Ampcontrol Named One of Australia’s 100 Top Innovators

Ampcontrol is pleased to be named one of Australia’s 100 top innovators in a special publication released by The Australian. The inaugural list is compiled by The Australian alongside an advisory panel of experts and highlights the future-focused leaders, ingenuity and products that are set to make Australia an innovative nation.

At Ampcontrol, we’re committed to innovation by developing and implementing industry leading technology. This is achieved through engineering expertise, maintaining a strong commitment to R&D, and, most importantly, developing an in-depth understanding of our customers and industry requirements.

Acknowledgment within The Australian’s ‘100 Top Innovators’ listing follows the delivery of some of our recent innovative projects, including:

Strategic and Collaborative Partnership – LAVO:

The initiation of a strategic and collaborative partnership between Ampcontrol and Australian startup LAVO has successfully produced a domestic hydrogen battery that pioneers the next generation of green energy storage for commercial and residential use.

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 rooftop solar to deliver sustainable, reliable and renewable green energy to homes and businesses.

Stand-Alone Power System Joint Venture – Boundary Power

Ampcontrol joined forces with Australia’s leading utility in the deployment of Stand-Alone Power Systems (SAPS) Horizon Power to launch SAPS Joint Venture (JV), Boundary Power.

Boundary Power brings together Horizon Power and Ampcontrol’s combined SAPS design, construction, deployment and operation expertise, unveiling a new, innovative series of SAPS solutions to the market.

More recently, Ampcontrol and Boundary Power have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with LAVO to identify the use of LAVO’s hydrogen storage solutions and other zero-carbon products in different demonstration sites.

Battery Electric Vehicle Development

Ampcontrol has developed a battery-electric powered vehicle for underground mining applications, a solution borne from the need for more environmentally conscious solutions and safer, healthier working environments.

Designed to replace traditional diesel-powered vehicles, the electric-powered alternative enables mining operations to eliminate negative environmental impacts associated with the operation of diesel-powered equipment whilst simultaneously capturing additional operational efficiencies.

Additionally, Ampcontrol has just announced a new collaboration agreement with PPK Mining Equipment to deliver a range of new Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) solutions for underground mining applications.

The collaboration will see the installation of the latest world-class BEV technology designed by Ampcontrol into new PPKME personnel carrier vehicles. The companies will work together to also retrofit diesel drive trains in a range of other vehicles manufactured by PPKME, including the COALTRAM flameproof and explosion protected diesel Load Haul Dump utility vehicle.

Hybrid Diesel-Electric Boat Development

A collaborative partnership between Ampcontrol, The University of Newcastle and Steber International has conducted a series of highly successful bench and on-water trials of a hybrid diesel-electric boat prototype.

Leaders in Australian boat manufacturing and industrial composite technology, Steber International approached Ampcontrol in 2018 requesting assistance to develop a prototype hybrid police boat. Ampcontrol’s leading technology and engineering expertise were applied to leverage the silence of the electric power system to enable a whisper-quiet mode for operations requiring some stealth.

The hybrid diesel/electric propulsion system allows a boat to be power efficient, quiet and be significantly more emission friendly without suffering any loss of cruising range. The application of batteries and an electric motor facilitates a reduction in the size of the diesel engines required, while maintaining the same, or higher, power ratings for the vessel.

 

 

Catch Up On Our Entire ‘Asset Management’ Webinar Series

As Australia’s leading industrial electrical specialists, we provide continuity of technical support and a commitment to making sure your equipment delivers required outcomes, doesn’t breakdown, and is statutory compliant; which is why we launched the Ampcontrol Group Asset Management webinar series. These free, technical presentations designed for industry are now available on our YouTube channel.

The webinar series include presentations from experts across the Ampcontrol group including Philip Reilly, Peter Stepien, Hossein Rahimpour, Kaine Rathbone and Paul Karpathy:

Transformer Oil Analysis: Identification & Management of Abnormal Conditions’ – Philip Reilly, Ampcontrol Oil Services Consultant

The webinar talks about the use of transformer oil analysis, and how it is widely used for detecting abnormal conditions in insulating fluid-filled, high voltage electrical equipment in service.

