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IMP Automation joins FLSmidth



Projects » Automation Projects » Iron Ore » Automated Port Laboratory in the Pilbara

Automated Port Laboratory in the Pilbara

This is IMP’s latest success story, a fully automated robotic port laboratory in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It fully conforms to the latest ISO 3082 specifications, and is used for the certification of the cargo.


The facility is able to process both ship loading samples and return fines automatically. Samples are prepared for moisture, particle size, thermogravimetric and chemical analysis as required. Small numbers of samples can also be prepared for manual decrepitation tests. Ship bulk composite samples are produced automatically.


The unique aspect of this facility is that it is able to automatically process A and B cuts separately in discrete sub lots, for moisture, TML moisture, particle size, chemical and LOI analyses.


Up to 120, 50-kilogram representative samples are taken during ship loading per cargo and are automatically transported to the laboratory via a monorail system. A single large ABB robot arm moving back and forth on a track handles all of the samples when they arrive at the laboratory. Samples are split into various aliquots upon arrival. One aliquot is used for moisture determination as per ISO 3087, while a different aliquot is used to determine the particle size of the product conforming to ISO 4701 utilising an automated sieve shaker.


Samples from different aliquots are also dried using IMP’s rapid IR sample dryers, then crushed and pulverised in preparation for fused bead production for XRF analysis and for thermogravimetric analysis. The entire process from sampling to analysis is fully automated. 


Up to four, 500 kilogram composite samples can be accumulated for distribution to the client or can be used for additional testing. Each machine is managed from the control room by PrepMaster software, and all analytical results are captured in IMP’s ControlTrack LIMS. This data is then used to certify the cargo.


Once again, IMP has delivered another successful automation project. If you would like to work with us on your next project, regardless of the industry, contact us today!




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