Featured Sponsor: Applied Teleoperation

In HarvestTECHby FIEALeave a Comment

Applied Teleoperation Limited (ATL) was established with the goal to apply teleoperation and vision systems to improve safety and productivity in the forestry industry.

ATL is dedicated to delivering practical solutions for loggers. We provide a number of products as well as custom solutions to meet each Customer’s needs. ATL’s products include the CutoverCam, Teleoperated Anchor Machine (TAM), WinchEye and Full Teleoperation systems.

CutoverCam

The CutoverCam is a remote-controlled pan/tilt/zoom camera system that provides a spotter’s view to the hauler operator. The CutoverCam has been designed specifically for cable-logging operations. It is convenient to use and it can be used when grappling or when using chokers.

When using the CutoverCam for grappling, the main advantages are:

  • Productivity. A good view results in an immediate and substantial improvement in hauler productivity.
  • Staffing. No spotter is required when the hauler operator has a good view from the CutoverCam.
  • Wear and tear. A good view allows the hauler operator to avoid hang-ups and dig-ins so there is less wear and tear on the hauler and the ropes.
  • Safety. A good view allows a grapple to be used in more situations, minimising the use of breaker-outs. Also, a spotter is not required to stand in the Cutover when grappling.

When using chokers, the advantages of the CutoverCam are:

  • Safety. A good view of the breakout area reduces the risk of miscommunication between the breaker-outs and the hauler operator. Also, if a stem digs in, gets tangled or causes another stem to move in the wrong direction, the hauler operator can respond immediately. The hauler operator will feel more relaxed with a good view of the breaker-outs.
  • Productivity. A good view allows the hauler operator to position the rigging smoothly and accurately. A good view also makes it much easier to avoid hang-ups on stumps and bluffs during inhaul.

In the right situation, the payback period on a CutoverCam can be short. For example, if the hauler is working blind and the hauler operator has to rely on a spotter, the addition of a CutoverCam can increase production significantly. Suppose that, the CutoverCam results in one more 5-tonne drag per hour. This would result in 40 additional tonnes on the landing per day. If the net value per tonne on the landing is, say, $20, this would result in $800 more profit per day. Additionally, the spotter is liberated to do other tasks. The CutoverCam costs $12,750 so, under this scenario, the CutoverCam could pay for itself within a month.

Please contact ATL for a demonstration of the CutoverCam.

Teleoperated Anchor Machine (TAM)

ATL’s TAM system is designed for hauler operations that use a mobile tail hold machine.  The mobile tail hold machine is normally an old excavator fitted with a spreader bar that serves as an anchor for the ropes on the far side of the valley.  The TAM system allows the hauler operator to remotely move the mobile tail hold machine from the cab of the hauler.  The main advantage is to achieve efficient use of labour.  It is not always easy to find good skilled labour so the TAM system can help to make the best use of skilled workers.

The payback period for a Teleoperated Anchor Machine can also be short in the right situation.  For example, in situations where a tail hold operator would normally be stationed near the mobile tail hold machine all day to move the tail hold machine, the TAM system allows the hauler operator to move the tail hold machine from the hauler.  This liberates a skilled worker to do other tasks.  The TAM system costs $35,000 plus costs associated with modifications to the pilot hydraulics (if required) and installation costs.  The total cost could be, for example, $55,000.  If the TAM system were to be used for the majority of tail hold shifts then the payback period could be less than one year.

Additionally, if the tail hold machine were used exclusively with teleoperation, there would be potential to make savings with respect to the design of the machine by eliminating the need for ROPS and FOPS.

WinchEye

The WinchEye system allows the operator of a winch-assisted feller buncher to monitor the anchor machine. Cameras are used to provide a clear view of the winch drums so the feller-buncher operator can make sure the ropes are fleeting correctly. If engine RPM, temperature, oil pressure etc. are available electronically, this information can be overlaid on the screen in the feller buncher. Alternatively, a camera can be used to remotely monitor the instrument display. The cost of the WinchEye system is $9,000 or $11,000 plus installation depending on how many cameras are required.

The payback period on a WinchEye system is in terms of avoiding problems and reducing maintenance.  For example, if ropes are damaged due to the feller buncher operator not having a good view of the winches, the savings will be in terms of avoiding damage to ropes.  If other problems (such as engine overheating) occur on the anchor machine, the WinchEye system may help to avoid an expensive repair and significant downtime.

Full Teleoperation

Full teleoperation allows a machine to be controlled remotely while maintaining good productivity. The main benefit of full teleoperation is to remove the operator from a hazard area. A secondary benefit is operator comfort. The operator can work from a comfortable seated console with good video provided by multiple large screens and high-quality audio. This provides an environment where the operator can work productively day in and day out.

ATL can provide a teleoperation system to meet the specific requirements of each situation.  Please contact ATL to discuss your needs.

Contact

For enquiries please contact Paul on 0212103350 and for more information visit www.appliedteleoperation.co.nz.

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