indurad is a German company that has made a sizeable impact in the world of dry bulk handling. Its products are used with a wide range of commodities, from metallic ore to agricultural products. Since its founding in Aachen in 2008, indurad has branched off into all major markets and counts some of the world’s largest mines, ports and terminals as its customers.
CASE STUDIES: TECK RESOURCES
Copper and coal miner Teck Resources operates Fording River mine in southeastern British Columbia in Canada. The mine produces nine million tonnes of metallurgical coal annually, which is shipped by rail to Vancouver for export.
In 2020, indurad commissioned its iLoadout solution at one of the mine’s two train loadouts and in the following month, railcar underloading was reduced by half and tonnes shipped was increased dramatically.
The system uses indurad’s radars to determine exactly how and when to operate the chutes so that the load is maximized for each car while at the same time ensuring that no car gets overloaded and ensuring an optimal load distribution. Using iLoadout, Teck Resources has been able to cut its railcar unloading time by half. indurad’s systems halve rail loadout time, vastly increasing throughput between bogies.
The speed with which a car can now be loaded has been increased by 41.5%, reducing the total time to load a train to only two and a half hours…
In this free webinar, indurad experts will teach you how to increase the efficiency of your dry bulk handling process using indurad’s radar-based machine vision solutions.
Unleash the true potential of your conveyor belts, indoor stockpiles, reclaimers and ship (un)loaders in your dry bulk terminal.
Free registration: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YTkXz59sQYCrTNEa2_cJkA
Learn how to:
- Reduce ship loading and unloading times
- Control material inventory reliably and in real-time
- Increase reclaimer uptime and production rates
- Improve personnel safety in hazardous areas and reliably prevent collisions
Time and date: July 12th, 2022, 2 PM CET | UTC +2 Register now for free
Free registration: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YTkXz59sQYCrTNEa2_cJkA
For those who have registered but are unable to attend the webinar, a summary is available as needed.
Gain insight into how indurad’s solutions have already added value to a variety of ports worldwide by enabling automated process control, safe and fast ship (un)loading and volume monitoring.
As a foundation for consistent and reliable data generation, our solutions are based on maintenance-free radar sensors that are unaffected by environmental conditions such as dust, rain, fog or snow.
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indurad has contributed with our unique iLoadout Train Automation Solution to the Operational Operating Excellence of TECK Fording River Operations.
TECK has chosen indurad technology with
1. its broad experience in more than 30 train loading machine vision solutions in Europe, Australia and South Africa,
2. Its maintenance free1D speed 2D|3D imaging radar portfolio working in snow and fog
3. CSA/IECEx approval for its sensors to be used in hazloc zones 20|21|22.
The indurad solution has been integrated into the Rockwell Automation PLC with our Vancouver partner enCompass Solutions Group. The technology is currently in rollout based on the great teamwork with Teck.
Feel free to contact us for more information.
Usually, these mines are in remote areas that face some of the harshest conditions Australia has to offer – with regions such as the Pilbara in Western Australia recording temperatures of up to 45°c in the summer.
To complicate matters further, dust and debris can cause havoc to sensors, and could interrupt the collection of data for Industry 4.0 systems.
This problem is what German equipment manufacturer indurad set out to solve. Fabian Riedel, VP of Sales and Projects at indurad, says the company was challenged with creating a system that was proven to work in the rough conditions of the mining industry.
What the company created is the iBelt system, a volume flow measurement sensor that can be used for almost any kind of bulk materials conveying system.
iBelt measures belt load, speed and misalignment with high accuracy in real time with radar technology. The system can be installed over the conveyor belt, where it can determine the 2D load profile measurement. This can be automatically combines with a measured or fixed conveyor belt speed value to determine the load volume.
Dust, vibration and the harsh Australian sun can reduce the reliability of sensor readings, which is why indurad has designed a solution specifically for the mining industry.
The operation of belt conveyor systems in the bulk materials handling industry can cause significant challenges, such as limitation of production rate, reliability issues, safety risks like spillage and belt damage, or a high environmental impact.
