For mining company LKAB, a functioning chain of logistics is crucial. Mines and production facilities are located in Kiruna, Svappavaara and Malmberget. Harbours are located Luleå and Narvik.
One challenge is to haul products through the interior to Narvik on the Atlantic coast in Norway, or to Luleå, on the Swedish Baltic coast. Weather conditions on the coast can vary considerably from those further inland, which can cause problems, especially in winter, when ice builds up on the gates of the ore cars.
To be able to empty the cars, the gates must first be thawed, which is done with propane burners mounted at the sides of the track. Since the temperature from the propane burners is very high, care must be taken to heat only the gates, not the wheel bearings or the locomotive. To do this successfully, the burners must be continually ignited and extinguished based on the position of the cars.
To address these problems, LKAB has installed PreEye Positioning solution, which positions the ore cars, three at a time, and sends the positioning data to the control system for the propane burners. This system then ignites and extinguishes the burners when the cars are in exactly the right position.