Ampcontrol Partners with Whiteley in $5.6m Chronic Wounds Research Grant

Ampcontrol is partnering with Whiteley Corporation in chronic wounds research after receiving a grant in Round 13 of the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program which totals $5.6 million over three years.

On 19 January 2023, Minister for Industry and Science, Hon Ed Husic MP, announced $44 million in grants for Australian companies to support 19 collaborative research projects. Cooperative Research Centres Projects support companies working to commercialise cutting-edge ideas in collaboration with researchers and innovators.

Effective management of chronic wounds requires a combination of treatments that include wound debridement, an anti-biofilm treatment, wound mapping, and a deeper tissue perception of bacterial engagement beyond the wound surface, which cannot typically be seen.

This project brings together a collaborative team made up of Whiteley Corporation, ResTech – a joint venture between Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle – and Western Sydney University to create a singular approach to wound care.

“This work will be of major medical impact worldwide. Chronic wounds start with a minor skin injury that doesn’t heal but progresses to a problem costing $3.5 billion in Australia alone,” said Associate Professor Greg Whiteley, Executive Chairman of Whiteley Corporation.

“We are thrilled to be a partner in this industry-led medical research collaboration with the Whiteley Corporation, University of Newcastle, and Western Sydney University. The funding enables industry innovators, researchers, students, and end-users to work together to deliver real outcomes for our community and economy,” said Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson.

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Joining BHP in Canada on Project Vital to Global Food Supply Chain

Ampcontrol has been named the supplier for conveyor control systems for Stage 1 at the BHP Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Predominantly used as a fertiliser, potash provides a rich source of potassium which keeps soils fertile and maximises food production. Potash demand is set to increase with global population growth and food demand. This will benefit global crop production through the sustainable intensification of agriculture and the optimisation of crop yields.

iMAC has achieved Canadian Standards Approval

The Ampcontrol iMAC monitoring and control system has achieved Canadian Standards Approval (CSA) and will be used for conveyor controls onsite. This marks the first time an Ampcontrol product has been used in Canada.

Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO, Rod Henderson, said the opportunity to work with BHP in Canada is an exciting one.

“We have a solid history of working with BHP in Australia for over 50 years. We are looking forward to furthering our relationship by participating in the Jansen Potash Project and are eager to share our world class electrical solutions with the broader Canadian market,” added Mr Henderson.

Designed to maximise productivity while maintaining the highest level of safety, the Ampcontrol iMAC system is customised to the unique requirements of sites and provides features such as high integrity emergency stop, broadcast messaging, and belt hazard identification functionality, with remote interface capabilities.

Working with BHP

“Ampcontrol was selected from a number of different vendors to supply conveyor control signal line equipment for the underground conveyor systems, consisting of upwards of 35 kilometres of conveyor belts,” said Jamie Scheffer, Integrated Project Team Manager Underground BHP.

“The Ampcontrol iMAC was the successful solution because it provided a remote interface which gave us the ability to link in remotely and help fault find should issues occur. This is particularly important for this site due to our remote location” continued Mr Scheffer.

BHP has announced an investment of US$5.7 billion in the Jansen Stage 1 project, which is located 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon.

Work will start on the conveyor system in late 2022 with the current project expected to be completed by 2025.

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Reliable communication and connectivity with H3RO

In order to maximise productivity miners need better control of and insights into their processes. At the same time worker safety requires dedicated and highly reliable systems or, preferably, remote controlled or autonomous operations. All of this requires high volumes of control, monitoring and communications data to be relayed throughout the mining environment.

Ampcontrol together with partner Huber+Suhner are helping the mining industry raise their level of operational efficiency, safety and sustainability through the development and implementation of H3RO.

