Roy Hill project adds ATEx technology for rail line
Perth-based engineering company Lynxrail has secured a contract to install its Automated Train Examiner (ATEx) technology on the Roy Hill iron ore project rail line in Western Australia. The contract with Lynxrail aims to use cutting-edge optics, electronics and machine vision algorithms to assess the conditions of key rolling stock components while trains are running in service.
The Roy Hill project will incorporate services such as Wheel Profile Monitor, Brake Shoe Monitor and the Hunting and Tracking Monitor, as well as an acoustic bearing monitor (RailBam), which ‘listens’ for faulty wheel bearings.
• Related content: [VIDEO] Timelapse: Building the Roy Hill Project
“Wheels are one of the biggest costs in a railway,” said Roy Hill’s Manager of Rollingstock Maintenance Bruce Brymer.
“At Roy Hill we are starting a new operation and we plan to maximize the life of our wheelsets. The ATEx and the RailBam will complement our Wheel Impact Load Detectors and Hot Bearing Detectors and provide continuous condition monitoring data for these key areas. This data will allow Roy Hill to confirm bogie performance is meeting design expectations and wheel wear is within the target range to achieve the predicted wheel life for the railway.”
At Roy Hill, optics will be mounted at sleeper level and on small towers adjacent to the railway track in order to take high precision measurements of rolling stock wheels to assess spacing and speed, as well as behavior.
According to Lynxrail, the system synchronizes the cameras and strobes to develop the optimal triggering strategy [to] obtain pictures of the components at normal operational speeds.
“Three high definition images of each wheel are captured at different angles, as well as two images of the brake shoe. These images are processed on site and arranged in a database according to the vehicle number and train by using Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) technology. Sophisticated machine vision algorithms measure key parameters such as flange thickness and brake shoe thickness. This information is stored in a database available for viewing via a web-based viewer, and any critical components that are deemed to be unsafe are reported immediately via email to Roy Hill.”
• Related content: Inside the Making of Roy Hill
Lynxrail’s founder and CEO, Kris Kilian, said the company has been developing the technology since the early 1990s.
“We started with an idea to extend the life of the aging ore car fleets that were being used in the Pilbara at the time,” Kilian said.
“To do this we had to have detailed information on the condition of key ore car components and we started taking photos of those components to develop a history of each vehicle.
“We have come a long way since then and the product that we will be using for Roy Hill is the result of thousands of hours of development work in the past 18 years.”
Located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the $10 billion Roy Hill project is expected to produce 55 million tons annually through an integrated mine, rail and port operation.
Axora launches global challenge for digital technology
Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.
The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.
“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.
“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”
The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge
Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.
“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.
Improving productivity, safety and sustainability
Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.
To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.