Oz safety system for scissors arrives in Europe
Australian company EQSS has introduced its OverWatch anti-entrapment/secondary guarding device to Europe.
Launched in Australia in 2020 the company says that around 6,000 scissor lifts in Australia and New Zealand are fitted with the new device. This includes Coates Hire which has said that having installed it on more than 600 units it now plans to fit it to all 4,000 scissor lifts in its fleet. The system can be easily installed in around 20 minutes on machines from manufacturers that have already approved the system.
The OverWatch system is based on a Lidar* sensor, which uses an infrared light beam to track the operator’s movements. The system analyses the operator’s position and movement in relation to the motion of the scissor lift. It can then determine when an operator has moved abruptly or is in a dangerous position, either of which will immediately stop the machine usually without using the operator as a mechanical element to trigger the anti-crush device.
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The EQSS sensor on a JLG control box
*Lidar is an acronym of Light Detection and Ranging or Laser Imaging, Detection, and Ranging. Sometimes called 3-D laser scanning it targets an object or a surface with a laser or infrared beam and measures the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver.
The European launch of the OverWatch system kicked off a few weeks ago with trials and demonstrations in the UK, starting with major contractor Sir Robert McAlpine with five contractors set to begin trials this year via two major rental companies, one being Speedy, while the other is currently keeping its planned involvement secret for some reason.
Craig Hook, head of McAlpine Lifting Solutions said: “Sir Robert McAlpine is very keen to use technology to support safe operational use of elevating work platforms. The OverWatch system, as part of a safe system of work, promises safety without impairing the use of the machine for the planned works. Historically, protection of occupants of scissor lifts has been problematic, so we are trialling the new system to assess for the broader benefit.”
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Speedy prepares for its first trials and demonstrations
EQSS managing director Ross Bowden said: “An effective secondary guarding system can mean the difference between an incident and a tragedy. It is encouraging that Sir Robert McAlpine is getting on the front foot to evaluate the OverWatch system. It is tremendous to see a company that is proactive and not waiting for a tragic incident to occur.
Peter Davis, executive general manager asset services at Coates in Australia added: I was impressed by OverWatch from the start. Secondary guarding reduces risk and I’m committed to installing it on the 4,000 scissors that we have. The OverWatch meets our needs, and we value the fact it can be fitted on each of the brands we have in our fleet.”
Some of the features of the EQSS system include:
- Real Time measurement of the operator
- Spatial movement measurement of the lift
- Smart AI Algorithms for crush detection events
- Adaptive sensor fusion code for enhanced detection
- Small, robust and non-intrusive external sensor
- Standard Wi-Fi configuration and diagnostics
- Audio output with synthesised voice commands
- Simple aftermarket integration and installation
- Voice notification of movement direction
- Duck Through Doorway (DTD) Detection
- Real time data logging with event playback 8000+ samples
- Automatic calibration, diagnostics and self-testing
The following is one of several videos that aim to show the system in action