A collaboration between La Trobe University, the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Manufacturing Group hopes to introduce more digital transformation and advanced manufacturing to Bendigo.
The Fraunhofer Initiative, supported by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering will provide methods and expertise to a research project funded by Kangaroo Flat-based manufacturer, Australian Turntable Company.
ATC managing director Ben Chapman said the company has developed a product not available anywhere else in the world.
"It is a temporary truck turntable for construction sites," he said.
"There are a lot of fatalities and injuries from reversing trucks on construction sites.
"The project has been driven by council's who enforce any construction traffic to enter and exit a site from a forward direction only."
By teaming up with La Trobe and the Fraunhofer Initiative, Mr Chapman said the organisation is able to verify the quantifiable safety and traffic benefits of its turntables.
The turntable consists of a modular design, with a central bearing and outer support wheels.
"The platform itself is a wedge design, similar to a pizza," Mr Chapman said.
"We put the base down, fit the wedges and electric motor, then it is then plug and play."
"When the job is over, we come and disassemble the turntable and hire it out to a new customer and it goes onto the next job."
Eliminating a truck's reverse manoeuvres saves space, increases productivity, improves traffic flow and creates a safer environment for the community and construction workers, Mr Chapman said.
La Trobe University Professor of Practice in Engineering Chris Stoltz said research has already shown half the accidents on building construction sites are caused by reversing vehicles.
"Part of the research was to determine the reduction in traffic interruption by having trucks enter and exit the road in a forward direction," Professor Stoltz said.
"Using world-class traffic modelling, it showed the disruption was about eight per cent, compared to 80 per cent previously."
The early research has reinforced the safety and traffic management benefits of the turntables for employees and the community.
"We have research to come using the Internet of Things, to receive data on these turntables all over the world," Professor Stoltz said.
"We should be able to predict when maintenance is due, when a bearing is going to fail and see how much weight the table is subjected to.
"This will help extend the life of the turntable and over time, redesign them to be more effective."
The use of turntables has potential not only in congested metropolis' but also on construction sites in Bendigo's CBD.
"The new hotel in Bendigo CBD features a small lane that will be used for getting construction material in and taking waste away is a classic example of where you could use a turntable to get vehicles to drive forward," Professor Stoltz said.
Construction projects at the Bendigo Law Courts and Bendigo TAFE could also benefit from the use of turntables, Professor Stoltz said.
You can see a video of the turntable in action here.
The Fraunhofer Initiative will launch at the Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival on Tuesday, September 15 as part of the Showcasing Innovation in Greater Bendigo event. To register, visit biif.com.au
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