iStockpile and interoperability

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…

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indurad iStockpile4D: voxel database generated from a 3D radar volumetric scan and 1D timestamping

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indurad’s iBelt solution for conveyor belt scanning uses radar technology to measure the volume flow of bulk material on conveyor belts. It reliably measures the conveyor belt’s performance and other key performance indicators in real-time. These include material speed for volume flow calculation, belt alignment for better maintenance planning, and conveyor belt freeboard for better utilization of conveyor belt capacity. indurad’s iBelt solution is used in bulk handling processes such as loading and unloading of goods in ports and in a variety of other processes that take place in harsh environments.

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.

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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.

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Collision avoidance

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.

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Stacker/reclaimer with indurad iSDR-H 2D sensors left and right of the boom, under the boom and left and right of the bucket wheel

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Real-time inventory visibility and management occupy an essential role across the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity. The location, number and capacity of mining and port operations within complicated supply chains mean that their operational efficiency has a major impact on the markets they supply. The likelihood of bottlenecks in a supply chain that consists of commodities being sent from one asset to another is extremely high. A mine sends material via rail to a port (with limited stockyard capacity), where a ship brings it to another port, from where the material may require further handling before reaching its destination.

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.

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iStockpile visualization which can be displayed on the indurad OperatorAssistanceUnit (iOAU).

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Better service & proximity: indurad has now strengthened its presence in Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) by opening an office in Moscow.

Our Moscow team is proud to host an exhibit at the MiningWorld Russia convention (Moscow, 20-22 October 2020) following a long Covid-19 break since we last hosted an exhibit at PDAC 2020 in Toronto.

Come to the German Pavilion to speak with the indurad team and discover new opportunities for your business. Our company’s booth is located at: Stand C7034, pavilion 1, hall 3.

Learn more about the exhibition and what we can do for you here.

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3D radar technology unlocks new potential in the automation of shiploading and unloading operations. 3D scanning solutions, paired with visualization and data analytics, are already game changers in the marine cargo industry. indurad’s unique innovative radar sensors, combined with GNSS, help deliver fast operation assistance by providing real-time process information under harsh conditions. The modular iShiploader solution includes collision avoidance, machine positioning, loading assistance, and remote operation up to full shiploader automation. All of the systems work together to optimize the loading process by reducing loading/unloading times and increasing operator safety, comfort, and confidence.

Port operations face a multitude of challenges like harsh environmental conditions and safety risks for personnel and equipment. Ports aim to minimize any risk of machine collision due to the high costs associated with machine downtime. indurad is addressing such challenges with their customers by implementing radar based solutions to partially or fully automate equipment. A modular approach allows a step-by-step process to finance and implement the solution. With iShiploader, indurad delivers a unique and efficient automation solution for shiploaders and unloaders. The solution consists of several subcomponents such as a collision avoidance systems and machine positioning to achieve remote control and full automation. By combining volumetric measurements and berthing assistance, additional information of the entire loading/unloading chain is provided. All of the systems work together to provide necessary information to optimize loading processes and ensure the safety of personnel and multi-million dollar port equipment. To provide the necessary information to personnel and the machines’ PLCs, several radar sensors are installed on the shiploader/unloader in key locations. For machine collision avoidance, 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. These sensors scan the nearby environment for possible collision threats and provide the operator with assistance during loading by removing blind spots. Predictive detection and controlled machine regulation without…

 

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indurad’s 2D radar for boom protection of a shiploader at a customer site in Canada. This full automation project is carried out together with the Canadian partner encompass Solutions Group.

Visualization of an automated shiploading process based on the indurad iShiploader solution.

