New compaction safety technology unveiled

A family-owned Australian company has developed rollover prevention and collision avoidance innovations to enhance worker safety.

Compaction equipment specialist, Conplant, has lifted the covers off its newest safety innovation, the Integrated Intelligent Collision Avoidance System (IICAS).

Much like a car’s auto emergency braking system, IICAS detects obstructions in a machine’s path and will automatically slow down or halt the machine if the obstruction becomes too close for safe operation.

IICAS took Conplant several years to develop and test in real-world applications before it was launched to the public at the National Construction Equipment Convention in Sydney last November.

“Some of our customers asked us to look into safety technologies and this came about as a result,” said Conplant’s National Sales and Marketing Manager, Andrew Wheeler.

“The IICAS system was developed using a third-party software which took two years to integrate into the machine.

“Now it’s fully integrated, which enables us to control the machine’s revs, slow the machine down, or apply the brakes to stop it.”

The IICAS system consists of True 3D Smart Cameras with intelligent functions to actively detect potential collisions and take appropriate measures to avoid them.

An audible alarm and traffic light system inside and outside the cab is used to warn the operator and people on site of potential hazards.

Green signals that there are no obstructions detected and the machine can continue to operate safely, while yellow means an obstruction is detected within a set distance at which point the machine will start to slow down, and audible and visual warnings will activate to alert the operator.

When the red light comes on, it means the obstruction has come too close for the machine to continue operating safely and the machine will come to a complete stop. System parameters, such as field of interest, zone heights and widths, as well as slowing and braking distances, can be set according to the job at hand.

While designed to suit its range of compaction equipment, Conplant said there is potential for IICAS to work on other equipment as well.

“We’re currently in the process of determining what customers want and how we can integrate IICAS technology into their machine fleet,” Mr. Wheeler said.

IICAS is not the only piece of safety equipment that the company has available to industry. It can also offer ROPS2 safety technology across its fleet of compaction equipment.

Another safety product in the Conplant range of gear is the ROPS2, which stands for Roll Over Preventative System, is Conplant’s own patented technology, which warns vibrating roller operators of a potential for rollover with two-stage warning and function management.

Machine rollovers—aside from being hazardous to the people involved—can send road construction and maintenance projects over time and budget.

The ROPS2 is a safety mechanism for compactors and their operators – an early warning and function management system designed to detect uneven ground and reduce the risk of mobile plant rollover. ROPS2 senses danger that would be impossible for machine operators to detect – especially when the machine is reversing, as the drum of the roller is not in the operator’s field of vision.

It measures axial machine angles, warns the operator of danger from increasing angles and implements measures to reduce the potential of rollover.

Dary Samadi, National Manager – Service, Technical Support & Training at Conplant, says ROPS2 represents the end of an era for rollover-prone compaction equipment.

“Previously, rollovers had been a part of life for compactors,” said Mr. Wheeler. “The nature of their job is they work on soft and uneven surfaces to make them safe for what will be coming along next.

“Rollover protection has been mandatory on rollers for a while, but we knew it could be done better. That’s why Conplant created Rollover Preventive System 2 (ROPS2).”

ROPS2 gives a pre-warning to the operator and stops the drum vibrating when the machine starts tilting sideways. It’s vital that detection happens at a very early stage – before gravity has a chance to take control of the roller.

“We tested it extensively over two years and tuned it over three generations before it was introduced to the fleet, and it’s in use on Conplant’s machines today,” said Mr. Wheeler.

With technologies like ROPS2 along with the company’s Unmanned Roller and IICAS, Conplant aims to eliminate rollovers and reduce incidents on site.

Conplant’s number one priority is keeping operators safe and customers’ jobs on time and on budget.

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