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Issue Date: June 2004

Anglo Platinum - automating repetitive design tasks with Solid Edge

June 2004

The Anglo Platinum Group is the world's leading primary producer of platinum group metals, with operations comprising six mines, two smelters, a base metals refinery and a precious metals refinery, all situated in the Limpopo and North West provinces.

The group needed to reduce the time required to design large mining complexes in order to lower engineering and capital costs. Solid Edge software - the design tool of choice being used by thousands of organisations around the world - offered the solution. Ranging from individual users to installations with hundreds of seats, these organisations design with Insight - relying on Solid Edge to provide practical insight into design intent throughout the organisation and reducing ECO (engineering change order) related rework by a minimum of 50%.
Solid Edge Insight is an innovative solution that seamlessly integrates CAD, design management and Web-based collaboration into a single tool that is easy to implement and easy to manage. Insight removes the perceived barriers to successful PDM implementation, while still providing the fundamental capabilities that companies expect in order to successfully manage design data. By leveraging proven tools provided by Microsoft, Insight manages product information in a manner that is unobtrusive and transparent in the daily CAD work routine.
Introducing Solid Edge V15
Version 15 is another power-packed release, ensuring that companies implementing Solid Edge can continue to Design with Insight - reducing cost, improving quality and decreasing time to market. For Version 15, Solid Edge delivers on the Design with Insight vision by delivering more access to design data, more incorporation of design intent and more industry-specific solutions. The exclusive Solid Edge Insight technology embeds design management capabilities directly within CAD, providing insight into design intent to the entire organisation and enhancing collaboration.
Anglo Platinum - the business issue
A 200 000-ton per month platinum mine is an enormous project involving up to 100 000-part assemblies. Most of the work involves re-arranging and modifying components and assemblies that were used on previous designs. Using 2D design methods, plan, elevation and isometric drawings almost always had to be redrawn from scratch for each project.
The approach taken was to use Solid Edge to develop parametric assemblies that can be used as is or easily modified to suit the specific project.
Anglo Platinum wanted to generate construction drawings from the 3D model with minimum additional work. They also envisioned delivering design drawings to subcontractors and holding design review meetings over the Web.
When the implementation process of the Solid Edge software was completed, Anglo Platinum achieved the following results:
* Drawing/design man-hours are saved by using 3D designs and automating the generation of 2D drawings.

* The time to design, fabricate and build a typical mine concentrator could be reduced by several months.

* The savings in engineering, construction and interest costs are significant.

* Quality and standardisation in design and review was substantially improved.
Designing in 2D causes unnecessary repetition
In the past, Anglo Platinum designers created the high-level design for platinum mines using a 2D design tool that required every section, elevation and isometric drawing to be produced from scratch. When design changes were issued, many drawings were often affected and each of them had to be redone.
Cost estimates required going through the drawings one by one and entering material items into a spreadsheet.
Moving over to 3D - streamlining design processes
According to Len Pretorius, general manager project services for Anglo Platinum, "The main reason for moving to 3D was to be able to cut and paste past designs into new projects from component and assembly libraries. The parametric capabilities of Solid Edge make the job easier by allowing us to create libraries of common assemblies that we can simply plug new numbers into the system to fit the current design. The 3D model provides a much higher level of visibility than we were able to achieve in the past and, best of all, we can generate construction drawings once the design is approved in an automated process. Insight in V15 will add a further dimension to the improvement and innovation cycle in 3D design and collaboration."
Producing significant monetary savings
It costs about $160 million to build a platinum mine and the costs increase between 6 and 10% per year over the life of the project. The total savings, from reduced engineering costs, lower construction costs and getting the mine into production faster, therefore amount to about $2 million per month, for every month saved.
For more information contact ESTEQ Design, 012 991 9200.

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