Ampcontrol Awarded for Innovation and Adaptability

Ampcontrol was officially recognised for innovation and adaptability following our development of an emergency ventilator to assist with the NSW Governments COVID-19 response during Friday evenings 2020 Hunter Business Awards.

The Awards, led by the Hunter Business Chamber, are Australia’s most prestigious regional business awards, recognising and rewarding excellence, achievement and leadership by businesses and individuals throughout the Hunter region.

In a collaborative effort combining the expertise of the Government, industry and education sectors, we responded to the NSW Governments ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020, delivering a functional ventilator prototype for testing at the John Hunter Hospital in just 18 days.

The following three months saw the project team further refine the prototype before manufacturing ten pre-production ventilators for further clinical testing. The pre-production units were officially unveiled by the NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian on 9th September 2020.

The successful outcomes achieved through the NSW Government led ‘Ventilator Innovation Project’ were testament to the collaborative approach adopted by all project partners including NSW Health, Safearth, NewieVentures, The University of Newcastle and the John Hunter Hospital.

Chamber President Tony Rhodes congratulated all winners and finalists on their resilience and entrepreneurship in what has been the most challenging of years for business owners and operators.

“Winning a Hunter Business Award in any year is a significant achievement. In 2020, the year of COVID, bushfires, drought and many other challenges, it is all the more remarkable,” Mr Rhodes said.

Delighted to accept the Award during the Gala Presentation, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said the business community response to COVID-19 had opened people’s eyes to the capability and adaptability of local manufacturing.

“For a business that specialises in resources, infrastructure, and energy solutions, what the partnership team achieved in such a short timeframe is nothing short of outstanding and a testament to the engineering excellence 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,” added Rod Henderson.

“Whether businesses have had to scale up or scale down, tweak their business model, change it entirely or just grind it out to survive, the past twelve months have demanded flexibility, versatility, courage and innovative thinking from us all,” added Mr Rhodes.

Ampcontrol’s Emergency Ventilator Receives Further Industry Accolades

Ampcontrol has received an additional two top industry awards for our manufacturing ingenuity to design and develop lifesaving ventilators in less than 18 days during Friday evenings Hunter Manufacturing Awards. The Ventilator Innovation Project was awarded the ‘Collaboration Partnership’ and ‘Manufacturing Pivot’ awards, the second and third honours received in recent weeks following success in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

The Ventilator Innovation Project, led by Health Infrastructure, was initiated to rapidly develop contingency ventilator solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The landmark innovation project, in partnership with Government, university, industry, and business, is one of the formidable success stories to emerge over the past six months.

We designed the ventilator in collaboration with Hunter-based specialist electrical engineering companies NewieVentures and Safearth, rapidly swinging our advanced manufacturing capabilities and engineering excellence to respond to the NSW Governments call-to-arms in March 2020. This significant pivot resulted in the development of a fully functional emergency ventilator prototype in less three weeks.

The Hunter Manufacturing Awards judging panel were impressed with the speed of engineering showcased through the successful completion of this project.

“In the world of medical engineering, projects are measured in the order of years. Ampcontrol, who had never previously worked in this sector, brought together a group of local companies including Newieventures, Safearth, ResTech, and The University of Newcastle to deliver prototype ventilators for NSW Health in 18 days and commenced clinical trials only one week later. This pace of engineering most probably hasn’t been seen since long ago wartime manufacturing efforts.”

Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson commented:

“The Ventilator Innovation Project is a true partnership in action; these industry honours recognise and reward the hard work and contribution of so many individuals and groups who have all worked on making this vital health project such a success. To turn a concept into a first-class lifesaving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is a testament to our region’s highly advanced capability and skilled workforce.”

Project partners NewieVentures and Safearth echoed Mr Henderson’s comments, emphasizing the importance of partnerships to local industry.

“The Ventasys project is a fantastic example of what this region can do when bringing disparate minds together and challenging them to think beyond their capability. While it was a massive project and an honour to be recognised with the Awards, it’s just one example of our collaborative potential. We look forward to continuing to forge relationships that raise the tide for all ships,” added NewieVentures Head of Technology Heath Raftery.

“The Hunter has extraordinary engineers, and if we can form the right partnerships and create the right environment for them to work together, then the prospects for the future are immense,” commented Safearth Managing Director Stephen Palmer.

“The partnership approach adopted to tackle the challenge also demonstrates the industry’s ability to pivot and solve unique problems rapidly. We have shown that we can do these things better and more quickly in Australia when there are strong partnerships between business, industry, and Government,” concluded Mr Henderson.

Ampcontrol Recognised with Innovation Accolade

Ampcontrol has been recognised for developing a fully functional emergency ventilator to assist with the NSW Government COVID-19 response, having been awarded the ‘Excellence in Innovation’ accolade during Friday evenings Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

We designed and developed the ventilator in consultation with the NSW Government and project partners NSW Health, Safearth, NewieVentures, University of Newcastle and the John Hunter Hospital.

