With bus fire preven­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips at the mo­ment, the in­dus­try is in­creas­ingly turn­ing to tech­nol­ogy. LSM Tech­nolo­gies is see­ing more op­er­a­tors take up tyre mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems

With bus fi re preven­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips at the mo­ment, the in­dus­try is turn­ing to tech­nol­ogy to run their busi­ness. Aus­tralian com­pany LSM Tech­nolo­gies is see­ing more op­er­a­tors take up its tyre mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems

ABC (Australia) - - CONTENTS - WORDS RUZA ZIVKUSIC-AFTASI

Acost-ef­fec­tive and re­li­able tyre mon­i­tor­ing so­lu­tion is the key to pre­vent­ing bus res, ac­cord­ing to LSM Tech­nolo­gies.

The Aus­tralian com­pany, which has been sup­ply­ing tyre mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems (TMS) to the truck, bus and heavy in­dus­try for over a decade, not only pro­vides on-board mon­i­tor­ing for op­er­a­tors but also re­mote mon­i­tor­ing via an on­line teleme­try system which al­lows fast and ac­cu­rate man­age­ment in­for­ma­tion.

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager Brendan Vil­liers says over­heat­ing of brakes, fail­ure in wheel bear­ings and low tyre pres­sure are the signicant causes of bus res.

LSM Tech­nolo­gies has seen a spike in cus­tomer num­bers as a re­sult of in­creas­ing res across Aus­tralia, he adds.

Last year’s re­port by the New South Wales Ofce of Trans­port Safety In­ves­ti­ga­tions (OTSI) found a 38 per cent in­crease in bus blazes over two years.

Al­most a third of the 40 bus res recorded in 2015 were at­trib­uted to the wheel well.

“There’s a big push in the in­dus­try now – par­tic­u­larly in NSW – and there’s cur­rently a process in place to im­ple­ment sys­tems through tran­sit buses in the state, but what we have found is that most of the op­er­a­tors don’t come for­ward un­til they have seen an is­sue,” Vil­liers says.

“We’ve been cam­paign­ing the in­dus­try, and the in­dus­try has done some re­search but this is still in its in­fancy. How­ever, there are a few op­er­a­tors that have taken a proac­tive ap­proach and put some sys­tems in place.”

COST SAV­INGS

Not only does TMS re­duce op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance time, it also makes tyre pres­sure man­age­ment ef cient, sav­ing hours of la­bor time and costs, Vil­liers says.

“A re could cost you a mil­lion dol­lars at least, while a system for your bus can cost you a thou­sand dol­lars – it’s not ex­pen­sive to elim­i­nate the po­ten­tial risk.

“Our system is very ro­bust. It comes from an in­dus­tri­al­level prod­uct as op­posed to some other con­sumer-based prod­ucts that are fairly cheap and not re­ally built to a high phys­i­cal stan­dard, so we have a lot of re­li­a­bil­ity with the system and ro­bust­ness par­tic­u­larly with the sen­sors.”

The system, which takes only a few hours to in­stall, costs any­where be­tween $1000 and $1500.

Sen­sors are valve mounted and can be screwed on and re­moved when ad­just­ing tyre pres­sures.

Each bus is tted with the in­cabin LCD dis­play, which pro­vides real-time up­dates on tyre pres­sure and tem­per­a­ture in­for­ma­tion with au­dio and vis­ual alarms.

The in­ter­na­tional in­dus­try bench­mark level, which lets out a warn­ing with the ob­jec­tive to warn the driver be­fore ames oc­cur, is 80-de­grees Cel­sius.

A re usu­ally starts when the tyre tem­per­a­ture ex­ceeds 300 de­grees, Vil­liers ex­plains.

“Our system not only mon­i­tors the pres­sure by giv­ing you low pres­sure warn­ings, it also mon­i­tors air tem­per­a­tures in the tyre so when it rises to 80 de­grees Cel­sius it’ll give a warn­ing. This is a good in­di­ca­tion that there’s some­thing not right in the wheel, but it’s also low enough that it’ll pro­vide that warn­ing be­fore a re can take place.”

The com­pany has seen at least 15 cases where op­er­a­tors ex­pe­ri­enced a high tem­per­a­ture warn­ing, he adds.

“If they didn’t have a system, it could have turned into cat­a­strophic wheel fail­ure or a re, so the system does a lot of preven­tion there.

“A lot of peo­ple aren’t aware of the tech­nol­ogy, and a lot of op­er­a­tors may not have ex­pe­ri­enced a wheel re like that. The ones that have [ex­pe­ri­enced it] re­alised they can’t have that hap­pen again, so they’re look­ing at what’s out there to pre­vent that,” he adds.

TRAIN­ING AND SUP­PORT

With a team of 12 peo­ple across its Bris­bane and Syd­ney ofces, LSM Tech­nolo­gies prides it­self on cus­tomer ser­vice and pro­vides ex­pert train­ing on tyre mon­i­tor­ing to cus­tomers.

“We can pro­vide ex­pert train­ing to op­er­a­tors so that when there is a warn­ing, or when it is telling them some­thing, they know what it is and know what to do. Oth­er­wise, they can be in the dark with­out that help,” Vil­liers says.

“We have a good backup and sup­port net­work, so if there are any is­sues with the system, we pro­vide im­me­di­ate tech­ni­cal sup­port on any­thing and war­ranty where nec­es­sary. Any­one can con­tact us by email any time, and we’ll re­spond within 24 hours to some tech­ni­cal is­sues.”

EASY TO MON­I­TOR

The pos­i­tive about tyre mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems is that bus driv­ers don’t have to man­u­ally check tyre pres­sures – they can see it straight on the dis­play within the cab.

“They’ve gained some benets out of be­ing able to quickly and more efciently check and main­tain their tyre pres­sures and get warn­ings if they get low pres­sures, and also warn­ings if they have any heat,” Vil­liers says.

LSM Tech­nolo­gies pro­vides alerts and re­ports via web-based re­port­ing, which can be ac­cessed any­where though an in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

“Mov­ing for­ward, it’s not just the bus driver that gets the warn­ing, it’s some­one back at the ofce.

“There­fore, they can see by the GPS system where the bus is, and look at the heat in­creas­ing over the time, so it helps the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and it helps look at things ret­ro­spec­tively as well.”

Our system is very ro­bust. It comes from an in­dus­tri­al­level prod­uct as op­posed to some other con­sumer­based prod­ucts

Left: The cabin-mounted in­ter­face is easy to op­er­ate

Be­low: The system utilises unique tyre pres­sure and tem­per­a­ture sen­sors

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