Jonhnson Controls helps boost productivity at Harmony's mine
The initiative, which saw the replacement of major components and a switch to the use of an ozone friendly refrigerant, has improved performance of the chillers significantly.
This has increased energy efficiencies and assisted the mine to reliably reach the needed cooling capacity, which has delivered improved working conditions and increased productivity.
Harmony is one of the world’s leading gold mining companies with operations throughout South Africa and Papa New Guinea.
Tshepong is one of Harmony’s largest operations, it has a single vertical shaft extending to a depth of 2 161 metres.
The mine undertakes conventional undercut mining, where ore is transported to the Harmony 1 plant, 23 kilometres away. The mine employs approximately 5,000 people.
The three chillers at the Tshepong surface plant deliver 10.2MW of cooling each, supplying 300 litres per second of water at three degrees Celsius to cool the underground workings of the shaft.
Tom Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Harmony Gold South Africa said:, “Our 25-year old chillers were nearing end of life and we faced a number of challenges.
“The equipment was not functioning efficiently, parts were hard to get, and we were experiencing a lot of breakdowns. With insufficient cooling in the mine, working conditions are not optimal, affecting workers’ outputs and impacting production schedules.”
Johnson Controls proposed overhauling the existing chillers, stripping out the failing components and replacing them with newer technology that would improve performance and help the mining operation achieve specified cooling requirements.
As the chillers were running on refrigerant R22, and a hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant that is in the process of being phased out due to its ozone depletion potential, Johnson Controls also proposed the use of the more eco-friendly R134a refrigerant.
Neil Cameron, General Manager of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency Africa said: “It was imperative that the mine not only get the needed cooling capacity, but that the solution selected be reliable and well supported to minimise risk going forward.
“With a well-established presence in South Africa, a good track record in the mining industry, experienced and highly skilled resources, and proven solutions, Johnson Controls’ proposal to retrofit the chillers with York equipment was selected.”
Smith concluded: “We are very pleased with the outcome. The Johnson Controls team is highly skilled and experienced and delivered the project to specification. The retrofit has improved cooling performance measurably – and it has made a major difference to the teams working underground, improving working conditions and productivity.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.