Queensland innovative dust control solution protects miners’ health and safety

Fri, 03/02/2023 - 07:15

Global Road Technology (GRT) is an engineering technology company focused on providing innovative products and solutions for the mining, civil, agricultural, resources, land development, and environmental management sectors.

GRT’s recent innovation is their Australian made SMART Dosing Unit, which is an automated dosing system designed to enhance the effectiveness of dust suppression and water management systems on mine sites.

GRT recently received $100,000 in Round 9 Ignite Ideas Funding, which will help them to continue to drive product awareness and expand into other mining operations in Queensland and mine sites in Western Australia.

We recently spoke to Managing Director Troy Adams about GRT and how the Ignite Ideas Fund will help his business grow. 

What inspired you to start your business?

As a problem solver and entrepreneur, I was always passionate about innovative engineering technology that delivers significant improvement in operational efficiency and productivity. Having been born and raised in Northern Queensland, I was well aware of the health and safety issues caused by dust in the Bowen Basin mining communities. So I started working on innovative products to help miners suppress dust across their mining operations to protect both workers and nearby communities alike.

What milestones have been reached?

Securing contracts for GRT’s products from mining giants such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Anglo-American has been a great milestone. This gave validation on how our products are achieving significant dust suppression. Our SMART dosing technology is also receiving great traction in the mining industry with trials being run on some of the biggest mine sites in Australia. 

Designed and assembled by GRT’s engineers, these SMART Dosing Units consist of a central control and communication module combined with electrical and mechanical hardware that provides the ability to remotely control and automate product dosage, error detection, and flow rates – using Internet of Things (IoT) technology. 

This investment in automation is intended to provide resource companies with a turnkey dust control solution intended to protect onsite workers and communities located nearby.

What achievements are you most proud of to date? 

In addition to accurately dosing our dust control products, our latest SMART Dosing Units include telemetry which acts as a data hub and allows for direct reporting, tracking, and control of dosing, with a user-friendly dashboard. This powerful data includes water consumption, water truck operational efficiency, water truck efficiencies, product levels, dosage rates and the overall working effectiveness of the supporting apparatus (including pumps and power units) used to provide these services.

Gathering such real-time data from our SMART Dosing Units has been a proud achievement. No other dust suppression system in the market is able to provide such valuable data, especially around water.

In the last few months, we are constantly hearing from our mining clients and communities that reducing water usage and carbon emissions is a top priority. GRT’s SMART Dosing Units are now enabling the mining managers and superintendents to make better decisions around water usage across dust suppression activities.

Feedback from early SMART Dosing Unit customers has been great as we’re able to reduce water usage by 65% in dust suppression activities. This provides an environmental dividend as well as a safety one for our clients.

What are your business goals over the next 12-24 months?
For the next 12 months, our major focus is deploying SMART Dosing Units across the haul road operations in Queensland’s major coal mines. This is where we see SMART Dosing Units offering the most value to the miners as the real-time data can have an impact on water fleet management, lowering mine greenhouse gas emissions and miner health and safety.

Post that, we will look at expanding to other mining operations, such as drill and blast, transfer and processing, within Queensland and then move to the mining regions in Western Australia. What is critical to add is that there is a significant focus on reducing particulate pollution across Australia to protect workers from silicosis and other work-related lung diseases. This is being reflected in tightening legislation around mine site air pollution and this is already driving new enquiries as companies seek to comply with the new legislations.

How will use your Ignite Ideas funding?

The dust suppression industry has predominantly relied on boots on the ground to drive business growth.

However, at GRT we have been extremely proactive in adapting to digital trends to serve our clients’ needs. We have and will continue to invest in digital marketing channels to drive product awareness. We also plan to use the funding for strong content marketing strategies in the form of industry articles, Q&A sessions and press releases in mining publications.

We will also use part of the funding to hire a business development manager to assist with mine site visits and also to handle the leads and enquiries generated from our robust digital campaigns.
How will this funding assist your business to grow and/or create jobs?
In the next five years we expect to scale our product reach and sales significantly through the market and hope to achieve market domination. Considering this, we hope to provide many direct and indirect job opportunities in Queensland, like business development managers, sales and marketing experts, technical experts and data analysts. 

Why would you recommend applying for Advance Queensland programs, such as the Ignite Ideas Fund?

I’d highly recommend applying as the grant and support will help propel the commercialisation of a new product. It’s a great boost to the team to get recognised and validated for contributing something of value to the Queensland technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

This is a fantastic initiative from the Queensland Government to help build more local success stories. This funding can very much help to fuel growth as it empowers companies to be able to more proactively go to market.

Why is it important to support Queensland businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs?

The Queensland entrepreneurial community is growing rapidly and we are starting to see some great tech companies emerge in the last few years. Any form of support to bolster the community would result in great outcomes as most of these entrepreneurs are not just thinking local but global. 

What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their innovation journey?

Keep hustling and keep innovating!

Last updated 03 Feb, 2023
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