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MEI Online: Control & Instrumentation: Latest News: March 4th 2006


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:: Foxboro network for Canada's largest mineral processing plant

Invensys Process Systems has been selected by Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) to implement a new mesh network-based Foxboro automation system for beneficiation processes at IOCís Labrador City iron ore concentrator. The plant is located near the western boundary of Labrador, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Connecting with several existing Foxboro systems, the new control system, when completed, will put all plant processes under I/A Series control.

The complex is Canadaís largest such operation, with an annual concentrator production capacity of about 16 million tons. Approximately 75 percent of this capacity is processed into pellets on-site, and the balance is shipped directly to sinter feed customers.

Invensys will implement the latest I/A Series Version 8.X hardware and software, including the CP270 family of control processors and a range of I/O modules. The system will replace outdated equipment, which was used to control the magnetite recovery and spiral processes.

It will also integrate with existing I/A Series systems used for controlling the grinding area and hematite plant. The expanded system will have approximately 10,000 I/O points connecting to the network.

I/A Series systems will be integrated into the mesh network using Foxboroís ATS (Address Translation Station) modules. These enable I/A Series workstations and controllers on both mesh- and nonmesh-based networks to interoperate seamlessly.

The integrated network will leverage IOCís investment in existing controls, and will allow IOC to combine all the process areas into a single process control system with a common operator interface for all plant units. The network infrastructure also has the capacity to integrate controls that support planned future production expansions by IOC.

The earlier implementations of Foxboro I/A Series at the concentrator installed in 1997 include automation for the grinding mills and the main spiral extraction processes. Controls for the balance of plant operations were installed in 1999, including the flotation plant and the entire pellet plant, adjacent to the concentrator operation.




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