Wherever bulk material is handled, Sandvik Mining’s Product Area Mining Systems will be present. In addition to meeting the needs of the mining industry, the company also excels in meeting the needs of downstream operations, such as power plants and mills, ports and terminals with an approach tailored for each application.

Reclamation, stockyard storing, sizing, homogenization and transportation are all materials handling processes Sandvik supports. The offering for turnkey projects, individual new equipment or upgrades and modernizations includes consulting, systems design, engineering, procurement, erection and support. Sandvik applies materials handling and automation technologies to help customers best utilize their assets. Additionally Sandvik

Sandvik’s expertise extends throughout the bulk handling process

designs and manufactures a full range of conveyor components like idlers, pulleys, belt cleaners, etc. used in materials handling equipment, whether for new systems or replacement parts for any existing system. The goal is to make the customers more successful through long-term cooperation and partnerships; success comes from efficient process design, innovative engineering and a dedication to reliability. Through the well developed Sandvik Mining and Construction organization, global parts logistics and local services keep the continuous materials handling processes running.


Sandvik Mining and Construction’s Materials Handling business 


offers all services related to bulk materials handling, including feasibility studies, conceptual plant layouts, design, engineering, and the entire execution of complete systems to handle coal, ore, bauxite and other different materials — a vast range of equipment for applications such as the following:


  • conveying, stacking, reclaiming and blending of bulk materials;
  • loading bulk materials into ships;
  • unloading bulk materials from ships; and
  • crushing, sizing and feeding of bulk materials.


This offering supports the continuous transfer of the material in various fields of materials handling solutions, whether as individual machines or as complete turnkey installations. The classical application of these systems and machines relates to stockyard facilities at mines, at export and import ports and in stockyards of power stations, steel works and processing plants. According to the requirements of the downstream consumer, Sandvik’s systems can reach output rates up to more than 10,000tph (tonnes per hour).


Stockyards, either as a circular or longitudinal layout incorporating particularly feed conveyors, stackers and reclaimers, have a central function in the fields of materials handling as they serve as material buffers, reserve or blended storage between incoming and outgoing materials. As buffering, composing and homogenizing performed by a stockyard can vary quantity as well as quality fluctuations can be balanced out with the correctly chosen system. As the priorities for each application and stockyard operations are different, it is necessary to consider various questions before selecting type and size: throughput required, characteristics of the materials to be handled, homogenizing effect required, open or roofed storage and importantly, the future upgrading of the storage. Sandvik offers a complete range of products to provide customized solutions for each customer’s specific requirements. The equipment comprises:


  • reclaiming technology for bucket wheel boom type-, bucketwheel bridge type-, scraper type-, drum type units;
  • stacking technology for the most commonly used stacking methods: chevron, windrow and cone shell;
  • combined stacking/reclaiming technology for bucketwheel- or circular units;
  • conveying technology including transfer stations; and
  • auxiliary equipment with hoppers, feeders, crushers, etc.


Covered storage is used where environmental aspects require the full enclosure of the stockpiles and stacking and reclaiming activities. It can either be arranged in the form of a longitudinal/rectangular configuration or in a circular configuration covered by dome-type structures.


Sandvik stackers effectively stockpile bulk materials in an efficient and orderly manner. Stationary or travelling, borne on rails or crawlers, they can be supplied in fixed, luffable or luffable-and- slewable boom designs, with capacities from 150tph to 20,000tph. The choice of design depends on factors such as the stacking method and size of the stockpile, the type of material, the required throughput and the demand for mobility. Tripper cars or tripper systems for transferring material from the yard conveyor to the stacker are considered part of the stacker.


Sandvik reclaimers are designed to reclaim bulk materials from stockpiles at mines, ports, steel plants, power stations, etc. in a quick, efficient and orderly way. They are available in several main types, including bucket wheel, scraper and drum-type reclaimers, and in many configurations and sizes, with capacities from 500tph to 20,000tph and more. The choice of design depends on factors such as the size and shape of the stockpile, the type of material to be reclaimed, the required reclaiming rate and the need for blending or homogenization.


Sandvik stacker/reclaimers come in two main types: bucketwheel models for alternate stacking and reclaiming, and circular units, which normally stack and reclaim the material alternately but can be designed to do so simultaneously if required. The bucket- wheel models, normally supplied complete with tripper cars, are compact and economical for longitudinal stockyards where simultaneity is not required and where there can be large variations in the demand for stacking and reclaiming capacity. Standard circular units, which build a ring-shaped stockpile and are normally housed inside a covered dome because of environmental aspects, both continually stack the stockpile at one end of the ring and reclaim the material simultaneously from the other end.



Sandvik has a highly skilled projects division specializing in the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of conveyor systems for a full range of applications. The company also upgrades and modernizes systems and supplies a comprehensive range of its own quality components and spare parts.


All around the world, sea-going and coastal vessels are constantly being loaded or unloaded with different bulk materials. In order to ensure a thriving international sea trade, to load the material at the export terminal and unload the vessels in the import terminal, to store the material at the ports continuously and in a very short time, a high standard of perfection in port-handling methods is needed — an area where Sandvik has a vast experience.

