Cat dealer Finning UK & Ireland has successfully tested a smart personnel detection equipment system at a HS2 site operated by Flannery Plant Hire.
The Cat Personnel Detection system includes a single rear facing camera together with a 10-inch-high resolution touchscreen display with smart detection.
It allows an operator to zoom in and has a 170-degree field of vision with target areas set at 20m, 10m and 5m, which relate to three colour zones. Yellow is low risk so while the system will detect the person, there is no audible alert, but if they step closer into the orange zone this triggers an intermittent alarm. Then there is a non-stop solid alarm for someone detected in the red zone.
The system can be installed on most medium-size machines including non-Cat wheel loaders, graders, tractors and track loaders.
Flannery completed the two-year product development trial with the smart camera system fitted to eight of its machines – a mixture of excavators and dozers – operating on HS2 sites.
Patrick Flannery, director at Flannery, said: “Health and safety first is an approach that everyone at Flannery Plant Hire is expected to take. Keeping people safe on and around sites where our machines are working is something we factor into every company decision.
“So any product innovation which helps our employees, and our client base, to do this effectively is something we always consider seriously. Smart detection systems like this are likely to become standard soon so are something our sector will have to invest in.”
Identifies people from objects
Chris Phillips, product manager and quality engineer for Finning, added: “While many machines come with cab cameras fitted, where Cat Personnel Detection differs is that it can specifically identify people from objects and will trigger an operator response because it sounds either an intermittent or solid alarm depending on how close they are to the machine.
“The system creates a boundary box around the person making them easy to spot, but if they step out of the field of view of the screen, the system can still detect them and will give the operator a red or orange bar or ‘bumper’ on-screen depending on how close they are.
“It can be physically fitted to machines with a minimum height of 1.75m, up to maximum of 3.5m, so is suitable for typically mid-range machines. There are plans to expand it to a greater range of machines in the future, including articulated trucks. The algorithm and the capability of the system is also being developed so it will be able to offer recording capability as well.”
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