Modelling Fault Scenarios to Minimise Asset Downtime’Dr Peter Stepien, ResTech Principal Engineer

In mining, various methods are available to identify potential faults in assets used for production. This presentation describes the modelling process with the use of practical examples.

Visibility and Understanding of the Condition of Critical Spares’ – Hossein Rahimpour, Verico Senior Electrical Engineer  

This webinar talks about why having visibility and an understanding of the condition of critical spares is an important element of good HV asset management practice.

Online Condition Monitoring of Coal Handling Plant (CHP) Machinery’ – Kaine Rathbone, Verico Mechanical Testing Manager

This webinar describes the challenges of condition monitoring of Coal Handling Plants and the Online Condition Monitoring solution Verico has developed to address these issues.

Making the Most of Your HV Asset Maintenance Program’ – Paul Karpathy, Ampcontrol HV Field Service Technical Officer

This webinar covers some of the common issues encountered with HV assets in the field and how to best manage equipment and infrastructure via scheduled maintenance programs.

Design and Manufacture of a 132kV Relocatable Switching Bay

Ampcontrol were recently contacted by a Queensland utility provider seeking a flexible power distribution solution to assist their service teams when responding to outages or conducting routine maintenance. Following consultation with the customer, Ampcontrol were selected to design and engineer a HV switching bay that could be easily relocated to provide HV support when and where required.

In what was a first of its kind project for both Ampcontrol and the customer, the team was tasked with designing and manufacturing a 132kV skid-mounted relocatable switching bay that will be initially deployed within a power station located in Central Queensland.

This relocatable switching bay will be utilised to divert power within the power station, allowing HV technicians to complete necessary maintenance works without interruption to supply.

In addition to the design and manufacture of the switching bay skids, the team was also tasked with developing a comprehensive training package. This included a face-to-face deployment demonstration session and the development of installation manuals whilst also providing ongoing operation and maintenance support.

To download a PDF copy of this case study, click here.

 

Ampcontrol Supports SES Unit with Sandbag Filler Donation

The back-breaking work of filling sandbags has just become safer and more effective for members of Port Stephens SES thanks to a donation from Ampcontrol.

Fabricated at Ampcontrol’s machining workshops in Tomago, the three metal sandbag fillers were a designed by Ampcontrol team members. The donations were kindly received by the Raymond Terrace-based SES unit supported by Port Stephens MP Kate Washington.

In the aftermath of the recent floods, Ms Washington contacted David Douglas, Port Stephens SES unit controller, to see if they needed any support. His response without hesitation was for the steel-framed devices used to fill sand bags at speed.

“Shovelling sand into hessian bags one-by-one is back-breaking work, and our local SES volunteers were run off their feet. So I contacted Wayne Diemar [Product Manager at Ampcontrol], sent them a photo and asked if they could assist. Shortly afterwards, Ampcontrol had constructed three of the sandbag devices and donated them for free,” Ms Washington said.

“Ampcontrol is a great local business and a significant local employer. I’m so appreciative of their support and generosity, and I know how grateful our SES volunteers are, too,” Ms Washington concluded.

Mr Diemar said that the units, which could hold up to 10kg of sand, were easier to use by SES members and members of the public.

“The sandbag fillers enable SES members to bag the sand more efficiently and free up personnel in emergency situations as with instructions (SOP) the general public could come along again to bag themselves in emergency situations. Not to forget the ability for them to throw them in the back of a ute and get them to the needed locations quicker,” Mr Diemar said.

Mr Douglas said the devices were a welcome addition, allowing members to work more efficiently in a safer environment.

“They also provide a quicker response time which is important in times of flood. We can even set up sand bagging points at places such as Hinton in times of predicted heavy rains and flash flooding,” he said.

“We are greatly appreciative of all donations and would like to thank both Ampcontrol and Ms Washington for their assistance in helping us meet our challenges in times of floods,” Mr Douglas concluded.

