Case Study

Case Study

Better Together: A Mineral Mining Operation Modernizes Controls and Centralizes Data to Improve Productivity Across Multiple Facilities In Multiple Locations

Background

A mineral mining company located in the United States needed Malisko’s help. Their business revolved around extracting brine from a local water source and processing it into various salt-based products, including cooking salt; water softener salt; salt blocks for livestock; fishery salt; pool salt; de-icing salt and ice melters for highways, driveways, sidewalks. This process involved multiple plants, and none of those plants were sharing data with the others in a way that made it easily actionable. In addition, the mining company’s automation controls were aging, inhibiting business driven digitization efforts needed across all lines of business needed to stay competitive. Additionally, the customer needed to find a way to modernize their order fulfillment process, which historically was a very manual and resource-consuming process. This required the completion of a seamless end-to-end integration, from product loading to Enterprise Resource Planning order and billing reconciliation. In short, this mining company partnered with Malisko to realize the potential of its automated systems and the data they report.

OBJECTIVES

  • Make data easier to access by centralizing information from multiple plants on a single server
  • Modernize processes by upgrading to Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx modern DCS (Distributed Control System)
  • Utilizing the latest ControlLogix Process Controllers with embedded device libraries

CHALLENGES

  • Decentralized network of servers and systems.
  • Integrating bi-directional data exchange with the company’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – the ERP needed to push data to plants and receive data from plants.
  • Complex truck driver workflow – company drivers needed to be able to validate their order number and product selection against the record within the ERP from the truck loading stations prior to loading product.
  • Drivers expect to have the bill of lading in hand before departing the facility, so an automated process for validation, completion and printing was needed.
  • PlantPAx DCS
  • Created a custom user experience to support ERP order validation and fulfillment within PlantPAx by creating an end-to-end integration workflow.
  • Added the capability for orders to be fulfilled offline – and order details to be historized – for manual reconciliation in the event of communication outages.

RESULTS

  • Increased data accessibility
  • Improved plant efficiency
  • Introduced the capability for just-in-time orderability
  • Reduced variability in order fulfillment and billing operations
  • Reduced risk of security threats
  • Reduced risk of unplanned downtime
LEARN MORE

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