Case Study

Working in 2D delays construction projects

Anglo Platinum

Anglo Platinum wanted to automate repetitive design tasks


Anglo Platinum needed to reduce the time required to design large mining complexes in order to reduce engineering and capital costs.

2D design methods are repetitive

In the past, Anglo Platinum designers created the high-level design for platinum mines using a 2D design tool that required every section, elevation and isometric drawing to be produced from scratch. When design changes were issued, many drawings were often affected and each of them had to be redone. Cost estimates required going through the drawings one by one and entering material items into a spreadsheet.

Move to 3D streamlines design process

“The main reason for moving to 3D,” says Len Pretorius, General Manager Project Services for Anglo Platinum, “was to be able to cut and paste past designs into new projects. The parametric capabilities of Solid Edge® software make the job easier by allowing us to create libraries of common assemblies that we can simply plug new numbers into the system to fit the current design. The 3D model provides a much higher level of visibility than we were able to achieve in the past and, best of all, we can generate construction drawings once the design is approved in an automated process.”

New approach has potential of producing significant monetary savings

It costs about $160 million to build a platinum mine and the costs increase between six and 10 percent per year over the life of the project. By designing in 3D, Anglo Platinum reduced the time needed to design a mine by six to 12 months. The total savings, from reduced engineering costs, lower construction costs and getting the mine into production faster amounted to about $2 million per month.

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