Case Study: Ok Tedi

4 November, 2020

Cloud-Based Drawings in the Clouds of PNG

Ok Tedi Mining Limited is the most active mining operation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Their operation contributes 15% – 20% to PNG’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP), producing 500,000 ounces of gold and 170 tonnes of copper concentrate annually. The mine is located 2,000m above sea level in an area of dense rainforest where annual rainfall can reach up to 10,000mm per annum.

These operating conditions provide unique challenges, including for the rollout of the drawing management tool RedEyeDMS.

Identifying the Need for Change

Following a long legacy of overcoming the logistical and communications issues associated with continuous operations in one of the world’s most remote areas, the Ok Tedi team realised it was time to gain more control of their engineering and capital projects.

“It became clear that we needed to get the foundations of our engineering business processes right. That meant getting our drawing management right and regaining control of the documentation,” explained Engineering Manager Brendan Gowdie.

“We needed a solution that would meet our unique operating conditions, including our limited access to telecommunications infrastructure, our extensive library of legacy drawings and collaboration across our multiple remote sites.”

Ok Tedi and RedEye, put the cloud-based system through its paces in the clouds of PNG.

“The cloud-based platform performs as well in the remote mountains of PNG as it does from our Brisbane office.”

To kick off the project, several pilots were performed in remote areas of the mine, ensuring RedEye’s cloud solution would work with Ok Tedi’s low bandwidth connections. Ok Tedi’s crews were able to operate and work without interruption by utilising the low bandwidth and offline features of RedEyeDMS. Pilots gave the Ok Tedi team the confidence to proceed with their first cloud-based solution.

The Ok Tedi team’s initial plan to drive drawing change management was to locate, improve, and upload their legacy drawing library through a manual process, whilst incorporating a new platform into any new activities (such as new capital projects and brownfield maintenance upgrades).

“We realised manual processing wasn’t an option after we identified more than 900,000 digital files to process in our legacy drawing library,” said Senior Draftsman Mark Kelly.

“We took advantage of RedEyeDMS bulk data management tools to automatically remove duplicate files, quickly add metadata, and ‘fold’ multiple versions into single identifiable drawings.”

During project establishment and data improvement, RedEye de-duplicated and reduced the number of files from 900,000 to 165,000 – a reduction of 82%! More importantly, they were able to increase the speed of their data management activities from 50 to 800 artefacts a week. Ok Tedi continues to utilise RedEye for uploading new project drawings and maintaining a reliable, up to date, duplicate-free dataset.

“We saved a large amount of time using RedEyeDMS’s built-in tools. When we look back and see how far we’ve come, the benefits of RedEye are clear,” recalls Mr Kelly.

Continual Improvement

After initial work improved the quality of their drawing database, the Ok Tedi team now has simple and clear processes for managing engineering change. “It’s been important for us that RedEye realised this was a journey of improvement,” said Mr Kelly.

“RedEye’s Customer Success Manager is regularly in touch, supporting us as we continue to invite contractors into the system, and ensuring our new projects are set up correctly.”

“After initial processing and upload, we have continued to reduce our file count by folding in and ordering revisions. Our metadata has improved substantially, improving visibility and allowing us to find drawings in a matter of minutes instead of hours,”
said Mr Kelly.

RedEyeDMS is a game-changer that will revolutionise the future of engineering documentation storage, management and control.

Business Transformation

Ok Tedi management used a number of technology solutions to encourage a cultural shift across their business. Quick and easy access to engineering data, using the RedEyeDMS platform, is an example of a simple technology change that can improve process, encouraging a shift in thinking. The team is also looking to the future, finding productivity benefits as they move to a more mobile workforce.

“As we continue to improve our network onsite, my goal is to introduce tablets to my team,” said Mr Gowdie. “Having the RedEyeDMS mobile app installed will have a positive impact on productivity.”

Where to From Here?

The Ok Tedi team recognises the productivity boost from controlling their drawings and making them accessible. Staff are coming to realise that technology can, and should, play a more significant role in day to day operations. “We have a long history of global collaboration and practical, onsite engineering up here,” concludes General Manager Mark Thompson.

“RedEye’s platform has helped us modernise how we deliver engineering solutions. We’re excited by the possibilities and continuing to work with RedEye.” 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Cloud solutions can be deployed on low-bandwidth connections, without any impact on network viability providing they are purpose-built with these environments in mind – like RedEyeDMS.
  2. The cost of upfront, and ongoing, data management is often overlooked when building business cases for new software. Technology should be used to support and improve manual processes.
  3. Continuous engagement, via a customer success function, proves the long-term viability of any software rollout.
  4. Adoption and company culture change is crucial to the adoption of new systems.
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