PRM Engineering Services was engaged by a Roads and Infrastructure client to explore options for using vision technology to prevent incorrect discharge of hot asphalt during loading activities at facilities in Victoria.
There had previously been incidents where hot asphalt was accidentally discharged over the cabin of trucks due to the truck tray not being located correctly under the discharge chute. With temperatures of over 150°C, the risk of serious injury and damage to vehicles in such an event was significant and needed to be prevented.
PRM Engineering Services presented a range of possible solutions for accurately identifying the cab and trailer position within the discharge area. Using the information from the vision sensors, the system indicates to the plant operator whether or not the truck is located correctly under the discharge chute.
The system successfully deals with all truck and tray sizes, from small tippers to large articulated vehicles, while operating reliably in an industrial environment with steam, dust and fumes.
Next steps may include integrating the system truck location information into the control logic of the plant, so that confirmation of a correctly positioned truck tray forms part of the automated plant control processes, further removing the risk of human error.