Namakwa Sands reinforces safety with IntelliPERMIT
Namakwa Sands Site

​A huge earth-moving operation, processing the beach and
aeolian deposits to extract heavy minerals

Namakwa Sands, the Anglo Base Metals (a division of Anglo Operation Limited) - mineral sands mining, mineral separation and ilmenite smelting operation on the West Coast, has boosted its occupational safety measures with the implementation and rollout of automated plant clearance software IntelliPERMIT.

Developed and patented by process manufacturing software solution specialist ApplyIT, and implemented at Namakwa Sands by value-added reseller Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings, IntelliPERMIT was rolled out across three operational areas to improve safety processes through the automation of the permit-to-work issuing procedure and the improvement of management’s electronic accessibility to view  permits issued.

Mining of mineral sands at the operation is performed over extensive areas, and a number of the conveyor systems used to extract ore and return tailings are constantly moving. One of the project challenges was to develop an acceptable method to ensure that this mobile equipment, which is not connected to the plant control systems, was safely isolated prior to final authorisation of the permit. In this regard the IntelliPERMIT system generates and records verification codes that are communicated from the control room via radio to the worker isolating the equipment in remote areas on site. This allows the authentication of critical safety communications and the minimisation of manual checking of remote branch conveyors.

The system, which replaced a manual system of issuing permits with a number of permit books having to be maintained at each operation, is designed to standardise permit issuing procedures across the three sites and between the various types of permit, and improve compliance with the documented permit procedures, thereby improving performance against the relevant audit assessments.  It also streamlines the permit issue and isolation processes for maximum safety and efficiency.

Peter Haley, chief electrical engineer at Namakwa Sands, says increased visibility has been one of the benefits of IntelliPERMIT.  “Improved visibility enables a better awareness of what’s happening on the plants. At any one time, from the convenience of their desks, management can see where work is being carried out on the plants, which permits have expired, and what action is required,” says Haley.

The design of the IntelliPERMIT solution was customised to suit the unique needs of Namakwa Sands, accommodating a workman’s register, three levels of confined space, and gas testing requirements.

“The position of Namakwa Sands as an integrated operation responsible for three different sites, each with unique operating challenges, meant that over time procedures used at the different sites had diverged. IntelliPERMIT allowed the company to standardise the permit-to-work process across all three sites, while maintaining the ability to provide site-specific information to workers and management,” says Ian Huntly, Managing Director of Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings, “the dedication of the project team ensured that this was a successful project”.

Namakwa Sands plan to further investigate the implementation of IntelliPERMIT’s fingerprint scanning capability during 2008.

About Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings

Rifle-Shot is a focussed consulting and implementer of leading technologies across the process, metals and mining industries. Rifle-Shot provides consulting and implementation skills in the fields of Operational Intelligence including; Process ERP, MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems), Process Safety, Supply Chain, CRM and BI (Business Intelligence).

Rifle-Shot’s staff have each well over 20 years experience in their respective industries, and have worked collaboratively with our customers and partners to develop many thought leadership business practices.

Rifle-Shot is a privately held, BBBEE compliant company.

Contact

Gavin Halse, ApplyIT, (031) 275-8080, halseg@applyit.com

Ian Huntly, Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings, 011 367 9090, ian.huntly@rifle-shot.com

Lisa Cooper, Predictive Communications, (011) 608-1700, lisa@predictive.co.za