E.S.M. has been engaged by a client in the mining and mineral processing industry to assist with a thorough review of instrumentation and control systems, with the overall aim of enhancing the safety of the processing facility.

The control systems are complex, including temperature, pressure, and level monitoring systems as well as process control; incorporating pump and valve commands to operate within a defined ideal range. The instruments that are incorporated in this project are either connected to a single PLC or rely on inter-PLC communications.

The control systems are advanced in age and have evolved over the years. They contain a mix of instrumented functions, including control, monitoring, alarm and protective (safety) functions.

This project involves the detailed review of the instrumented functions that were identified during a Process Hazards Analysis conducted for each area of the facility; assessing whether and how these functions have been implemented. The systematic approach includes a review of functional design documentation followed by the desktop analysis of control system code and drawings. It also involves site visits, to meet with and talk to operators and maintainers and to assess the physical condition of the systems.

E.S.M. has helped to define the approach, framework and reporting requirements for this project.

E.S.M. has also facilitated consultative workshops to assign recommended actions to area managers.