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Bulk Material Processing at Neptune Terminals
Providing consistent flow to increase throughput
Neptune Terminals had recently undertaken a large capital expansion to add a new conveyor and surge bin to optimize throughput from Shed 2 to the Berth 2 ship loading system. The system included an automated portal reclaimer feeding Potash to two shiploaders.
During our review, we noted that the reclaim system and shiploading system were handled by two operating groups. The system had been designed to allow the operating groups the ability to adjust flow rates to match the shiploading requirements. The variability in the reclaim system and the conveyor capacities made it challenging to operators in each group to continually match the requirements of the other, and throughput was less than optimal.
A strong payback was evident if the route controls could be optimized to take advantage of the equipment capacity. And to continually run at optimal conveyor flow rates. Productivity gains would be possible from a more integrated and closely monitored operation of the new conveyor route.
Lyne Systems Upgrade
Confirmed Automation Systems changed the reclaimer controls to enable the system to continuously provide the Potash required by the Shiploaders. The two operating groups no longer had to monitor the requirements of the other, as the system handled the monitoring and flow rate adjustments automatically.
The operator interface was simplified, and provided the additional feature of collecting an expanded set of production data. This data is used in the Analytics tools currently in use at the terminal.
Tonne Increase Per Shift
Increase In Throughput
Neptune Terminals Increases Shipping Capacity Using Lyne Systems
Before: The capital improvement increased shiploading capacity from 18,000 tonnes per shift to 22,000 tonnes per shift.
After: The Lyne optimization increased the throughput to 30,000 tonnes per shift.
Before: The throughput rate varied 20% based on manual rate selections.
After: The throughput rate varies 5%.
Before: Production information manually documented from interface screens.
After: All production information automatically stored in real time database.
Before: Operators manually documenting production information.
After: All production information available on interface screen.
I wish we had hired you to give us the throughput improvement before we spent all that money on new equipment.
– Rob Booker – VP Operations, Neptune Shipping Terminal
Neptune Terminals is one of the largest multi-product bulk terminals in North America, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have the capacity to handle over 24 million tonnes of bulk products a year. With the completion of terminal improvement projects, capacity at the terminal will increase to 30 million tonnes.