Bystrinsky GOK —example of Nornickel digital transformation

Bystrinsky GOK —example of Nornickel digital transformation

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Exeplant, one of the OMEGALLIANCE® Group companies, has successfully commissioned the manufacturing execution system for commercial operation at Bystrinsky GOK. Since the middle of 2017, large-scale works on developing a single information environment that was to include all data on production processes had been under way in parallel with the construction of the plant. Thanks to exact and concerted efforts of the project team at Bystrinsky GOK and Exeplant experts, all works on developing the manufacturing execution system had been completed on time by the end of 2018.

Bystrinsky GOK is a priority and unique for Nornickel project on construction of a modern mining and processing plant from scratch. The company management assigned before contractors the task to build a plant that applies ultramodern production and management technologies from the very beginning. Exeplant experts developed and implemented a digital plant concept based on the following principles:  

  • Increasing the process works safety, decreasing the number of incidents and emergencies and elimination terms

  • Ensuring meeting of production targets

  • Minimizing the need for constant personnel presence at remote sites

  • Reducing labor intensity of reporting documentation maintenance (dispatcher summaries, reports)

  • Ensuring accuracy and consistency of analytical reporting data

  • Reducing labor efforts on collecting data to draw up analytical reports regarding balance of metals and materials

  •  Ensuring access to production data to external systems and users.

To solve the set tasks, applying the best global practices and Exeplant’s experience in development and implementation of manufacturing execution systems (MES) for large production facilities was required. Products by AVEVA (Schneider Electric) were selected as the basic platform to implement the system. Wonderware solutions have proven their efficiency in practice multiple times, ensuring fast return on investment, growth and scaling potential, and most important — optimization of operating costs and increasing business profitability through using digital technologies.

In the course of implementing the project, the Exeplant team faced a number of challenges. At Bystrinsky GOK, as at any site under construction, there was incomplete source data at the design stage, lack of production processes regulations, described business processes and inaccuracies in describing target processes. So when designing the solution the most flexible scenarios and approaches were selected that made it possible to easily and quickly scale and modify the solution depending on the evolution of business requirements to production processes control.

An important element of the project was integration of production functions implemented by the system and Customer’s business processes, and in order to do so Model-Driven MES principles were applied when designing the system. Within this approach, business processes in place at a plant are digitized, implemented as models (business rules and user interfaces) and used when the system performs production functions. A good example is the function of maintaining dispatcher summaries that was closely integrated with planning processes and the work of the enterprise engineering office to ensure the possibility to quickly perform factor analysis and consistent analytical reporting data. In order to implement the Model-Driven MES principles, the integrated solution Wonderware MES + Skelta BPM was used that combines the functions of manufacturing execution (MES) and business process management systems (BPM).

When implementing the project, it was necessary to resolve the issue of data collection from multiple lower-level systems by different vendors — from PCS and local automated control systems to specialized information systems for managing shipment of end products.

As a result of the project, Bystrinskoye Mining Company obtained a centralized manufacturing execution system that enables: 

  • Constant automated monitoring of plant processes, recording of deviations from optimal operation modes and notifications to operations personnel about them

  • Control and management of secondary water, heat and power supply facilities from the central control panel for secondary production facilities

  • Automated maintenance of reporting documentation based on data received from metering devices and PCSs, control over processes of operating personnel providing necessary data and timely submission of reporting documentation to stakeholders

  • Constant control over production indicators and control over meeting production targets

  • Automated control over data integrity, consistency and reliability when generating dispatcher summaries, maintaining analytical reporting on production, service hours and equipment downtime

  • Creation of the basis for submitting production data to adjacent systems at the plant to generate analytical reports.

“The full-fledged manufacturing execution system launched at Bystrinsky GOK is intended to become the foundation of a modern Digital production facility,” notes Vladimir Shinyaev, project manager of the project office at Chita project of PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel. “By combining construction of the GOK and parallel development of a comprehensive plant management system, we are aiming to reach the required production capacities in the shortest possible time. Thus, we are planning to use the wide potential of digital tools. We shall further continue to develop the system functionality within our strategy on increasing operating performance.”

In future, balanced scaling of the solution and including new business processes is provided for. Plans for 2019 include solving the issues of integration with adjacent production systems, such as the mining management system, the laboratory information management system (LIMS), and the enterprise resource planning system (ERP).