Gilghi Claims Top Newcastle Engineering Award

Gilghi, Ampcontrol’s innovative off-grid containerised water treatment solution has been announced as the Newcastle divisional winner in the 2020 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards (AEEA). The win sees Gilghi advance as a finalist in November’s Sir William Hudson Awards, the highest project accolade bestowed by Engineers Australia.

Developed by Ampcontrol in conjunction with project partner Aurecon, Gilghi is an innovative off-grid water treatment plant designed for remote communities.

The Gilghi water treatment plant utilises a standalone hybrid power supply consisting of solar photovoltaic panels, a back-up diesel generator and battery storage, and is designed to meet the demanding environmental conditions of the isolated communities in which it is located.

It has been initially deployed in the community of Gillen Bore, 75km from Alice Springs, which until 2019 relied on the continued transport of potable water due to the high salinity, hardness and low pH levels found in their existing bore water.

“We are immensely proud to receive this prestigious accolade by Engineers Australia, in acknowledgment of the engineering pedigree, innovation, and technical excellence we have at Ampcontrol” said Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson.

Engineers Australia Newcastle Division Manager Helen Link added: “Thanks to Project Gilghi, Indigenous and remote communities across Australia now have access to affordable and continuous potable water thanks to an innovative new off-grid, containerised water treatment plant. It is a remarkable achievement and a worthy nominee for the national award.”

“The award-winning success of Gilghi, and our ability to design, develop and manufacture high-quality products and solutions that make a difference to people’s lives around the world is a direct result of our passionate, talented, and innovative team” added Rod Henderson.

The award capped off what proved a successful week for Ampcontrol, with Gilghi’s latest accolade quickly following last week’s Good Design Award win announcement.

For further information on Gilghi and the benefits it can provide remote communities, click here.

Gilghi Off-Grid Water Treatment Solution Receives Good Design Award

Ampcontrol’s innovative off-grid water treatment solution, Gilghi, designed in collaboration with project partner Aurecon, has been awarded the Good Design Award Winner accolade in the ‘Social Impact’ category during today’s virtual Good Design Week awards ceremony. The annual Good Design Awards signify the pinnacle of Australian industry’s design and innovation honours.

More than 55 Good Design Awards Jurors evaluated each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’. Projects recognised with a Good Design Award must demonstrate excellence in good design and convince the Jury they are worthy of recognition at this level.

Gilghi is an innovative off-grid water treatment plant designed for application within remote communities. The water treatment plant utilises a standalone hybrid power supply consisting of solar photovoltaic panels, a back-up diesel generator and battery storage, and is designed to meet the demanding environmental conditions of the isolated communities in which it is located.

“We are incredibly proud to be playing a role in delivering a sustainable water solution to communities in need through the innovative design and advanced technology of Gilghi” said Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson.

“For remote communities access to clean, safe drinking water can’t be taken for granted. The Gilghi unit is designed to be serviced and supported by the people in the communities it serves, making a meaningful improvement to people’s lives.”

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award is a significant achievement given the very high calibre and record number of entries received in 2020.”

“There’s no doubt it has been a really tough year for everyone so it’s nice to be able to share some good news for a change. The projects represented in this year’s Good Design Awards shine a positive light on our creative and innovative capacity as human beings. These inspirational winning projects give me hope and optimism that our design community will continue to innovate, no matter how challenging the world around us is,” said Dr. Gien.

The Good Design Awards jury praised Gilghi, adding: “A great solution and potentially a massive market across the globe. This off-grid containerised water treatment solution has the potential to make a significant impact on the lives of people who rely on groundwater for their main water supply. A breakthrough solution that provides remote communities with quality, potable water. This is such a beautiful example of good design that makes our world better. Well done.”

For more information on Gilghi and the benefits it can provide remote communities, click here.

Ampcontrol Named NSW Minerals Council 2020 Mining Supplier of the Year

On 18 June, Ampcontrol was named as the 2020 NSW Minerals Council NSW Mining Supplier of the Year at the annual NSW Mining Industry and Suppliers Awards.

