Remote control lubrication

A new development in lubrication systems is helping to cut
the risk of high pressure grease injection injuries on site.

According to the Fluid Power Safety Institute “more than 99
per cent of people who service, repair, and troubleshoot hydraulic systems have
been subjected to the exact dynamics that trigger a high-pressure injection
injury”.

“If ‘hydraulics’ were a recognised occupational hazard, and
thus fell into a category for near-miss reporting we would be at catastrophic
levels.”

Currently grease is the most common fluid in injection
injuries in mining, with one in four of the incidents requiring amputation, and
if the pressure is above 7000 psi, this ratio becomes 100 per cent.

However these injuries have known to occur at pressures as
low as 100 psi.

According to Parker Hannifin “pressurised fluids travel at
bullet speed and can penetrate deep under the skin.

“The injured person may feel only a slight ‘electric shock’
or pricking sensation. Rarely does the initial pain indicate the actual
severity of the injury. What looks like a simple puncture wound is, in fact,
life threatening.”

The Queensland engineering company, Australian Diversified
Engineering (ADE), have developed a remote pressure release system that allows
an operator to attach or remove a blocked grease gun without the risk of an
injection injury.

According to the company it aimed “to find a simple,
cost-effective solution that could be quickly activated should pressure begun
building in a blocked grease gun”.

Its solution was a “garage-door style remote control that
would safely release the pressure in the hose”.

“Our research revealed that the usual protective equipment
was not protecting serviceman from high pressure injection juries, and the
standard process of removing the hose from the nipple in the case of blockages
was intrinsically flawed and dangerous,” ADE manufacturing manager Daniel Kirk
said.

The new system uses remote operated wireless transmitters
that can be activated 50 metres from the service truck to release the build-up
of pressure, can be retrofitted to existing systems, and has already been
installed at nine mines across Australia.

It is contained in a small stainless steel cabinet mounted
on top of service trucks or near the grease pumps, with a single function
remote to turn off pressure to high volume and high pressure grease lubrication
systems.

Industrial grease finds new mode of transport

Transtainer Sales and Leasing Pty received a $485,000 grant from the government to help them build a product to transport grease.

Commercialisation Australia will help the South Australian company to create an innovative product designed to address the problems of transporting large volumes of grease over vast distances.

The Very Large Grease Container (VLGC) developed by the Trainstainer has the capacity to transport large volumes of grease hygienically, cheaply and quickly over long distances. The huge reusable storage and  transportation unit has the capacity of 20, 000 litres and has an inner bladder, much like a giant hot water bottle.

The VLGC reduces the carbon footprint by transporting twice the amount of grease on the back on a truck, compared to the nearest comparable container. The project allows Transtainer to use VLGC to prove its logistical merits, and develop an IP protection strategy.

The latest funding offers from Commercialisation Australia means a total of 375 Participants have been provided with $147.8 million in assistance since January 2010.

“There are many Australian people and organisations with new and exciting ideas, but the pathway to the market can be problematic,” says Commercialisation Australia CEO Doron Ben-Meir.

“Commercialisation Australia funding helps companies navigate the so-called ‘Valley of Death’ between promising intellectual property and a commercially viable business, which in turns delivers jobs, skills and prosperity to Australia.

“Increasing our focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and new business growth is the key to renewing and growing the Australian economy. Through Commercialisation Australia, the Australian Government helps our best and brightest local entrepreneurs identify and maximise their commercial opportunities."

Image: imperialroadmarking.com.

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