Success Story with Biopellet Magdeburg GmbH & Co. KG

Wood Chip Burning Facility Relies on Passive Radar Positioning

Symeo passive radar system LPR®-1DHP-R
Difficult conditions: strong steam
Simple metal mirror as reflector

"We searched a long time for a solution that would allow us to position the crane under difficult conditions such as those found in the wood chip storage area. With the passive radar system from Symeo GmbH, we can reliably detect the position of the crane down to the centimeter using only two components, despite the extensive amount of steam that surrounds the storage yard. Decreased boiler output caused by inhomogeneous fuel input and collisions between the crane gripper and perimeter walls are meanwhile a thing of the past." (Biopellet Magdeburg GmbH & Co. KG)

The challenge:
Biopellet Magdeburg GmbH & Co. KG operates a biomass heating plant that burns natural wood chips among other materials. The heat produced by the plant is also used to provide energy to the adjacent wood pellet mill. To transport the material from the wood chip storage yard, the facility relies on a fully automated crane system. Precise crane positioning proved to be a major challenge because the yard is often full of steam that renders the use of conventional optical sensors impossible.

The solution: To address this issue, the company equipped the crane bridge with two passive radar sensors from Symeo GmbH for centimeter-precise positioning. The maintenance-free sensors transmit signals in the 61 GHz range, which are reflected by simple metal reflectors. The radar-based distance measurements are reliable and extremely accurate even when there is considerable dirt and steam on the grounds of the plant, a not all too uncommon situation.

The project´s success: With the passive radar solution, the automated wood chip handling system now operates more efficiently. The crane positions itself on the border of the individual storage areas with centimeter-accuracy, directly in front of the perimeter wall. This permits optimal access to and use of the storage yard and at the same time eliminates any possibility of the crane gripper colliding with the wall.

Please read here the complete Success Story about the passive radar positioning in a wood chip burning facility

Facts & Figures
  • Contactless positioning using radio-based technology
  • Passive radar sensor in a robust housing
  • Maintenance-free, no wear and tear
  • Impervious to dust, dirt and vibrations
  • Operates even in harsh environments and weather conditions
  • Simple data integration into the crane control system via TCP/IP or a Profibus interface