LKAB Contact Eva-Lena Johansson    LTU Contact Jonny Johansson
Posted in Smart pellets

Robust signaling solutions is a key to the development of RFID based in-situ process monitoring and associated process control for use in harsch environments.

The ePellet research project will develop signaling solutions to enable the construction of pellets sized RFID tags (ePellets) for use within the mining industry. The solutions will be demonstrated in prototype ePellets with size and weight comparable to ordinary iron ore pellets. The results will, with subsequent development, facilitate tracking of and in-situ measurements in the flow of pellets, as well as form a technical base for measurements in other areas of the process.

Previous work to evaluate the suitability of RFID equipped pellets as a means of production flow tracking in the LKAB production lines has been performed by Professor Bjarne Bergqvist at LTU (Kvarnström 2011). One conclusion was that the signaling between the RFID tag and the reader antenna was highly unreliable for small (pellets sized) tags; significantly larger tags were required for reliable detection. This created challenges in ensuring that a tag of disparate size would properly follow the product flow.

The ePellet project will set a technical base for practical use of small RFID tags in harsh environments. Foreseen project results include:

  • Characterization of the electromagnetic environment in which the tags are to operate.
  • System level solutions for increased reliability in signaling between tag and reader.
  • Integrated circuit solutions that support the system solutions for small tags.
  • Prototype ePellets tested in the LKAB process flow.