Home: Winter 2009 › Preventing cable strikes
Preventing cable strikes
01/12/2009 | Channel:
Underground Location / Survey, Manufacture, Equipment
The recently launched EZiDIG dipper mounted cable detector from Cable Detection is helping to make utility excavation work safer
Back in 2008 Cable Detection launched EZiDIG, the world’s first excavator mounted cable avoidance tool. Since then it has become a multi-award winner, scooping a range of industry accolades for its innovative approach to increasing site safety and reducing cable strikes. Now, EZiDIG has become a core focus for JCB, as the renowned manufacturer has begun to produce its latest range of excavators with EZiDIG in mind.
Cable Detection was founded in 1880 under the name of Hall Brothers. Originally specialising in the manufacture and servicing of surveying instruments, the company developed over the years to provide underground service location solutions. In 2001 Cable Detection was bought by Leica Geosystems, which is best known for its broad array of products that provide the capture, analysis, and presentation of spatial information.
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Cable Detection is an expert in the buried service location market and proud manufacturer of the EZiSYSTEM locators. The business also supplies the Leica Geosystems international dealer network, distributing products in over 50 countries. The EZiDIG is just one in a long line of Cable Detection’s product innovations that have come as a result of its many years of experience in the industry.
EZiDIG – Creation of a world first
Richard Fling, Cable Detection’s product manager and brain behind the EZiDIG explains how the revolutionary product was created: “We recognised that the majority of cable strikes occur from site excavation, and so we began to consider how we could fit a cable locator onto an excavator. After carrying out some market research, we developed the EZiDIG to achieve that aim. It presents a real-time warning to the excavator operator of the presence of a buried service, meaning that we have effectively moved on from a pre-scan environment to a real-time warning system.”
Richard describes how the system works: “The EZiDIG unit constantly receives signals emitted by buried services during excavation, providing an additional level of security for operatives on site and preventing potentially costly damage to cables and to the machine. The EZiDIG system comprises of a sensor, which is magnetically mounted to the machine’s dipper and in-cab display screen.
This provides the operator with an audible and visual warning when the system detects the presence of buried services in the excavation area.”
JCB recently launched the new 801X utility excavator, which is the first excavator to be manufactured with the EZiDIG cabling pre-installed within the arm, allowing rapid installation of the EZiDIG sensor. Richard comments on JCB: “The utility excavator and EZiDIG partnership has come as a result of years of development with JCB. Fairly early on in the process, we identified a desire from the market to be able to swap the sensors between the machines. To answer this request, we’ve developed a quick way of moving EZiDIG between excavators. This involves a two-part solution where all the customer has to do is connect the display panel and dipper sensor, which are both pre-wired into the machine.”
Richard continues: “Recently we have upgraded the EZiDIG system to introduce new technology which injects a detectable signal into the ground that will result in the identification of all services carrying the signal. We’ve found that this essentially increases the reliability of the detection process, taking the system beyond the limitations of traditional electromagnetic detection. Users will no longer need prior knowledge of the services within the excavation area or need to repeatedly use signal generators to aid location. This is a huge step forward for the EZiDIG, but also for our range of hand-held EZiSYSTEM cable avoidance tools.”
Finally Richard outlines how he sees the company developing in the future: “We are looking forward to 2010 and continuing to grow our business by increasing our network of partners to provide national coverage for our products. We are a technology and solutions provider, and we aim to work with our network of machine dealers, retailers and equipment suppliers, to produce the most reliable and accurate cable location systems on the market.”