Sandvik ensures a smooth transfer to and from bulk terminals with a complete offering of reliable ship-unloading and shiploading equipment.

Many different developments for all capacities and applications are included in Sandvik’s range of shiploaders which provide travelling, telescopic, luffing and/or slewing as well as radial functions. The ship-unloading of high-density bulk material at fast flow rates is conducive to the company’s offering of grab-type unloaders of gantry or level luffing design. For the intermediate storage of bulk materials in ports, Sandvik’s complete range of stockyard equipment and systems incorporates stackers, reclaimers and stacker/reclaimers.

The equipment can be supplied with various modes of operation, including manual operation by onboard operators, semi-automated and fully-automated operation integrated in a central, remote control system.


Sandvik linear gantry and quadrant bridge type shiploaders are constructed in proven, eco-friendly designs with a wide range of sizes to service vessels from 5,000 to 250,000dwt. Central to the Sandvik philosophy is minimal disruption of the port during installation of the shiploader and its supporting equipment. Sandvik’s process for off-site construction, assembly, testing, commissioning and heavy-load transportation is highly advanced, resulting in installation of fully operational shiploaders with capacities up to 20,000tph in just a few days. The range includes a variety of shiploaders which provide travelling, telescopic functions, luffing and/or slewing installed onto longitudinal jetties, or radial shiploaders which incorporate a fixed pivot point.


Sandvik ship-unloaders of the linear gantry and level-luffing types are constructed in proven designs and a wide range of sizes to service vessels from 5,000 to 250,00dwt. Focusing on grab technology, they offer efficient, rational solutions to demands for quayside flexibility and are the perfect rigs for unloading materials with different bulk densities.

As with continuous ship-unloaders, they can be constructed, assembled, tested and commissioned off-site if necessary, then shipped to site and installed with minimal disruption to port activities.


Sandvik’s product portfolio of standard equipment for bulk materials handling applications covers HC-series belt conveyors and HF-series belt feeders, both having fixed and mobile units. With a wide range of standard modules and components these devices can be tailored exactly to meet the needs of the application. The advantages of the mobile equipment make them ideal and cost-effective in conveying and stockpiling materials.


Mining companies strive to maximize their production rates whilst keeping high safety standards to ensure a safe working environment for the employees. This leads to increasing attractiveness of fully or partially automated solutions for mining and materials handling equipment.

Sandvik Mining Systems has invested considerable efforts in automation, in the enhancement of their stockyard equipment by introducing auxiliary automation systems for different applications, such as collision avoidance and stockpile profiling, to name just a few. The automation package consists of state-of- the-art radar and laser sensors including dedicated software for data processing and interfaces to the machine PLC software via

common industrial platforms. The collision avoidance system for stockyard equipment can be used in both stackers and reclaimers to provide protection against moving equipment as well as to prevent impacts with stockpiles, as well as for shiploaders to reduce the risk of property damage. Stockpile profiling systems are being applied in bucket-wheel reclaimers. This add-on functionality further increases the machine’s vision by scanning the face slopes and by adjusting the machine parameters in a predictive manner according to the shape of the stockpile benches.

These systems increase the level of automation on the machines and thus their serviceability for both the manually operated and the automated machine type without operator. Based on the type of application a different set-up and allocation of the sensors is required. For collision avoidance systems it may be necessary to allocate the sensors against other moving targets whereas for stockpile profiling they scan a solid ground and map its exact shape by creating 3D images, which are stored in an inventory database.

“The key requirements of the systems is the robustness of the sensors, fast signal response and reliable measuring results in order to increase the machine availability and to maintain high productivity levels of the machines under all operational circumstances,” says Branco Lalik, Product Line Manager for Materials Handling, Sandvik Mining Systems.

The auxiliary automation systems for collision avoidance and stockpile profiling for stackers and reclaimers are specified according to the demands of Sandvik’s customers. They will be integrated into the Sandvik in-house developed PLC software and the complementary SCADA system.

A safe trip: custom design from Superior Industries slashes operating costs 

For safe, economical, high-volume stockpiling, a Wisconsin, USA-based construction aggregate producer has replaced costly loader use with a 580-foot tripper conveyor.

From April to November,Wissota Sand & Gravel stockpiles material 24-hours a day. “We load out trucks 52-weeks a year, but we can only produce material when Mother Nature lets us,” says Dennis Simniok, a 30-year industry veteran who is supervisor of the company’s Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA pit. The operation yields 1.2 million short tons (1.9mt [million metric tonnes]) of material annually. To meet seasonal demand and to stock up for the brutally cold winter months, the site must build and maintain a stockpile of up to 200,000 short tons (180,000 metric tonnes) on its small 800-foot-long (244m) by 200-foot-wide (61m) footprint. Until just three years ago, the company tackled all its stockpiling with round-the-clock loader operation — a situation that created serious safety issues — and ballooning operating costs from maintenance, labour, fuel, and material loss due to contamination. Today, the site boasts a 580ft (177m), pillar-supported, tripper conveyor, one of the longest and tallest in the region. The custom-designed system was manufactured by Superior Industries of Morris, Minnesota, USA.