Taking out the NSW Mining Supplier of the Year category for the development and deployment of Rockstarter, Ampcontrol’s multi-functional outlet starter designed for use in underground hard rock mines highlights an ongoing commitment to research and development for customers across NSW and the globe.

Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director accepted the award at the online ceremony. “What the last few months have shown is the incredible ingenuity and agility of Australian manufacturing, we have such highly advanced expertise, skill and capability in our country and the development of Rockstarter is a testament to that ingenuity.”

“Our Rockstarter product has been an innovative game changer for Ampcontrol, enabling customers in NSW to make the transition to smart mining technology, with an off the shelf, commoditised solution,” he said.

This prestigious accolade from the NSW Minerals Council follows two Good Design Awards wins for Rockstarter in the Engineering Design and Product Design categories in 2019.

Find out more about Rockstarter

Going Digital at Ozwater’20 Online

Ready to quench your thirst for action? Join our Product Manager Wayne Diemar and Aurecon’s Sachini De Silva on Tuesday 2 June at 11.30am (AEST) at Ozwater’20 Digital.

Kicking off the first day of this digital conference, Wayne and Sachini will present their paper titled ‘Project Gilghi – Modular Self Contained Solar Water Treatment Plant for Remote Communities’. Online delegates will have the chance to learn more about the design and engineering behind Gilghi, our remote water unit that uses advance filtering technology and is a breakthrough water solution for regional and remote communities.

This presentation follows our Australian Water Association (AWA) NSW Water Infrastructure Project Innovation Award win for Gilghi earlier this year. National winners will also be announced during the online conference on 11 June at 4.45pm.

For more information about securing your registration and to view the full program, head to the Ozwater’20 Online website.

To discuss how we can solve your water requirements please contact Wayne Diemar via email or phone 1300 445 717. You can read the full Gilghi specs and find out more here.

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.

NSW Mining Supplier of the Year Finalist 2020

We’re excited to be listed as a finalist in the NSW Minerals Council 2020 NSW Mining Industry and Suppliers Awards.

Nominated in the ‘NSW Mining Supplier of the Year’ category for the development and deployment of Rockstarter, our innovative multi-functional outlet starter designed for use in underground hard rock mines, highlights our ongoing commitment to R&D for our customers across NSW.

With proven experience in the design and manufacture of industry leading power and safety systems for hazardous environments, Ampcontrol has leveraged this expertise to create not only a high quality, high performing and versatile design, but one that is competitively priced for hard rock customers across the globe.

This finalist nomination follows two Good Design Awards wins for Rockstarter in the Engineering Design and Product Design categories in 2019.

We look forward to celebrating with the industry and other finalists at the online awards on Thursday 18 June, at 3.30pm (AEST) – register to attend today.

Find out more about Rockstarter

Let’s get flexible – how plug and play cables could be the secret to securing mining communications

In a world of deeper mines, rising energy costs and infrastructure shortages, mining companies remain under exceptional pressure to control costs, heighten efficiency and improve safety performance. Although there is no single easy solution, it is becoming increasingly apparent that technology will play a growing role in the mining industry of the future.

As the fourth industrial revolution progresses, data connectivity is taking a more pivotal role – information from sensors, data-heavy automation solutions and data analytics must be conveyed across large distances and through challenging environments. The mining industry is deploying automation technologies at a rapid rate, meaning the demand for flexible and high-bandwidth communication is soaring.

Fiber optic networks are a critical enabler of this bandwidth, providing a bridge between devices, data processing units and control systems which are increasingly being adopted across many sectors. With fiber optics come additional benefits including immunity to electromagnetic fields, galvanic insulation and future-proof advantages with regards to bandwidth extension. But mining environments pose a risk for the physical integrity of these networks.

With mines reliant on their communications infrastructure for essential safety systems and the critical link between operations underground and those working on the surface, network failure is not an option. So how can mining companies ensure high-performance, quality, reliable and long-life solutions that enable seamless underground communication networks?