Increasing the throughput on underutilized conveyors can be tough if setpoints are based on mass instead of volume flow. If the bulk density of the conveyed material fluctuates, setpoints based on mass readings (belt scale) must be set more conservatively to avoid spillage. Volume based setpoints allow a higher belt conveyor utilization.
Spillage of material due to overloaded or unequally loaded conveyors, or varying volumetric load, can be a risk for humans and machines. Material transfer points and loading and discharge points are particularly prone to spillage events. It can be a result of misaligned belts, that lead to increased wear or even belt damage. Both are critical for human safety and maintenance.
indurad iBelt-SC hardware kit
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For those who registered but cannot attend the webinar, a summary will be available for you to view at your convenience.
You will get insight into how indurad’s iCrusher solution has already added value to a multitude of mines globally by providing automated crusher feed control, reduced truck waiting time and increased material throughput.
As a foundation for consistent and reliable data generation, iCrusher is built on Radar sensors which are unaffected by environmental conditions such as dust, humidity, smoke and heat.
As a specialist in automation solutions and high-precision sensors for heavy industry, indurad offers products for harsh and hazardous environments. Our applications range from zone 20 dust atmospheres (Group IIIC) and zone 2 gas atmospheres (Group IIA) to underground mining (methane & coal dust, Group I). Our robust sensor solutions reduce risk, improve yield, and increase automation in potentially explosive environments.
Our sensors are IECEx, ATEX and ANZEx certified. Additionally, we offer sensor solutions for CSA/UL and are in the certification process for EAC Ex. If you are unable to find your local certification, our team of engineers can provide expert technical support to assist you with your specific requirements. We work with various certification bodies worldwide to provide our customers with high quality sensors certified in accordance with their respective local regulations.
Q How has radar use in mining changed from initial deployment in autonomous machines?
A Legacy automation systems for mining applications rely, among other perception sensors, on automotive-spec radars for medium and long distance CAS in a limited field of view per sensor. The sensors are merely protected in a more ruggedised housing. However, the sensors themselves and signal processing are conventional. Today, the automation system’s perception is based on indurad’s unique 360° radar technology scanning with up to 50 revolutions per second. indurad’s radar technology is designed for the harsh mining environment and does not compromise on point cloud imaging, unlike low-cost automotive radar sensors that rely on inaccurate digital beam forming, patch antennas and integrated MMIC chipsets. It scans the machine’s surroundings with high accuracy (sub-millimeter ranging accuracy) while being largely unaffected by environmental influences such as dust, rain, fog, or snow. Radar is the only technology that maintains its high OEE in even the harshest mining environments.
Q Can you give more detail on how radar uniquely handles mining
A Mining and tunnelling applications are characterised by extreme environmental conditions such as dust, mud, water, rain, fog and snow. Furthermore, machinery and thus its sensor technology must endure a
wide temperature ranges from -40° to +60°C at different sites. Additionally, mobile machines such as trucks and loaders components must withstand high acceleration in multiple axes. In some applications corrosive water poses another challenge to sensors. Radar is by far the most suitable technology for harsh environments due to its favorable wavelength compared to optical systems such as LiDAR or cameras. indurad’s high-precision scanning dynamic radars are specifically designed for high vibrations for a great variety of industrial applications.
Q Can radar handle mining applications on its own?
A indurad has successfully demonstrated that trackless mobile machine automation in harsh mining environments including terrestrial mapping are feasible with radar-only perception. This technology already incorporates advanced signal processing algorithms and AI approaches for more challenging object detection and mapping tasks…
indurad has successfully demonstrated that trackless mobile machine automation in harsh mining environments including terrestrial mapping is feasible with radar-only perception
We look forward to welcoming everyone to Booth 817 for some great networking, exchange of ideas and a discussion on how to best remove bottlenecks from pit to port.
Our robust, radar-based solutions reduce risk, improve yield, and facilitate automation in very harsh environments.
Automatic shiploading has always been the holy grail of the mining and bulk material handling industries, as it allows operators to tele remote the boom and spout from a safe location. iShiploader uses high precision 2D and 3D radar sensors to reliably scan for collision objects, provide position data, and measure the interior of bulk carriers in real time during loading/unloading cycles.
