PROFIBUS Training for Minera Panamá

With 30 years in the market, Minera Panamá S.A., a subsidiary of the Canadian company “First Quantum Minerals Ltd.,” is developing the “Cobre Panamá” project located in Colón, Panama. During its operative life, this plant will produce 300,000 tons of copper, 100,000 oz of gold and 2,500 tons of molybdenum every year.

The fieldbus technology selected for this project is PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA. To train their plant personnel on the use of these technologies, Minera Panamá hired AUTEX-OPEN, a company based in Argentina. AUTEX-OPEN is a certified PITC and PICC in Latin America. The training was given onsite in Penonomé City, Coclé Department, where Minera Panamá has its administrative headquarters.

More than 40 professionals participated in the training in PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA technologies. There were twelve extensive theoretical and practical days. Each participant came with similar expectations and translated them into “wanting to know more about this technology,” proving them to have a high market share. They shared with us their experiences and consolidated them with the course theoretical basis. The training mode was technical and practical modules covering all the relevant aspects of the different layers of the ISO/OSI model used by the technologies.

Since First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has subsidiaries in different parts of the world, people from Panama, South Africa, Colombia, Peru, Zambia, and other countries participated in the training courses, which were given in Spanish and English.

The first training module was: Profibus DP/PA Certified Engineer (CPE-CPPAE). This module provided in-depth training. It allowed participants to obtain the specific and necessary knowledge to design, install, launch, operate, and optimize these industrial control networkings. The module was aimed at professionals from the company’s automation department.

Furthermore, three modules were presented for the instrumentation and electrical maintenance sector: Diagnosis, Fault Detection, and Maintenance Profibus DP / PA (DDxM). These modules focused on giving relevance to the maintenance of the physical layer during the phases of operation and optimization of the life cycle of a communication network. Proper physical layer maintenance can increase availability and reduce maintenance costs. The concept of prescriptive maintenance can be achieved by incorporating the necessary knowledge and tools.