By Andrew Spence
A wind-powered device is being developed in Port Lincoln to help maintain visibility and safety for workers on mine sites.
Trampas Cutler is the man behind the “Spinflector” – a device to clean reflectors on delineator posts at mine sites to help maintain visibility for machinery operators.
Trampas has trialed them at an iron ore mine in the state’s Iron Triangle for the past five months without incident.
He says at most mine sites, teams of workers travel almost weekly along major thoroughfares manually cleaning dust and grime from reflectors, creating safety issues, loss of productivity and additional labour costs.
“It’s an endless job as the reflectors get dirtied with grime over and over again,” says Trampas, the Spinflector Industries Founding Director.
“That interrupts production because they have to put signage in place, they have to have clear radio communications with the trucks to tell them to slow down when they drive past and the massive safety issue of them being run over by a machine.”
The Spinflector contains a series of brushes to clean dust and grime from reflectors. The device has a built-in wind vane to power the brushes.
“Even on fairly calm days you’re always going to have the odd gust of wind and it only really needs to rotate about half a dozen times in a 48-hour period to take the layer of dust off and be effective – it just doesn’t allow a build-up of dirt,” explains Trampas, who’s spent many years working on mine sites.
He says ensuring the reflectors are clean is of upmost importance at night, especially given the remote nature of most mines.
“On a mine site you’ve obviously got no streetlights so apart from the machine’s headlights it’s completely black, which can be quite daunting for new operators,” he says.
The Spinflector has already generated interest from Australian and international mine operators.
The first production run of 2000 Spinflectors will be manufactured in the coming months, with a commercial launch expected by the end of the year.
“We’ll start off with small batches and then once people realize what they can do for them we’ll start producing them in bigger numbers,” says Trampas.
“It’s not just mining either, it can also be used in civil construction industries as well.”
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