To prevent overhead crush injuries on Elevated Work Platforms (EWP), Premier Rock Machinery (PRM) developed a safety sensor with the help of an Innovation Connections Graduate Placement grant.

Background

Queensland company, Premier Rock Machinery (PRM) , has a rich heritage as a company at the cutting edge of innovation. PRM provides quality attachments and safety systems for mobile machinery to Tier 1 industry partners, government, corporate, council and blue chip original equipment manufacturers. Along with PRM’s founding company PlantMech, which supplies hydraulic services and installation capabilities to PRM, these companies service Queensland and Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Challenge

Elevated Work Platforms (EWP) are used extensively on major construction sites and provide safe temporary access to otherwise inaccessible areas. On a single site there could be anywhere from one to three hundred EWPs in operation on site.

PRM identified the need to develop an additional safety measure for EWP (Scissor lifts) to prevent crush injuries against overhead obstacles. This is one of the most common safety breaches that occurs when operating EWP machinery. The company sought ways to develop their concept of a sensor system around the crown of Scissor-lifts, which would automatically stop operating if the lift or operator moved too close to overhead boundaries.

Solution

Through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme Business Evaluation PRM was introduced to anInnovation Connections Facilitator within CSIRO’s SME Connect team.

The Innovation Connections Facilitator assisted PRM in obtaining an Entrepreneurs’ Programme Innovation Connections Graduate Placement Grant as well as connecting them with CSIRO sensor experts. The grant enabled PRM to employ a mechatronics graduate to assist with the research and development of the EWP safety system as well as broaden their in-house knowledge and skillset.

The mechatronics graduate played a key role in the development of PRM’s fully functioning safety sensor system for EWP machinery. The technology went through a number of iterations before finally focusing on a LIDAR based sensor system. Currently being trialled on construction sites, the safety sensor system has the potential to help reduce workplace fatalities and injuries.

Due to the success of PRM’s research and development, the company has set-up a new engineering company - PRM Engineering Services . Specialising in innovative control and engineering solutions, this new company provides specialist engineering services through their energetic and highly qualified mechatronic engineers.

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