Local West Australian company catches Chamber of Minerals & Energy Engineering Award
Congratulations to Engineering Director Stuart Mangham and his team at Tuff Industries for taking out the Engineering category of this year’s awards, for an innovative yet simple tool which creates a safer solution for a common minesite hazard.
The company’s Lock Ring Catcher was developed to improve safety procedures during the removal of tyres from large earth moving vehicles, which have historically been prised from the rim of tyres and allowed to fall to the ground, potentially exposing operators to personal injury from the lock rings, which can weigh anywhere up to 60kg.
“After undertaking numerous risk and hazard assessments in collaboration with workers on the ground and also management, we concluded the best solution was to design a tool which would safely assist in removing and fitting a lock ring and ultimately contribute towards a safer work environment,” explains Mr Mangham.
The light weight Lock Ring Catcher is designed to quickly fit and lock into the wheel within seconds controlling the release of the lock ring and stopping it from falling to the floor when prised from the rim. “One of the many unique safety features of the catcher is that it will stay within the wheel and retain the lock ring after it has been released, even if its’ central lock isn’t applied or there is a failure of the spring loading mechanism.
“Basically, the device is a bespoke tool which is easy to use, keeps the operator from harm and helps to keep the work environment safe.”
Since developing the first prototype, the company has gone on to invent a complete range of lock ring catchers for both non-demountable wheels and, more recently, for demountable wheels which are fitted to electric hubs.
Major Tyre Maintenance and Mining companies have begun to include the device as part of their work practices, with the company now supplying units for evaluation in South Africa, Indonesia and as far afield as Nevada in the USA.
“As a small team, we are delighted to have been awarded this high-profile award from CME, and we would also like to acknowledge the Tyre Management Systems Companies and Newmont Boddington Gold for the support we have received in developing this innovation,” Mr Mangham adds.
Further information about the Lock Ring Catcher can be gained by contacting Stuart Mangham on 0419 953 616 or by visiting www.tuff.net.au