Rail Ore Car Waggon Loading Assistance and Automation using unique Radar-based Speed Position and Profiling Sensors

Mining and port operations rely on an effective and highly productive rail loadout system. Currently, high variations in human control and unreliable optical sensors result in a high standard distribution of target payload.

Overloaded railcars may cause penalty fees, entail track cleaning and increase the risk of derailment. Underloaded railcars decrease throughput and increase costs per tonne. While tonnage is the limit in the iron ore industry, volume is the limit in the coal industry.

How does it work?

Solution Layout: The iLoadout™ Solution is based on a reliable multi-sensor concept comprising

  • indurad DopplerVelocityRadar iDVR™ for waggon speed measurement
  • indurad DualRangeRadar iDRR™ for ore profiling
  • indurad DualRangeRadar iDRR™ for gap detection
  • optional cameras and RFID readers

All data are merged into a complex, sector-based model for volumetric control. The sensors are vertically mounted within the rail loading station near the chutes or clam gates on the incoming and outgoing side, as well as horizontally beside the tracks.

For reclaim tunnel type loadout systems, indurad additionally installs an

  • indurad DualRangeRadar iDRR™ for stacking control

This allows for zone-based volumetric stockpile control even under challenging conditions with steep craters and ratholes exceeding the natural angle of repose.

Why is it an improvement?

Common Technologies: Current technologies in train loadout systems comprise light barriers with reflector bars for gap detection, large track scale systems and multiple cameras. The situation is characterized by a large number of manual control interactions.

Breaking Limitations: The indurad system is providing a breakthrough as it offers

  • Contact-free ore car speed control at extreme low velocities via the natural doppler effect
  • Operation completely irrespective of dust and fog
  • Radar allows to bring sensors much closer to the bulk material stream resulting in reduced latency
  • No manual cleaning requirements of sensors
  • Less spillage in reclaim tunnels and in loadout station
  • Ore car empty car pattern detection and railcar classification, rather than contour scanning
  • Optional packages like iStacker™ for stacker buffer systems and iApron™ for surge bin buffers

What are the Benefits?

iLoadout™ represents an integrated solution to increase the productivity of the train loadout system by operator assistance and automation through smart sensors.

  • Reducing overloading of rail cars and associated risks of spillage, derailing and track network damage
  • Reducing underloading of rail cars and associated losses of productivity and plant throughput
  • Predictive filling control by merging data from belt scales, iBelt™ conveyor volume control and live density calculation
  • Reducing the process variance by shifting from manual operation towards operator assistance and full automation

Where is it used?

Industries/Materials: iLoadout™ is primarily used in the iron ore and coal industry, however, it can also be applied for salt and other minerals. indurad has installed the iLoadout™ technology in the European coal industry as well as in the Australian, Indian and Brazilian iron ore industry.


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

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