Cutting Assistance for Reclaimer Operators and Automation

Apart from online 3D volumetric scanning of stockyards, the iReclaimer™ Cutting Assistance is a unique bundle of helpful features to enhance reclaiming operations for advanced material management.

How can you realistically expect an operator to measure the distance to the face or cutting depth with his bare eyes? Is it 15m, is it 16m? – this "tiny" difference has a big impact on the operation! Operators are forced to drive "by feeling", judging vibrations and waiting for slewing out of the pile. Get real-time and highly accurate information on cutting span depth, detect the bench edge height to automatize stacker boom return movements, or make use of the many other monitoring options of iReclaimer™.

How does it work?

Solution Layout: The required number of indurad DualRangeRadar (iDRR™) sensors is installed left and right of the bucket wheel. The iDRR™ sensors measure the surface of the pile. Furthermore, the position of the machine on the rails is determined with the indurad LinearDynamicRadar (iLDR™). The latter may be combined with absolute slew encoders and luff inclimometers.

GPS can be used as an alternative or for further redundancy. If the devices are not installed already, they can be retrofitted by indurad. The indurad RadarProcessingUnit (iRPU™) handles all sensors and processes all incoming raw radar data.

Why is it an improvement?

Common Technologies: During reclaiming, the key process is still manual. Some sites are using teleremote operation, which demands specialized technology with a reliability and availability of >99%. Also, this data must be provided in real-time, as without any real-time updates, productivity loss usually accounts for 5-10%. Thus, many technologies are limited in use or cannot be used in a standalone fashion: Simulations/Models:

  • Do not allow for dozer / wheel loader operation
  • Fade away over time as input and output errors add up
  • Non-homogeneous material changes behavior (flow, repose, settlement, ...)

2D Laser Scanners at bucket wheel:

  • Sensors need to be installed in the highest dust and vibration
  • Steaming material and dust make it unreliable

3D Laser Scanners:

  • Filtering out the area around the bucket wheel
  • Far too long cycle times for scans >1 minute
  • High range from central location with mounting error or vibration

1D Point Radars

  • Inaccurate point probe without pile geometry

Breaking Limitations: iReclaimer™ is the first technical solution to provide the full range of features required for high performance operations, as it combines predictive cutting assistance and control with inventory management and safety. The technology contributes to manual reclaiming, teleremote operations as well as automation. Among the large set of unique features are:

  • Bench Edge Height Estimation
  • Predictive Volume Estimation, Cutting Span Area Estimation etc.
  • Sector based pile distance control for collision avoidance
  • Exact 3D inventory information including timestamps at all times
  • Database allows to use timestamps to keep track of material on the stockyard
  • Integration of Dozer operations by position broadcast
  • Automation and remote control to provide higher performance than human operation
  • Easy installation without maintenance

What are the Benefits?

iReclaimer™ monitors many facets of the reclaiming process and thus provides real-time information and 3D inventory data to the PLC/SCADA/MES system for

  • Increased productivity and decreased costs by consistent high production
  • Eliminating shutdowns because of overtorque
  • High accuracy under all environmental conditions during operation
  • Online 3D volumetric measurement
  • Long travel control
  • Easy integration into existing PLC/SCADA/MES solutions

Where is it used?

Industries/Materials: The system is used wherever bulk material is handled by stacker/reclaimer operations all around the world: In mines, ports, storage areas and in power plants. The system works under all environmental conditions and may also measure hot, humid or dry bulk materials:

  • Iron Ore
  • Coal (brown coal and hard coal)
  • Copper ore and copper concentrate
  • Granulates of diverse common intermediate products


If you want to know more about this solution, please contact us directly.

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