At a large gold and copper mine in Indonesia, expansion and upgrades are being undertaken to accommodate remote controlled machinery, contemporary communications networks, safety and monitoring equipment.
The mine was looking to establish state-of-the-art data infrastructure but without compromising on robustness, installation time, and flexibility. Specifically, they required:

  • Telco-grade, high density, low-loss fibre optics
  • Connectivity fit for underground mining conditions
  • Simplified installation that does not require expert engineers
  • Hassle-free, simple repair and expansion based on a narrow, easily stockable component kit

H3RO provided a fit for purpose solution. Its compact industrial Break Out Terminals (BOTs), armoured cables and glands, ruggedised push-pull IP86 multi-core connectors and bulkheads can be combined flexibly to provide uncomplicated installation expansion.

With standardised cable lengths and BOT configurations stock-keeping is made easy for remote locations as seen at this mine. The customer became convinced that H3RO could deliver fibre optic infrastructure that was not only high-performing but also highly practical.

Mining and communications specialists from Ampcontrol and Huber+Suhner consulted with the mine to ensure the best implementation of H3RO technology, which was rolled out throughout the expansion.
The nature of fibre optics ensure that they will not become a bottle neck to inceased data volumes as the mine and technology expands. This ensures H3RO will be able to accompany the mine as it continues to evolve over its projected lifetime until 2041.

Throughout the project, Ampcontrol worked with Huber+Suhner local channel partner PT Megayasa Teknologi Indonesia, who has been fully committed since the initial introduction and trial, and offers local support, stock planning and tender procurement activities. More opportunities have been identified with the mine on upcoming expansion phases.

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Ampcontrol Extends Life of Bengalla Mine Transformer

Ampcontrol recently completed a transformer overhaul project for long-term customer Bengalla Mining Company. The 66kV transformer has been in operation since 1998 and is part of Bengalla’s main infrastructure substation.

Located four kilometres south-west of Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley region of NSW, Bengalla is a single pit open cut mine, using a dragline, truck and excavator method.

Ampcontrol’s High Voltage Field Service Team completed the disassembly and reassembly on site at Bengalla and the overhaul was completed in our workshop in Tomago NSW.

The critical part of the project was to tighten the winding clamping system. The windings in the transformer are clamped by a wooden block. During the lifetime of a transformer, these wooden blocks start to shrink due to the insulating fluid in the transformer dissolving into the wood, loosening the clamping system of the windings. During de-tanking the clamping system is tightened to ensure the transformer internals remain in place.

Without maintenance, a transformer’s lifecycle is approximately 20 years. Bengalla has regularly maintained this transformer, and in conjunction with the midlife overhaul by Ampcontrol, this 23-year-old transformer’s life will be extended another 20 years, which will cover the remaining life of the Bengalla Mine.

Ampcontrol’s and Bengalla’s relationship spans over two decades.

“I think the key to the success is the open and transparent relationship. It’s not just a transactional arrangement, it is working close together to achieve an outcome that is right for Bengalla as well as Ampcontrol”, says Kent Flaherty, Bengalla Mining Company Health, Safety, Engineering & Technology Manager.

From the very start of the mine in 1996, Bengalla has been utilising various Ampcontrol products, equipment and maintenance services.

Ampcontrol Announced Winner in Global “Charge on Challenge”

Submitting our joint end-to-end mining haul truck battery swap solution with Tritium back in September 2021, Ampcontrol has been selected along with seven other technology innovators to progress beyond the Charge On Innovation Challenge.

The global challenge, launched by BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale sought to accelerate the commercialisation of effective solutions for charging large electric haul trucks while simultaneously demonstrating there is an emerging market for these solutions in mining.

The eight innovators selected are Ampcontrol and Tritium (Australia), ABB, BluVeinXL, DB Engineering & Consulting with Echion Technologies, Hitachi, Shell Consortium, Siemens Off-board power supply, and 3ME Technology.

Rio Tinto Chief Technical Officer Mark Davies said, “With this group of innovators, we’re taking another step in the right direction towards changing the way haul truck systems operate in the mining sector. Through collaborations like this, where we all come together to create change, we can drive long-term benefits for our industry and the environment

The Challenge received interest from over 350 companies across 19 industries, with over 80 companies submitting expressions of interest (EOI). 21 companies were then invited to present a detailed pitch of their solution. The final eight were chosen from these 21 companies.