There are a lot of factors that led the operation to replacing loader use with a tripper conveyor system, one of the most important being safety. A disproportionate amount of surface mining injuries and fatalities involve mobile haulage equipment operating at various dump sites. Adequate berms (up to axle height) must be maintained, and even then, backing through or over a berm is a common cause of stockpile accidents. “Think about it — you’re in a loader and suddenly you’re up to 60 feet (18m) above ground level, on an inclined ramp. And, if you’re stockpiling 24 hours a day, you have an individual doing that in the dark. It just becomes a huge safety issue,” says Simniok.


Not only does it take time and labour to build and berm a ramp

for stockpiling, it results in significant material loss. Simniok emphasizes that even if it were safe for a loader to continually run up and down a ramp, it takes a tremendous amount of material to build the ramp — and then you end up with a contaminated pile. “The loader tracks sand up on the pile. Pretty soon, the ramp is all dirty and you have less salable product. When you load trucks in the winter, you can only load back to the ramp and then you’ve got to back away from it because the ramp is dirty and you can’t load out that material. Furthermore, every spring, you have this dirty ramp to deal with — material which you can only sell to sewer contractors at a cut rate,” he says.


Studies show that lifetime (8,000 to 12,000 hours) loader owning and operating costs are no less than 2.25 times higher than the unit’s initial purchase price — and that figure does not even include labour and the effects of an ongoing tyre shortage and fuel-cost crisis. It’s a very expensive way to stockpile. Plus loader component and tire wear accelerates when the machine is operated on inclines exceeding 6-percent.

“During the day, our loader and operator would have to load out trucks as well as stockpile. So we would usually put a couple of additional loaders on stockpiling for a several hours at the end of the day, so that one loader could keep up with the job at night. What’s more, you have to consider that each loader is stockpiling one bucket at a time. We were stockpiling 2,000 short tons (1,814 metric tonnes) a day, but producing 5,000 short tons (4,536 metric tonnes) a day. We really had to take a close look at the cost of running these machines,” says Simniok.


Simniok says that they opted to put in a tripper conveyor due to site limitations which called for a long, narrow, yet high-volume stockpile to meet demand. Traditional radial stackers would not be able to do the job. They started looking at different tripper conveyors in different configurations — taking a little bit from one setup and a bit from another.

“What we ended up with is a tripper conveyor system that runs unattended and stockpiles at 450 short tons (408 metric tonnes) per hour — with no man hours, no machine, and no fuel. Obviously, today’s fuel prices are triple what they were when we started up the system three years ago. So the payback is really huge right now,” he says.


Wissota Sand & Gravel operates a movable tripper. Trippers are devices that discharge material from a belt conveyor at points upstream from the head pulley. A tripper consists of a frame supporting two idling pulleys, one above and forward of the other. The conveyor belt passes over and around the upper pulley and around and under the lower pulley. The belt usually inclines to the upper pulley and may run horizontally, or it may then incline again from the lower pulley.

The conveyor belt itself drives a typical movable tripper, by an electric motor, or by a cable and winch. The tripper moves in a forward and reverse direction to make a long pile on one, or on each side of the belt conveyor.


“Superior Industries came up with a tripper conveyor design that really fits our needs,” says Simniok who lists the following parameters: v continuous operation;


  • a remote-controlled tripper car;
  • remote-controlled discharge from one side to the other;
  • ability to be installed on 57-foot-tall (17m) concrete pillars;
  • 30-inch (76cm) belt; 
  • ability to span at least 60-feet (18m) between pillars;
  • capable of building a big-volume stockpile of at least 180,000 short tons (163,293 metric tonnes);
  • ability to handle 450 short tons per hour (408 metric tonnes) of wet material — without the head pulley spinning out


Simniok says that they chose the Superior Industries design over the competitive bids due to the integrity of its structure. “It’s beefier with heavier angle iron and this gives us more bang for the buck. We didn’t want to skimp as we only want to install something like this just once. And, with the heavier truss design we found that we could make a longer, 65-foot (20m) span between pillars, which meant we had to install fewer pillars,” he says.

A flop gate allows a discharge of material to the north or to the south. Throughout the summer, he explains, they flop from side to side, going from pillar to pillar, until they have a pretty solid, full pile under that conveyor by the fall. “Toward the end of the season, we literally run that tripper every 30 or 40 minutes, inching it down the line to top the pile off so there are no pockets for the snow and ice to get into over the winter,” he says.


“Tripper conveyors are getting more common and with this fuel crisis, we’ll be seeing more of them in the industry,” says Simniok. “But usually you’ll find tripper systems no more than 30 feet (9m) to 35 feet (10m) off the ground. At 580-feet (177m), our tripper conveyor is one of the longest in the region and is certainly one of the tallest, because of the site we have to work with. I see this system being in place forever, and we are thinking of installing another to handle our sand product. Obviously, conveyors like these are the most safe and cost-efficient way to move and stockpile material. This system has already paid for itself,” he says.