Follow the link to read the article in the Port Stephens Examiner.

Hong Kong Team Support Construction of Central Kowloon Route

Ampcontrol’s Hong Kong team has provided comprehensive HV and LV electrical distribution works on behalf of Bouygues Travaux Publics on the Central Kowloon Route (CKR) project. This important piece of infrastructure is a 4.7km, dual 3-lane trunk road linking the Yau Ma Tei interchange in West Kowloon with the road network servicing the Kai Tak development and Kowloon Bay in East Kowloon.

Ampcontrol supplied key HV and LV electrical distribution works and services which included:

  • Installation of a new and more environmentally friendly ring main unit due to its utilisation of green insulation air
  • Installation of a triangular dry type transformer rather than a traditional rectangular transformer. This solution has a smaller footprint and provides superior insulation resistance
  • Factory acceptance testing of a refurbished substation at Ampcontrol’s Tin Thui Wai workshop, ensuring the safety and efficiency of the equipment
  • 10km of HV and LV cable
  • HV testing and commissioning
  • 12 substations
  • HV switchgear

Successful delivery of the extensive HV and LV electrical distribution works expands Ampcontrol’s footprint within the CKR project. Ampcontrol has provided three Vacuum Circuit Breaker (VCB) panels, one 2MVA surface substation and one 1.25MVA tunnelling substation which are now in service on site.

Upon completion, the CKR project will form a trunk route through the heart of Kowloon, providing an alternate express route to relieve traffic congestion on the major east-west corridors. Ampcontrol have been contracted to provide a further 10 substations for service within the Central Kowloon Route project, for which work will continue into the foreseeable future.

To read the full PDF case study, download here.

Ampcontrol diversifying its business through innovation

Ampcontrol is at the forefront of businesses in the Hunter Region diversifying its business through innovation and technology to transform the energy world.

Starting out in mining over 50 years ago, Ampcontrol embraces an innovative culture and is branching out into new industries such as med tech, standalone power systems, electric vehiche and hybrid electric boat development.

“Strategically, we are positioning ourselves to continue to be good suppliers to the mining sector, but also to make sure that we have got our bases covered in lots of other areas as well,” said Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO.

One of our recent projects include the design and manufacturing of transportable switchrooms for the nation’s biggest road tunnel project, Sydney’s WestConnex. Additionally, Ampcontrol has developed Australia’s first hybrid diesel-electric boat prototype for police and emergency services, a solar powered water purification system for remote communities and an emergency ventilator as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 response.

“We had about 50 people working on the ventilator project, and the guys used the knowledge and skills we’ve developed in the infrastructure and mining sectors and applied the same principles,” Rod Henderson explains.

Read more about the Hunter Region’s increased industry diversity in this ABC National News article or watch ABC The Business, which aired on Tuesday 2 February and includes an interview with our CEO Rod Henderson.

Ampcontrol Joins Forces With Australia’s Leading Utility To Launch Standalone Power Systems Joint Venture

Horizon Power, Australia’s leading utility in the deployment of Standalone Power Systems (SPS) has joined forces with premier power and control solutions company, Ampcontrol, to launch Boundary Power.

Boundary Power brings together Horizon Power and Ampcontrol’s combined SPS design, construction, deployment and operation expertise, unveiling a new, innovative series of SPS solutions to the market. Ampcontrol Group member company, CPS National, with its remote area and SPS expertise will be the delivery arm of the new venture.

Horizon Power was the first utility in Australia to demonstrate the commercial viability of SPS as an alternative to replacing aging poles and wires.

Boundary Power Director, Rod Henderson said the launch of Boundary Power was the next strategic step in leveraging the two business’s accumulated and substantial SPS expertise.

“A number of the SPS specialists from Horizon Power and Ampcontrol who have joined the Boundary Power team were behind the success of Horizon Power’s deployment of 17 SPS systems on customer properties, east of Esperance,” Mr Henderson said.

“This enabled Horizon Power to be the first utility in Australia to remove 64 kilometres of poles and wire permanently.”