A major achievement of inter-company collaboration, our submission was an end-to-end mining haul truck battery swap solution that is fully automated, relocatable, scalable, and cell agnostic. In a drive-in/drive-out recharging station, an autonomous transfer robot swaps batteries in 90 seconds, significantly reducing safety risks and increasing productivity by excluding personnel from the swap process.

On receiving the news of its winning solution, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said, “Technological breakthroughs are vital to our decarbonisation journey as we work toward zero emissions. Collaborative partnerships with organisations such as Tritium are critical to our research and development as they bring together innovative thinkers to deliver safer, cleaner, electrically operated solutions to the mining industry.”

Focused on the sustainability of our environment, we worked together with Tritium to pitch for the challenge to help find a joint solution that can change the shape of the mining haul cycle forever.

“We are immensely thrilled to be named as one of the winning solutions in what has been a very comprehensive and competitive worldwide challenge.  The backing by BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale of our winning solution acknowledges both Ampcontrol and Tritium as pioneers in innovative global energy solutions that can disrupt and revolutionise the mining industry,“ added Rod Henderson.

Congratulations to the other seven innovators that were successful in the challenge, we look forward to further innovating in the mission for mine site electrification and emission reduction.


Ampcontrol Ground-Breaking Research Collaboration to Trailblaze Renewable Energy Manufacturing

Ampcontrol welcomes today’s Federal Government announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Scott Morrison MP, of a $50 million investment in a new business and research partnership between the University of Newcastle and the University of New South Wales to commercialise clean energy technologies through industry investment.

The investment into the Australian Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (ATRaCE) is the third project to receive funding through the Trailblazer program, designed to focus Australia’s research power on national manufacturing priorities and a shift to a low carbon economy. The project will play a leading role in securing Australia’s economic recovery, with the investment expected to create 1,600 jobs over the next four years.

Ampcontrol is one of 27 industry partners working with the universities to develop world-leading technology in solar, hydrogen, storage and green metals, and rapidly deploy new technology solutions.

“Ampcontrol is thrilled to strengthen its collaboration with UNSW and UON’s research capability and support developing the commercial potential behind energy transition initiatives under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative and National Manufacturing Priorities (NMP). The Trailblazer program presents a marvellous opportunity for Ampcontrol including furthering partnerships with the government, universities and industry peers, matched funding, and access to world-class energy facilities and experts,” says Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO.

Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert MP said the program will see the best minds in research and industry work together to develop Australian technologies, products, and businesses to create jobs and boost the economy.

“The key areas we’ll be looking to explore include the further adoption of renewable energy solutions within industrial, agricultural and mining applications, as well as supporting the adoption and integration of electric vehicles into their site energy management. Ampcontrol is already innovating in this space with the creation of DRIFTEX, an electric vehicle for underground use to support decarbonisation in mining,” added Rod Henderson.

We will also explore managing increased decentralised variable renewable generation and assisting with flexible electrical demand control and responses from industrial loads.

Ampcontrol’s partnership with both UNSW and the University of Newcastle on this program is a natural progression of Ampcontrol’s support of the transition to a low carbon economy. Ampcontrol has given a financial commitment of $1 million over the course of the program. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the University of Newcastle in research and development in manufacturing and engineering solutions.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said the ATRaCE Trailblazer would drive the cultural shift needed to facilitate the pathway from research to commercial outcomes.

“This program will transform the way technology readiness, commercialisation and industry-led research are prioritised, taught and rewarded in our universities with targeted opportunities for university staff and students to succeed.”

“Working in partnership with major energy and recycling companies, SMEs, end-users and international entities, ATRaCE will transform the way research is commercialised. It will provide clear pathways for academics and industry partners to work together to supercharge their capabilities and deliver new technologies, faster to Australians.”