The emergency ventilator was developed in response to the NSW Government ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020 with our dedicated research & development team successfully delivering an initial functional prototype for testing at the John Hunter Hospital in just 18 days.

The following three months saw the project team further refine the prototype before manufacturing ten pre-production ventilators for further clinical testing and submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The pre-production units were officially unveiled by the NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian on 9th September 2020.

Lake Macquarie Mayor, Cr Kay Fraser congratulated Ampcontrol and all 13 category winners and finalists who have excelled this year, despite the impacts of COVID-19.

“Never before has our business community had to adjust so rapidly to change because of COVID-19 restrictions. It has been really difficult for many businesses across our city, but these awards have been a chance to celebrate the successes and resilience shown by our local businesses,” Cr Fraser said.

Accepting the award during a virtual ceremony, Ampcontrol Executive General Manager Innovation & Service Warwick Sommer said partnerships and collaboration have been essential to the project’s success.

“The Ventilator Innovation Project is a true partnership in action. Tackling a challenge of this size was only made possible through collaboration with local businesses, clinicians, university, and Government.

To turn a concept into a fully functional life-saving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is a testament to our region’s skilled expertise and highly advanced capability to produce innovative solutions and products that make a difference to people’s lives.”

“We have an amazing business community in Lake Mac epitomised by organisations like Ampcontrol, so it has been wonderful to be able to provide some positive recognition and congratulate them on their achievements this year. I congratulate all our finalists and award winners and I encourage our community to get behind local business and show your support where you can,” added Cr Fraser.

Following success in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards, we will now progress to the Hunter Business Awards to be held on Friday 20th November, 2020.

Gilghi Recognised with International Engineering Award

Gilghi, Ampcontrol’s innovative off-grid containerised water treatment solution has today been acknowledged with its first international accolade, receiving the Chris Binnie award for Sustainable Water Management from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). ICE, a UK based professional membership body supporting in excess of 95,000 members bestow the Chris Binnie award to projects that have ‘benefited society by improving the sustainability of water’.

Developed in conjunction with project partner Aurecon, Gilghi is designed to improve the accessibility of clean drinking water within remote communities.

Utilising a stand-alone hybrid power supply consisting of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, a back-up diesel generator and battery storage, Gilghi is designed to stand up to the demanding environmental conditions experienced within the isolated communities in which it is deployed.

The innovative water treatment solution is currently installed in the remote community of Gillen Bore, located 75km’s from Alice Springs, which until Gilghi’s installation in 2019 relied on the continued truck transport of potable water due to the high salinity, hardness and low pH levels found in their existing bore water.

Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said he was thrilled to see Gilghi receiving international recognition.

“The transformative technology of the Gilghi unit has had a remarkable impact on the wellbeing of the local community, which now has immediate access to locally sourced, great-tasting, and contaminate free drinking water for the first time.

For remote communities’ access to clean, safe drinking water can’t be taken for granted. Gilghi is now a proven sustainable water solution that has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to addressing water security across our country, as well as developing nations around the world,” commented Rod Henderson.

Professor Chris Binnie, ICE Water Panel member and Exeter University visiting Professor was highly impressed by Gilghi’s value creation and its applicability to a bigger sustainability picture.

“Gilghi is a genuinely new project with a novel technological approach; the integration of the work of water process engineering and electrical engineering and solar panels was particularly pleasing. The solution provides a reliable and potable supply of water in a sustainable manner that does not increase CO2 emission,” Professor Binnie said.

“We are honoured to be recognised on an international level for the innovative products and solutions we design and manufacture in Australia that make a meaningful improvement to people’s lives”, added Rod Henderson.

Gilghi’s reception of this international honour follows closely the award of a number of Australian accolades including an Australian Engineering Excellence Award, Good Design Award and an Australian Water Association Award.

For further information on Gilghi and the benefits it’s able to provide to remote communities, click here.

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.

Ampcontrol Unveils Its Fully Developed Life-saving Ventilators

Today, Ampcontrol has unveiled its fully developed emergency ventilator, the ‘Ventasys’, reinforcing local manufacturing capability and a highly skilled region ready for the next generation of product innovation.

A partner of the Ventilator Innovation Project between NSW Government, universities, and industry, Ampcontrol responded to the NSW Government’s ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020 to design and develop a low-cost, life-saving back-up ventilator solution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On hand to see the first Ventasys units complete production, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO, Rod Henderson said he was very optimistic for the future of the local manufacturing industry.

“To turn a concept into a first-class lifesaving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is testament to the highly advanced capability and skilled expertise in our region. The collaborative approach adopted to tackle this project in conjunction with clinicians at the John Hunter Hospital, proves the ability of the local industry to rapidly pivot and solve unique problems.

What this rapid innovation health project has brought to the forefront, and more broadly as a country over the past 6 months, is what can be quickly achieved when there are strong partnerships between government, university, and industry. We have shown that we can do these things better and more quickly in Australia.”

As a member of the Committee For The Hunter and the Hunter Central MedTech Industry Network, Ampcontrol strongly advocates for continued government partnerships to boost jobs and the economy through investment in research & development, infrastructure, and product innovation.

