Successful Endeavours - Electronics Designs That Work!

Made in Australia


SWER Lines

In rural distribution of electricity, Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) is used to reduce the cost of wiring by running a single wire for the active and using the Ground (Earth) as the return path. Because these lines run for long distances through sparsely populated regions it isn’t as likely that a fault will be detected or that obvious preventative maintenance issues will be easily seen.

Which is one reason event like the Black Saturday fires can get out of control. No-one knows a fault has occurred until the fire is well established.

And example of a failing insulator leading to a pole top fire.

SWER Line Monitoring

This is why the Victorian Government is keen to find new ways to prevent bush fire events and a new technology developed in Melbourne is leading the way in making this happen. We can share some of this with you because we were engaged to do the primary development work for the product and it is now publicly available information.

IND Technology are a start-up out of RMIT University commercialising a PhD project. It uses very high speed sampling of electrostatic signals on the power lines (250Msps) and using mathematics and atomic clock synchronisation, courtesy of the GPS satellite network, can then determine the location of a fault. Recent detection of the sort of event that could have lead to a bush fire has shown the potential of the product.

EVFD Mid Span Conductor Snap Detected

EVFD Mid Span Conductor Snap Detected

Above shows a single strand of an overhead SWER power line has snapped mid span. Because of the elevated voltages, the sharp end points generate corona discharges and the cable slowly deteriorates until it severs and falls to the ground where it can start a fire.

This is detected by the IND Technology EVFD devices which, in this instance, were solar powered and pole mounted approximately 5km apart.

EVFD Wood pole installation

EVFD Wood pole installation

The detection of a fault like this is a world first and an example of the potential of the technology which can also detect failing insulators, partial discharge and even tree branches rubbing against overhead wires on windy days.

#9News

A world-first trial of technology that detects electrical faults before they cause bushfires has had a breakthrough south of Ballarat.#9News | http://9News.com.au

Posted by 9 News Western Victoria on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

High Technology IoT

And this is a great example of a product that is a very high technology IoT device using the Internet as the communications medium for delivering the data back to the central web services that do the correlations. And it is Designed in Australia, and Made in Australia.

The development of this version of the product was awarded the IoT Innovation Award 2018 for Australia at the recent IoT Impact event at UTS in Sydney.

IoT Innovation Award 2018

IoT Innovation Award 2018

News Resources

potentially disastrous fire prevented by new power line technology

EVFD Pictures

IND Technology SWER Unit

IND Technology SWER Unit

SWER line fraying

SWER line fraying

 

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Smart 100

Each year Australian Anthill look select their Smart 100. This year the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor Suite was selected as a Smart 100. This is an IoT (Internet of Things) device that is Designed in Australia, and Made in Australia.

Australian Anthill

Australian Anthill

You can read the full list of Smart 100 finalists 2018. Judging was done by the Smart 100 2018 Mavens and the winners are announced on 28th August 2018 at LaunchPad Evolve. You can get tickets at Smart 100 Awards 2018.

Anthill Smart 100

Anthill Smart 100

We will be there. We think the arcHUB is a revolutionary device and are pleased the judges selected it as one of the Smart 100 finalists 2018.

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

And an update. The Smart 100 2018 have been revealed in judges order with the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor Suite developed for The Active Reactor Company coming in just outside the top 20.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Electronex 2018

Electronex is on again and in Sydney from 5-6 September at Rose Hill Gardens.

Electronex 2018

Electronex 2018

Successful Endeavours will be exhibiting there and looking forward to celebrating Australian Electronics Manufacturing which is currently growing strongly. Please consider registering and attending. Registration is free. Go to Electronex 2018 Registration.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

 

Australian Manufacturing PMI

Unlike what you are probably hearing from politicians, Australian Manufacturing is one of the current success stories of the Australian economy. Currently the second highest growth sector in Australia, Australian Manufacturing has been in growth every month bar one since mid 2015. Check out the chart below from Trading Economics Australian Manufacturing PMI.


source: tradingeconomics.com

Which is really great news for Australia because Australian Manufacturing:

  • creates fundamental value
  • creates more indirect jobs around it than any other industry
  • spreads wealth more evenly through the Australian community than any other industry

So jobs, equitable distribution of wealth and a thriving service sector are all better because of local manufacturing.

Australian made products

Our focus is on products you can make in Australia. And profitably of course. Some recent examples of Australian made products we have worked on are:

And quite a few we can’t tell you about yet.

Successful Endeavours is a leading economic indicator business. When we get busy, the Australian economy will be going through a lift in 6 to 12 months. And we are very busy right now. Which I am taking as a very good sign.

Some additional resources if you want to know more are:

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Precision Electronic Technologies Supplier Award

2017 was a big year at Successful Endeavours. Lots of new projects and some world first products as well as operating out of our New Premises in Narre Warren and adding some staff. One of the things that makes it possible for us to complete Product Development project quickly is the local Australian suppliers that support us so well.

