May 17, 2020

Roy Hill project adds ATEx technology for rail line

Roy Hill
Australia
Iron ore
Lynxrail
Admin
3 min
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 theRoy Hill iron ore projec...

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.

WATCH: Lynxrail Technology for Railways

Stay connected! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook 

Check out the latest edition of Mining Global

Share article

Jun 30, 2021

Rio Tinto and Alcoa begin construction with ELYSIS tech

Rio Tinto
ELYSIS
Decarbonisation
Alcoa
3 min
ELYSIS
Rio Tinto and Alcoa’s JV project ELYSIS has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint

Eliminating all direct greenhouse gases from aluminium smelting has taken a major step forward with the start of construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology, at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

ELYSIS has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of aluminium production

ELYSIS is a joint venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new breakthrough technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.

The technology has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

The inert anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminium smelters, using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).

The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry joined representatives from ELYSIS, Rio Tinto and Alcoa to mark the start of construction and announce a further CAD $20mn financial contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.

The federal government's financial support will enable the creation of a unique commercial size inert anode technology showroom for future customers and will help develop the supply chain by involving local and regional equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the project.

ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024 followed by the commercialization activities.

ELYSIS technology at a glance:

  • The ELYSIS technology addresses the global trend towards producing low carbon footprint products, from mobile phones to cars, planes and building materials.
  • The new process will reduce operating costs ofaluminiumsmelters while increasing production capacity. It could be used in both new and existing aluminium smelters.
  • In Canada alone, the ELYSIS technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons, the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
  • ELYSIS will also sell next-generation anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto will continue to support the ELYSIS development program alongside the Governments of Canada and Quebec.

ELYSIS is working closely with Alcoa's Technical Center, where the zero-carbon smelting technology was invented, and the Rio Tinto technology design team in France.

Alcoa's Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS technology.

 

Vincent Christ, CEO, ELYSIS commented: “This is a great day for ELYSIS. It means that we are becoming the first technology company in the world to build commercial-size inert anode cells. While we refine the technology in our R&D Centre, we start the construction of our prototype cells. This shows our confidence in our process and in the know-how of our team. The combination of ELYSIS' zero CO2 technology and Quebec's renewable energy will be great competitive advantage for the future. I would like to thank the government for its support and all the partners for their commitment.”

Samir Cairae, Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations and ELYSIS board member added: “Today marks a real step towards the future of the aluminium industry, by progressing this breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto is committed to supporting its ongoing development here in Quebec where we already use clean hydropower to deliver some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium. Combining this technology with renewable hydropower holds the promise of zero carbon aluminium smelting.”

Share article