Case Study | Warehouse Safety is No Accident

Post by: admin - August 30, 2021
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Confectionery manufacturer is not taking any risks with its workers lives

Recognised as one of Australia’s best and safest places to work, a major confectionery manufacturer is vigilant about keeping its employees and visitors safe from workplace hazards.

Increasing throughput from the factory, an expanding workforce and a growing fleet of forklifts travelling through the factory and the warehouse has meant maintaining its excellent record is a constant challenge.

An indispensable piece of equipment for industrial facilities such as warehouses, manufacturing and logistics, forklifts are frequently linked with workplace injuries in these sectors.

Typical activities such as reversing, manoeuvring, turning blind corners and negotiating bottlenecks mean forklifts present the greatest danger of serious injury to workers.

PEOPLE VS FORKLIFTS – ADDRESSING THE ISSUE

The most effective method of reducing accidents in factory and warehouse situations is to keep vehicles and people separate with clearly defined routes for each.

WorkSafe Australia’s Workplace Traffic Management Guide offers a range of measures for managing identified risks. These include delineating areas using floor markings, traffic directions, signed walkways and guide rails which provide visual cues and warnings for workers.

However, it is not possible to eliminate interactions between pedestrians and vehicles altogether. While signage and barriers are effective at keeping workers and forklifts within their designated traffic zones, intersections and crossings pose a high risk of a collision or accident.

Using automated gate configurations to manage access in shared forklift/pedestrian zones provides an additional layer of protection. To cross a shared intersection a worker must activate a switch to close the boom gates and open the pedestrian swing gates before they can proceed across the walkway. After crossing safely, the worker activates another switch which automatically closes the swing gates and raises the boom poles to allow the forklifts access.

Warehouse Safety Gates in Action

 

  • Pedestrian swing gates normally remain closed and the boom gates open, allowing forklift traffic to move freely around the warehouse
  • ​To cross pedestrians wave their hand across a touchless activation switch.
  • The boom gates close preventing access by any vehicular traffic and the swing gates open to allow the pedestrians to proceed through the shared zone.
  • Once the pedestrian has crossed they swipe the button on the other side. 
  • The swing gates close behind the pedestrian and the boom gates are automatically raised allowing access for the vehicular traffic again.

 

WORKPLACE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT – MAKING IT WORK

After purchasing automatic pedestrian swing gates from us previously, factory management was confident Rotech’s products would more than meet their requirements.

Impressed with the performance of our Bulwark HB Automatic Swing Gates in the past, these were the logical choice to manage pedestrian access to shared zones in the factory and warehouse thoroughfares.

Frequency of use, advanced safety features and tough construction made our industrial Bionik AG boom gates ideally suited for managing forklift access through these areas.

Using SafePass S-Wave touchless activation switches to operate the gates offered the best solution.  Small enough to be mounted on the barrier rails, they feature low interference infrared technology that provides contactless activation, in keeping with the factory’s hygiene policies.

 

MORE ABOUT ROTECH PRODUCTS USED FOR THIS SAFETY SOLUTION

Bionik ag 3-8 Metre Automatic Boom Gate

BIONIK AG 3-8 METRE AUTOMATIC BOOM GATE

Warning lights on the top of the boom gate cabinet and the boom pole activate to warn any incoming forklift operator to be cautious and aware the gate is moving.

Suited to industrial applications, the Bionik AG operates reliably for up to 5,000 operations per day. Its 3mm thick reinforced cabinet, heavy-duty springs and a boom pole with internal braces makes it tough and durable. Advanced features provide smooth operation, tough 100% duty cycle and low power consumption.

Digital thinking technology: The AG’s unique design offers precise speed control, easily programmed multi-function digital controller and ultra-responsive performance.

Superior safety sensing:  The motor design allows instant reversing of the boom pole if any safety devices are activated, or the pole is obstructed.

 

Bulwark HB Automatic Swing Gates with barriers

BULWARK HB AUTOMATIC SWING GATES

A fast opening swing gate the Bulwark allows pedestrians to pass through quickly while a number of in-built safety mechanisms ensure the highest levels of safety.

Tough: The extremely strong 6 mm steel housing ensures protection against abuse and damage from knocks.

Versatile: The gate can be operated using touchless sensors, push buttons, remote control, PE beam or roof-mounted radar.

Safe: The Bulwark HB’s electronic safety sensing is very effective when an obstruction is sensed the gate stops.   In the event of an emergency, the gate arm can be manually pushed open and an alarm will sound.

SAFEPASS S-Wave Infrared Mini Activation Switches

 

SAFEPASS S-WAVE INFRARED MINI ACTIVATION SWITCH

The SafePass S-Wave is a compact mini design, waterproof, low voltage touchless activation switch featuring adjustable range and sensitivity.

Widely used in commercial, industrial and public areas the S-wave can be mounted just about anywhere making it suitable for most access control situations.

The S-Wave offers 100,000 hours of no interference performance, an in-built microcontroller with a power-on self-testing function.

 

 

Whether it is a food manufacturing facility or a hospital – Rotech has been at the forefront of innovating new ways to create efficient access control solutions for virtually any situation. For more information about our products Alan us (07) 3205 1123 or email us

Boom Gates – How Do They Work?

Post by: admin - July 22, 2020
Share: Bionik AG and BK boom gates blog image

With the rise of more commercial spaces and residential complexes, it has become increasingly important to address safety and security. With an increase in demand for secure access to vehicles, building entrances and car parks rely on boom gates.

What is a boom gate?


