Nexa joins forces with ABB on digital transformation

Nexa’s Aripuanã will be the largest mine in the state of Mato Grosso. (Image courtesy of Nexa Resources.)

Global technology company ABB is partnering with Nexa Resources, one of the world’s top zinc producers, to provide state-of-the-art industrial automation systems at Nexa’s existing and planned operations. The first step will include modernizing the company’s existing mining and smelting process installations in Brazil and Peru, to lay the foundation for digitalized and more cost-effective sites.

As part of the five-year agreement, ABB will install its ABB Ability 800xA system, which, according to ABB, is the most powerful Distributed Control System (DCS) automation platform in the market. This technology is expected to form the basis of the digital transformation program and will serve as a common operations platform, supporting the technology upgrades.

Technology is expected to form the basis of the digital transformation program and will serve as a common operations platform

“One of the main immediate gains will be employee safety as the modern automation platform allows remote monitoring and control. The platform also increases productivity by applying modern control techniques and creating value for the company and local community,” Marcos Hillal, global product line manager, automation & digital for mining, aluminum and cement at ABB, said in a release.

“As part of the journey, we are providing Nexa with a thorough training and communications plan to support them through the transition.”

In addition to automating existing sites, ABB will be responsible for the delivery of automation platforms for Nexa’s Aripuana expansion site in Brazil.

Aripuana is a polymetallic greenfield project, with Nexa engaging ABB from the start to deliver automation solutions. This project scope includes an automation platform, based on the ABB Ability System 800xA, equipped with ABB Ability MineOptimize solutions such as the Minerals Process Control Library, Power Control Library and camera connection.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

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