emew Blog

emewBots - the Future of Mobile Metal Recovery Plants

Posted by Sonny Samra on Mar 21, 2017 3:49:44 PM
 
As modern society and technology move at a rapidly evolving pace each day, consumers and businesses are constantly searching for innovative methods to accomplish tasks more efficiently and conveniently. There are countless examples of technology mobilization that has led to increased efficiency and convenience, for both consumers and businesses, from stereos to the Walkman, typewriters to laptops, and rotary phones to cellular phones; all the innovations listed have enhanced the ease and productivity of many everyday tasks.
 
Automated, mobile equipment and infrastructure that can be easily taken from location to location are becoming more appealing and practicable, in almost all industries; these ‘mobile assets’ will become the new Plant, Property and Equipment (PPE) expense accountants record, and the future trend for many businesses. And across many industries and sectors, the recent long-term strategic focus has been on implementing new process automation and robotics to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and fully utilize assets and resources. And, as technology advances, so too does the desire for companies to implement the newest, fastest, and greatest technology for their business.
 
The next trend for many businesses will be transportable and renewable assets, ‘mobile assets’, where they can be moved from location to location. And with these ‘mobile assets’, companies can increase operational efficiencies, reduce sunk costs for equipment, and increase corporate sustainability. Equipment that once was a single purpose capital expenditure and a permanent fixture will soon be fully mobilized. And the incentives are, not only, for the significant reutilization of assets, but also, for the environmental benefits and the ability to develop opportunities with short or limited lifecycles. This trend can be seen in many industries, including mining, refining, and recycling. In mining, for example, even today, there are numerous instances of equipment mobilization, from portable crushing plants, mobile laboratories and analyzers, mobile drills, and even lunar modules; it is the trend of the future, and emewCorporation is joining the movement.
 
 
emewBots represent a next generation future concept from emewCorporation, they are ‘mobile assets’ that will be fully transportable, automatable, and sustainable. emewBots will allow clients the opportunity to generate revenue from metal recovery sales while maintaining low capital expenditures, limiting sunk costs, and providing a reusable, relocatable asset to increase a company’s bottom line. Currently, emew electrowinning systems incorporate automation, emphasize sustainability, and provide ease of transport; however, emewBots represent an entirely re-designed and innovative processing concept, from start to finish, fully automated, sustainable and self-supporting.
 
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Let’s peak into the future and imagine what technology mobilization might entail from a metal recovery perspective; the emewBots concept starts with solar powered, driverless trucks delivering metal recovery units to a site (Intel expects the driverless market to be worth $70bn by 2030)1, utilizing geolocation software to target the desired destination. Once at the confirmed location, the emewBots assume the immobile position and disengage the mobile electrowinning unit. The emewBots will then unfold and transform, if you will, to the stationary operational configuration and reveal a completely self-contained emew metal recovery system.  Pre-plumbed inlet and outlet manifolds enable the emewBots to dock unmanned with the feed source to start harvesting high purity, saleable metal cathode. Metal harvesting will be accomplished using high-level robotics that opens the emew cells, removes the metal cathode, bundles the cathodes into saleable lots, and reseals the cells for the next round of metal recovery.
 
 
The emewBots will be equipped with a roll-up, flexible emewSolar panels, which will provide necessary power requirements for the entire unit (vehicle, metal recovery systems, robotics, control systems, etc.). emewSolar will determine the optimal location and angle for solar absorption, and robotic arms with panels mounted will move to the desired position and begin supplying power. Of course, emewSolar will maintain a spare charged battery cell onboard to provide power throughout the night (for 24-hour operation), as well as, if there is a shortage in solar availability during the daytime.
 
All emewBots will be manufactured from recycled materials, as well as, 3-D printed materials, allowing emewBots to immensely reduce their environmental footprint. Also, used or expended emewBot parts will be recycled or distributed to downstream users, extending the life cycle of the used parts. emewBots, as mentioned earlier, will be fully sustainable with a renewable energy source and produce zero emissions.
 
During delivery, setup, and operation, the end-user will be able to view live updates of each step, as the emewBot unfolds, transforms, and operates, via emewNet; a real-time software platform that allows users to view directional movement, operational progress, and on-going diagnostics of emewBots.
 
Additionally, emewNet will provide approved users a platform to view and optimize metal recovery operations, and an interface for emewCare (service and system support), which will rapidly troubleshoot service concerns and reduce operational disruptions. emewNet will be viewable on any device with Wi-Fi connectivity, and connectivity will not be an issue in the future, thanks to the efforts of Google and Facebook; both companies are ensuring that free global WI-FI will be a reality in all markets, especially emerging markets2,3 (the entire planet will soon have WI-FI coverage and availability). Safety is paramount on emewBots, and proximity sensors on emewBots will inform approved users, via emewNet, in real-time, of any person(s) near or close to the system for superior health, safety, and security. Also, emewBots will have multiple e-stops located throughout the system, allowing for manual immediate shutdowns, in the event of any emergency.
 
 
Once the project has been completed, emewBots will automatically undock, transform back into a mobile configuration, and roll out back to emewCorporation Headquarters, or to their next destination.
 
Similarly, during any part of the on-going operation, if the end-user requires a temporary move of emewBots, simply send a request, via emewNet, for a temporary reconfiguration and relocation; emewBots will transform to mobile configuration and move to the temporary location for the desired timeframe. After the temporary move has concluded, emewBots will return to their previous set position and operational mode for continued operations, as easy as changing tape sides in your Walkman.
 
Today, emewBots are just a novel concept of technology mobilization for metal recovery, providing innovative ways for companies to utilize technology to sustainably develop resources. These ‘mobile assets’ of the future will greatly reduce capital expenditures and sunk costs, previously seen with permanent PPE expenses while realizing full revenue potential from resources previously deemed uneconomic. Furthermore, the greatly increased environmental and safety benefits of these self-sustaining emewBots will contribute to the global adoption of ‘mobile assets’.  
 
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Topics: electrowinning, emew