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Barrick Gold Turns to Industrial IoT to Maximize Uptime of Its Critical Assets

IMC-2018 Learning Session 15:05

by Leonard Zahrowski, Barrick Gold Corporation

Barrick Gold's Cortez Process Division (hereafter‚ Cortez) has recently positioned themselves as a leader in predictive maintenance and digital transformation. Earlier this year, Cortez implemented the Asset Reliability & Optimization (ARO) System from Petasense to improve their asset reliability and overall uptime. Cortez Reliability Engineers are now able to continuously monitor critical assets using wireless sensors and machine learning analytics, thereby gaining real-time insights about asset health and utilization on their web and mobile dashboards. Prior to the trial, vibration readings were taken from critical rotating equipment on a monthly basis. Due to this large gap between readings, intermediary events leading to failure could not be captured. Soon after starting the trial, the reliability team at Cortez received email alerts about a drop in the machine health score of a critical Mercury scrubber. The scrubber showed increasing vibrations at one-half the machine's running speed frequency, indicating structural looseness or imbalance. Within a few days, the scrubber frame bolts were replaced and properly secured, reducing vibration levels by 60%. Without continuous monitoring capabilities in place, Cortez may have not received these early warning of machine deterioration. Had these problems gone unidentified, it could have resulted in downtime and considerable repairs. By implementing the ARO System, Cortez was able to take corrective measures, thereby improving machine uptime and avoiding unanticipated repair costs. Going a step further, Cortez has integrated vibration data from the Petasense system into their PI AF (Asset Framework) database. The PI values are also linked into Bentley APM, an Asset Management System linked to the CMMS. With these integrations in place, work orders and requests can be automatically sent to frontline leaders in an alarm event. The leaders can then assign critical work to their technicians to mitigate risks of unplanned downtime and extensive repairs.

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