Most seaports experience a considerable amount of dense fog, rain, strong winds, ice, and snow. These environmental factors pose challenges for conventional optical technology like lasers which rely on favourable weather conditions to perform optimally. indurad’s sensors use the latest in radar technology, which is proven to work reliably in all weather conditions. This allows the company systems to work continuously day and night, 365 days/year with minimal maintenance.
The Germany-based global supplier of radar-based automation technology is continuously developing its solution to consider new shiploader and unloader types…
Installed iShiploader, the shiploader automation radar solution at the customer site.
Conveyor belts are often installed in environments with poor visibility, high dust loads, or exposure to rain and snow. Furthermore, they are often in remote areas that are difficult to access. This explains why optical measurement systems are often not suited to measure material across conveyor belts.
The iBelt, indurad’s radar based bulk volume scanner, addresses those problems and can help debottleneck key processes, optimize process performance, improve safety, and increase availability of critical equipment.
The solution can be deployed in mines, plants, smelters, stockyards, ports, and on balanced machines like stackers, reclaimers, shiploaders and unloaders. The solution is applicable to all bulk commodities, including, amongst others, crushed ore, coal, lignite, potash, sulphur, salt, cement, tar sand, grain or wood pellets. All indurad sensors are maintenance free, so regular cleaning is not required….
indurad’s Bulk Volume Scanner in a Chilean open pit copper mine
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For those who registered but cannot attend the webinar, a summary will be available for you to view at your convenience.
Our iSilo/iDome solutions have been adding value to a multitude of bulk material handling processes by providing precise 3D inventory control for all types of silos and domes. Growing industry requirements such as: needing to convert material level to volume or mass, accounting for specific material behavior, and operating reliably in harsh ambient conditions have proven to be too much for conventional level measurement systems. Whereas, iSilo and iDome use robust 3D sensors and cutting-edge software to confidently meet these objectives. Additionally, 3D inventory control is one of the most critical components of having a Digital Twin that allows clients to utilize the advantages of real time plant monitoring.
We will provide you with an expert view on how to make your business safer and more efficient. We are offering the opportunity to speak with the indurad team after the webinar to discuss each of your unique goals.
It is the go-to event for mining leaders to connect around the strategic priorities, emerging opportunities and technologies that are driving change for a sustainable mining future.
Meet indurad’s CEO Reik Winkel and indurad team: Nicky Suwandy and Carlo Rothschuh to discuss how our solutions can help debottleneck your operation from pit to port.
Don’t miss out one of the most important events for the mining industry in 2021. Meet us at booth: #439
- iBeltVOLUME for volume flow
- iBeltSPEED for material speed and
- iBeltALIGN for belt alignment.
Customers rely on iBelt VOLUME and SPEED to monitor their actual belt load, increasing their production rate while preventing spillage. Meanwhile, iBeltALIGN is typically used to monitor the behaviour of the belt and the material on it, allowing operations to avoid costly downtime caused by activating misalignment switches. The iBelt solution can add significant value, especially on conveyors that are a volumetric bottleneck in the supply chain. The iBelt offers a strong return on investment: after the installation of indurad’s iBelt on a bucket wheel excavator in a Greek lignite mine, operators now can remotely control the productivity of their excavator from a central control room, which has resulted in a 20% increase in the excavator production rate. Another customer in the US is using the iBelt to increase the production rates in their secondary and tertiary crushing circuit, where fluctuating material density was limiting their mass-flow controlled process. With the iBelt, the customer has achieved an estimated 500 tonnes per hour increase in production. Upon customer request, the iBelt solution also offers advanced features. Using the measured cross section, the centre of gravity and the position of the peak load of the material can be determined, which provides guidance for the customer to adjust the material transfer or feed supply to the belt. Based on the alignment measurement, the freeboard between the material on the belt and the belt edges can additionally be detected and monitored. This can help to reduce the unused space on the belt by increasing belt load while monitoring the result on the belt, or to detect a decentralized material flow. All sensors are built with a robust IP67housing and with military-proof cables and connectors. indurad ́s latest generation of iBelts also includes a weatherproof electrical cabinet (IP66) for outdoor use that includes all additional hardware items such as: an induradRadarProcessingUnit (iRPU), a 24V power supply, a fiberoptics-ready ethernet switch, and a remote access unit. iBelt represents a reliable and highly robust step towards the digitalization of mines, sophisticated process control, device optimization, and reduced belt wear. indurad has delivered over 100 iBelts to customers globally, handling typical bulk commodities like iron ore, coal, lignite, copper ore, fertilizers, tar sands or woodchips. indurad sensors operate in the harshest conditions found in heavy industry operations and have been deployed in open pit and underground mines, ports, stockyards, covered stockpiles, domes, and even on offshore vessels.
