Trudging many kilometres alongside underground mine conveyors for maintenance checks was the spur that got engineer Ryan Norris thinking about a better way of doing things.
Years of work have transformed his idea into Smart-Idler technology, with his company – Vayeron – entering commercial trading this year.
The company’s outstanding innovation and ability to navigate the start-up scene saw it win the Out of the Box Award at the 2018 Resource Industry Network Awards at the weekend.
Mr Norris, cofounder and chief executive officer, said the company was finalising its first export orders for rollers fitted with the monitoring system.
“We are talking a few thousand, mostly pilot quantities, but any one of the roller manufacturers make in excess of 250,000 rollers per annum and we don’t see why, in the course of the next few years, our volumes won’t be as high or exceed that,” he said.
Vayeron holds patents on various aspects of the Smart-Idler technology, which is designed to be embedded in the rollers already mass produced by established roller manufacturers.
Mr Norris describes Smart-Idler as a conveyor roller subcomponent used to monitor the condition of the roller and predict end of life – wirelessly sending that information back to base for maintenance reporting.
“It is battery-less – so maintenance free,” he said. “It harvests its energy and monitors the roller 24/7 – covering physical parameters such as temperature, vibration, acoustics and shell wear.”
Read more about Smart-Idler and Vayeron’s journey in the upcoming Winter edition of iQ magazine.