counting on the control system to deliver convenient and fast installation, programming, and debugging. Reliable operation and easy maintenance are also important to us. It is especially important for our technicians to become familiar quickly with the new control system.”

The solution

Traditionally the automation of large-scale molybdenum-copper mining and beneficiation was accomplished by PLCs and a scada system. Although these older systems are effective they are difficult to program, operate and maintain. Today’s technologies provide opportunities for improvement.

Yichun Luming selected PlantCruise by Honeywell. The scope of supply included:

• PlantCruise hardware and software.

• Engineering debugging services.

• System installation.

• On-site network configuration.

• Server synchronisation.

• Communication debugging.

PlantCruise is an extension of Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System and well suited to meet Yichun Luming’s requirements. It is a proven DCS that is easy to use and maintain, based on the Experion C300 controller.


PlantCruise is a powerful and affordable solution offering advanced optimisation and batch control technology usually found in larger DCS platforms. The system offers strong benefits for mineral mining and processing operations, including:

1. Maximised uptime and improved plant reliability and efficiency.

2. Engineered from the ground up to be more robust than PLC-based systems.

3. Reduced cost of ownership.

4. Enhanced operator effectiveness through alarm management and displays.

5. Communicates effortlessly with third-party devices and drives.

The trend display makes it convenient for Yichun Luming to seek historical data and conduct production analysis which helps facilitate operation and maintenance. The diagnostic and alarm information are very detailed and viewed at a glance. The system enables users to modify the configuration from multiple terminals to improve the work efficiency and shorten the engineering configuration time.

For more information contact John Moodie, Universal Measurement & Control, +27 (0)12 665 4156,,


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