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Remote services hub for mining and resources

GLOBAL technology firm Siemens has officially opened a new $20 million service centre in Australia, which will act as a remote service hub to serve external mining and resources locations.

Haydn Black

The state-of-the-art facility in Perth contains a $5 million specialised electric motor test bed, the most sophisticated of its kind in Australia, Siemens claims.

The load test facility means that any of the motors being overhauled can be fully simulated to run as in installed conditions and can test the widest breadth of motors under load for its size.

Global head of customer service for Siemens’ industrial businesses, Dr Thomas Moser, said the opening “heralds a new era for hi-tech service”

“Industries such as mining and oil and gas that have made significant capital investments are now challenged with falling resource prices,” Dr Moser said.

“At the same time the world is entering a new industrial era enabled by digitalisation.

"Now more than ever, it’s critical for companies to embrace hi-tech service to produce more at lower costs and avoid downtime that can cause losses and negatively impact company share prices. That’s why Siemens is pleased to be making this $20 million investment in WA.

“It’s about being competitive to secure your place in the global supply chain.

"Through modern technology and services, companies can achieve operational efficiencies, extend the life of their assets, optimise performance, reduce energy consumption and protect investments.

"Remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, simulation and cloud based asset management are just some of the new technologies and practises that operators can utilise.”

The Perth Service Centre is the third new Siemens Service Centre in Australia in less than two years – after Tonsley in South Australia and Rockhampton in Queensland.

Cutting-edge technology and equipment, along with specialist engineering support will ensure key WA industries increase productivity, operational efficiencies and significantly minimise downtimes.

“Operational phases represent about 95% of the lifecycle costs – compared to just 5% or less in the capital investment phase, so hi-tech service becomes critical to drive increased overall equipment effectiveness while reducing these operational costs," Dr Moser said.

“For example, in Turkey’s state-run Tupras refinery Siemens succeeded in reducing the downtime of 1500 motors by a staggering 83%."

According to the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum the value of resource projects under construction or in the committed stage is estimated at $171 billion and a further $110 billion is planned for the coming years.

According to Jeff Connolly, CEO of Siemens in Australia, the timing of the opening perfectly supports critical projects as they transition into operations such as Gorgon, where the first LNG production is expected within the next few weeks.

“As the main motors and drives contractor for important infrastructure projects including some of WA’s biggest LNG projects, we take a long term view to the market and understand the importance of being there to support our customers over the operational life of the project as well,” Connolly said.

“Rapid developments in digitalisation mean that the future of service equates to the future of competition. Almost every modern piece of equipment now has the ability to capture data – it’s what you do with that data that matters.”

The new Perth centre will feature end-to-end service capabilities and including the ability to service motors, generators and variable speed drives in strict accordance with OEM standards.

It will acts as a remote service hub to serve as a location for experts to monitor equipment and key plant anywhere in Australia with the ability to remotely connect to equipment and perform trouble shooting and reactive services, as well as support condition based maintenance strategies.

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