In 2012 Orlaco from Barneveld/The Netherlands introduced RadarEye, an innovative vision surveillance system, to the market. It is an advanced camera and monitor system that feeds constant, real-time vision and detection information of the working area to the vehicle operator. Since its introduction, the RadarEye system has been helping to improve the safety and efficiency of industrial vehicles for numerous companies. One such company is Sibelco Benelux, a subsidiary of the Sibelco Group, headquartered in Antwerp/Belgium.
Sibelco extracts and refines various types of sand and minerals, mostly high quality silica sand for industrial use. Hans Ophelders, Manager at Sibelco Benelux BV, first noticed RadarEye during a trade event for the road transport sector in the RAI in Amsterdam in April 2012. “I was walking around the event floor when Orlaco’s booth and their RadarEye vision system, caught my attention,” explains Ophelders. At that time only one wheel loader at Sibelco´s new plant in Maasmechelen/Belgium was equipped with a vision testing system of another brand, which consisted of two ultrasonic sensors and three cameras. “That system was good in its own right, but it had difficulties giving the loader operators a clear picture through the dusty, sandy environment we work in.”
After an informative conversation with Orlaco sales representatives, they and Ophelders arranged for a trial run of the RadarEye system. An Orlaco service team went to the Sibelco plant in Maasmechelen and installed RadarEye on one of their wheel loaders. In order to fairly evaluate the two systems, the other wheel loader used the ultrasonic system. The operators were able to compare the performance of the two systems during a regular working day. Ophelders: “RadarEye came out on top because of its ease of use, clear on board screen reception, and ability to `see´ clearly through the dust”. From this moment, Sibelco started installing RadarEye systems onto all wheel loader trucks throughout its Benelux locations, because it seems to make a significant difference to the loader operators.
One such operator is Jos Denneman. Jos has been operating wheel loaders for Sibelco for 25 years, and is very satisfied working with the Orlaco RadarEye vision system. “The system is a solid, no-nonsense vision system that helps me to get the job done. It makes my work in the cab more comfortable because I don’t have to twist and turn to check that I’m positioning the truck accurately. The real-time feedback I get on the large dashboard display is very sharp, and the built-in warning signals let me know what’s behind me when I’m backing up, and when to stop. All in all, it’s just a safer and more efficient way to work.”
In a busy work environment like Sibelco, there are any number of vehicles and people moving around the dusty terrain throughout any given day. That is why it was agreed that Orlaco technicians would come to various Sibelco sites and perform yearly safety checks on each and every RadarEye system. Preventive Control Checks (PCC) involve an entire check of the active vision systems to ensure ongoing optimum use. “After all,” says Ophelders, “the Sibelco machines have to meet yearly quality and safety inspections, and checks on this important safety tool should be included.”
Of course, every innovation needs to fit the specific customer. Orlaco does their best to ensure that their customers are satisfied with the Orlaco products. “A few weeks after working with the RadarEye vision system, the operators mentioned that the system’s warning signals weren’t optimal. With all the bells, whistles, and moving parts to contend with in a wheel loader cab, RadarEye’s warning beep was lost in the shuffle,” says Ophelders. “We went to Orlaco with this and they got back to us quickly with a tailor made solution: a large, silent STOP icon now flashes on the screen as a warning, catching the eye of the operators and warning them to stop or make an adjustment. It’s this kind of attentive service that makes all of us at Sibelco glad we chose to install the Orlaco RadarEye vision systems!”