- Proven technologies
- Autonomous and centralised operation
- Operational safety
- Debottleneck and optimise your supply chain
Achieve optimal performance from your dry bulk handling equipment
An advanced automation solution that improves safety and increases productivity
We understand the daily challenge your port or mine stockyard faces: that constant battle to process as much material as possible at the lowest possible cost to deliver the capital efficient tonne. In the past, different operating methods and the multiplicity of materials made it difficult to rely on anything but highly-skilled operators for the job of transporting dry bulk material. But those processes left you exposed to variable operator performance, operational errors, safety risks and insufficient or inconsistent stockyard operation. The good news is BulkExpert handles the challenges and requirements of transferring bulk materials for you in a way that lifts your output, improves safety and lowers costs.
What is it?
BulkExpert is a unique, patented automation solution that is already lowering cost tonnes and increasing productivity for major dry bulk terminals in Europe, the Americas and Australia. We’ve equipped it with the most advanced technologies on the market to deliver a profitable, fully-automated system. A system that ensures the operation of your expensive material handling capital equipment, such as stackers and reclaimers, is optimised for production and safety.
Customers tell us our system has helped reduce their operating costs while increasing throughput by as much as 20 per cent. They’ve reported lower maintenance and labour costs, improved efficiency and energy utilisation and a greener profile.
How does it work?
BulkExpert is the only system using 3D laser scanning and a dedicated Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GNSS array to produce real-time, full terrain information on your stockyard. The 3D laser scanner creates pictures in real time to allow our system to take into account manual work - such as work being done by bulldozers - and adapt as needed to ensure your equipment is always utilised as efficiently as possible.
The system also ensures the maximum amount of material is placed in the stockyard to improve footprint utilisation. BulkExpert controls the pile footprint during stacking and always knows their shape and the material’s angle of repose so piles are placed as close to rails and other ‘limits’ as possible. Layouts are also optimised by stacking homogenous piles with flat surfaces.
Because our system lifts throughout significantly while cutting costs, our customers generally report it has paid for itself within one to two years. For some customers, the improvement in their operations is enough to cover the cost of the system within months.
Stabilised operation, optimised product flow and zero operator error
The equation is simple: optimal utilisation of installed infrastructure equals lower cost tonnes and higher returns. Delivering this elusive “capital efficient tonne”, however, is not always as simple. We have combined the best technologies and control softwareto ensure your bulk material handling operations are working as efficiently as possible. Our proven solution helps you process more while reducing costs.
- Proven technologies
- BulkExpert has proven its value through more than 10 years of on-site software development, operating under critical conditions with multiple material types and grades. Our customers have reported higher throughput and utilisation, along with lower maintenance and labour costs, which results in lower-cost tonnes and capital efficient volumes growth.
- Better results than conventional operations
- We’ve ensured our system is accurate to within a centimetre, while our 3D laser scanner ensures conditions in your stockyard are constantly monitored and accounted for. As a result, our system delivers improved equipment utilisation and better stockyard utilisation than traditional operations. Our system also complements existing technology like the PLC control on a stacker reclaimer and can be expanded through add-ons like real time synchronisation and material tracking between stockyard and loading/unloading facilities.
- Unleash the potential of your equipment
- BulkExpert is a mature solution designed to unleash the full potential of dry bulk stockyard equipment. We’ve designed it to help keep your capital investments as low as possible while maximising throughput, minimising operating costs, and delivering the capital efficient tonne. Our system can be added on the existing PLC system at brownfield projects and can eliminate the need for operator cabins on greenfield sites, helping to decrease design safety margins while ensuring equipment is fully utilised.
Smart utilisation of the best available technology
Imagine perfectly stacked piles; no more air digging; every last square centimetre of your yard fully utilised; elimination of collision hazards; predictive slew control; and low mechanical wear and tear. Imagine state-of-the-art control software processing high-level algorithms combined with the best available scanning and positioning technologies. This is exactly what BulkExpert offers your stockyard operations.
- 3D Laser
There are a broad range of sensor technologies on the market today, in particular radar and laser technologies competing to provide stackers and reclaimers with the necessary “eyes” to obtain the data to build real-time stockyard terrain models. Unfortunately, both technologies have their limits: radars are good at handling tough conditions like dust and rain but become less accurate over longer distances - meaning it is not a good way to get a full picture of your stockyard - while laser technologies are more accurate but perform poorly in bad conditions.
Our 3D laser system achieves the accuracy of a laser scanner without being impacted by adverse conditions. We place our scanner on the machine apex, further away from the pile than a conventional scanner, to protect it from contamination while using special features like multiple reflection integration and a wide array of measuring points to ensure accurate readings regardless of conditions.
- Real-Time Kinematic GPS
This is the most reliable and accurate positioning system available. Every centimetre counts when it comes to high production and stable reclaiming feed and conventional position technologies can easily have an inaccuracy of 5–10 cm each, which results in uncontrolled filling of a bucket wheel, typically with a standard deviation of between 5% and 20%, depending on the bucket size. These high fluctuations result in blocked chutes, overloaded conveyors and increased maintenance of affected drives. Direct measurement systems, meanwhile, like wireless radio positions and active radar transponders, are not accurate enough to be used as a main machine positioning system, with even the best systems having an inaccuracy of ± 25–50 cm.
By contrast, our RTK-GPS is accurate to one centimetre and is the most accurate technology available today.
- High safety and supervisory machine protection
- BulkExpert continually monitors all possible collision hazards. It can also be used as an anti-collision enhancement of a conventional system, alerting CCR operators before they move equipment into collision zones and enabling them to initiate preventive action and eliminate time-consuming interruptions. Also, our system does not compromise vendor guaranteed safety levels as all machine interlocks remain active and unaltered.