Ampcontrol Apprentice Named as Finalist for 2020 NSW Apprentice of the Year

Since our beginnings in 1968, we’ve been proud to offer tradespeople their start in the manufacturing industry, so it comes as no surprise that Ampcontrol’s Josh French is in the running for Apprentice Of The Year – Electrotechnology Certificate III at this year’s NSW Training Awards (Hunter Region).

Selected finalists in the NSW Apprentice of the Year Award are those who have been outstanding in all aspects of their training and demonstrate the relevance of life-long learning. Joining the Ampcontrol team as an Electrical Apprentice in 2016, Josh has been recongised for the accolade due to his strong work ethic, attitude, and commitment to personal growth. Since completing his apprenticeship in 2019, Josh has joined our Electrical Testing Team in Newcastle, NSW.

In 2020, the NSW Training Awards celebrate and honour 65 years of outstanding achievements in vocational education and training for apprentices, trainees, and students as well as teachers, training providers, and employers. Reaching the Finals during the COVID-19 pandemic is an additional achievement for all Finalists who have had to adapt to the new virtual application and interview process.

We’re wishing Josh the best of luck when the Training Services NSW winners are announced via an online awards ceremony on 22 June, 2020. Register to watch the live stream here.

Join us in June for our ‘Safety In Mining’ Webinar Series

As an industry leader offering integrated electrical protection, integrated power distribution systems, monitoring and control solutions and communication systems for coal and hard rock mining, we’ve launched the Ampcontrol Group ‘Safety in Mining’ webinar series. Running throughout June, we are offering a range of free, technical presentations designed for industry.

Kicking off on June 9, we’ll be welcoming ResTech Principal Engineer, Dr Peter Stepien, who will share insights from his ACARP research project around the ‘Control of Touch Potential Transients During Switching’. During a number of investigations into electric shock incidences in the past, machine frames measured touch potential transients when switchgear closed or opened. There were no faults present in the equipment or the earth fault limited supply, yet touch potentials occurred. This webinar will step participants through Peter’s current research that aims to understand the method by which these touch potentials occur and determine a method to eliminate them to improve mine safety.

On June 16, Philip Reilly, Ampcontrol’s Oil Service Manager, will deliver his webinar titled ‘Oil Analysis: Testing OLTC & Managing Corrosive Sulphur in Transformers’. Managing a large fleet of ageing transformers is a technical challenge faced by many Australian mines and reliability surveys show that the On Load Tap Changer (OLTC) can account for up to 30% of all transformer failures. This webinar will address failure modes & available condition monitoring techniques and will also outline the role of oil analysis.  The webinar will also provide insights into the mechanism of copper sulphide formation in transformers, failure modes, details of service experiences, and what assessment and mitigation techniques are available. 

Finally, Ampcontrol Group Engineering Manager, Dr Ian Webster, will deliver his webinar titled ‘Arc Faults (and Flashes) and the Hierarchy of Controls’ on June 23. This webinar will look at the application of the hierarchy of controls to the hazards associated with arcing faults in high powered electrical equipment in general, and in confined spaces such as mines and tunnels. 

We’re committed to connecting industry contacts across Australia with practical insights into real world issues being faced onsite. Attendance is free, secure your space today at one or all of the webinars in the series.

Ampcontrol Calls on Strong University Connections

University of Newcastle expertise sees lifesaving ventilator prototype secure state backing.

Each year The University Of Newcastle (UON) produces thousands of talented graduates and they watch with pride as they trade the campuses for new workplaces, set to make their mark on the world and in their local communities. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of almost thirty Hunter-based UON alumni and staff have done just that – contributing to an emergency ventilator prototype project led by Ampcontrol to be selected by the NSW Government for pre-production.

Project Lead and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Conjoint Senior Fellow and Ampcontrol Group Manager Engineering, Dr Ian Webster, said the success of the project relied on the strong connections between Ampcontrol and The University of Newcastle.

“When we kicked off this project, we were asked to produce 600 ventilators in 28 days. My affiliation with the Faculty of Engineering meant I could immediately reach out to Brett Ninness, as I knew the expertise and facilities housed at UON would be hugely beneficial to the project,” Dr Webster said.