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Keep your eye on the belt! indurad delivered a new iBelt solution to an iron ore reclaim tunnel in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Once again indurad has proven that radar sensors are the best choice for high dust environments in the Outback climate.
Each of the three draw points inside the tunnel has been fitted with a volume scanner, supported by a material speed sensor after the last draw point.
Contact for more information on how our solutions can improve your process.
Here you can learn more about our iBelt solution.
iBelt | Bulk Volume Scanner
Webinar: “Digital Spring”

Date: July 8th, 2020

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM CEST | 7:00 AM PDT |11:00 AM BRT | 5:00 PM MSK

Duration: 45 min + 15 min Q&A

Attend for free: www.indurad.de/digitalspring

If you cannot attend the webinar on the day, please register anyway and we will send you the on-demand version to view at your convenience.

Why attend:

This free webinar opportunity will provide you with an essential overview of the process of gathering, transmitting, and managing your machine data. Machine data allows you to provide insight to your analytics and deliver actionable results, improving your business.

  • Does your data work for you?
  • Learn about the data value cycle: what data is available, how to source it, and what insights and benefits you can gain from it.
  • We will discuss the capabilities of well-managed data and how to awaken “Digital Spring” in your operation.
  • We can provide you with an expert view on how to utilize technology to make your business safer and more efficient.

Who will be speaking?

Speakers will include Mirko Liebetrau, Chief Sales Officer at talpasolutions GmbH, and Alexey Shalashinski, Senior Sales Engineer at indurad GmbH. Together they will share their knowledge of digitalization challenges being faced by heavy industry, and the newest automation technologies being employed to solve them.

Register for our free webinar
indurad has been founded on the success of an R&D project starting in 2003 at RWTH-Aachen’s Institute of Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT), evaluating suited sensor technologies for the automation of IPCC and other equipment. The research contained benchmarks of laser, radar, RTLS and ultrasonic technology, and it turned out that radar technologies were most suited for these mining applications due to dust and fog, however, they were only available as 1D level gauge radar. indurad consequently developed 2D radar under the iPosition system name and was granted the first IPCC related order in 2008 from one of the world’s larger IPCC system mining company operators RWE Power, which runs more than 15 bucket wheel excavators and 15 spreaders, with single BWEs having a daily capacity of up to 240,000 t of coal or overburden. The systems are spread across three large lignite mines in Germany: Garzweiler, Hambach and Inden.

RWE Power’s Senior Manager of electrical and mechanical maintenance section at Inden mine Wilfried Gau comments: “We started with indurad´s 2D radar on the suspended hopper cars and based on the high availability of the manless-automation mode we have been rolling out the concept on the travelling hopper cars and on the spreader side where we replaced existing laser solutions providing now a better machine availability. Finally, we reduced wear on the machinery as of reducing steering commands of about 20% .”

indurad’s iPosition technology  can be now found worldwide, for example in Chile with a focus on leach pad systems including bridge systems from FAM at BHP Spence or a FAM reclaimer at Codelco’s Radomiro Tomic. Christian González, indurad’s Managing Director in Chile and PLC expert states: “iPosition together with iBelt and iReclaimer support robust control loops on the machines increasing the tonnage rate by more than 15%, besides protecting the machine with 2D iSDR radar crawler collision avoidance.”

One of the latest projects was the implementation on a brand-new thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (tkIS) Bucket Wheel Excavator (BWE) together with a Mobile Belt Wagon (MBW) and Cable Reel Car (CRC) at Huaneng Coal’s YiminHe coal mine in China. The mine is one of China’s pioneers in using modern IPCC technology and first used indurad´s iPosition technology on a tkIS fully mobile crusher fed by a rope shovel back in 2003 and specified this system based on its good experience for the new YiminHe II project. “In China we installed the world’s most advanced iPosition solution using all three technology layers: 2D iSDR Radar, 3D iRTT RTLS relative local positioning and 3D iSMU GNSS global positioning – it is fault-tolerant with ‘hot spares’ allowing a broken cable or sensor to be replaced in the next shutdown without stopping automation of both transfer points and repairs to be carried out at -30C°” says Dr Reik Winkel, founder of indurad and foremost a Mining Engineer understanding the need for rugged technology.