Experience and imagination help EDGE Innovate live up to its name 

EDGE Innovate is a blue sky thinking, imaginative and creative equipment manufacturing company. With its ethos of ‘Innovation at Work’ EDGE persists in pushing the boundaries of design and manufacturing to produce hard working, quality machinery to fit any materials handling requirement from recycling to quarrying.

The EDGE brand stems from a long tradition in the engineering industry in Ireland. With over 25 years experience designing and manufacturing machinery for a range of industries globally; the EDGE team is made up of ‘old school’ traditional quality engineering and innovative thinking alike. 

The company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant based in Ireland uses the latest technology and concepts to create a reliable, durable and cost saving product portfolio of mobile stackers, tracked stackers, stockpilers, tracked feeders, trommels, shredders and picking stations.

With the ability to handle a multitude of materials such as aggregates, fertilizers, coal, ores, wood and tyres, EDGE’s machines are in operation across six continents in the harshest environments. From the blistering summer heats of the Australian outback to the chilling winter winds of Northern Canada, EDGE designs its machines to work as hard as its customers do.

EDGE Innovate can trace it roots back to its sister company KMC Engineering which was established in 1990 by family members Jim McKiver, Niall McKiver and Darragh Cullen. KMC Engineering quickly established itself as a leader in the sub- contract market exporting more than 5,000 units for Powerscreen and Finlay.

The EDGE Innovate brand was born in 2009 with a 150,000ft2 custom built production floor base in Dungannon, County Tyrone. With an emphasis on unique and innovative designs, EDGE Innovate has quickly expanded its product portfolio supported by an ever-growing dealer network.

The year 2013 brings an exciting £3.4 million expansion plan, creating 84 new jobs supported by InvestNI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Announcing the investment during a visit to the company, Northern Ireland Enterprise minister Arlene Foster said:

“EDGE Innovate is a recently established company with plans to roll out an extensive expansion strategy over the next five years. The firm’s focus on export marketing and new product development will help to enhance its position within the global marketplace and achieve the sizable export sales it has forecast over the next six months.”

To build on its successful start to 2013, EDGE Innovate has announced Pilot Crushtec International (Pty) Ltd as its new dealer, representing EDGE Innovate in South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania. Pilot Crushtec is a leading South African supplier of mobile and semi-mobile crushing, screening, recycling, sand washing, stockpiling, compacting and material handling solutions.

Pilot Crushtec markets its products and services in over 40 countries and is active in industries as diverse as coal, diamond, gold, cobalt and platinum mining, aggregate and sand quarrying, construction, civil engineering and recycling.

The ever-increasing EDGE Innovate portfolio boasts a number of products for the recycling and material handling industries. The ever popular FS-Series with its countless options is the perfect example of EDGE’s innovate thinking to stay ahead of the competition. The FS-Series can be found working in successful mines and ports throughout the world with contracts won to supply CSN of Brazil and closer to home, Scruttons Ltd. of Northern Ireland.

The EDGE Feeder Tracked Stockpiler Series is designed to allow customers to efficiently load and stockpile a wide range of materials including crushed aggregate, compost, top soil, bark, coal, sand and fines. The main advantage of the FS-Series is that it can be fed directly by any Excavator or Wheeled loader.The FS is excellent at holding a buffer of material within the hopper allowing a regulated flow of material to the main conveyor belt. With fully speed adjustable belts the feeder stacker series eliminates the need for a separate feeder and stockpiler unit. The FS-Series has countless options available from tipping grids, vibrating grids to overband magnets. With numerous conveyor lengths the FS-Series can satisfy a wide range of customer needs. The versatility and robust design of the FS-Series allows this particular product to be as comfortable in the dock as it is on the harsh environment of the quarry.

EDGE Innovate strives to find innovative ways to stay one step ahead. In the first quarter of the year, it launched the new patent pending LTS Series. The LTS robust design enables it to convey heavy aggregate such as oversized iron ore whilst providing the customer with superb manoeuvrability around site with rapid set-up times. The benefits of the LTS were swiftly recognized by its dealer of the year, Pat Kelly of EDGE Equipment Australia, with orders placed for four LTS units.

Further options in EDGE’s current product portfolio were added in June with the launch of its new 360° Unlimited Series. With the successful tender to supply CSN of Brazil, two FTS 360° Unlimited units were swiftly exported and put to work without delay. Available for both the FTS and LTS Series the 360° Unlimited option maximizes operations for loading of; ships, trains and barges by enabling the operator to rotate the stacker 3600 uninterrupted. This enables the operator to position the tracks parallel to the vessel, allowing the stockpiler to travel along the side of the vessel without the need to adjust the orientation of the machine. This option still only requires one operator to run an entire stacker that will offer up to 1,000tph (tonnes per hour) for continuous loading.

