Tough Applications: Iron Ore Railcar Dumper

Iron Ore Railcar Dumper


A local steel mill needed a dependable lubrication system for the railcars, conveyor systems, and dumping mechanisms used to move iron ore at their Dearborn Works facility. Dearborn Works is located in southeast Michigan, near Detroit, with carbon steel melting, casting, hot and cold rolling, and finishing operations.

Air Systems was able to provide a reliable automatic lubrication solution that keeps processes running smoothly without the need for human labor in dangerous conditions.


Heavy duty equipment and machinery is required to move iron ore from delivery ships to the blast furnace used to convert the iron ore to steel. A large unloading mechanism is used to transfer the iron ore to a railcar, which delivers it to a conveyor that feeds the material into the blast furnace. Another huge unloading mechanism actually lifts and dumps the entire railcar, emptying its contents onto the furnace feeder conveyor.

The environment is extremely dirty, with large amounts of highly explosive iron ore dust in the air. Ongoing lubrication is required for the loading mechanisms, railcar, and conveyor systems to keep iron ore dust from compromising the bearings and pivot points. Improper lubrication maintenance could result in a catastrophic equipment failure.


Air Systems was able to provide the Dearborn Works facility with a multiple point automatic lubrication system solution. The automatic lubrication system provides daily grease injections to ensure reliable equipment operation, prevent parts wear, and avoid costly premature downtime. It also promotes safety by reducing or eliminating personnel exposure in hazardous work areas. The automatic lubrication system installation was a challenge, but done in a timely and efficient manner- allowing for simplified change-outs.
Learn more about our automatic lubrication systems. To discuss your specific application, please contact us today.