WMC Resources Uses Intergraph® for Data Integrity

The challenges of mining in the remote Australian Outback were eased by adopting the plant information management solution SmartPlant® Foundation.

The Challenge

With more than 4,700 employees, WMC Resources is one of the largest mining entities in the world. The company’s Olympic Dam mining and processing site in Roxby Downs, located in remote South Australia, is the largest known multi-metal and uranium ore deposit. The site produces 25,000 metric tons of ore a day and 200,000 metric tons of copper each year.

Olympic Dam demands a high level of engineering excellence, and WMC Resources needed a resilient, flexible information technology infrastructure. Although WMC’s capital engineering is headquartered in the southeastern city of Adelaide, access to engineering information is needed daily to support operations and maintenance at the Olympic Dam site in the Australian outback.

The Solution

WMC tackled the problem by adopting Intergraph’s SmartPlant® Foundation and using the Internet as the delivery mechanism. The simple user interface is easily accessed by the operations and maintenance personnel on site; familiarity with an Internet browser is the only prerequisite.

"Easy to use and easy to train," said WMC design coordinator Trevor Porter.

Essential to WMC's operating and maintenance environment have been SmartPlant Foundation’s rules-based engineering numbering system, CAD file management, file view and markup, revisioning and versioning. For example, SmartPlant Foundation’s CAD file management allows WMC users to manage both primary reference files as well as nested reference files. This means that when WMC is storing and retrieving files, it also has the ability to store and retrieve associated files at the same time, ensuring that they have all the relevant data.

But to maintain the plant’s integrity, WMC needed to manage more than just the documents. Documents are containers of information, and that information is shared across multiple documents. Maintaining the accuracy and consistency of the flow rate of a pump as it is shared across related documents is difficult. This is compounded when the pump’s flow rate changes.

Managing the associated engineering information as data in its own right and cross-referencing it to related documents helps achieve plant integrity. Integrating engineering systems with other business systems is also essential. By selecting Intergraph’s engineering information management solution, infrastructure for both current and future requirements is provided.