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Advanced automation for centralised stockyard operations


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Author R Stefansen


Stockyard operations are governed by the interaction between the different disciplines required to successfully schedule and control the supply chain of raw material through the stockyard in combination with the effectivity of the operation of the stockyard equipment. The system demonstrates a proven technology for implementing a centralised operation of full unmanned stockyard equipment, using a high precision absolute positioning system based on a Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers in combination with 3D rangefinders. The system implementation maps the surface profile of the stockyard inventory and allows in combination with proprietary algorithms for full operation of the stockyard machines without on-board operators. The operational impact of delayering the process by moving to a centralised operation is examined, together with the combined effect on the overall safety in the stockyard as a result of a change in reliance on operator skill dependencies. Average performance gains range from 10–20 per cent. The performance of the automation system is related to a consistency and reliability of uniform operation, which has an impact on the life expectancy and the effectiveness of the equipment. The effects of having instantaneous and correct information about the stockyard inventory volume measurement are investigated in relation towards spot price trading in current fast reacting markets.


Stefansen, R, 2017. Advanced automation for centralised stockyard operations, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 105–110 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).