With new products in the design process and the ever- growing options available, EDGE Innovate is confident that it is staying true to its ethos of ‘Innovation at Work’.

DF Mining & Handling: serving the mining and energy industries worldwide 

Duro Felguera Group dates back to 1858, when its founder Pedro Duro Benito, started Duro y Compañía. Its main activities were based on the production of iron and steel, and in the coal mining industry. By the end of the 19th century it had become the main iron and steel producer in Spain.

By 1905 it was listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange and by 1920 it had become the largest coal producer in the country. Further business endeavours contributed to the company’s rise in the mining industries so much so that for the decades of 1940s and 1950s DF, coupled with Altos Hornos de Vizcaya, led the national steel market. Since then, Duro Felguera has focused its activities on the production of capital goods, diversifying its business areas in order to respond to the varying demands for equipment of companies in different industrial sectors.

Today, under the DF trademark, Duro Felguera specializes in the management of EPC projects, engaged in all phases of implementation, including the manufacture and supply of all equipment and civil works required for project completion mostly in the energy and mining industries.


DF Mining & Handling (DFM&H) is DF’s brand currently engaged in the turnkey delivery of mining and mineral processing projects all over the world. It has been providing strong references for over 40 years and has a successful track record that keeps growing as new projects become available and new technologies are developed.

In the processing and engineering design fields, most activities are focused on: conceptual studies, pre- feasibility studies, feasibility studies, and engineering of mineral processes. On the project execution side in EPC/EPCM capabilities, DFM&H is involved in: design, engineering, procurement, construction, supervision, commissioning, plant operation and training.

The company’s main goal is to satisfy its clients with tailor-made solutions that are cost effective and timely.


As a long-time provider of mining solutions worldwide, DFM&H has developed a wide range of equipment integrated into many important projects across the world. Equipment for open cast or underground mines includes: vertical shafts and all their associated equipment; underground and surface loading stations; crushing and screening plants; conveyor systems; truck loading and unloading stations; and ore storage and homogenization yards.

For mineral treatment plants, DFM&H offers not only the basic and detailed design but also construction and start-up in the following areas: crushing; grinding; classification; magnetic separation; gravity; flotation; and tailings deposition.

Other construction fields covered by DFM&H are storage and homogenization yards, port terminals (loading and unloading), and continuous haulage needs. Its handling capabilities are proven within a wide range of technologies in its complete range of stackers and reclaimers, train loading and unloading systems, grab ship-unloaders, shiploaders, and conveyor systems. 

Equipment designed and manufactured by DFM&H can handle the most diverse types of materials, including: coal, iron ore, aggregates, cement and clinker, petroleum coke, sulphur, and phosphates. With its engineering capabilities and expertise, DFM&H is always considering new materials and is accustomed to adapting its designs to handle all commodities in today’s mining trade.

CLIENT BASE AND STAYING COMPETITIVE WORLDWIDE With projects all over the world and an increasing number of order intakes, main clients include: CVG Ferrominera Orinoco (Venezuela), XStrata Zinc (Switzerland), Berkeley Resources (Australia), CAP Minería (Chile), Pemex (Mexico), Cemex (Mexico), Long Beach Port (USA),Arcelor Mittal (Luxembourg), Kinder Morgan Terminals (USA), Gangavaram Port Limited (India), Repsol (Spain),YPF (Argentina), Endesa (Spain), Kobe Steel (Japan), Qatar Steel (Qatar), and EZZ Steel (Egypt), among many others.

DFM&H is constantly working to become a first tier EPC company. It competes as well as collaborates with all major companies in the mining business worldwide.

Each customer demands solutions adapted to their needs. DFM&H offers technology and competitive advantages to reach these goals. Innovation drives it to provide specific solutions to each project. DFM&H is involved in every step of the value chain, efficiently manages very diverse work scopes, and is extremely versatile. Its international presence with permanent offices on all continents gives it deep knowledge of ongoing business in developed and emerging markets, and provides it with a much needed support system for all its projects around the world. It is currently represented in India, Mexico, USA, Japan, Brazil,Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Australia and China.

Finally, DFM&H’s management team defined a major priority in attaining efficiency and total compliance with work schedule mandates, along with the personal and professional development of its technicians. Its mission is to select the best talent for each job and to encourage resourcefulness and continuous improvement. DFM&H personnel cover all the disciplines that EPC projects require and its cumulative know-how defines its strength as a collaborative and driven team.

DFM&H has evolved to become an internationally renowned supplier of maintenance logistics systems for solid bulk products. The company’s strength is based on a profound knowledge of its customer’s needs which translates into the development of reliable and efficient designs for their projects.