“Since 2004, we’ve had a unique partnership with the University via our joint venture ResTech, which has created a direct path for students to complete placements and do research work with Ampcontrol.

As a result of the strong engineering alumni network in the Hunter Region, around 60% of the ventilator prototype team are UON alumni. Safearth, and NewieVentures – both Hunter-based leading engineering companies with strong alumni ties – also came on board as collaborative partners. The University of Newcastle graduates have a unique set of skills that make them ideal candidates for the work we do. I’m so proud of the team who are working tirelessly to ensure our clinicians have the lifesaving equipment they need.”

The ventilator prototype, dubbed ‘Anemoi’, will now move into production of 10 units for further testing. If the model is successful in completing the pre-production phase, full production would be manufactured in NSW supporting the local industry, the local economy, and employment.

“This prototype is likely to become a new manufacturing product, diversifying our business and supporting regional development,” Dr Webster said.

To quickly accelerate their knowledge of ventilator systems, the Ampcontrol team engaged with the University to guide solutions and minimise clinical and deployment risks.

Professor Brett Ninness said our COVID-19 response was a powerful example of collaborating across STEM disciplines.

“COVID-19 presented a situation where people skilled across health, science, engineering, design, and commercialisation needed to come together to rapidly collaborate to solve imperative global issues. We were part of that solution, so this is a proud moment for us all to celebrate,” Professor Brett Ninness said.

“Our strong industry connections have proven invaluable in ensuring our people are embedded in the local response to COVID-19 and our graduates remain highly sought after for their expertise.”

“This is another example of the power of the University of Newcastle, local business, and government partners coming together to demonstrate leadership on important issues in our region and beyond.”

The NSW Premier said that with the easing of restrictions there could be a rise in COVID-19 infections, in which case it’s imperative hospitals to have all the equipment they need. Read NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement here.

 

Photo credit: UON

Supporting the Health Sector with Locally Manufactured Medical Face Shields

Off the back of our success in being named as one of two organisations to move forward with a prototype emergency ventilator for NSW Health, we’re pleased to share that the Burn Brite Ampcontrol team based in Melbourne have commenced production of 3000 face shields to help protect frontline health care workers in NSW.

Our Victorian operation, renowned for producing industrial lighting products for harsh and hazardous environments, has advanced manufacturing facilities for electronics, precision fabrication and plastic extrusion and was well placed to answer the call to arms issued across Australia to support frontline health workers tackling COVID-19 with critical PPE.

The single use face shields were prototyped to meet NSW Health requirements and 3000 face shields will now be shipped from our Melbourne manufacturing facility in the next two weeks.

Designed to help ease supply chain issues associated with internationally sourced products, these face shields are fast to assemble and feature a clear face shield with an adjustable fit to suit most head sizes and shapes. They also include a pressure headband to provide relief for wearers once the face shield has been tightened.

Read more about our face shields in this product overview.

Ampcontrol Pivots Expertise to Design Ventilators

Ampcontrol has answered the NSW Government’s call to quickly design and prototype a new and innovative ventilator to assist with COVID-19 preparedness.

The new functional emergency ventilator design, dubbed ‘Project Anemoi’ was developed in just 18 days. This is a substantial pivot for Ampcontrol who is known as a leading global designer and manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment in the resources, infrastructure and energy sectors.

Ampcontrol engineers worked around the clock, to design and produce the emergency ventilator prototype in collaboration with local clinicians and Hunter based specialist engineering companies.

Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO, Rod Henderson said, “We have such highly advanced manufacturing capability and ingenuity in our country. It is so important that industry and Government work together so that we can continue to produce innovative solutions and products here in Australia that make a difference to people’s lives around the globe”.

Production of 10 pilot ventilators will now commence undertaking further clinical assessment and testing with NSW Health, with the objective of enabling 600 ventilators to be rapidly built in the Hunter region if the need arises.

Ampcontrol Designs Lifesaving Ventilators

Ampcontrol is proud to be supporting the NSW Government’s development of ventilators as part of its COVID-19 response. The dynamic nature of this project showcases the critical importance of Australian innovation, design and manufacturing. We look forward to continuing to progress the ventilator development and securing the necessary approvals to deliver this solution to where it is needed.