Known as boom barrier, a boom gate is a bar or pole pivoted to move up and down to block access of a pedestrian or vehicle through a checkpoint. Boom gates are also typically used to control passage on crossroads, lift bridges, and toll booths. On freeways, they are used to support traffic lights system by restricting entry in instances of road closure and road works.  Since these poles are typically used at entry gates, the term “boom gates” is also used.

How do boom gates work?


There are plenty of boom gate suppliers in Australia. Generally speaking, boom gates fall into two types: manual and automatic. Used to be hand-operated, but car parks, industrial and commercial sites, and heavy industrial operations have varied demands, thus the use of automatic gates.

The tip of the boom gate rises in a vertical direction and the boom is easily tipped because of its counterweight mechanism. Some gates also have second bars to increase approach visibility and some also feature pivoting half-way. Manual boom gates, like this boom gate, the simple locking mechanism system is designed to make work easier when raising and lowering the boom pole.

Automatic boom gates are the go-to types for smooth operations and compact control mechanism, reliable to keep up constant movement. As this type of boom gate does not generate heat, automatic boom gates are great options in commercial spaces, like in offices and shopping centres for increased security. The integration of mechanical and hardware components into a software for access control systems make automation more convenient.

To ease workload, automatic boom gates offer gate automation for opening and closing times. You can check this listing for quick automatic boom gate solutions.

With daily lives advancing, every business demands a safe work surrounding and every household a secure living community. Whether automatic or manual, if you need help choosing and installing, you can check different kinds of boom gates here, and directly enquire through our contact us page.

When busy mine operations intersect the local community

Post by: admin - February 5, 2020
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Since commencing operations in 2018 this central Queensland coal mine has been gearing up production and mining operations, now moving coal 24 hours a day with as many as three trucks per hour doing a round trip between the mine and the train loadout facility.

Impact of mine traffic on the township

The 75km round trip involves the haul trucks collecting coal at the mine site, travelling along the dirt access road, joining the main highway, passing through the local township, driving on to the rail loading facility then returning empty via the same route to the mine for the next load.

During peak times heavy-duty trucks leave and enter the public highway as often as every 15-20 minutes making the management of site access a high safety and security priority.


Infographic: Haul truck route between mining operations and loadout facility

Secure Coast Solutions customised access control system has it covered

Secure Coast Solutions designed an access control system with two key objectives in mind:

  1. to maximise the safety of the general public, and
  2. to maintain the efficiency of mining operations.

Considerations for protecting the public

  • The bi-directional dirt road that enters the mine site is restricted for use by haul trucks and mine employees.  Preventing unauthorised people driving down the mine access road is a priority. 
  • The mine operators had obtained special permits allowing passage via the highway and through school zones.  As the trucks run 24 hours a day, to minimise the impact on the local community, restrictions on the frequency of operations are in place depending on the time of day.

Considerations for maximising haul road traffic efficiency

  • If the trucks had to stop each time they enter and exit the mine sites this would have a significant impact on haulage efficiency – increasing travel time, fuel usage as well as wear and tear on the vehicles. 
  • For the haul trucks to be able to access mine areas without stopping they had to be able to open the boom gates automatically before approaching the control point and automatically close behind them.
  • Being dirt roads meant safety loop detectors weren’t suitable and if the road became muddy in the rain PE beams couldn’t be used either.
  • In addition to the haul trucks, access was required for maintenance and other mine personnel.
  • The location of the boom gates at the entrance to the loadout facility meant power was unavailable.
  • For safety and vehicle management mine operators wanted to be able to monitor the location of all trucks along the haulage route.  

Efficient Practical Solution in Action

  • Boom Gates were installed to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering mine access roads.
  • To allow the haul trucks to pass unhindered through the boom gates they were fitted with long-range RFID tags.  When a truck is within 10-15 meters of the boom gate, long-range readers mounted on card reader stands, detect the tags on the bull bar of the haul truck and opens the boom gate.  
  • Radar safety devices hold the boom gate open as the trucks pass when the radar is clear the boom gate automatically lowers a few seconds later.
  • Rotech’s dual height card reader stands allow entry and exit for light and large vehicles not fitted with tags.
  • If a truck doesn’t reach its destination within an hour after leaving the mine site the boom gate control system sends an alarm to the control centre.  The mine control centre monitors the location of each truck and other traffic. Communications are achieved using 4G routers providing internet access over the mobile phone network.
  • Accommodating for varying traffic flows depending on the time of day and for weekends, the Bionik AG automatic boom gate’s multi-function digital controller made set up and programming of the access control system easy.
  • Six 120W solar panels were installed to provide power for the entire system.  Adding 720amp/hours of battery storage means the solar panels can provide enough power for 4-5 days allowing for overcast weather.
  • LED strip lighting on the boom gate arms and illuminated card reader posts provide increased visibility and safety during night works.

Why the Bionik AG Boom Gate was the best choice for the job
“This is a busy, intensive use situation requiring high levels of safety and reliable operation.  The Bionik AG boom gates are low in maintenance, fast to activate and are robust and reliable. 
LED lights illuminate the boom arms and the electronics are inside a well sealed enclosure protecting the components from coal dust.  
All equipment chosen is 100% duty cycle and high temperature rated so it can be used as often as needed. The Bionik AG Automatic Boom Gate featured everything needed to do the job.”
Stuart Bryant – Secure Coast Solutions

For more information about this or other safety and security combinations for your site call Alan Roberts on 07 3250 1123 or email info@rotech.com.au