Figure 1: Diagram of the Pi system and communications.

Optimizing a preparation plant depends on a system to monitor the key performance indicators and quickly react to correct processing conditions that diminish efficiency. Alpha Natural Resources is at the leading edge in the coal industry using OSISoft Pi for remote, real-time monitoring of several prep plants.

According to Tom DeMarco in Controlling Software Projects: Management, Measure-ment and Estimates, “you can’t control what you don’t measure.” Monitoring key performance indicators has been a firm foundation in maintaining efficient prep plants for Alpha Natural Resources since its start. Year-to-date, month-to-date and daily reporting are common practice across every prep plant.