Real Case Study: Mine Industry
 
Fully Automatic Stacker Reclaimer Using Industrial Wireless
     
At a Glance
 
Industry: Mine
Region: USA / China
Customer needs:
Secure data transmission
from material handling PLC
to operator’s cab via wireless
Moxa Solution:
• Dual RF redundancy
• IP68 rating
• -40 to 75°C
 
 








 
Overview
Boom bucket wheel stacker-reclaimers are used for bulk material handling in the coal, cement, gravel, and steel industries. Although these machines were once entirely manually operated, modern industry is increasingly using automation to increase operations efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. In order to remotely operate a stacker-reclaimer, the control room needs to monitor and exchange PLC/I/O signals with the machine. This way, one operator can manage an entire operation from the control room. However, boom bucket wheel stacker-reclaimers are among the word’s largest terrestrial vehicles, with boom lengths that can exceed 60 meters. The sheer scale of the vehicle presents obvious networking obstacles, which make cabling both expensive and unreliable. WLAN technology has emerged as an alternative that not only eliminates cabling hassles and increases future expandability, but also provides a means for remote control and monitoring.
 
System Requirements
• Eliminate the expensive and time-consuming task of cable installation
• Transmit real-time signals from material handling PLC to operator’s cab via wireless LAN
• Avoid PLC I/O signal loss since material handling PLC is on a moving platform
• Provide wireless reliability and redundancy for uninterrupted connectivity
• Dustproof, waterproof, and wide operating temperature for harsh mine environment
• Provide at least level 3 EMS (Electro-Magnetic Susceptibility)
 
System Description

Stacker-reclaimer automation reduces the operating costs of a mine, and since the stacker-reclaimer is constantly moving, communication between the material handling PLC and the operator’s cab is handled with a WLAN.

Moxa’s industrial 3-in-1 wireless AP/Bridge/Client products are ideal for this type of application. One AWK-6222 is installed as a client on the belt conveyor to link the material handling PLC and IP camera via its dual Ethernet ports for video monitoring and data collection of digging conditions, and to manage the bucket wheel’s operation. One AWK-5222 is installed in the operator’s cab to connect to the PLC controller. Both products feature dual RF modules that can set up two independent wireless links to guarantee zero data loss. All of the data from on-site material handling PLCs can be collected and transmitted to the AWK-5222 in the operator’s cab on both the 2.4 and and 5 GHz bands. This allows operators to monitor and control machine speed and position reliably and safely.

This stockyard is located in a mining mill where equipment is exposed to harsh conditions such as dirt, humidity, vibration, and extreme temperatures. Moxa’s wireless products are IP68 rated and verified to operate over a side temperature range to ensure continuous operations despite environmental challenges.

 
 
Moxa Solutions
• Dual RF design for WLAN redundancy
• IP68 rated for a dustproof and waterproof design
• -40 to 75°C operating temperature
• Level 3 EMS (e.g., EN60950)
• Industrial QoS to prioritize time-sensitive traffic
 
Product Offerings
AWK-6222
Outdoor Dual RF AP/Bridge/Client
 
WLAN standards: IEEE 802.11a/b/g
Fully redundant solutions:
   • Wireless redundancy using two independent RF modules
   • Ethernet redundancy via RSTP and Moxa Turbo Ring
   • Power redundancy with Redundant power inputs and PoE
Millisecond-level Turbo Roaming with multi-SSID
Smooth network traffic
   • Industrial QoS to prioritize delay-sensitive traffic
   • VLAN for network segment
   • Up to 54 Mbps transfer rate
Interference-free solution:
  
• 2.4 and/or 5 GHz RF band
   • Level 3 EMS (e.g., EN60950)
   • Robust metal housing
Industrially hardened design:
   • IP68 rated for a dustproof and waterproof design
   • Operating temperature from -40 to 75°C
   • Long-range communication up to 10 km
Mounting flexibility: Pole, DIN-Rail, wall mounting
AWK-5222
Indoor Dual RF AP/Bridge/Client
   

 

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