Please visit Dry Cargo International to read the article.
iBelt installation in underground salt mine in Canada.
indurad says it offers the world’s most reliable Stockpile Scanning solution based purely on 3D radar perception, eliminating historical reliance on optical instruments. The company’s solutions do not require mathematical modelling of stockpiles, which can be subject to large errors due to the unpredictable nature of bulk materials, such as changes in moisture content and varying particle size distributions, which affect the stockpile formation. indurad’s iStockpile Solution uses two indurad ScanningDynamicRadar-Premium (iSDR-P) sensors, located at the head of stacker booms, to scan material surfaces, improving the stacking process in real time. The collected sensor data is stored in a “voxel-based” model, with the iStockpile4D associating a timestamp with each stockpile voxel to generate a 4D model of the stockpile volume where any additional material properties that may change over time can be stored.
The addition of sensors to reclaimers or other material handling equipment allows the voxel model to be updated. “By matching with the timestamps, connected systems can assign data to each voxel in the stockpile model; for example, cross-belt analyser data, laboratory sampling data, or customer information,” indurad said. indurad openly shares this 4D model with third parties over open Geographic Information System
interfaces for enrichment, post-processing and big data analytics.This way additional properties (like mineral composition, moisture, etc) can be added, allowing blending, maximising the profit and minimizing penalties on commodity exports. “This unique interoperability allows clear system boundaries between data capturing, analytics and decision making, reducing vendor lock-in,” indurad said. iStockpile makes dual use of automation with indurad’s leading process control and predictive…
indurad iStockpile4D: voxel database generated from a 3D radar volumetric scan and 1D timestampingDiscover International Mining (IM) to get insights
The system was developed as part of a close collaboration with indurad’s long-standing partner voestalpine in Austria, to which indurad delivered its first 3D radar for installation in a blast furnace in 2013 after several years of joint R&D. Bell Equipment’s headquarters in South Africa significantly reduced the project implementation time through collaboration with indurad on establishing the drive-by-wire interface and their joint vision on interoperability.
indurad is a global leader in the fields of 3D inventory control, machine positioning and advanced automation, having developed solutions that apply unique high-resolution 2D and 3D radar technologies and turnkey automation software packages from pit to port and from port to plant. indurad’s primary focus is debottlenecking along the entire material flow chain. Material haulage and crushing present significant bottlenecks in open pit mines and quarries.
“The iTruck system offers true autonomy along optimal paths and is therefore capable of reacting dynamically to changing mine site environments. It actively avoids collisions even with smaller debris, both through its dynamically updated environmental map and its unique perception system. It maximises safety and productivity through its robust multi-sensor positioning and sophisticated control of complex vehicle kinematics like those of articulated machines. The accuracy enables maneuverability into narrow crusher entries or roadway sections at high velocities.”
“Automation systems have historically been deemed too complex to implement, too sensitive, and insufficiently flexible for operations such as quarries,” says Dr Christian Riedel, Head of Mining Automation at indurad. “This perception has led to high resistance, although most now acknowledge that it is the necessary next step for required safety and productivity increases in our industry.”
The automation system’s perception is based on indurad’s unique 360° radar technology scanning with up to 50 revolutions per second. indurad’s radar technology is designed for the harsh mining environment and does not compromise on point cloud imaging unlike low-cost automotive radar sensors that rely on inaccurate digital beam forming, patch antennas and integrated MMIC chipsets. It scans the machine’s surroundings with high accuracy (sub-millimeter ranging accuracy) while being largely unaffected by environmental influences such as dust, rain, fog, or snow. indurad says radar is the only technology that maintains its high OEE in even the harshest mining environments.