  • engineering, procurement and construction contract for 55mtpa (million tonnes per annum) processing facility at the Roy Hill iron ore mine project in Western Australia with joint venture partner Forge Group. Total contract value €992 million.
  • travelling, luffing, slewing and shuttling 5,000tph (tonnes per hour) shiploader for coal, suitable for bulkers of 40,000–118,000dwt for Kinder Morgan Terminals in the USA. v Gangavaram Port expansion (India), including two ship-unloaders, two stackers and two reclaimers, a belt conveyor system and loading station and integration with existing iron ore and coal port terminal, previously awarded to DFM&H as well.
  • engineering,manufacturing,supply, supervision of erection, training and start-up, plus commissioning for a new iron ore processing plant with capacity for 4mtpy. Client: SNIM (Mauritania). v fertilizer handling system for Kakinada Seaport (India) including delivery of two movable berth hoppers, belt conveyor system 1,900tph, warehouse storage for unloaded cargo, tripper conveyor with reversible cross conveyor, six reclaiming hopper with screw type transfer mechanism, train loading station and all electrical and control systems. 


In recent years, market focus has often been on the optimization of individual parts of the mining process — such as mine planning, or advanced automation solutions. However, what is needed now is a seamless integration of all subsystems and an overall optimization from the mine to the market.

An integrating tool is required to minimize the effort required for all steps in the material flow chain, like material processing, storage and handling. This tool should build interfaces and interaction between the different levels — from the order fulfillment in the ERP system all the way through to the basis operation on the pile or even in the mine or the plant.

Additionally, the increased degree of efficiency in modern coal power plants demands an integrated coal handling management system, in order to ensure that the coal supply is of sufficient quality and quantity.

To fulfill these demands,ABB has developed a modular system, as shown in Figure 1 above.

For operators in the central control room to achieve fully automated operation, they need real-time information about the material quantities, properties and locations, be it in a surge bin, on a belt or on the stockpile.

These requirements can be met by a computer-calculated model of the stockpile (or belt or surge bin, respectively) which is based on exact information from a database. The database provides information about the material quality in the transportation and stockpile models that monitor the material flow online.

The necessary input for the model is delivered by laser scanners and positioning systems mounted on the stockyard machines. This allows for autonomous operation of the machines.

The scanners can provide surface information which will be used to recalculate the model. This solution enables a real-time and full-terrain update of the pile surface. This information remains accurate even after material movements due to environmental influences like storms or heavy rain, or due to the use of mobile machines such as graders or bulldozers. Furthermore, a scanner detects the superstructure of ships, wagons and other objects and hence enables — in combination with an adjustment to the GPS data — a goal-directed behaviour for loading or unloading.

For optimized material processing and handling, a pile monitoring and visualization module records material movements to and from a stockpile and calculates the material distribution on a stockpile accordingly. The module supplies information about the material on the stockpile and its shape, as well as its different properties (quality). Material distribution on the stockpile will be calculated with a computational module based on the information from the modules Material Tracking, Stacking and Reclaiming Technologies and the results of the 3D laser scanning.

The stockpile visualization component offers a graphical representation of the information stored in the stockyard management system, using modern browser technology. The visualization shows an overview of all stockpiles on the job site. The stockyard can be displayed in 2D or in 3D.

For a detailed analysis of the stockyard, it is possible to zoom and adjust the angle of the view. The view can be adjusted from different viewpoints and separate piles which could be split into small individual virtual piles that can be selected individually. Slice or cut views can be shown where the different material types and their respective properties are stored.

The system processes a complete job like unloading a whole batch with subsequent stacking, or a complete loading process of a ship including reclaiming material from the pile, haulage and loading. With a continuous overview of the tonnage and properties of the material, the system calculates the best route by optimizing the material flow to ensure the ideal employment of the machines.

The stockyard management system is fully automatic, so no workers are required to operate the stackers and reclaimers, train- or shiploaders/unloaders. It is a complete, comprehensive and fully automated system (see Figure 1) for material handling. The system includes a number of advantages:


  • minimizing the administration effort;
  • constant and optimized belt load and consequently optimized material throughput;
  • less equipment wear due to fewer stress factors (no system overload);
  • reduced maintenance costs; v fewer faults and less damage triggered by operator failures;
  • cost savings due to fewer operators; and
  • energy savings by smooth and continuous operation


A proven collision-avoidance system prevents injuries or damage to equipment, whether the machines are handled by operators or not. Warning signals are issued by a laser scanner, a GPS or pile height sensors (mounted on the left and right hand side of the boom/bucketwheel respectively) help to prevent collisions of the boom/bucketwheel with the pile.

One notable recent project is a stockyard management project with a Brazilian mining company in Malaysia. In 2012, ABB won an order to fully automate the process control system at a new iron ore distribution hub on the west coast of Malaysia.

The facility will distribute ore shipped from Brazil to steel company customers in the Asia Pacific region. The project will include a palletization plant, a jetty and warehouses. ABB’s delivery will automate the material handling process, which will be completely unmanned, for maximum efficiency and personnel safety.

