Update: Helix Dumper wins engineering prize

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Kiruna Wagon Helix Dumper system The Helix Dumper unloading station tilts the wagon while keeping the chassis on the rails Kiruna Wagon Helix Dumper system
The Kiruna Wagon team celebrate winning the Swedish Steel Prize 2017 The Kiruna Wagon team celebrate winning the Swedish Steel Prize 2017 The Kiruna Wagon team celebrate winning the Swedish Steel Prize 2017

UPDATE: The innovative Helix Dumper system for rail wagons, from Swedish group Kiruna Wagon, has won the Swedish Steel Prize 2017.

The system consists of a 100-tonne rail wagon designed for transporting raw iron ore from mines, as well as an unloading station that uses a unique body-turning device that allows the entire wagon to be tilted for side unloading while the chassis remains on the rails.

Traditional rail wagons usually dump material through the bottom of the wagon. However, some stickier materials and small particle sizes are unsuitable for bottom dumping. The Helix Dumper allows discharge of these materials of up to 25,000 tonnes per hour.

The Helix utilises high-strength steel in the structure of the wagon as well as for the stiffeners around the wagon body and for the top rail of the wagon.

Kiruna Wagon says keeping the weight of the wagon low was a priority for the design team, and that a complete unloading of the Helix system costs 14 percent of what a comparable rotational wagon would cost.

The panel of jurors for the Swedish Steel Prize say they are impressed with Kiruna Wagons’ use of high-strength and wear-resistant steel to both reduce costs and improve productivity.

"Kiruna Wagon has developed an innovative dumper wagon system for long-haul rail transport and efficient unloading of minerals," the jury says.

"Use of advanced high-strength structural and wear-resistant steels made it possible to design lightweight wagons combined with a stationary Helix terminal for on-the-fly rotary unloading.

"With its nearly doubled unloading rate, the Helix system is superior to all conventional solutions and solves many problems related to sticky aggregates. The terminal system is very cost effective, in terms of both investment and operation."

In October 2016, Kiruna Wagon signed a 10-year agreement with Perth-based engineering company RCR Tomlinson to manufacture and distribute the Helix Dumper system in Australia.

"I am convinced that the Helix Dumper will revolutionise rail transport and unloading for bulk commodities and that it will be of interest to a number of Australian mining companies seeking to reduce their transportation costs," RCR managing director and CEO Paul Dalgleish says.

The runners-up for the Swedish Steel Prize 2017 were Fermel from South Africa, JMG Cranes from Italy and Wabash National from the US.


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