Debswana Diamond Mining Co. Ltd.

AVEVA System Platform transforms manual, timeconsuming processes into streamlined automated tasks that deliver actionable data in real-time.

Debswana Diamond Mining Co. Ltd.

“Previously, Plant No.1 data had to be manually e-mailed to end-users on a daily basis. Only a few people on the list had access to the information and these reports were only sent once a day. Thanks to expanding our use of AVEVA software, data is now available to more users any time of the day, with live data continuously updating the critical operations reports.”

- Zwikamu Dubani, IT Analyst, Debswana

Goals

  • To provide real-time production information and key performance indicators (KPIs) to facilitate more effective use of plant information.
  • To reduce manual capture of plant information.
  • To better optimise plant operations and improve allocation of plant resources.

Challenges

  • No structured method of capturing data was in place, making it difficult to implement a dynamic intelligence solution.
  • Plant performance data was only being sent once a day, making it virtually unusable.
  • Operators were responsible for manually collecting the data into reports and then emailing them to authorised end-users individually, which was error prone.

Results

  • The plant achieved an ISA-95 standardised data structure.
  • Continuous availability of accurate, real-time reports enhanced production efficiency.
  • Historical plant data is now available along with a central repository for all plant-related information.

AVEVA Software Transforms Critical Plant Data into Actionable Information

Orapa and Jwaneng, Botswana – With the implementation of industrial management software from AVEVA, Debswana Diamond Company (Pty) Ltd. in Botswana, Africa is able to mine these precious gems more efficiently than ever before. Debswana is a partnership between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and the De Beers Group, a name synonymous with the diamond industry since 1888, and is responsible for providing a majority of the world’s diamond supply.

As with any type of mining operation, effective management of industrial processes and production data is key to the successful extraction of its precious resource for Debswana Diamond Mining Co., this was no different. During a review of overall plant operations, Debswana’s management team at the Orapa, Lethakane, Damtshaa (OLDM) Plant No. 1, realised it required a more effective process of capturing critical production data. Without a structured method of collecting this data, it was difficult to acquire the necessary real-time production and performance information to ensure operations were achieving its goals. Therefore, the facility management team chose to expand the diamond mine’s use of AVEVA software solutions.

Streamlining Information Sharing Between Facilities

Debswana has been using AVEVA solutions to manage its operations for decades with great success, so the company chose to continue with AVEVA, confident that it offered the best solutions for the mine’s complex data acquisition requirements.

“Previously, Plant No.1 data had to be manually e-mailed to end-users on a daily basis. Only a few people on the list had access to the information and these reports were only sent once a day. Thanks to expanding our use of AVEVA software, data is now available to more users any time of the day, with live data continuously updating the critical operations reports.”

– Zwikamu Dubani, IT Analyst, Debswana

The new expanded system was designed to transform the plant’s data into useful information, and make it openly accessible in a standardised ISA-95 format to all areas of the business. This facilitates more effective use of plant information that results in more refined performance indicators, better optimisation of plant operations, and improved allocation of plant resources. To manage the rollout of the new AVEVA software implementation, Debswana selected Bytes Systems Integration. The company was responsible for managing the initial installation of software at the mining company, so Debswana management was confident in their ability to successfully implement the expansion of the software installation.

Complexity of Installation Overcome

“The Plant No.1 project was a complex undertaking and for it to succeed, we identified some critical factors. The top of the list was to ensure continued availability of financial, human and material resources, and support, i.e. ‘buy in,’ of the senior and executive management teams for the overall project.”

– Zwikamu Dubani, IT Analyst, Debswana

The solution included AVEVA System Platform, which is a collaborative, standards-based foundation to unify Debswana plant floor staff, processes and assets for continuous operational improvement and enhanced realtime decision support. The installation also included a Galaxy repository, an AOS Server, AVEVA Historian and AVEVA Historian Clients.

“The deadline for completing the project at Plant No. 1 was tight – only six months. This made gathering the required information within the project timelines and budget challenging. Other issues also had to be addressed, including modifying the IT infrastructure since new servers were required for the plant, as well as redesigning complex Excel reports for use with AVEVA Historian Clients”

– Esenthren Govender, Position, systems engineer, Bytes Systems Integration

Powerful Data Collection

Using Historian Clients, data is sourced from plant equipment and then published to reports for analysis. A daily dashboard outlines key information on a single screen for all WIS users via Debswana’s intranet.

Historian is a high-performance process historian, capable of storing huge volumes of data generated from Debswana’s mining facilities. Historian easily retrieves and securely delivers information to desktop or mobile devices, enabling Debswana to analyse processes anywhere at any time. Combining advanced data storage and compression techniques with an industry-standard query interface to ensure open-access to all process, alarm and event data, Historian enables the Debswana operations management team to make more informed decisions while keeping them fully updated on operational performance.

Historian also enables the company to capture key performance indicators (KPIs) which include the amount of carats mined, and comparing this information with the daily and yearly forecasts. Another critical KPI captured is the tonnage of ore mined, which enables the team to estimate the carat yield. This information is used for production reporting as well as for the maintenance system monitoring, with all data available and updated in real time. The information collected is used to track production data from different sites and various mining operations at Plant No. 1.

AVEVA Historian Clients

AVEVA Historian Clients is designed for industrial plant workers to quickly and conveniently build a single web portal for accessing the full range of information and data collected from the AVEVA software, as well as third-party plant information systems.

Historian Clients aggregates and presents the Debswana plant performance and production data via a secure web solution that is easy to implement. The web portal provides operators with process graphics, trends, dashboards, reports, downtime, events, traceability and genealogy. In addition, each worker can customise their display of plant operations which maximises their overall job effectiveness.

The Road Ahead is Paved in Diamonds and AVEVA

Debswana plans to expand its use of AVEVA solutions on a larger scale by implementing it at its other mining facilities. Currently, the company plans to implement Historian and Historian Clients at its Jwaneng mine operations, which will enable both the OLDM and Jwaneng facilities to send data collected at each location to an enterprise Historian based at the Debswana Corporate Centre in Gaborone.

The System Platform roadmap also includes further enhancements in reporting by retrieving data that will be sourced from the plant, the mine and the engineering services equipment located at 12 areas at the Jwaneng and OLDM mining operations.

System Platform and other integrated software products serve as the critical link between the past, present and future of Debswana’s industrial automation and IT processes. By providing a single, standards-based unifying software hub for disparate solutions and technologies, AVEVA software safeguards Debswana’s diamond mine investments and optimises overall operations to ensure that the future needs of the diamond mining company will be met.

“The magnitude of the overall AVEVA System Platform implementation will span across a huge geographical landscape which will include 12 sites within the company. Such a complex implementation requires pinpoint planning and good operational synergy between all operations in order to successfully integrate thousands of pieces of data into a single enterprise data store.”

– Kago Rendoh, AVEVA System Platform Project Manager, Debswana

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