In Chile, the ore flow at the Chuquicamata Underground project (see dedicated section) on TAKRAF and Metso equipment is also monitored with indura’s advanced radar technology, comprising 50 sensors (a mix of 1D iLDR and 2D iSDR types) on the ore passes, feeders and crushers.

indurad technology use at YiminHe II transfer point showing operator interface with triple technology transfer point automation between BWE and MBW

RWE Power's Inden mine excavator 275 was indurad´s first IPCC automation project with 2D radar and RTLS sensors now being in operation for over 10 years

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Deploying the indurad iStockpile solution enables advanced stacker and reclaimer control and overall stockyard automation.

Modern process control systems have contributed significantly to productivity increases within the raw materials industry. Determining stockpile volumes and positions requires multi- dimensional measurements, with slope profiles often scanned two-dimensionally using a machine’s rotation and positioning information. Later, the acquired 3D data can be condensed to a one-dimensional process variable like cubic metres or percentage filling.

But the machines and sensors used to carry out these calculations need to be fit for the job at hand. Carlo Rothschuh, indurad’s Senior Solution Engineer, says ultrasonic sensors such as acoustic solid scanners are slow to update, offer low coverage and are affected by the noise that comes with bulk handling operations.

“While mounted next to the ore stream and water spray on stackers, reclaimers and shiploaders, indurad 3D radar scanners convinced the global iron ore industry of their superior reliability while having an imaging capability comparable to a high-end laser scanner,” he said.

Knowing these issues, Germany-based indurad developed its 360° radar technologies, which have been applied at over 20 iron ore mine sites and ports in Australia, Brazil, Canada and South Africa. Companies focused on other commodities have also favoured indurad’s solutions with installations in Canada’s oil sands, Chile’s copper mines, Russian potash mines and European steel plants.

They also allow for measurements of the volume and volume flow on conveyors, apron feeders, surge bins and silos, according to the company. Furthermore, the technology can be used for anti-collision eg on bucketwheel excavators, stackers and reclaimers. iReclaimer, for example, yields typically 5-10% extra productivity, allowing a return of investment of much less than a year, besides offering process automation and safety benefits, indurad says.

Deploying the indurad iStockpile solution enables advanced stockyard automation and provides significant benefits for clients by using a reliable, volumetric scan of the entire stockpile area. Not only can production planning with live stockpile capacity be enhanced, the total capacity of the stockpile can also be maximised.

Monitoring the performance of drawpoint feeders (level and volume over each feeder/line) and identifying the problem areas are other advantages for indurad clients. With the help of indurad solutions, stockyard operators can use real-time volume data to plan shutdowns and minimise impacts on production, the company says.

The radar hardware and software solutions developed by indurad enable significant process optimisation in rough environments, which traditional sensor technology is not built for. With the indurad solutions, potential can be unlocked in every mining, processing and stockpile operation across the resources industry, the company says. The 2D and 3D iSDR technology has a high impact on safety, process and inventory control, with the radar measuring principle allowing for high accuracy, while being immune to environmental influences like dust, rain, fog or snow. The indurad 3D iDome Solution has already been installed on multiple copper and gold domes in Chile and Canada, the company says.

indurad enables the introduction of a comprehensive stockpile management system by integrating the iStacker and iReclaimer solutions with the iStockpile system. Rothschuh points out: “The major advantage of the indurad approach lies in the real-time measurement of the precise location of the deposited and reclaimed material as opposed to statistical modelling of where the material should have been deposited.”

indurad plays a pioneering role in the development of innovative products in the fields of 3D inventory control, machine positioning, advanced automation and anti-collision, based on proprietary hardware, software and engineering.

Deploying the indurad iStockpile solution enables advanced stacker and reclaimer control, overall stockyard automation and provides significant benefits for clients by using a reliable, volumetric 3D scan.

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