As the advantages of rotational moulding become more widely known, more product designers and developers are jumping at the chance to boost safety, efficiency, and productivity in the mining industry. One such product that we designed is the Ludowici Safety Guard.
Used by mining companies all over the world, this bright yellow shield helps to keep mining workers out of harm’s way. The guard operates in a harsh environment and is fixed to a machine that continuously and violently vibrates at a high frequency. Our job? To design a product that is virtually indestructible.
The product brief
The Ludowici Safety Guard needed to be the ‘Iron Man’ of all products — strong, yet light enough to be carried by one person, unshakeable in structure, and able to withstand all sorts of shaking, trembling, and powerful vibrational movements.
The guard functions as a protective cover over a series of large rotating masses that need regular maintenance, so it also needed to be manufactured in two halves that could join together with precision and accuracy using a ‘tongue-in-groove’ arrangement.
An innovative solution to a dangerous problem
Before the introduction of plastic safety guards, the mining industry exclusively used heavy fabricated steel guards that often required up to four people to safely remove. They were expensive to manufacture and vulnerable to rust and corrosion.
The first issue we hoped to resolve by designing a rotationally moulded safety guard was the weight. We reduced the need for additional components by including as many as possible within the moulding itself. For example, we ditched the old screw on handles, which were heavy and rattled whenever the guard was in use, and designed new handles that were incorporated in the primary mould.
Product development and testing
Prototyping and testing were a crucial part of the Ludowici manufacturing process because we needed to be sure that our design would hold up under pressure and work as it was supposed to. We rigorously tested the safety guard against numerous performance criteria and refined our design to meet the high-stress requirements of the mining industry. As we had hoped, it passed with flying colours!
With smart design and a substantial weight reduction compared to the original steel guards, the Ludowici was hailed a success. Today, it demonstrates the true value of rotational moulding and proves that good design can transform any average product into something amazing!
Are you interested in designing rotational moulded plastic products? Looking for rural vehicle accessories, water tanks, or agricultural products? Call us on 1800 666 333, or send us an online enquiry today to find out how we can help you!