ABB’s scope of supply includes the design, engineering, fabrication, delivery, system integration, installation, testing and commissioning of a 800xA process control system to manage all plant equipment at the hub including the conveyors, stackers, reclaimers and ship unloaders. The unmanned stackers and reclaimers will be aided by 3D pile scanners and a GPS positioning system to ensure the highest level of accuracy and precision in sorting and distributing customer orders. 
Analysing the stockyard: Netherlands-based TBA offers its expertise 

In 2010 bulk material handling accounted for 3.3 billion tonnes of the seaborne trades. Whether it is an export or import terminal, a stockyard is one of the basic elements of a dry bulk terminal where a variety of handling equipment is deployed; in addition, it is often a strategic stock and it is always a crucial component in the overall terminal logistic performance.

Following arrival at the terminal, bulk cargoes are usually held in storage before delivery either by vessels, barges, trains, trucks or conveyors. Two main activities take place at a storage area; one is to stack the commodities and the second to reclaim them. Hence, for a stockyard analysis various factors need to be taken into account, such as:


  • the material properties of the commodities handled at the terminal;
  • the strength of the ground conditions;
  • equipment limitations (e.g. outreach and height of machines, capacity);
  • availability of storage space (land); v the ‘peak’ demand (operational and seasonal); v the technology deployed; and v environmental concerns.



Physical factors

Material properties

Bulk material properties determine the behaviour of the material during handling and storage. Parameters such as internal friction and wall friction are essential to design or choose a suitable silo or hopper for storage.

The inherent material properties influence the choice of storage options. Open storage options are common for materials like coal, aggregates, and iron ores. Materials such as grain, sugar, cement, and wood pellets are often stored with enclosed storage systems. Certain commonly used storage methods may not work for all bulk materials. For instance, compaction is a common practice in coal handling to minimize the risk of self-heating in a stockpile. However, if applying compacting to the storage piles of solid biomass, it only stimulates self-heating furthermore.

For a hopper, the cone angle is affected by the wall friction angle and the effective angle of internal friction. Subsequently, the cone angle affects the minimum opening of the hopper and its discharging capacity.

Equipment characteristics and stacking method The equipment that should be considered for a stockyard analysis study is not limited to the actual storage choices (e.g. an open storage area or enclosed silos); transshipment equipment such as stackers and reclaimers ought to be taken into consideration as well. These transshipment facilities can also provide extra services such as blending, mixing and homogenization. Such considerations are: v types of equipment for open or enclosed storage: not all

equipment suits both storage types; some will be used only for open storage (e.g. boom type bucket-wheel reclaimers) and other types are for enclosed storage only (e.g. screw stacker-reclaimers). Some equipment can be used for both open and enclosed storage, such as slewing luffing stackers, drum-type reclaimers, and circular portal stacker-reclaimers.


  • capacity of required storage and the applied handling equipment types and numbers: the logistical performance of a stockyard is often influenced by the transhipment equipment deployed for stacking and reclaiming; however, the capacity limitation of the actual storage can also affect the capacity of the handling equipment deployed.
  • the equipment width and height differs from open storage and enclosed storage, affecting the stockpile dimensions: for instance, for a large-scale bulk terminal it is common to have stockpiles 60–90m wide, and around 15–18m high. For an enclosed storage, the stockpile height depends on equipment and building restrictions (e.g. silos, domes, stackers, and reclaimers).


Land availability and ground conditions Equipment dimensions and stacking method affect the required storage land size and consequently the related costs. They are a starting point when looking at greenfield developments. For brownfield development or expansions, the availability and condition of land will often restrict the choices available for an optimum stockpile arrangement.

Soil conditions influence the density of the storage which often relates to the utilization of storage area. Although the bulk material properties are the most important factors, the equipment characteristics, the stacking method, and the strength of the soil are to be considered for storage land size estimation.

Financial factors

In the terminal design, the total investment required for the facility often overrides other design factors. A more holistic approach is required where the choice of the stacking method depends on the bulk material properties and the availability of  surface area. A lower CAPEX alternative can often result in a higher OPEX operation, which then has to be burdened over the entire lifecycle. To realize a better ROI or a faster payback period, the CAPEX and OPEX should be balanced. A qualitative and quantitative multi criteria analysis (including cost per tonne and initial investment) should be used to compare the feasible options.

Social factors

Because of various activities at a bulk terminal (e.g. loading/unloading operations), a series of environmental impacts need to be taken into account for their influence on local communities and ecosystems. Noise and dust are of major concerns, and as a result bulk terminals are under increasing pressure from legislation because of sustainability guidelines and the increasing awareness for the environment.

Due to these potential threats to the environment and the society, each country in the world has its own environmental regulations that terminal operators and port authorities need to follow. In general, prior to any terminal construction/expansion or port development, an Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) and increasingly it has become a normal practice to provide the findings of impacts listed in a Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or equivalent as required by local authorities. Consequently, bulk terminals nowadays put more focus on both the equipment and handling methods in order to have environmental friendly operations.


Utilization of software can radically improve stockyard utilization. Planning tools can allow the user to forecast space requirements and prioritize the area clearing to create sufficient space for forthcoming deliveries. Terminal Operating System (TOS) or Terminal Management System (TMS) software can also create prioritization rules to empty specific areas and use bulk density and angle of repose algorithms to allow the user to better understand the capacity of the yard. COMMTRAC from DBIS is one such system available in the market.


