#Theo van Staden#Anglo Platinum Group#Cisco Ethernet-to-the

Anglo Platinum Group Incorporates Cisco Ethernet to Reduce Costs

As the largest producers of platinum metals in the world, Anglo Platinum Group requires a complex web of technological programs. The company has over 65...

|May 15|magazine6 min read

As the largest producers of platinum metals in the world, Anglo Platinum Group requires a complex web of technological programs. The company has over 65,000 employees and is engaged in a variety of underground and open-pit mining operations, including concentrators, smelters, and refineries. To successfully launch and maintain these services, the company utilizes a rapid adoption of technology to facilitate the analysis and management of its operations while maintaining the security of the control solutions. To achieve its business objectives and exercise control over data traffic, Anglo Platinum needed to streamline this process as well as reduce the costs and network downtime.

The complexity was a challenge, according to Theo van Staden, Anglo Platinum's head of infrastructure for the process environment (IT). He adds, “the current reality in our operational environment is that systems/process engineers do an excellent job of keeping sites running but are under increasing pressure to ensure network availability, which is not their core function.”

The company developed a strategy to integrate the process control networks and the corporate data network into a secure platform for enterprise-wide dash-boarding and decision making at all levels of the operation. Anglo Platinum also incorporated the Cisco Ethernet-to-the-Factory (EttF) solution to provide an end-to-end infrastructure. As part of Cisco Smart+ Connected Manufacturing solutions, EttF is designed to help manufacturing companies successfully connect plant and business systems as well as provide real-time visibility into production systems. Cisco’s solutions enable lean, efficient, collaborative, safe, and highly secure operations, resulting in a fully connected and converged pit-to-port network.

The result of implementing Cisco EttF has been paramount. Anglo Platinum’s cost of ownership fell to one-half the industry average as well as device response time being reduced from seconds to milliseconds. The Cisco solution has also enabled stakeholders to have a “secured and authorized” top-down view on production from any location, reducing turnaround times on decision making and helping ensure availability and continuity of all critical systems in Anglo Platinum Process plants.

According to van Staden, “We are now in a position to deliver support to all operations from a central location, this puts management in a situation to make educated decisions and ensure availability which will ultimately benefit production.”

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Anglo American Platinum is a wholly owned South African mining company. Founded in 1917, Anglo American is the world’s largest producer of Platinum with around 40 percent of the world output.