This paper includes a short presentation of the major technical and economics issues of alternative methods for automated coal quality control and homogenization. It provides some introductory information about the role of coal quality in power plant performance as well as a rough description of the problem of selecting an on-line coal quality analyser that fits better to the specific conditions of a each different coal mine or power plant. Special emphasis is given to commercial software packages and site-specific computer based applications that have been developed for designed and controlling coal handling and homogenization systems in mines and stockyards.