GPS machine guidance may be the future of landfill management, according to Andrew Granger, Business Manager for mining, solar and landfill solutions at Position Partners.
Adopting technology in the waste management sector has multiple benefits, from streamlining operations to optimising cell compaction and more.
Grade control optimises compaction ratios and gives operators greater autonomy in Mindarie, Western Australia.
To provide increased support for customers and projects throughout Queensland, intelligent positioning solutions provider Position Partners has expanded its geographic reach throughout the state.
According to Position Partners Queensland Regional Manager Harry Katsanevas, employees based in Townsville, Chinchilla and Mackay are on-hand to support customers with technical advice and installations.
“We are pleased to announce these changes to give customers throughout the state local support,” he said.
Position Partners offers sales, rental, service and training across its range of civil machine control, GPS and surveying technology and high precision machine guidance systems.
The company’s Carlson LandfillGrade machine guidance system, for example, aims to assist landfill site operators maximise the void space of their landfill site through optimised compaction and increased density.
“Our Queensland team includes some of our most experienced and capable people across the whole company, with extensive knowledge not only of the technology, but also our customers and the work they do,” Mr Katsanevas said.
“As the leader for our Queensland region I have one focus, and that is ensuring every aspect of our business is channelled towards our customers and doing everything possible to keep them working as productively as possible.”
With dedicated teams for civil construction, waste management and geospatial customers, Mr Katsanevas said Queensland employees bring industry-focused expertise, while working collaboratively across the business to meet the needs of customers.
“Our award-winning remote service platform Tokara is one example of a technology that’s been built by our team from the ground up and works across all industries we serve,” he said.
“Our service centres can repair and calibrate everything from a laser level through to survey drones, machine control systems and total stations. We also have applications specialists in areas such as on-board weighing, mass haul scheduling and more that can be called on across all market segments as required.”
Machine guidance technology can have a significant impact on your bottom line, with the ability to drastically increase productivity and safety, while reducing fuel usage and machine wear, writes Andrew Granger, Position Partners Machine Guidance Product Manager.
Carlson’s LandfillGrade solution was specifically designed for landfill operations. Unlike other solutions that are adapted from civil earthmoving applications, Carlson’s product caters for the machinery, materials and desired reporting that are unique to landfill sites.
With real time knowledge of material placement, operators can work efficiently to the survey design to increase density across cells and optimise compaction.
Accurate daily, weekly and monthly reporting tools to analyse material placement give managers more visibility across operations, to make informed decisions and manage more effectively.
Other benefits of the Carlson solution include:
- Eliminating overfill for outer design slopes
- Accurate recording of actual material placement
- Safety enhancements through avoidance zones for gas wells and hazardous material placement
- Keep on track of density with calculations of scale house weight and import
- Forward and reverse compaction monitoring
- Collect and stake points
- Connect machines to the office via Tokara remote access network
- Monitor machines in real time, from the office, with Carlson Command
- Historical playback for machines and material placement
With branches in every state and territory of Australia, Position Partners also offers comprehensive support, training and data management services to give customers the back up and expertise required to get the most from machine guidance technology.
Proximity detection and collision awareness systems are safeguards waste management and landfill managers can implement to reduce accidents, keep track of machine movements and mitigate risk across the site.
Proximity detection systems can increase safety on site by alerting machine operators and individuals on foot to their proximity to other workers, via small devices fitted to the machine or worn on clothing.
Alternatively, collision awareness technology alerts operators to collisions, either with other machines, or assets and infrastructure around the site.
Since the technology’s inception, proximity detection and collision awareness solutions have become both more sophisticated and easier to use.
Historically, some systems have been known to ‘over alarm’ or be very complex to install and manage, which can become a hinderance to productivity.
According to Andrew Granger, Position Partners Executive Manger Mining, Landfill and Solar, this ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation can lead to more danger, with workers not treating alarms seriously.
“The way to reduce these false alarms and increase urgency and reaction to alarms is to improve accuracy,” Mr Granger says.
“Some systems, such as those by Blue Electronics, have features that increase accuracy and greatly reduce false alarms.”
Position Partners operates as Blue Electronics’ solution provider for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Mr Granger says Blue Electronics have improved the technology around collision avoidance systems through the use of SBAS and Bluetooth low energy technology, a “failsafe” method that protects even when GPS drops out.
“The devices can be installed in a matter of minutes on any machine, heavy or light, so they can be swapped between plant,” Mr Granger says.
“The systems offer a highly modular and use-friendly solution.”
Mr Granger says Blue Electronics can achieve a relative accuracy of plus or minus one metre with no special infrastructure.
“However for applications requiring higher accuracy, operators can upgrade the system by adding a base station or our AllDayRTK network and achieve accuracies of plus or minus 25 millimetres,” he says.
“These systems are extremely reliable and easy to deploy, they are a great option for all sites, large or small.”