“We have proven SPS to be a commercially viable renewable power solution that is fully off-grid and tailored to service a broad range of purposes and industries,” Mr Henderson said.

SPS uses solar and battery technology to generate and store electricity, providing safer, higher quality and more reliable power, 24 hours a day.

To mark today’s joint venture, Boundary Power unveiled its new, modular SPS Gen 2, which is easier to transport and install.

The McGowan Government’s $10 million investment in deploying SPS across regional WA is scheduled to kick off mid-February, with the first of 45 units installed in Esperance.

Four will be installed near Kununurra in the Kimberley, one near Karratha in the Pilbara, seven in the Mid-West region and 33 in the Goldfields-Esperance region.

“The advanced modularity design makes Boundary Power’s SPS units easier to transport, quicker to install and more affordable to maintain,” Mr Henderson said.

“An SPS Gen 2 can be deployed off the truck and ready for energy export in just 90 minutes, with onsite maintenance, servicing needs and costs reduced thanks to easily swappable module components.”

“We are confident Boundary Power’s SPS solutions are well suited to meet the growing demand we see in the marketplace, particularly among power utilities looking for a reliable off-grid power alternative.”

Customers who would like to explore the opportunity of having a SPS should direct their enquiries to enquiries@boundarypower.com.au.

Ampcontrol Awarded for Innovation and Adaptability

Ampcontrol was officially recognised for innovation and adaptability following our development of an emergency ventilator to assist with the NSW Governments COVID-19 response during Friday evenings 2020 Hunter Business Awards.

The Awards, led by the Hunter Business Chamber, are Australia’s most prestigious regional business awards, recognising and rewarding excellence, achievement and leadership by businesses and individuals throughout the Hunter region.

In a collaborative effort combining the expertise of the Government, industry and education sectors, we responded to the NSW Governments ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020, delivering a functional ventilator prototype for testing at the John Hunter Hospital in just 18 days.

The following three months saw the project team further refine the prototype before manufacturing ten pre-production ventilators for further clinical testing. The pre-production units were officially unveiled by the NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian on 9th September 2020.

The successful outcomes achieved through the NSW Government led ‘Ventilator Innovation Project’ were testament to the collaborative approach adopted by all project partners including NSW Health, Safearth, NewieVentures, The University of Newcastle and the John Hunter Hospital.

Chamber President Tony Rhodes congratulated all winners and finalists on their resilience and entrepreneurship in what has been the most challenging of years for business owners and operators.

“Winning a Hunter Business Award in any year is a significant achievement. In 2020, the year of COVID, bushfires, drought and many other challenges, it is all the more remarkable,” Mr Rhodes said.

Delighted to accept the Award during the Gala Presentation, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said the business community response to COVID-19 had opened people’s eyes to the capability and adaptability of local manufacturing.

“For a business that specialises in resources, infrastructure, and energy solutions, what the partnership team achieved in such a short timeframe is nothing short of outstanding and a testament to the engineering excellence and ingenuity in our country. It is so important that industry and Government work together so that we can continue to produce innovative solutions and products here in Australia that make a difference to people’s lives around the globe,” added Rod Henderson.

“Whether businesses have had to scale up or scale down, tweak their business model, change it entirely or just grind it out to survive, the past twelve months have demanded flexibility, versatility, courage and innovative thinking from us all,” added Mr Rhodes.

Ampcontrol’s Emergency Ventilator Receives Further Industry Accolades

Ampcontrol has received an additional two top industry awards for our manufacturing ingenuity to design and develop lifesaving ventilators in less than 18 days during Friday evenings Hunter Manufacturing Awards. The Ventilator Innovation Project was awarded the ‘Collaboration Partnership’ and ‘Manufacturing Pivot’ awards, the second and third honours received in recent weeks following success in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

The Ventilator Innovation Project, led by Health Infrastructure, was initiated to rapidly develop contingency ventilator solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The landmark innovation project, in partnership with Government, university, industry, and business, is one of the formidable success stories to emerge over the past six months.

