Coal producer upgrades to a PLC

2019-07-04T11:23:53+00:00 July 4th, 2019|

Becker Mining South Africa’s energy division has been awarded a contract to upgrade the Programmable Logix Controller (PLC) infrastructure at a leading coal producer’s underground operation.

The Programmable Logix Controller from Becker Mining South Africa’s energy division. Image credit: Becker Mining South Africa

The Programmable Logix Controller from Becker Mining South Africa’s energy division. Image credit: Becker Mining South Africa

“This project comprises the design, manufacture and installation of 15 different PLCs, where each controller will monitor separate divisions underground. This new system will control the run and stop commands of conveyor belts and also manage safety signals,” explains Nico de Lange, vice president: Operations & Systems, Becker Mining South Africa. “All PLCs will be linked to the mine’s SCADA system, with accessibility to control functions remotely from the control room.

The new enclosures have front and rear access, with a glass window on the front outer door, for clear visibility of a 17” display fitted on the inner door. These units – with dimensions of 1800mm height x 800mm width x 350mm front depth and 200mm rear depth – have an IP65 rating to guard against the ingress of dust and water. “This advanced system, which has been custom-designed by Becker Mining, is expected to enhance productivity, reduce energy consumption and improve safety on the mine,” says de Lange.

“The controllers are currently in production at Becker Mining’s manufacturing facility in Alrode, to meet the mine’s exact specifications. Our project team will be responsible for removing the existing system and replacing it with the new controllers, without any loss of production time to the mine. The Becker Mining team will also carry out the commissioning of the new system.”

Becker Mining’s PLC enclosures consist of available technology, including control logix controllers, Ethernet communication, digital and analog inputs and relay outputs, Anny bus modules, 24Vdc output relays, Smart Guard safety relays, 24 Vdc / 12 Vdc internal and external voltage supply and fused termination for external connections (inputs; outputs; analogs; supply voltage).