So it is with great pleasure that we awarded Precision Electronic Technologies with our Supplier Award for 2017 for offering us both the flexibility we needed and very rapid turnaround so our clients could get to market on time and secure new business because of that.

Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award 2017

Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award 2017

This was particularly important for 2 projects in particular.

IND Technology EFD SWER

IND Technology provide Early Fault Detection systems for the electrical distribution grid. These devices use the atomic clocks in the GPS network to time synchronise 250MHz sampling of electrostatic transients in the distribution grid and logging that, some FFT results and some other calculations to determine where in the grid there is activity typical of pending equipment failure due to things like partial discharge. They also get some statistics on overall grid health levels. The data is logged and uploaded at 1 second intervals.

Precision Electronics Technology Staff

Precision Electronics Technology Staff

So find potential faults early before you have shrapnel, unplanned outages or a fire.

The 3 phase version won the PACE Zenith Award for Best Networking Implementation for Australia in 2016.

This new version does the same thing but for rural SWER (Single Wire Earth Return) networks and are solar powered. There was a tight installation deadline to get them into the field before the fire season started.

So 4 new PCBs designed including an 8 layer PCB for the FPGA and 250MHz ADC sampling IC. And built in 4 weeks to first samples for testing. Because of that Precision Electronic Technologies made it possible for IND Technology to meet their delivery schedule.

So flexibility, on time delivery and fast turnaround made an impossible project possible.

IND Technology EFD

IND Technology Early Fault Detection

arcHUB

The second project was the Active Reactor arcHUB Smart City Sensor. This is a new type of device that does not need an electrician to install it. They can be solar powered or primary battery powered with field life of up to 5 years and a huge range of possible sensor options.

Precision Electronics Technology Award Presentation

Precision Electronics Technology Award Presentation

In order to bid on local council smart city projects the product development had to happen quickly and the manufacturing as well. Again, Precision Electronic Technologies came through turning around 2 new PCB designs rapidly so that we could complete the development and have enough units for a first trial deployment. As a result, Active Reactor won the contract for their first Smart Cities deployment.

So again, agility and responsive supply allowed another Australian manufacturing success.

 

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

And also lead to the arcHUB Smart City Sensor being nominated for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science for Australia in 2017.

Here is a list of features you won’t find combined together in conventional devices:

  • battery operated (either solar charged or primary cells)
  • minimum 2 year battery life for standard AA cell alkaline batteries
  • 10+ day running time if solar charging is lost
  • up to 20 days on board non-volatile storage
  • compact form factor
  • multiple sensor types per node (up to 20)
  • sensor area network to minimise data costs
  • over the air firmware upgrades
  • over the air configuration updates
  • variable sample rates and upload timing
  • still has to be low cost to make and also run
  • easy to install

So here is the range of sensors already trialled:

  • wind speed (external anemometer attached)
  • sunlight level
  • night light level (street light monitoring etc)
  • temperature
  • PM2.5 particulate levels
  • PM10 particulate levels
  • Gasses €“ CO, H2S, SO2, NO2, H2S
  • Humidity
  • People counting (PIR based anonymous counting)
  • Soil moisture levels (external probe)
  • USB charger current (for usage analysis)

It is also the HUB and coordinator of a Sensor Area Network that can include modules that can measure any of the above as well as:

  • vibration
  • shock
  • movement
  • water level
  • GPS location
  • counting any device or system that has a pulse output
  • analog voltage measurements (AC and DC)
  • Sound and Noise

Launching a new electronics product is never easy, but working with the right design team and suppliers can give you a much better chance of success. So we commend  Precision Electronic Technologies for their excellent service and look forward to bringing many more new products onto the Australian and world markets in partnership with them.

Precision Electronics Technologies

Precision Electronics Technologies

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Australian Manufacturing Grows

Last night I was at the SEMMA (South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance) end of year get together at the Nissan Casting Plant in Dandenong. We were celebrating another year of Australian Manufacturing, and in particular Melbourne Manufacturing. The Nissan Casting Plant is a great example of how we can compete globally. Nissan have pulled their car assembly operation out of Australia a long time ago but the casting plant stayed and supplies their world chain.

SEMMA

SEMMA

And I was reminded again that not only is Australian Manufacturing not dead yet, it is in fact still growing. Check out this 5 year view of the Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index. 50 represents stable with numbers below 50 meaning it is contracting and numbers above 50 meaning it is expanding or growing.  The trend line is up and it has been expanding since 2015 with only 1 month where that didn’t happen.

 

Australian Manufacturing PMI 2017

Australian Manufacturing PMI 2017

That is 3 years of solid growth. So some really good news for the end of 2017 and I expect it to continue into 2018.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Australian Manufacturing PMI

The PMI, or Purchasing Manager’s Index, is a measure of whether a sector is growing or contracting. Growth is above 50 and contraction is below 50. So here is the last 12 months for Australian Manufacturing shown visually.

Australia Manufacturing PMI 2016-2017

Australia Manufacturing PMI 2016-2017

This is a continuing trend since mid 2015 and a really good thing for the overall Australian economy.