McKinsey’s compendium about future mobility in 2018 concluded that for autonomous functions “a combined solution of radar and camera might be dominant for the next five to eight years,” where LiDAR is not required at all. Within the McKinsey concept a camera provides optical lane detection and object details which voestalpine considered unnecessary in rocky mining environments. The goal is to reduce the sensor diversity as a key for increased availability in off-road applications – “with only the world’s best radar plus a standard high accuracy GNSS.”
Designed with smaller fleets in mind, the system operates by allowing the excavator or shovel operator to direct the fleet from a touch panel. Therefore, further supervision is not required and time losses are minimised. “indurad’s deep understanding of process bottlenecks has driven integration of the shovel and the crusher into the complete AHS solution. By integrating the haulage system with indurad’s iCrusher solution, the AHS optimises the ROM, increasing the mine’s throughput capacity and as a result its output.”
The AHS may be configured and supervised through an intuitive user interface with advanced graphics for map and route design, machine monitoring, safety system status, and service features. The user interface displays a real-time 2D and 3D visualisation of the entire loading, haulage, and crushing process.
Reik Winkel, mining engineer and indurad’s CEO, points out that the iTruck solution currently caters to small to medium sized mining customers that cannot adapt their mine plan to AHS by enabling simple integration into existing environments with mixed fleets. However, its flexible design and open interfacing allows for integration into large scale operations as well. He adds: “Besides mining, this concept enables robust automation in indoor and outdoor industrial applications, such as metallurgical plants such as smelters. indurad is proud of the strong support from our investor Resource Capital Fund RCF Jolimont.”
The AHS encompasses a holistic safety concept and fully complies with ISO 17757:2017 for autonomous and semi-autonomous machine system safety. To fulfill its objective of simplicity and flexibility, it already meets the criteria of the upcoming standards for autonomous system and fleet management system interoperability. The system incorporates an extension of ISO 23725 as a drive-by-wire communication interface, developed in close cooperation with Bell.
A development for fully GNSS-denied and hybrid environments, such as underground mines with access ramps, is also ongoing as part of ARTUS, a R&D project supported by a research grant from the German governmental BMBF. The consortium is led by indurad in collaboration with other industrial partners in the industry and academia.
Please click here to register.
Date: December 10th, 2020
Time: 3:00 – 3:45 PM CET | 11:00 AM BRT | 5:00 PM MSK | 4:00 PM SAST
Duration: 30 min + 15 min Q&A
For those who register and cannot attend the webinar, a recorded version of the presentation will be available to you to view at your convenience.
This free webinar will provide you with an essential overview of gathering, transmitting, and managing your machine data. Relevant data allows you to provide insight to your analytics and deliver actionable results, improving your business.
• OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) of conveyor belt systems: Optimize your belt loading to increase throughput and help maximize profits
• Increase understanding of material volume to control downstream processes
• Measure material volume flow under harsh conditions
• Identify and eliminate bottlenecks
• Reduce downtime by implementing a contactless and maintenance free solution
• Accurately measure belt alignment and material freeboard to improve belt loading
• Understand the capabilities of well-managed data
• Implement a data-based solution at your operation
We will provide you with an expert view on how to make your business safer and more efficient. We are offering the opportunity to speak with the indurad team after the webinar to discuss each of your unique goals – return on invest is typically less than 1 year.
Who will be speaking?
Speaker is Johannes Hornung, Sales Manager at indurad GmbH. indurad will convey the knowledge of how the iBelt solution solves digitalization challenges being faced by mining operations and heavy industry.
Please click here to register.
Conveyor belt material flow scanners typically rely on load cell-based belt scales, laser scanners or radiometric mass flow measurements. However, these solutions have inherent disadvantages:
- Belt scales have a fundamental error in mass calculation due to the fluctuating moisture content of the ore and therefore need to be recalibrated frequently. Process and storage restrictions in handling bulk materials are generally due to the volume and not the mass. Therefore, operational volume flow information is much more valuable than just knowing the mass flow. Load cells or strain gauges must be mechanically integrated in a time-consuming process and need to be recalibrated regularly. Even sophisticated and well-maintained systems deliver measurement errors of 5–10%.
