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Integrating safety sensors

Hummingbird Electronics National Sales Manager, Mark Bruce, talks to Roads and Infrastructure about the company’s latest product development, a fully Integrated Compact Inclinometer.

A key principal of workplace health and safety is for workers be given the highest level of reasonable protection in specific circumstances.

Falls from civil construction equipment can result in serious injury or even death. Plant operators and service personnel are therefore placed in a position of risk when adequate safety measures and equipment are not in place.   

For Australian safety electronics manufacturer, Hummingbird Electronics, clear messaging presents a number of safety solutions to help operators build on, and improve, the warning systems already in place in their machinery. Part of the Redarc Electronics group since May 2015, Hummingbird specialises in bespoke sensor products focussed on driver safety, both for trucks and construction equipment operators in the Australian civil construction and transport market.

Hummingbird National Sales and Marketing Manager, Mark Bruce, says the company’s products encompass all aspects of driver safety, measuring everything from temperature, pitch and roll, through to speed and force of a vehicle or machine.

“Hummingbird Electronics offers a range of vehicle stability monitoring devices including inclinometers and tilt switches, focussed on improving safety, based on dual axis tilt and roll sensing of mobile machines,” Mr. Bruce says.

“Our products can be the difference between a near miss and an accident, which is why Hummingbird are excited to announce our new product, the Integrated Compact Inclinometer (HMDS0400).”

Drawing from past Inclinometer technology, the new device incorporates an integrated accelerometer, or tilt sensor, into the compact colour display.

“Like all units in our range of tilt safety equipment, the HMDS0400 provides machinery operators with a configurable and highly visible pitch-and-roll measurement display,” Mr. Bruce says.

“What makes the HMDS0400 unique is the incorporation of the accelerometer into the physical unit – doing away with the sometimes cumbersome externally mounted sensor.”

Hummingbird Electronics consults with equipment suppliers to the transport and mining sectors to identify opportunities for new, innovative products. This is how Hummingbird developed the HMDS0400 concept, says Mr. Bruce.

“Our team identified a gap in the market for smaller machinery operations. Companies didn’t want to scrimp on safety, but existing Inclinometer devices were large and difficult to manage on small equipment,” Mr. Bruce says.

“We established that there was a market for a new product. It is designed and manufactured in Australia using in-house and outsourced resources.”

According to Mr. Bruce, the HMDS0400 inclinometer is suitable for small machinery applications, such as those associated with material handling, civil earthmoving and agriculture.

“These types of applications often inherit a high centre of gravity, which means a large portion of their weight is carried high up off the operating surface,” Mr. Bruce says.

“When this is combined with uneven or stable work surfaces, it can cause the machine to be vulnerable to rollovers.”

The Integrated Compact Inclinometer works to reduce the risk of rollover by alerting operators if a dangerous pre-determined angle has been reached. This allows users to take the necessary precautions and steps to avoid the accident, which improves both the driver’s and machinery safety.

“The Integrated device requires no external sensor and will update pitch-and-roll measurements 10 times each second,” says Mr. Bruce. 

“Additionally, the easy-to-follow integrated menu allows for a fast interpretation of pitch-and-roll angles in either degrees or per cent gradients.”

According to Mr. Bruce, the unit also allows for flexible and cost-effective installation.

“The HMDS0400 is powered by simply plugging the unit into a cigarette lighter socket or directly hard wiring to machine power,” Mr. Bruce says.

“The full-colour display of the unit can be positioned in a range of orientations  allowing it to be customised to suit any individual need.”

Furthermore, the Integrated Compact Inclinometer’s alert system features multiple alert thresholds and buzzer levels.

“This product provides customisation of sensor response times to allow maximum flexibility in various applications, such as vehicles travelling along rough surfaces, which could be susceptible to false triggers,” Mr. Bruce says. “Due to the size and integrated compact design, the HMDS0400 makes for an inexpensive and cost-effective OH&S initiative.

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