The shortlist of proposals for the Trailblazer program saw ground-breaking research commercialisation proposals across the six national manufacturing priority areas, including food and beverage, recycling and clean energy, defence, medical products, space and resources and critical technology.

“UNSW and the University of Newcastle have a huge pipeline of innovative technologies that are aligned with growing global markets in electrification and energy systems, ‘power to X’ including hydrogen, next-generation solar PV systems, recycling and MICROfactories,” says Justine Jarvinen, CEO of UNSW’s Energy Institute.

“Our Trailblazer vision is to create a full innovation ecosystem that builds on our successful commercialisation history, accelerates impact and creates national capability.”

The funding brings together the nation’s best recycling and clean energy researchers with businesses to create an entire innovation ecosystem for recycling and clean energy. Stretching from the Hunter to Sydney, it will unlock a full spectrum of existing facilities and infrastructure to support the sector.

Ampcontrol welcomes this funding which will protect Australian manufacturing jobs in the shift to renewable energy manufacturing, with the creation of more than 1,600 and up to 5,200 jobs in recycling and clean energy industries and their supply chains.

Pictured L-R: University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson, Acting Minister for Youth and Education Stuart Robert, UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs

Singapore Solar Panel Project

Ampcontrol recently supported the delivery of  the largest ground mounted utility-scale solar farm in Singapore, SolarLand 2.

SolarLand 2 (SL2) is a state-of-the-art ground-mount photovoltaic (PV) powerplant installed on 116,000 square meters of interim industrial land at Changi Business Park.

Being the first large scale solar project in Singapore, our team had to ensure the design was adequate to handle the supply requirements. The electrical design of the system is also different from our typical importing of power from the network to exporting back into the system.

Ampcontrol designed, suppled, delivered and commissioned two 22kV containerised systems for the project.  The 20ft systems were designed and built with natural ventilation, light arrestors, lighting, power and fire alarm systems. We supplied and installed 22kV GSI switchgear including a battery charger. We were also responsible for the testing and commissioning of the system including the protection relays.

While site works are still ongoing the 22kV system was successfully powered on in late last year. Some unique aspects of the project outside our involvement is the deployment and integration of urban farming underneath the solar panels, which will be another first in Singapore. It is great to be a part of innovative renewable solutions in urban areas that tackle both energy and food security.

Ampcontrol Showcases the Hunter’s Renewable Energy Manufacturing Strength to Japan’s Investment Leaders

With continued interest growing in Japan for the Hunter’s manufacture of product supporting decarbonisation, yesterday Ampcontrol welcomed a delegate group from Japan to showcase our renewable Energy solutions. The delegate group included Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Japan, Mike Newman, the Japanese Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Shingo Yamagami, and the Japanese Consul General in Sydney, Kiya Masahiko who all visited our Tomago site.

Welcoming the delegation to Ampcontrol, Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said it was fantastic to showcase the capabilities of the Hunter Region to manufacture energy devices to key global decision-makers who are passionate and drive for decarbonisation.

Mr Henderson spoke on the importance of putting the Hunter on the map for renewable technology design and development, “To be able to work in partnership with Investment NSW and Business Hunter to showcase our region’s capabilities, on a global scale is an incredible opportunity for Ampcontrol.”

“On Monday we had the privilege to introduce our range of innovative products designed as renewable energy solutions. Our region is making significant advancements with not only the manufacture of hydrogen and solar product, but the design of these is also taking place right here in the Hunter,” Mr Henderson continued.

“Through partnerships like ours with the University of Newcastle, critical in creating opportunity for R&D businesses such as ResTech, the highly skilled expertise of our region and our cutting-edge technology and energy solutions now have the opportunity to be on the world stage.”

