November 2013

The best in new technology

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Compiled by Eavan Moore

◢ Project control

ARES-PRISMConstruction progress modules and the ability to transform a cost curve to a cash flow curve by taking into consideration retention and delays in invoice payments are among the new features of versions 3.3 and 3.4 of ARES’ Prism G2 project management software. “You can go down to very small details of each contract and follow the physical progress,” explains Jean-François d’Entremont, project management software specialist at distributor Proji-Contrôle. Also new is the ability to assign milestones at the engineering accounts level. Overall, d’Entremont says, Prism is a highly configurable tool for managing large projects. It integrates data from PC-based scheduling software, such as Primavera 6, and cost estimate tools into unique control accounts. “We have multi-user, multi-project, enterprise-wide software that will allow you to streamline all your cost processing to accelerate the process of issuing project reports,” he says.

◢ Standardized spring

Cowan-DynamicsRather than making a custom drawing and waiting one or two days for a manufacturer to send back pricing information, Cowan Dynamics customers can price out spring return pneumatic valve actuators online. This is possible because the company’s new AS Series of actuators is the first in the industry to be available in a set range of dimensions, according to marketing vice-president Jean Behara. “One of our goals with the AS series was to make the feasibility studies for engineers that much easier to do because they have the information at their fingertips now,” says Behara. The standard sizes also reduce manufacturing and ordering costs. Safety was incorporated into the AS design, with the spring contained inside a sealed cylinder to protect workers during servicing.

◢ One-stop pit stop

SEI_GOGo-Station fuel modules from SEI Industries Ltd. provide a controlled environment to house fuel pumping, filtration, metering and dispensing equipment. “In the past, if you couldn’t afford a custom unit, people would cobble together their own systems, buying parts from a bunch of different vendors and then building something in the field,” says Paul Reichard, remote site division manager. The Go-Station is built from an existing, configurable design. Reichard says the 40-foot insulated freight container can be shipped by land, sea or air more quickly than custom units. An onboard electrical room holds explosion-proof controls, and roll-up doors give access to dispensing units. Fuel tanks are not included; SEI sells collapsible bladder tanks separately. A 20-foot model is in the works.

◢ Fast fusion

IPFFor mine sites that use large-diameter pipes to transport water and tailings effluent, IPF-Plasson has created a 30-inch electrofusion pipe coupling that allows for a quick change-out. Unlike car-sized butt fusion units, these polyethylene cylinders have built-in wires that weld the coupling to the pipe when electricity is passed through. Executive vice-president Tim Tipton says the electrofusion coupling method allows for quick pipe maintenance in confined spaces. “You can dig down, make a relatively small trench just big enough for the fitting and a little bit of the pipe,” he says. “You can cut out the section of pipe, slide the fitting in, and fuse it together, and you’re back to a full-pressure operating pipeline.” IPF-Plasson is also developing 28- and 32-inch sizes.

◢ Fuel flexibility

GFSFuelled by the gaping price difference between natural gas and diesel, GFS Corp. has introduced the EVO-MT 8300 and 9300 – the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) retrofitting kits for Komatsu electric-drive trucks. By fitting some of their diesel-burning equipment with the LNG kits, customers in regions with wide price differentials will “save a ton of money,” says Kerry Hackney, director of marketing. The EVO system uses diesel as the ignition source but substitutes LNG for diesel at a rate of roughly 50 per cent while the truck is operating. GFS lets customers trial the retrofit on several trucks without putting in full LNG infrastructure immediately, but full commitment has a rapid payback, according to Hackney. He says Alpha Coal, a customer for its earlier Caterpillar fuel retrofits, plans to expand the program after experiencing substantial savings.

◢ Quick, collaborative modelling

ArcGISGeosoft has updated its Target for ArcGIS (TFA) geological modelling tool to add wire-framing and the ability to work with Esri file formats and three-dimensional (3D) geosurface files across both Geosoft and Esri platforms. “There is strong demand for 3D workflows that make geological modelling faster and more effective in the Esri environment,” says Steve Randall, vice-president of marketing. “Geologists working in Esri need to integrate and share results, and using common formats makes collaboration a lot easier.” Users of TFA 4.0 can build a 3D wireframe model by clicking and joining features from two-dimensional section interpretations, creating either closed or open surfaces. Randall says another workflow feature allows users to refresh their drill hole data as new holes are added and quickly integrate them into the existing interpretation.

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