At No-Dig Down Under in September, KOR showcased Gerotto and Falch products, having a range of OEM representatives available to further reinforce the company’s focus on enhancing the offering to its industrial service clients.
KOR’s head of product and commercial Tim McGregor and head of sales and marketing Chris Masterson sat down with Trenchless Australasia to highlight the alternative and complimentary technologies KOR is offering to the market.
At No-Dig Down Under, hosted at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, two models from Gerotto were on display (Lombrico S and Gatto).
McGregor said the Gerotto remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) provide the solution to removing the operator completely from the line of fire during excavation and cleaning activities in potentially hazardous areas.
“As a result, this removes the operator from the immediate work area, mitigates risk, materially reduces operator fatigue, increases operator safety and productivity, and allows difficult and potentially hazardous applications to continue.” he said.
“Gerotto products have been working in the Australian market for some time, but it hasn’t been known to the market as well as it should. With recent labour shortages and focus on improving productivity and safety, the equipment is growing recognition.”
“It’s a way forward to easily remove operators from a situation where they don’t need to be working and allows operators in certain circumstances to improve productivity.”
Masterson added that a task that would usually require a large team, now using a Gerotto vacuum robot, reduces the number of operators required.
Not only does the technology remove operators from harm’s way, it also allows access to areas that were historically high risk.
“The Gerotto ‘Gatto’ excavator robot, has a small traditional bucket excavator on the front. It’s designed to either move product from one area to another, or it can move products into a vacuum stream coupled up to a Cappellotto vacuum truck.”
Masterson said the main drive behind Gerotto products is safety and productivity.
“Instead of needing to take the plant offline because you need physical access, users can keep the services online and send the robot in, allowing significant savings for the asset owners” he said.
With workforce shortages being one of the main challenges faced by the trenchless industry, KOR believe it’s offering of products are a key solution to workplace safety and workforce shortages.
“As the market evolves, we’re developing and introducing new and complimentary products to market. If you look at a vacuum truck, or a drain cleaning truck evolution over the years we have gone from people entering in concrete pipes, and physically digging them out with a shovel to using Cappellotto combination and, vacuum units coupled with Gerotto robots.
Further adding to its suite of offerings, KOR also supplies Falch products. Falch is one of the largest manufacturers in the world of ultra-high pressure, water pumps, and both semi robotics for the high-pressure water industry.
KOR has a range of semi-robotic and full robotic ultra-high-pressure equipment which, is designed to remove the operator from holding a ultra-high pressure hand gun and reducing the fatigue and safety related risks.
“The way forward to improve the safety and be able to get the work done is by still having operators involved at a safe distance but taking away the reaction force from holding onto a high-pressure gun,” Masterson said.
The company has also recently added the KOR Academy, with a big drive on bringing recognised industry standard units of competency training to market.
With multiple people requiring skill sets, KOR is constantly looking at what safety requirements will be needed over the next few years, what is needed to support the industry to continually uplift safety and competency for operators.
“We now have full time trainers that train in the current standards across a suite of disciplines,”Masterson said.
“This means the curriculum we continue to develop and implement meet or exceeds the appropriate standards in the industry.
“We’re training hundreds of industry people every year, so we are confident that we are positively contributing to the industry by increasing the safety standards, uplifting competency and product knowledge.”
Masterson added that it is one thing to sell equipment to the industry, but it is also important that people within the industry understand how to use the equipment safely while recognising the risks involved in operating this equipment.
“There is a requirement to first retain people in the industry and increase the level of certified competency-based training recognised within the trenchless industry,” he said.
This article featured in the October edition of Trenchless Australasia.
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