The Telfer gold mine in Australia is experiencing network loading issues, according to MIPAC. A typical solution would be to perform a complete DCS system upgrade involving considerable costs and lengthy shutdown periods.

However, after conducting an initial audit, MIPAC’s Yokogawa specialists suggested an unconventional staged approach to improvements that satisfies Newcrest’s need for zero downtime. An interim solution will be to cut over the Yokogawa Vnet control network to the latest gigabit Vnet/IP network.

“This upgrade involves a significant amount of forward planning and, while tricky, aims to reduce current Vnet network loading problems affecting Telfer’s operations team,” MIPAC Business Development Manager Darren Hill said. “While unusual, we will move the operator and engineering work stations in a staged process to the Vnet/IP system while continually monitoring network performance.

“Our staggered approach will initially standardize the network on site and later allow Newcrest to undergo a full system upgrade to the latest version of Yokogawa DCS, the Centum VP R5 system,” Hill said.The Vnet/IP upgrade is expected to be completed by the end of May.