QNI Uses the OSIsoft PI System to Control Refinery Operations and Gain 41 Percent IRR in 3.5 Years

Overview:

Until a few years ago, QNI’s cobalt/nickel refinery in Yabulu, Australia, used manual process-recording methods. Process engineers found it difficult to determine the influence of variables on product quality and to generate timely reports for management. Management was frustrated by the challenges of accounting for monthly reconciled recovery, determining where losses occurred and tracking quality by batch.

To gain control over its operations and processes, QNI needed to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Though QNI already had a functioning ABB distributed control system, it couldn’t store process data for more than three weeks — not really long enough to track production records and monitor KPIs. Faced with ISO 9001 compliance and the need to implement Six Sigma in its manufacture of high-grade nickel and cobalt products, QNI chose OSIsoft’s solution to combine production data from its six business units with their total of eight separate control rooms.

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