06 AUG 2021  |  --> CLOSED ON: 05 OCT 2021  |  REWARD: INR 20,00,000
Reward money is paid in exchange of legally acquiring the solution, implementing it to solve the problem and meeting the success criteria. Milestones for paying the reward money would depend upon the complexity of challenge and maturity of the proposed solution, which would be discussed with the solver as soon as the proposed solution is selected by us.
Under Evaluation

05 OCT 2021

INR 20,00,000

We are seeking innovative solutions to unload iron ore fines from wagons within 165 minutes regardless of their stickiness.

Challenge Details

Iron Ore Fines are transported from mines to manufacturing site in BOBSN Rakes. These Rakes are unloaded at various Track Hoppers (TH) and then supplied onwards.

BOBSN type of wagons are side-discharge type, where the doors on both the sides of wagons are opened and Iron Ore fines (IOF) is expected to flow down from wagons, under gravity, into the hoppers below, from where it then gets transported through a series of Conveyors.  However, at times the IOF does not flow under gravity because of stickiness and requires poking of the floor and walls of the wagon to create vibration and make IOF flow. Stickiness depends on multiple factors such as mineralogy index, moisture, and weather.

Wagons having non-sticky IOF gets unloaded within 120 minutes, whereas the Wagons with Sticky IOF may take up to 20 hrs.

The problems faced because of stickiness are as below.

  • Continuous manual poking on wagon floor to release IOF causes fatigue.
  • Unpredictive unloading time makes it difficult to plan the Iron Ore inventory.

Owing to the above problems, we are seeking solutions to unload iron ore fines from wagons within 165 minutes regardless of their stickiness.


The proposed solution should address one or both of the following requirements:

  • Make the iron ore fines non-sticky at the loading point.
  • If stickiness of iron ore cannot be avoided, then solution should ensure that the emptying time of sticky iron ore fines is same as non-sticky iron ore fines.  

Options Tried:

Multiple options were tried out to solve this problem, as:

  1. Usage of high-pressure multi-nozzle water jet & high-pressure water jet
  2. Vibrating the wagons with devices used for vibrating concrete
  3. Plastic curtains spread in the wagon separating IOF and the walls (of wagon) before loading of IOF
  4. Usage of air pressure jet
  5. Drilling through the ore

Have any query or need more clarification about this challenge?