The performance of the terminal is limited to the least performing element in the overall terminal facility. The design of the terminal should cater to handling of the peak loads with regards to storage space and choice of equipment.

Required premises and initial static analysis

The first step is to collect relevant premises for both the initial static analysis and the dynamic analysis with a simulation model. In addition to the bulk material properties and the equipment characteristics, information regarding the number of material types, the stacking method and the logistic flows are also necessary for the stockyard study.

Usually each bulk material needs to be stored separately; hence under the same annual throughput, the more types of materials the larger the storage area will be. If further separation is required (e.g. certified as sustainable biomass materials), it also impact storage demand such as higher required storage land area and higher energy consumptions.

The impact brought from the sizes and the actual arrivals of vessels, barge, trains and trucks are related to the incoming and outgoing logistic flows.

An import dry bulk terminal can be used to demonstrate the influence from the effects of size and arrivals. If initially the terminal storage stock level is zero, under static situation the required storage capacity is related to the ratio of size differences of two types of supply ships. At the same annual throughput, if the size of barges, trains and trucks stays the same, the larger vessels size will cause longer average material storage time. However, the vessel size effect is more influential than the impact from the size of barges, trains and trucks.

Dynamic analysis using simulation modelling approach

The initial analyses regarding the premises are conducted based on static situations where only the average values (e.g. arrival rate, transport mode size) are taken into account. Any kind of incident such as stoppage due to weather condition (e.g. rain), machine breakdowns, and seasonal influences of bulk material availability are not included in the theoretical calculations.

To analyse the effect of time dependent processes, it is necessary to test the performance of the stockyard under various stochastic situations (e.g. the arrival pattern of vessels, influence of constraints/stoppages). This kind of dynamic analyses can only be performed with simulation models that capture the dynamic operations at a dry bulk terminal.

Typically there are more parameters that need to be used as input in addition to the premises used for the initial analyses: equipment efficiency (technical productivity v.s. achieved operational productivity), stoppages (e.g. rainfall, equipment breakdown, scheduled maintenance, hatch changing, shift changing), number of berths, mixture of the transport mode (e.g. vessel mix), seasonal influence, process times (e.g. sampling and weighing).

Furthermore, the arrival patterns of the transport modes are rather important because in reality the arrivals do not completely comply with the schedules. Often the arrivals can be assumed to follow a certain arrival distribution (e.g. uniform distribution, exponential distribution). When the stochastic effects are taken into account, 50% of the required storage capacity is not enough as a safety stock level. Irregular arrivals also may lead to higher storage time; and together with the higher storage capacity the overall costs (including both CAPEX and OPEX).


One of the key objectives for a grain terminal was to determine the actual storage capacity required for the planned expansion. The current situation made it difficult to estimate as the logistics environment led to a lot of down-time and inefficient use of the storage space. The terminal was facing with situations where the storage was either near empty or at times completely occupied. Determining the accurate storage capacity was crucial as related investment costs (acquiring land, storage warehouses) were dependent on the success of the project. A dynamic approach using simulation based modelling was applied in meeting the objective.

The base case scenario indicated a peak storage capacity of approximately 90,000 tonnes. This scenario was then tested again with various sensitivities based on local constraints due to weather conditions and logistics environment. It was evident that higher limits for the constraints would raise the peak storage requirement, the simulation analysis allowed to identify these limits as indicated in figure below. From additional rainfall to delays to barges and vessels, the peak storage requirement indicated was in the range of 100,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes. The terminal operator was able to determine a optimum storage capacity for a terminal expansion based on the critical investment limit for the projects feasibility, commercial requirements for adequate capacity, and control of the logistics flow.


Nowadays, many terminal operators in the bulk industry are starting to understand the importance and make use of a simulation based modelling approach to determine the optimum storage capacity and make operations efficient. Many bulk terminals around the globe are nearing end of lifecycle for the deployed infrastructure and equipment. As a result of which, many terminal expansion projects are at the threshold of adapting to the new requirements of the industry and the yardsticks of performance. The quantum leap in equipment technology, automation and software adds a whole new dimension in deciding the right equipment/storage arrangement, which otherwise would have been a case of simple transition and/or expansion project. This dynamic approach allows them to make a quantitative analysis of the most feasible options and assists them in making the correct decisions. New terminal development projects are also adapting this approach to set things right from the start and be prepared for future challenges and remain competitive.


Netherlands-based TBA is a major international provider of consultancy and software. Its product and service portfolio concentrates on marine and intermodal terminals (bulk and containers). TBA’s clients include all major terminal operators worldwide and many local port operators. TBA has completed over 200 terminal projects with varied scope; from design review to complete master planning. TBA supports a terminal operator during all stages from concept to realization and thereafter in operations. TBA specializes in ensuring that the planning is realized and targeted performance levels are achieved.