 

Rapid and easy to deploy 

In mining, production depends on full and continuous availability of the network to ensure reliable communication with sensors, between machines and workers. Any damage to a mine’s fiber optic network, therefore, translates into significant expense and potential safety hazards. Hitherto, fixing damage was time-consuming and dependent on the arrival of a qualified fiber optic technician with suitable and calibrated termination tools and components.

Today, while network failure and damage cannot be avoided altogether, mining companies are able to massively reduce downtime as a result of network outages. This is due to a new solution created jointly by HUBER+SUHNER and Ampcontrol to enable rapid deployment of fiber optic networks in mines.

Leveraging the extensive experience of HUBER+SUHNER in providing solutions for optical connectivity in harsh environment conditions and Ampcontrol’s renowned expertise in providing integrated electrical and electronic equipment and power solutions for mines in Australia and elsewhere, the harsh environment reticulated fiber optic solution – H3RO – enables fast deployment of fiber optic networks in mines. The solution is based on standardised components that can be combined in a tool-box like manner. The solution’s modularity implies it is flexible in design, allowing for dynamic and easy modification and expansion of network architectures. This is critical in mines, where the network topology changes continuously as the mine grows/moves along. Also, because mine workers are frequently unskilled in communication technologies, simplicity of use and robustness against mishandling is essential.

Putting the theory into practice

The benefits brought by solutions of the two companies have been experienced by many mining customers, one reference case being an underground gold and copper mine in Western NSW, Australia when an existing communications cable was severed.

H3RO was deployed from an existing FOBOT (fiber optic break-out terminal) panel for a distance over 1 km along the roof, through a number of vertical drops and into another existing FOBOT enclosure. The solution’s plug and play cables and modular components made it the ideal choice for the fast deployment of cabling for this work. The IP68 connectors and bulkheads allowed a neat, maintainable solution that integrated seamlessly with off-the-shelf IP68 bulkheads and pigtails to match the existing patch panels.

Due to the modular installation and low-loss connectors, network expansion and recovery from similar incidents in the future is now hassle-free. The entire cable run consists of a quantity of four 260 m 12-core H3RO cables, making swapping any section out easy, rather than replacing the entire run or requiring expensive and time-consuming fiber field splicing in the mine’s harsh environment. The H3RO cables allow the addition of break out terminals (BOTs) at any cable joint allowing standardised and flexible network access/extension as requirements evolve.

H3RO components are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities, all items are tested and shipped with quality reports. This offers a more cost effective, reliable and risk-free solution to field splicing in an underground mine where constraints such as time, darkness and the dirty working environment all affect the quality of the job.

Find out more about H3RO 

‘Super sewer’ emergency back-up power project a success in London, UK

The existing sewer system in London, UK, built around 150 years ago, was originally constructed for a planned population growth of four million people. With London’s population now nearing the nine million mark, the city decided to invest in the Thames Tideway Tunnel, dubbed London’s new ‘super sewer’.

The Ferrovial Agroman/Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture (FLO JV) was selected to build the central section of the new 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel to run under the River Thames. As part of this landmark project, Ampcontrol was contracted to assist with the provision of emergency back-up power.

Ampcontrol provided 1,100kVA of emergency back-up generation capacity and the associated cabling for the tie-in to the distribution system of the project.

Due to the project’s time sensitivity, temporary generators of equal capacity were supplied during the manufacturing period of the new units. Ampcontrol also provided onsite pre-commissioning support to ensure smooth installation and operational readiness of the new units supplied.

Ampcontrol is proud to have successfully completed the scope of generation capacity supply and support within the required timeframe to one of the most significant UK tunnelling projects in the heart of London.

Steven Edmund, Ampcontrol’s Managing Director in the UK, said, “A very high standard of quality is demanded by the UK industry and in true Ampcontrol style this was achieved by following sound engineering principles, providing high quality equipment, being customer centric, and recognising the requirements of all stakeholders and the environment.”

Read our Thames Tideway Tunnel case study here.