Rob MillarProduct Design BSc
The quarrying and mining industry is one of the most hazardous in the world, where workers are constantly faced with dangers. With economic demand pushing the industry to work night and day, employees are often found operating construction and mining vehicles in complete darkness. Poor, or inadequate lighting, has been shown to account for over 30% of fatalities associated with visibility and construction vehicles. Wheel Loading Shovels (WLS) are one of the most popular machines within the industry, being favoured for high levels of versatility and productivity output. In collaboration with JCB, this project developed the next generation of WLS exterior cab lighting, providing increased visibility, productivity and health and safety benefits, enhancing the overall machine capabilities. By combining a human centered and technical design approach, the project was able to ensure operator needs and well-being were met whilst also providing a technically superior product to the market. Through incorporating the latest LED technology and custom thermal management solutions, an extra wide beam coverage was achieved. This provided constant light coverage from the minimum to maximum bucket heights, reducing the need for operator adjustment. Research into operator well-being and daily circadian rhythm revealed that altering the colour temperature of the light source to a cooler white would help to significantly improve visibility. This is due to reduced eyestrain and suppression of the melatonin hormone, helping to keep the operators more alert and productive. Live machine testing was used throughout the project to gain important insights and verify the final design performed as expected, confirming the project's success. VISION delivers a superior lighting solution with the ability to withstanding the harsh environment of the quarrying and mining industry.