Automation solution for cardumpers

iCardumper™ covers the whole process chain from indexer positioning via waggon tipping to measuring the outgoing material volume flow on the apron feeder.

Solution Packages

iCardumper PackageIndexer Positioning

Based on an iLDR measurement, the position of the indexer can be tracked with millimeter precision.

iCardumper PackageIndexer Gap Positioning

In order to safely position the indexer arm in between two rail cars, the position and size of the gap must be known. This measurement is performed by an array of iLDR sensors.

iCardumper PackageWaggon Classification iLDR & OCR

Our high precision iLDR sensors and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) cameras are the basis for identifying rails cars. While the iLDR sensors register the profile of the wagon side structure (like a finger print), the OCR cameras record any type of numerical or alphabetical ID on the rail car itself. This individual set of data is stored for each wagon in the data base for post-process analysis.

iCardumper PackageApron Feeder Control

There are two dangerous situations in waggon dumping stations: Over- and underfilling inside the apron feeder. iDRR sensors continuously measure the surface level in 2D or 3D and provide data for the automation of the tipping and apron feeder control.

iCardumper PackageResidual Detection

After the dumping process, compressed or wet material tends to get stuck in the waggon corners. With iLDR sensors it is possible to detect such material residuals during the dumping process.

iCardumper PackageOutgoing Belt Volume Flow

For the underground apron feeder conveyors, an adapted iBelt version for conveyor belt volume flow measurement can be installed to have stable output data after the dumping process.

How does it work?

Solution Layout: iCardumper™ usually consists of one embedded iDRR™ (indurad DualRangeRadar) radar sensor plus one iRPU™ (indurad RadarProcessingUnit) installed above the cardumper pit — either inside or outside the dumping pit. An obstructed line of sight towards the material at the bottom must be ensured.
iCardumper™ measures the actual material level 15 times per second in 2D/3D, which equals real-time measurement. It works worry-free and reliably even in difficult installation environments or in high dust or dirt particle concentrations in the air.

Why is it an improvement?

Positioning with photocells and laser technology suffers from slow reaction rates in difficult environmental conditions, repositioning requirements usually result in reduced dump rates. Operators also often report the following issues:

  • Laser sensors tend to fail in thick dust which occurs in highly dynamic environments such as cardumpers
  • Level gauge radar sensors tend to provide only insufficient data (1D, spillage, multipath reflections, slow measurement rate) that does not really improve the process
  • Ultrasonic sensors come by default with a long measurement latency and are also heavily affected by dust and particles in the air

What are the benefits?

  • Safe automation of the cardumper process: Synchronization of indexer and tipper, both running on set point, reduced wear at full efficiency
  • Full process transparency allowing for integration into a larger manufacturing execution system
  • Consistent and fast discharge cycles, no overloading
  • Reduce wear and damage to cardumper and apron feeder significantly, extend lifetime
  • Precise volume measurement within all steps in the cardumping process
  • Maintenance free solution that works without regular cleaning
  • Easy retrofit for new and older machines and analogue PLCs