On display was our Battery Electric Vehicle, DriftEx, purpose-designed for supporting the mining industry’s move to electrify, our LAVO hydrogen storage system which has recently been supported by State Government funding to move into a mass production stage, Gilghi, our off-grid water purification system for remote communities, and the award-winning Solar Qube, designed and delivered by Boundary Power a joint venture organisation focused on innovative Stand-Alone Power Systems.

The visit has reconfirmed the opportunity for the Hunter in growing the region’s expertise and capabilities in the renewables sector. Confirmation that internationally the region is being noticed for its strength in the diversification of trade, specifically for technology product that supports decarbonisation, enabling a gateway to new industries and resources.

Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Japan, Mike Newman commenting that “Significant interest exists in how the Hunter region is making its move to scaled renewables and clean energy like hydrogen as a baseload alternative to coal. Japan is very interested in the journey the Hunter is on to support a transition to a clean energy economy.”

Learn more about our range of renewable energy solutions LAVO, Solar Cube, Gilghi and DriftEx.

Leading the way with one of the most sought-after products in the renewable energy consumer sector, the LAVO Hydrogen Energy Storage System.

In partnership with Ampcontrol and Varley, LAVO has secured $5M in NSW Government Funding to develop Hydrogen manufacturing and deliver new jobs in the Hunter Region.

Following successful prototype testing of the LAVO Hydrogen Energy Storage System, the funding will support the expansion of prototyping, testing, and pilot manufacturing of the system. Enabling the mass production of one of the world’s first solid-state hydrogen energy storage devices, to meet rapidly growing local and international demand.

The LAVO hydrogen battery technology consists of an electrolysis system, fuel cell power, and hydrogen story array packed into one cabinet. The integrated hybrid system combines hydrogen and existing rooftop solar to deliver sustainable, reliable, and renewable green energy to homes and businesses.

Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO, Rod Henderson said “At Ampcontrol we are thrilled to see our research and development initiatives in hydrogen so strongly supported. Our innovative products, which we are designing through partnerships with the likes of LAVO, provide an opportunity for the region to become a major manufacturer of new energy solutions.”

The announcement follows the announcement in 2021 by the NSW Government committing to funding to develop the Hunter as a Hydrogen Hub.

Rod continued to discuss the expansion of Hunter’s energy capabilities, “With the continued backing of the government and industry, the ground-breaking technology can become reality and our region has the opportunity to become an energy manufacturing powerhouse. Newcastle and the Hunter Region are incredibly well placed to lead the way in the production of energy devices. We have always been a big producer of power, and with our existing infrastructure and highly skilled expertise, we are well-positioned to power the state with new energy products.”

Alan Yu, CEO and Executive Director of LAVO, said: “With its proximity to broader NSW regional communities, Newcastle Airport and the Port of Newcastle, the region provides a unique opportunity for LAVO to contribute to the development of sustainable employment opportunities locally while advancing our impact globally through new export markets.”

The funding forms part of the state government’s $130 million Regional Job Creation Fund and will support local business development, sustainable employment opportunities and boost local export markets.

Learn More about our partnership with LAVO

Sustainability in Ampcontrol

The Mackay Service team have been enjoying clean energy and reduced power bills since a 99-Kilowatt solar PV system was installed on the rooftop and switched on in February this year.

As a leader in electrical engineering and with greater expansion into renewable energy solutions, there was the need to look internally at Ampcontrol business practices and how we can improve our own sustainable practices.

Originally planned and designed internally by CPS and the Mackay team, with a local electrical contractor performing the installation, the project took advantage of our internal expertise and our external supplier relationships.

Key Stats on the Project:

  • Rooftop solar array consisting of 256 x 390-watt Jinko PV panels
  • Generating an estimated 120,000 kWh per annum of renewable energy
  • Accounting for 45% of total site power requirements
  • Avoiding up to 85 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum, or approximately 1.3% of Ampcontrol’s total carbon emissions

The success of this project shows the impact of how expanding to renewable options can have both a positive economical impact and delivers fantastic sustainability outcomes.

Click here to learn more about our renewable solutions and stand alone power systems.