Train dump stations are a critical link in the materials handling supply chain. Therefore, any efficiency gains related to unloading wagons have a positive impact on throughput.
A significant barrier to automating dump stations typically comes from the inability to accurately detect the presence and positioning of a locomotive, coal hang-up detection and confirmation of door closure post unloading.
In response to industry feedback, MRA has developed a comprehensive range of solutions utilising laser scanning technology to overcome these barriers and deliver accurate and robust solutions.
- Instantaneous and accurate train speed throughout the complete unloading process
- Locomotive detection and positioning in relation to opening triggers, including the ability to detect mid-train locomotives
- Automatic trigger operation
- Accurate coal hang-up detection for all wagon types, including wagon vibrator integration if applicable
- Wagon open door detection (post unloading)
- Accurate bin level profiling and volumetric calculations, which if applicable can drive opening trigger control
- Conveyor feed optimisation via volumetric profiling
- Ability to issue speed, start and stop commands via TSI telemetry systems
- Ability to integrate with any existing control system or operate independently
- The system is generic and can be configured for any dump station layout
Figure 1 – Major Wagon Hang-up
MRA’s dump station automation solution provides efficiency gains throughout all stages of the unloading process, from initial trigger operation through to close door verification. Other features include:
- Elimination of operator input to raise triggers
- No operator required to monitor coal hang-up during the unloading process or to verify closed wagon doors
- Greater throughput through higher utilisation of bin capacity and conveyors
Figure 2 – Minor Wagon Hang-up
Train Speed Demonstration
The following YouTube link is a demonstration of MRA’s train speed solution illustrating the laser scanned profile of each wagon and calculated speed. Major features of MRA’s solution are highlighted towards the end of the video where the starting and stopping of a train is demonstrated.