Robocoast Challenge: Automation for coal wagon cleaning


Adolf Lahti Yxpila Ltd, part of KWH Logistics Group, is a modern, professional operator in the machinery business, offering all-encompassing and customer-focused logistics and machinery services for wood, mining, and chemical industries as well as for the commercial sector. Robocoast Digital Innovation Hub is launching an Automation related Innovation Challenge competition. Adolf Lahti Yxpila Ltd aims to carry out RDI projects in collaboration with successful participants in order to solve the challenges presented. The solution will be implemented at Tahkoluoto harbor at Port of Pori. The challenge is open to everyone. Participants will not receive any compensation for taking part in the challenge.

Challenge description:

The aim of the challenge is to create an innovative automated solution to remove the leftover coal from the wagon immediately after the cargo has been unloaded. Currently the cargo is unloaded with a special purpose vehicle and then wagons are cleaned manually. The ongoing expansion at Tahkoluoto harbor will introduce new wagon tipplers, where cargo is poured out on a conveyor system by tilting the wagon upside down.

Wagon tippler

There are going to be two wagon tipplers side by side that together are going to handle 300 wagons daily. On winter times the cargo can be forzen and therefore wagons are run through “a toaster” – a melting station, where the wagon will reach 70 degree of celcius temperature before it can enter the wagon tippler.

The innovation need to be able to clean all those 300 wagons every day either when one is upside down, or right after it exits the wagon tippler. Cleaning time is limited for couple of reasons. First, every second used for cleaning is multiplied by 300. Second, on icy conditions the wagons will cool down very quicly. There can be some leftover coal frozen on the surfaces inside the wagon. The innovation need to be able to remove the leftover coal weather they’re frozen or not.

An inside of a coal wagon

Additional info:

Information about measurements and locations of the wagons and tippler system are available upon request. On-site visit to Tahkoluoto harbor will be conducted on 3rd of February 2020 at 12 o’clock. Please register for the visit by 31st of January at the latest:

Full video of wagon tippler in action:

Your proposal:

Submit Your innovation proposal with preliminary time-table (how long it takes to build and test) and budget estimate by the 21st of March 2020 at the latest into the Robocoast address:

The answers need to be in pdf format and possible videos in mp4 format so that they can be opened without any problems. Do not forget to include your contact information.


Please note:

All solution proposals will be handled confidentially. The role of Robocoast is to help the challenge provider to find a solution for the given challenge. The challenge competition winner and Adolf Lahti Ltd. may freely agree on further actions. The outcome of Robocoast challenge will be published on Robocoast website and announced at a technology event held in Pori at the end of March 2020.

The challenge will be organised as part of the “Robocoast R&D Center – Robotics Living Lab for companies” project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Council of Satakunta.