ABB launched its new System 800xA MIDAS Library with a principal goal of providing technicians better information about—and better remote control of—process plant electrical systems.

Power and automation technology supplier ABB has launched its new System 800xA MIDAS Library, an application designed to give the personnel 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, according to the company, allows the plant team to solve problems safely away from the substation, thus reducing the time needed for electrical fault diagnosis and problem solving.

MIDAS (Mining Integrated Distribution Automation System) works within ABB’s System 800xA, 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 principal objective 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 using the MIDAS Library will be able to monitor a mine’s complete electrical infrastructure from a single workstation using a single software package. The analytics are presented in real time using a graphic interface.

This, in turn, will create other benefits, said the company: 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 a problem, and thus fix it more quickly when it happens, reduces production interruptions 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 is also claimed to make 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.