- Lasers require optimal visibility conditions as they are reflected by particles such as dust, rain, fog, snow, and steam due to their short wavelength (approximately 1μm). This leads to inconsistent and unreliable measurements. In addition, laser scanners require regular cleaning and maintenance and are therefore cost-intensive.
Join our free iBelt webinar on Thursday, December 10th at 3:00 PM CET. Please click here to register.
iBeltVolume – volume flow measurement, based on iSDR 2D Radar. Real-time monitoring of the material flow to identify bottlenecks and to increase throughput.Discover Dry Cargo to get insights
Avoiding machine collisions at stockyards and ports is essential to protect employees, prevent unnecessary repairs, and reduce machine downtime and, therefore, productivity losses. indurad addresses these challenges by implementing radar-based solutions to automate balanced machines, with every advanced radar-based automation project involving the application of a reliable collision avoidance system (CAS). indurad sensors scan machine environments for possible collision threats and assist operators by removing blind spots. Radar sensors establish an ‘electronic fence’, protecting uniquely defined virtual collision zones around the machine. lf objects are detected within the collision zones, the indurad solution will send a message to the machine’s PLC to slow down or stop the machine. Predictive detection and machine regulation without abrupt operational interruption offer great advantages over conventional lanyard and trip switches, the latter of which do not allow for direct machine control and are usually insufficient in ensuring a manual machine stops before a collision occurs. Additionally, the machine is equipped with an indurad GNSS system for more advanced object detection and positioning. This system enables a more accurate and reliable position calculation compared with conventional machine encoders, according to indurad. GNSS positioning is considered a basic requirement and essential for all indurad’s machine-based calculations and is especially important when implementing machine to machine collision avoidance applications in ports or stockyards, where multiple machines operate in close proximity.
Shiploader CAS scenarios
Typical shiploader collision scenarios include:
- Spout to hatch collisions.
- Boom collisions with the ship and other shiploaders during luffing and slewing; and
- Chassis collisions with objects or mobile equipment on the rails. To address these collision scenarios, 1D and 2D radar sensors are mounted on the sides of the boom, under the boom, around the spout, and on the machine’s chassis.
Stockyard CAS scenarios
indurad prevents collisions between stockyard machines, like bucket wheel reclaimers or stackers, with material piles or stationary objects. Two dimensional sensors scan the environment to the left and right of the bucket wheel and boom and the area below the boom. This setup covers both luffing and slewing movements. Each machine has a unique set of applications and needs to operate in different environments. The indurad approach caters to these varying needs by customising each CAS with advanced 3D simulations as part of any site implementation.
Stacker/reclaimer with indurad iSDR-H 2D sensors left and right of the boom, under the boom and left and right of the bucket wheelDiscover International Mining (IM) to get insights
Every asset along the supply chain has many sources of variations and interdependencies. The key to improving productivity is dealing with the weakest link in the chain and managing capacity buffers to ensure the weakest part of the chain can perform, even when other parts of the chain become inactive. Hence, material buffers are key to production rates.
Unfortunately, increasing storage space is capital intensive in the bulk materials industry as it requires scarce real estate and capital equipment. Besides that, bulk handling operations generate dust, often requiring covered installations. Consequently, the question can be raised: how a mine can improve buffering capacity and increase production without large capital projects? iStockpile from indurad offers a smart way of increasing live capacity.
WHAT IS ISTOCKPILE?
iStockpile is a sensor-based scanning system, which has been specifically developed for rough conditions in the mining industry. It fulfills the following tasks and services:
- real-time and permanent volume and level measurement of the entire stockpile;
- reliable dead stock measurement for precise timing agendas (e.g. material that always remains in stock);
- works reliably in extreme levels of dust and humidity;
- one-time calibration with zero maintenance; and
- improved stockpile utilization and better-buffering capability.
iStockpile visualization which can be displayed on the indurad OperatorAssistanceUnit (iOAU).Discover Dry Cargo to get insights