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Taking the cabin pressure out of compliance



A lack of cabin pressure monitors on a quarry site might have a curious correlation to your operators seeking work elsewhere. These small but vital sensors from REDARC subsidiary Hummingbird Electronics can benefit not only the health of a quarry’s workforce, but the health of its machinery too.

Redarc acquired Hummingbird Electronics in 2015 for its bespoke solutions in sensing, measuring and monitoring systems. Both brands have since expanded their influence on a range of industries – not least of which is quarrying.

REDARC and Hummingbird’s mining and industrial manager Scott Montgomery said Hummingbird has developed a range of electronic solutions to placate compliance regulations on quarry sites.

“Particularly for quarries and mine sites where it’s very occupational health and safety-driven (OHS), when an issue arises, they can be very reactive sometimes,” Montgomery told Quarry. “So, we want to have a product suite that fills the gaps of these issues that operators and businesses are having in the OHS compliance space.

One such gap that Hummingbird fills is cabin pressure monitoring, which can have multiple benefits for operators and owners.

Montgomery explained why the market has realised the necessity for such technologies.

“Especially with cabin pressure, no one wants to work in a dirty, dusty cabin. Our customers want their operators to go home in the same condition that they came to work, and they want their machinery to be performing to its optimum and most efficient for the longest amount of time,” he said.

Hummingbird has two options for cabin pressure monitoring. Both options use simple tubing to connect an indoor and outdoor unit, allowing the product to compare atmospherics pressures.

Both options use visual alarms to alert the operator to incorrect cabin pressure but one uses a simpler red/green LED light, and the other a panel-mounted touch-screen display with more detailed information such as current pressure settings.

Either option can be paired with Hummingbird’s audio alert system, which can be programmed to speak any alert the customer requires.

The point of the audio alert system is to help simplify things for the operator, as Montgomery explained.

“Anything that can be done to take confusion out of a busy and cluttered dashboard makes it easier for the operator,” he said. “Many operators are working in multiple different machines which look different inside and have different controls, so the easier we can make it for them, the better.

“When you’re operating a vehicle and there’s a light flashing on the left, an alarm going off to the right of it all can get very confusing. So, if you’re getting told by a human voice exactly what the problem is and exactly what to do, the reaction time is a lot quicker.”

In an age where dust mitigation and OHS is at an all-time high, these products are ideal for keeping on top of such issues.

But in conjunction with human health, cabin pressure and dust monitoring can add precious time onto the life of quarry equipment.

“One of the biggest reasons (for the product) is the air conditioning systems in vehicle cabins which have evaporators to filter out hot air and suck in cool air,” Montgomery said.

“Without a cabin pressure sensor, these evaporators can get clogged and cost between $2500 and $3000 plus maintenance costs to replace them.

“If you can have a cabin pressure monitor to ensure the cabin is pressurised and no dust is getting in, all of these mechanical type failures tend to be slowed down considerably.”

Redarc and Hummingbird proudly manufacture their products to fit into vehicles from some major original equipment manufacturers and their distributors across Australia.

Montgomery said this owed to Hummingbird’s strong reputation.

“Hummingbird are quite well known for that sensing and monitoring technology in the mining and quarrying space,” he said.

“Whether it be driver behaviour modules, inclinometers, silent horn systems, or in-cabin audio alert systems, we do a lot of sensing and monitoring products. And the cabin pressure sensor is just one of those well respected, good quality products.

Montgomery also added that REDARC and Hummingbird scarcely receive a product back on warranty, which can be attributed to several factors.

The first is that 70 per cent of REDARC revenue is made from bespoke customer products, where its engineers work to a brief set out by a customer’s specific requests. This allows for a high rate of satisfaction as customers get as close to their required outcomes as possible.

The second reason for a high customer satisfaction rate is REDARC intense testing process.

“We have some amazing test facilities at the Redarc factory,” Montgomery explained. “Our EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) test for noise compliance and our accelerated life testing machine both test everything for the most extreme scenarios, giving us a good indication of how long something will last in the field.

And honestly, one shouldn’t expect anything less when it comes to a product suite that maintains the dual health and well-being of its workforce and its equipment.

Based in Lonsdale, South Australia, REDARC has 40 years’ experience in the research, design, development and manufacture of electronic voltage converters and associated products. For more information, visit redarc.com.au


This article appeared in the August edition of Quarry Magazine.

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