In Western Australia’s scenic south-west region near Collie, lies the BHP Billiton run Worsley Alumina refinery. Worsley alumina is the world’s fifth-biggest alumina producer and home to one of the world’s longest conveyor belts at 52km.
For over 25 years, B & J Catalano have held the contract for constructing the Bauxite residue disposal area or tailings dams, a massive task. Through hard work and innovation, Catalano along with Sitech WA and Trimble has been able to stay at the top of their game, Bulk excavating up to 3 million cubic metres, laying 10’s of kilometres of pipework and constructing kilometres of embankment every year, not to mention keeping haul roads and drainage around the site to a suitable level.
Catalano pioneered the use of Trimble grade control systems in WA and continues to be at the forefront of use and development of Trimble technology. Trimble’s connected community is the latest innovation currently being trialled by Catalano’s. The surveyors on site are able to use TCC for the synchronization of field data between supervisor’s Trimble Tablets and surveyor’s tsc2 controllers and their office computers.
There are currently 12 GPS grade control equipped machines on site which are in the process of being upgraded to allow remote synchronisation between the office and Trimble control box inside the cab. Not only does this save time, it allows the surveyor to upgrade designs without interacting with the heavy and sometimes dangerous surface mobile equipment. There are a number of benefits Trimble and TCC have afforded to Catalanos;
- Trimble Supervisor systems; using Trimble tablets to keep supervisors up to date with the latest design information and allowing them to remotely receive and send critical data.
- Trimble GCS900 systems have allowed the site to become relatively pegless. Embankments are built without the use of stakes and the excavation work is completed with a minimum of input from the surveyors, allowing them to concentrate on more important things, like measuring how much material has been moved!
- Keeping men off the ground keeps men safe. Trimble allows the surveyors to spend less time in the construction area leading to less potential for injury.
- TCC means less time is wasted exporting data manually to individual machines and Tablets which could take up to 3 hours in the past. Along with Trimble Business Centre, designs can be completed, checked and exported in a matter of minutes.
B&J Catalano, together with Sitech WA and Trimble, consistently meet construction targets on time and on budget. According to Head Surveyor Geoff Milligan, the best part about the technology is the Supervisor System because for a supervisor to have that much information at his fingertips reduces the amount of time spent chasing down the latest designs, as-cons and other information that would normally take hours to filter through to the supervisors.
SitechWA had been involved in the installation of the system into the machines, software into the site office, infrastructure setup and ongoing support.