Machine guidance is used in the waste management industry to optimise compaction and give waste facility managers real time data, ensuring fill plans are being followed safely and to design.
Used widely in large metro waste management facilities, machine guidance adoption rates for landfill operations is increasing steadily with council and privately- operated sites realising the productivity gains that can be achieved with this simple yet valuable tool.
One such progressive facility is managed by Toowoomba Regional Council to the west of Brisbane in South East Queensland.
According to Toowoomba Regional Council Water and Waste Portfolio Leader Bill Cahill, the waste facility services a population of around 130,000 people and manages 50,000 tonnes of waste per year.
“Safe and efficient use of our council waste facility is important to ensure its longevity and optimise capacity,” Mr Cahill said.
“Adopting innovative technology is one way to maximise productivity and proactively implement best practice waste management.”
Just over a year ago, the council invested in Carlson’s LandfillGrade machine guidance systems for the landfills 37-tonne compactor and CAT 963 drott.
Carlson’s LandfillGrade solution utilises precise GPS technology, with an easy to follow design displayed in the cab of the machine, which gives the operator a clear visual display of the machine’s position relative to compaction design.
A simple colour code of green for optimal compaction, and blue for over compaction, gives a quick visual reference throughout the working day.
Real time information for the operators enables accurate loading and compacting while minimising air space, with the ability to see how much more is needed on a lift-by-lift basis.
Position Partners Landfill, Mining & Solar Business Manager Andrew Granger said with the operators’ increased ability to work to design without external survey checks, rework is reduced and there is improved safety as batters are graded to design and not made too steep.
“Machine guidance for waste management applications gives accurate and timely reporting capabilities along with certainty that staff and machine operators are working to the latest fill plans,” Mr Granger said.
Position Partners distributes and supports Carlson Landfill machine guidance technology throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
“The company has branches in every state and territory of Australia and prides itself on training, support and services for the technology to ensure operators and managers are maximising productivity gains,” Mr Granger said.
Position Partners’ Elizabeth Latham talks to Waste Management Review about machine guidance and maximising landfill productivity
When looking to expand the efficiency and productivity of a landfill site, one option is maximising airspace.
Position Partners’ Elizabeth Latham says to maximise airspace, landfill operators need to expand the amount of soil used for daily cover, along with the introduction of an alternate daily cover system.
Additionally, in order to get the best value from each cubic metre of airspace, she says operators need to optimise the compaction of waste.
“With the capability to be installed on a wide range of landfill plants, and a demonstrated track record, Carlson LandfillGrade — distributed in Australia by Position Partners — is the ideal system to implement at your landfill site to monitor waste compaction rates,” Elizabeth says.
“The two main benefits of Carlson LandillGrade, as identified at a specific Victorian landfill site, are instant operator feedback and the devices ability to extract airspace utilisation reports.”
According to Elizabeth, the site previously relied on periodic aerial surveys to provide data on airspace utilisation, before working with Position Partners to implement the Carlson management tool.
“Relying on periodic surveys meant more manual data manipulation was required, and resulted in significant time lags between data points, meaning it was more difficult to implement corrective actions,” she says.
“The ability to get real time data on waste compaction and airspace utilisation was one of the main features that drew this landfill site manager’s attention to the Carlson system.”
Elizabeth says the landfill manager also wanted a system that provided instant feedback to the compactor operators, so they could both operate to design, and know when optimal waste compaction had been achieved.
“The manager of the landfill site noted that prior to implementing the Carlson Landfill Grade, they had relied on the operator doing a certain number of passes to ensure the waste was compacted optimally, which is not a truly reliable way of managing compaction,” she adds.
The Carlson system, implemented by Position Partners, is currently installed on two landfill compactors at the site, with plans to install a third unit on the dozer used for daily cover application further down the track.
“The manager at this landfill site has found that the Carlson system has been a seamless addition to the machines at the landfill,” Elizabeth says.
“The software tools have been integrated with the landfill site’s other systems without any issues or problems.”
Elizabeth says implementing LandfillGrade allows site managers to have access to better data, and deliver instant feedback to operators.
“This has resulted in some landfill site managers reporting an improvement in airspace utilisation efficiency of up to 10 per cent,” she says.
“Another benefit provided by the Carlson machine technology is that operators are able to get continuous feedback on where they are operating compared to the lift design, which reduces the need for rework and re-profiling, especially of the cell batters.”
Elizabeth says service and support are integral to any technology solution, along with capability and price.
“Having access to the local team of product experts is important to many of Position Partners’ customers during the decision-making process,” she says.
“The team at Position Partners is able to discuss how the system would benefit you on your site and assist you in understanding all the features of the Carlson system compared to other products that are available.”
Position Partners highlights the multiple productivity and safety benefits of its Carlson LandfillGrade machine guidance system.
Shoalhaven City Council has improved machine efficiency, maximised airspace and extended its landfill site after turning to Position Partners for support.