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Schneider Electric & Rio Tinto deliver Processing Excellence

Schneider Electric partners with Rio Tinto to deliver Processing Excellence Centre

Innovative centre delivers improvement solutions for mining giant’s process facilities around the world

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has partnered with Rio Tinto to deliver services and solutions for its global Processing Excellence Centre (PEC) located in Australia. Since becoming operational in April 2013, Rio Tinto’s PEC has identified significant savings in operating costs from its copper business, and has now extended the initiative to its energy product group.

Officially opened in Brisbane by Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh, the PEC was initially commissioned as a pilot project to identify and implement process improvements across the company’s managed copper operations around the world, including Rio Tinto Kennecott (USA), and Oyu Tolgoi (Mongolia). Following the unprecedented success of the PEC, the initiative was rolled out to an additional five sites from Rio Tinto’s energy product group at the start of this year.

The PEC is a co-location of a group of experts who process and analyze real-time operational data from remote sites to improve mine performance, reduce costs and increase recovery. The key objective of the centre is to gather the skills and expertise of a group of individuals who can then issue operational advice to remote sites in the form of deployable solutions.

Schneider Electric’s services support the analytics for the centre, and we also deliver regulatory control on instrumentation and data management for the seven mine sites. In addition, our skills to manage Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Historian solutions, data manipulation and communication architectures were key in developing the infrastructure of the centre.

“At a time when mining operations are under more and more pressure, using specialized skills, services and technologies to optimize operating budgets can deliver considerable gains – as we can see from the results achieved for Rio Tinto’s copper business,” said Diego Areces, President, Mining, Minerals and Metals Segment, Schneider Electric.

“We need to know our strategic customers intimately,” continues Areces. “Being embedded into the PEC has given us great understanding of Rio Tinto's business objectives, allowing us to add real value. With this understanding, we have been able to leverage our vast knowledge of the mining industry with respect to automation, and our ability to deliver our solutions on a global scale, to help Rio Tinto duplicate this initiative, and potentially reap the same benefits across multiple operating divisions and in numerous locations around the world.”

“The PEC is really pushing the boundaries of technology – in terms of communication architectures, virtual environments and remote connections. As a result, it has become a truly collaborative environment that centralizes many varied and complementary skills, leveraging the vast experience and expertise of its people, to work as one team delivering significant savings to Rio Tinto,” said Phil Barrett, Schneider Electric’s Global Account Director for Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto Head of Innovation John McGagh said, “This ground-breaking facility allows us to focus on optimising a specific part of the value chain across unlimited sites anywhere in the world. We’ve been able to assemble a world-class team to work with live data and deliver improvements in mineral processing. Through our work with Schneider Electric at the PEC we’re providing a significant boost to the capability of the business.”

About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centers & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the company's 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of 30.8 billion US dollars (24 billion euros) in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.


About Schneider Electric NZ
Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, employing 100,000+ staff globally including 300 in New Zealand. The company has had a presence in New Zealand since the 1930s.

Schneider Electric’s core focus is on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient. It offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, and a broad presence in residential applications.

The company’s energy efficiency solutions have saved New Zealand and global client businesses up to 30% on their bottom-line energy expenditure. Committed to sustainable development, Schneider Electric encourages solidarity with host communities, stepping in during emergencies and supporting youth education.

Schneider Electric’s product line-up includes market-leading and local brands such as PDL and Clipsal, Merlin Gerin, Modicon and Telemecanique. For more information, visit


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