“With the continued support of government, I am confident as a region we can build an industry leading medical manufacturing hub where businesses, researchers, students, and trainees work side-by-side developing new ideas, learning pathways, products and services with commercial application. The development of strategically important domestic manufacturing within the Hunter will provide immense benefit to the local industry, economy, and community,” Mr. Henderson added.

With prototyping, pre-production, and clinical user group assessment and testing now completed, application for TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) ‘Permission To Supply’ the Ventasys for COVID-19 use in Australia is expected to be granted in the coming weeks.

The Ventasys will now progress to the manufacturing phase with components ordered for up to 100 units. Ampcontrol will also conduct further software engineering to provide the additional sophisticated ventilator functionality requested by NSW Health clinicians and integrate them into Intensive Care Unit electronic medical record systems.

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.

5 MVA Transformer Urgent Inspection and Repair

Ampcontrol provided a review of oil analysis reports, onsite inspection and urgent workshop repair, of a production critical 5MVA transformer to get it back into service as soon as possible.

Background

The customer, a mine in Southern Queensland has been supplying coal to local power stations in the area for over thirty years. The mine approached Ampcontrol due to concerns about the condition of a production critical 5MVA transformer on their plant.

Problem

Our review of their latest oil analysis results indicated the occurrence of a serious T3 Thermal Fault – high temperature heating (>700ºC). The presence of acetylene & elevated levels of heating gases in the sample pointed to the severity of the fault and possible involvement of electrical contacts. Transformer specialists from Ampcontrol in Mackay went onsite and conducted an internal inspection. Oil was drained to the top of the core and the inspection lid removed. The team identified what could have contributed to the elevated gassing in the DGA results. The paper on 1-off LV lead connection had significantly carbonised, and as such we recommended immediate action to further investigate the problem. The Transformer was immediately transported to Ampcontrol’s transformer facility in Newcastle, NSW to carry out further inspections and the necessary repairs.The internal inspection identified a partly unsecured and dislodged coil clamp block under the top core frame. A small amount of arcing discharge between some of the core steel sheets in the outermost step of the top yoke, located in the A-phase LV side of the transformer was also found. Four hot joints in the LV leads were found, and these were the most likely cause of high-temperature fault gasses in the oil. The hot joint observed on C-phase was quite severe as the heat had travelled down close to where the LV leads exit the winding. We believed the hot joints were caused by inadequate preparation when crimping the copper lug to the aluminium winding conductor. Ampcontrol provided both onsite and workshop specialist transformer services at short notice.Our detailed workshop repair program included replacement of damaged and incompatible materials that contributed to the heating problem, and a partial rebuild of the clamping structure. The core and coil assembly were processed in a vacuum oven, followed by vacuum filling and hot oil circulation to further ‘filter’ the liquid insulation of water, gasses and particles/ debris. Electrical testing was conducted in our Newcastle workshop before being transported back to site.

Achievements

  • Reviewed oil analysis results and provided remote technical support to help manage a serious problem with a production critical transformer.
  • Provided onsite emergency support at short notice including an internal inspection that identified possible causes of the problem.
  • Conducted a workshop internal inspection and detanking of core at short notice to further investigate the causes of the problem.
  • Undertook a repair program that put the transformer back into safe operation quickly.

Download PDF case study 

Tuas Water Reclamation Plant Temporary Electrics

Ampcontrol’s Singapore team recently carried out installation, testing and commissioning of temporary electrics for Singapore’s Tuas Water Reclamation Plant.

Contracted to deliver services for the Public Utilities Board on behalf of McConnell Dowell South-East Asia, the Singapore team supplied a range of equipment and services to support the project.

This work included installation, testing and commissioning of all temporary electrics including substations, switchrooms, transformers and high and low voltage cables within the Tuas Water Reclamation Plant.

To read the full case study, download here.

Ampcontrol Manufactures 50MVA Power Transformer

The Project

To take their current production from 6.4Mta to 7.5Mta, a central New South Wales mine engaged Ampcontrol to design, manufacture and install high voltage infrastructure. The 132/11kV project included a 40/50MVA transformer, c/w 11kV substation, 3000A 11kV switchboard and associated protection system.

As part of the project Ampcontrol designed, manufactured and tested a 40/50MVA 132/11kV transformer, with a final fully assembled weight of 85 Tonnes.

The transformer was fully tested in house in Ampcontrol’s transformer facility, before being filled with oil above the core and coil assembly for transport, to the mine, where site erection work was undertaken by Ampcontrol’s High Voltage Service team.

The transformer will be energised at a later date during major site shutdown works.

Specifications

  • Rating: 40/50MVA
  • Voltage ratio: 132/11kV
  • Vector group: Dyn11
  • Cooling: ONAN/ONAF
  • Tap changer: on load tap changer – Vacuum type on load tap changer supplied by Mischinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbJ (MR), Regensburg, Germany.
  • Oil: filled with inhibited transformer oil as per IEC60296
  • Transformer tested as per AS/NZS 600076

Download PDF case study