We designed the ventilator in collaboration with Hunter-based specialist electrical engineering companies NewieVentures and Safearth, rapidly swinging our advanced manufacturing capabilities and engineering excellence to respond to the NSW Governments call-to-arms in March 2020. This significant pivot resulted in the development of a fully functional emergency ventilator prototype in less three weeks.

The Hunter Manufacturing Awards judging panel were impressed with the speed of engineering showcased through the successful completion of this project.

“In the world of medical engineering, projects are measured in the order of years. Ampcontrol, who had never previously worked in this sector, brought together a group of local companies including Newieventures, Safearth, ResTech, and The University of Newcastle to deliver prototype ventilators for NSW Health in 18 days and commenced clinical trials only one week later. This pace of engineering most probably hasn’t been seen since long ago wartime manufacturing efforts.”

Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson commented:

“The Ventilator Innovation Project is a true partnership in action; these industry honours recognise and reward the hard work and contribution of so many individuals and groups who have all worked on making this vital health project such a success. To turn a concept into a first-class lifesaving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is a testament to our region’s highly advanced capability and skilled workforce.”

Project partners NewieVentures and Safearth echoed Mr Henderson’s comments, emphasizing the importance of partnerships to local industry.

“The Ventasys project is a fantastic example of what this region can do when bringing disparate minds together and challenging them to think beyond their capability. While it was a massive project and an honour to be recognised with the Awards, it’s just one example of our collaborative potential. We look forward to continuing to forge relationships that raise the tide for all ships,” added NewieVentures Head of Technology Heath Raftery.

“The Hunter has extraordinary engineers, and if we can form the right partnerships and create the right environment for them to work together, then the prospects for the future are immense,” commented Safearth Managing Director Stephen Palmer.

“The partnership approach adopted to tackle the challenge also demonstrates the industry’s ability to pivot and solve unique problems rapidly. We have shown that we can do these things better and more quickly in Australia when there are strong partnerships between business, industry, and Government,” concluded Mr Henderson.

Ampcontrol Recognised with Innovation Accolade

Ampcontrol has been recognised for developing a fully functional emergency ventilator to assist with the NSW Government COVID-19 response, having been awarded the ‘Excellence in Innovation’ accolade during Friday evenings Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

We designed and developed the ventilator in consultation with the NSW Government and project partners NSW Health, Safearth, NewieVentures, University of Newcastle and the John Hunter Hospital.

The emergency ventilator was developed in response to the NSW Government ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020 with our dedicated research & development team successfully delivering an initial functional prototype for testing at the John Hunter Hospital in just 18 days.

The following three months saw the project team further refine the prototype before manufacturing ten pre-production ventilators for further clinical testing and submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The pre-production units were officially unveiled by the NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian on 9th September 2020.

Lake Macquarie Mayor, Cr Kay Fraser congratulated Ampcontrol and all 13 category winners and finalists who have excelled this year, despite the impacts of COVID-19.

“Never before has our business community had to adjust so rapidly to change because of COVID-19 restrictions. It has been really difficult for many businesses across our city, but these awards have been a chance to celebrate the successes and resilience shown by our local businesses,” Cr Fraser said.

Accepting the award during a virtual ceremony, Ampcontrol Executive General Manager Innovation & Service Warwick Sommer said partnerships and collaboration have been essential to the project’s success.

“The Ventilator Innovation Project is a true partnership in action. Tackling a challenge of this size was only made possible through collaboration with local businesses, clinicians, university, and Government.

To turn a concept into a fully functional life-saving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is a testament to our region’s skilled expertise and highly advanced capability to produce innovative solutions and products that make a difference to people’s lives.”

“We have an amazing business community in Lake Mac epitomised by organisations like Ampcontrol, so it has been wonderful to be able to provide some positive recognition and congratulate them on their achievements this year. I congratulate all our finalists and award winners and I encourage our community to get behind local business and show your support where you can,” added Cr Fraser.

Following success in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards, we will now progress to the Hunter Business Awards to be held on Friday 20th November, 2020.