ABB has launched the new System 800xA MIDAS Library, an application that gives the engineers who operate automated mines a more powerful way to rapidly troubleshoot the electrical system through an enhanced substation control and monitoring environment from the control room. This remote substation monitoring allows the plant team to solve problems safely away from the electrical substation, thus reducing the time for electrical fault diagnosis and problem solving.

MIDAS stands for mining integrated distribution automation system. The library works within ABB's System 800xA, which is a platform for monitoring and controlling a wide range of automated industrial processes. It is based on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s 61850 standard, which creates a common language for automated substations and power distribution systems. This means that technologically advanced mines around the world will be able to take advantage of MIDAS’s capabilities.

The main capability is to give plant technicians better information about the state of their electrical systems and to allow them to remotely control and correct those systems. An operator who is using the MIDAS Library will be able to monitor the whole mine’s electrical infrastructure from a single workstation using a single software package. The analytics are presented in real time using a graphic interface that is both comprehensive and intuitive.

This in turn will create other benefits: for example, the capability to diagnose faults without going on-site means greater safety for workers. And the capability to rapidly discover the root cause of the problem, and thus fix it more quickly when it happens, reduces disruption to the working of the mine and lowers the operational costs of running it. Furthermore, the fact that process and power automation can be done by one common system reduces the cost of training and spare parts. The combination of information allows processes to be fine-tuned so they use as little energy as possible.

The MIDAS Library also makes it simple for engineers to deal with intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) for protection and control of the electrical system. A right-click of the mouse brings up a full suite of technical information, including manuals, information on the device’s parameters and its role in the wider system. And as the IEDs can be connected to the automation system by Ethernet, one team can control substations in many different and distant locations.

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