And to top it off, the growth in Australian Manufacturing in August 2017 was the highest since 2002. So really kicking some goals this year.

You can read more about it in:

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

arcHUB

Tonight I was at the CleanUp 2017 conference awards dinner. We recently learned that the the  arcHUB Smart Cities device was a finalist for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science. This award was presented tonight.

 Clean Up 2017

Clean Up 2017

The arcHUB Smart Cities device measures multiple data types that are useful for the management of Smart Cities including particulates, gases, micro-climate, pedestrian traffic, water level and supports a host of other sensor types.

Agilent Award 2017 Announced

Agilent Award 2017 Announced

The Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science presented during the CleanUp 2017 conference awards dinner.

arcHUB - Agilent Award Presentation

arcHUB – Agilent Award Presentation

The arcHUB Smart Cities device was runner up with the University of Newcastle winning the award.

arcHUB - Agilent Award Certificate

arcHUB – Agilent Award Certificate

Above we have Brian Oldland and Richard Dluzniak of The Active Reactor Company with Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours at the CleanUp 2017 conference awards dinner with the award certificate as runner up for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science 2017.

arcHUB - Agilent Award For Innovation In Analytical Science 2017 for Australia

arcHUB – Agilent Award For Innovation In Analytical Science 2017 for Australia

The arcHUB Smart Cities sensor suite is an excellent example of a designed in Australia, Made in Australia product with massive potential for environmental and Smart Cities monitoring throughout the world.

Agilent

Agilent

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science

We are pleased to announce that our client, The Active Reactor Company, are finalists in the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science 2017 this coming Tuesday 12 September 2017.

Agilent

Agilent

This is for the arcHUB Smart Cities device that measures multiple data types that are useful for the management of Smart Cities. The initial data set is:

  • wind speed (external anemometer attached)
  • sunlight level
  • night light level (street light monitoring etc)
  • temperature
  • PM2.5 particulate levels
  • PM10 particulate levels
  • Gases €“ CO, H2S, SO2, NO2, H2S
  • Humidity
  • People counting (PIR based anonymous counting)
  • Soil moisture levels (external probe)

It is also the HUB and coordinator of a Sensor Area Network that can include modules that can measure any of the above as well as:

  • vibration
  • shock
  • movement
  • water level
  • GPS location
  • USB charger current (for usage analysis)
  • counting any device or system that has a pulse output
  • analog voltage measurements (AC and DC)

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

The arcHUB is solar powered and includes a cellular modem to allow reporting back to a web service. It is designed to mount to a pole using straps but can easily be mounted to a wall or any other typical structure. A typical scenario is measurements every 15 minutes (except people or pulse counting which are continuous) and uploading to the web service every hour.

With the release of CAT-M1 services across Australia by Telstra, we are expecting migrate to this communications standard because it will reduce power consumption by at least a factor of 4 which will further improve battery life.

We are looking forward to the awards outcome on Tuesday night and wish The Active Reactor Company all the best.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Electronex

Electronex is the Australian Electronics Manufacturing industry annual expo. This year it is at the Melbourne Park Function Centre from Wednesday 6 to Thursday 7 September 2017. You can see all the details at Electronex.

Electronex 2017 animated logo

Electronex 2017

SMCBA

In parallel the SMCBA (Surface Mount & Circuit Board Association) is running their annual conference. This year the primary sessions are:

SMCBA Surface Mount & Circuit Board Association

SMCBA

The program has two internationally renowned presenters for SMT Manufacturing Vern Solberg and Phil Zarrow presenting on the topics.

Vern Solberg

Vern Solberg

Phil Zarrow

Phil Zarrow

And I’m presenting 2 of the open sessions which include a look at the role PCB Design takes in the overall Product Development and the 5 areas of cost you must manage if you want to minimise the total cost of a product.

PCB Design Tradeoffs

This topic looks at the Product Development process and how PCB design fits into that. This is to do with the trade offs between product features, what you do in HW, what you do in SW and how to select the technology you want to put on the PCB based on the combination of CEM or in house capability, component lead time, test requirements and product cost.

CEM of course means Contract Electronics Manufacturing. Also called EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Service) or ECM (Electronics Contract Manufacturing).

Total cost of product ownership

The total cost of ownership of a product is a concept that looks at all the investment required to bring a product to market and manage it throughout its life cycle. It isn’t just a case of minimising R&D spend or getting the Bill of Materials to a minimum. That will usually lead to a higher cost product.
What will be presented is a model looking at the 5 major costs areas involved in the development of a product throughout its life cycle and how taking all 5 into account can enable you to get the best return on the important investment made in bringing new products to market.
It will also examine a case study where a product development delivered a next generation product to market that allowed the manufacturer to lower their price, triple their profit margin and increase their market share, all at the same time.

Successful Endeavours Exhibiting

And we are also pleased to announce that we are exhibiting this year for the first time. So if you are coming then we are at stand C1 next to Duet Electronics.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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