ABB's Extended Automation System 800xA at Collahuasi Mine

Ever since I got my first computer, I’ve always been fascinated with information and how its storage and sharing between systems within an organization can significantly improve productivity and ultimately lead to better decision-making. Better decision making was the primary reason the Collahuasi Mine, located in the North of Chile, chose ABB’s Extended Automation System 800xA.

Collahuasi was already using ABB’s Advant control system for control of their concentration plant, but they added its Ujina-Rosario ‘transition’ project, ABB’s System 800xA Extended Automation was selected to control both. The main goal was to have one operating platform, so that operators could easily transition from control and operation in the existing plant to the new plant. One of the main reasons for choosing the 800xA technology was because Collahuasi has an open system based on Windows and this allows us to have connectivity with third party systems. Establishing this connectivity allowed Collahuasi to minimize the costs of configuration and engineering stages. Ultimately, reducing time to decision and action is the key benefits of the 800xA technology. With this system operators have the tools to make good decisions in a timely manner and have ready access to information needed to respond quickly to alarms and failures.

It appears that ABB’s 800xA technology does an excellent job of integrating multiple systems. Collahuasi has benefited as outlined above, but other key performance indicators such as reliability, energy efficiency, safety and security can also be realized with this kind of system. I would encourage any mine looking at these systems to also read the press release “ABB integrates Codelco mine automation systems” for another customer’s perspective.