A mining operation in the U.S. manages leaching fields over a wide and rolling geographic area. The leach fields are regularly relocated, and use movable, temporary piping to deliver leaching chemicals to highly distributed delivery points that must be monitored via flow and pressure instrumentation to optimize operation.

The system uses 44 Endress+Hauser Promag 53P flowmeters and Cerabar WirelessHART pressure transmitters to monitor flow and pressure.

Endress+Hauser was also contracted to engineer a WirelessHART network that could reliably communicate with instrumentation spread over the 2,400-foot wide leach field sections. Because the leach fields are regularly moved from place to place, a hard-wired network could not be used. Instead, the system employs a WirelessHART redundant and mesh architecture, featuring two Endress+Hauser SWG70 Fieldgates that gather information from the 44 transmitters and transmit the information via Ethernet/WiFi and OPC to a Rockwell Automation ControlLogix system.

Two Endress+Hauser engineers performed a one-day site survey, and then took four days to install 44 SWA70-C8 WirelessHART Adapters on the instrumentation, start up the system, and train the mine’s operators.

Using the wireless field network eliminated the cost of implementation when the leach fields were relocated, and the availablility of reliable flow and pressure information allowed the mine to optimize operations and realize a return on investment (ROI) of less than two months.