ABB digitalises material handling

The new ABB Ability Stockyard Management System is designed to connect all available information and process data to optimise dry bulk material handling terminals and stockyards of coal-fired power plants, steel plants or mines
ABB digitalises material handling ABB digitalises material handling ABB digitalises material handling ABB digitalises material handling ABB digitalises material handling

Fully automated stockyard with stacker and portal scraper. Photo: MIBRAG

The ABB Ability Stockyard Management System is the latest addition to the portfolio of ABB Ability digitally enabled industry solutions, products and services.

Offering sophisticated material tracking and quality management, ABB said the new system can increase the efficiency of stockyards in connecting consecutive steps in complete materials transportation chains.

The ABB Ability Stockyard Management System can enable seamless integration in production planning, providing real-time information on handled material, and supports the management of one or multiple inputs and outputs of different material qualities, storage, mixing and blending.

It is a configurable system that can be used to digitalise the complete material-handling chain. The material flow can be modelled across all belt conveyors and transportation equipment, with material properties and quality information via automated data interfaces.

"This application … is helping our customers to realise the true potential of digital to optimise their operations and achieve a certain quality of outgoing material," said Franz Rietschel, global product manager for Stockyard Management System.

"Just-in-time or even just-in-sequence is long-established in the automotive industry; now these techniques are available for bulk material handling logistics too."

ABB said the system features a calculated stacking model built up according to the tracked material and acting as a 'digital twin' of the stockyard; control and prediction of the material flow in various lines with material forecast, tracking and production history; the ability to coordinate all excavators in the mine or yard machines in the plant; laser scanners or drones that can provide additional surface information of their environments; a "slice view" feature that allows operators a look at the inside of a pile; modelling for intra-supply-chain quality optimisation; and automated interfaces to different systems.

The ABB Ability Stockyard Management System also employs sophisticated data collection and configuration management to interface with, and various IT and OT applications and systems.