Gamification Encourages Play in the Serious Business of Safety

By Doug Whitfield on October 20, 2016

Driving a five-axle, 80,000-pound truck with a 51-foot trailer at 65 mph on the highway is anything but a game. But motivating the drivers of these trucks to improve their track record is another story.

Gamification has hit the highway and is gaining speed in fleets around the globe. Using gaming dynamics in a non-game setting, gamification engages and motivates drivers without compromising safety.

In fact, safety is improved when gamification is adopted and accepted by fleets. Additionally, wasteful driving habits—such as unnecessary idling--are minimized, so driver behavior gamification tools can positively affect your bottom line.

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Topics: Safety Technology, Gamification

Safety and Efficiency Drives the Trend to Autonomous Mining Vehicles

By Dale Hessing on October 13, 2016

Drivers and pedestrians are understandably nervous about the presence of semi-autonomous passenger cars and, soon, fully autonomous passenger cars on our roads. What would these same people think if they got a glimpse of the vehicles moving through underground mines from Wyoming to Western Australia?  How would they feel about 100-ton driverless bulldozers moving in unison through cramped tunnels, filling their buckets with ore and highly trained operators in offices thousands of miles away? The use of autonomous and semi-autonomous equipment is more of what we might expect at a futuristic mining colony on Mars than at a present-day mine here on Planet Earth.

For a variety of reasons, the use of remotely controlled or programmed vehicles is slowly making its impact in the underground mining industry. Underground mining is dangerous. It is competitive. And it is taking place further and further beneath the earth’s crust. For all of these reasons, mine operators and the vendors who equip them are working furiously to get human operators out of the mines and into safer locations.

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Topics: Autonomous Vehicles, Active Safety, Mining Safety

MINExpo International 2016 Round Up

By Doug Whitfield on October 5, 2016

Held every four years, MINExpo International 2016 wrapped up one of its most successful shows last week. While final numbers have not yet officially been released, the latest figures estimate there were 43,000 registered guests from over 130 countries and more than 1,900 exhibitors covering approximately 840,000 sq ft of the Las Vegas Convention Center. These numbers exceeded the 2012 record-setting attendance for this world-renowned trade fair.

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Topics: Safety Technology, Mining Safety, MINExpo

PRECO Kicks Off MINExpo 2016 with New Object Detection Technology

By Tamara Humpherys on September 27, 2016

PRECO Electronics, the global leader in heavy-duty collision mitigation introduced our newest object detection system at the 2016 MINExpo trade show: PreView Sentry.

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Topics: Safety Technology, Collision Mitigation, Object Detection, PreView Radar, PreView Sentry

The Science of Stationary-Object Detection with FMCW

By Justin Palmer on September 20, 2016

PRECO’s line of new PreView Radar systems employ radar technology that detects both moving and stationary objects. These systems are based on Continuous Wave radar, a proven technology that has been around for decades. The earliest large-scale applications of continuous wave radar were for such things as weather radar and missile guidance. A newer variant of this technology, called Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW), is now becoming a mainstay in the machinery and automotive industries.

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Topics: Object Detection, Radar Technology, FMCW

Intelligent Side Collision Mitigation with PreView Side Defender

By Tom Loutzenheiser on September 15, 2016

A stronger economy, lower unemployment rates, and better gas prices have put more people on U.S. roadways, causing motor vehicle fatalities to rise by 9% in the first half of 2016. The National Safety Council estimates that 19,100 people have been killed over the road since January, and 2.2 million were seriously injured. What’s more, this Labor Day was predicted to be the deadliest holiday period since 2008, according to the NSC.

Other factors, including distracted driving, have contributed to the rise in over the road accidents. Side collisions with trucks from lane changes have increased on busier highways. Congested urban areas are seeing a rise in struck-by side collisions from turns and lane changes, especially with pedestrians and cyclists. The economy might look rosier, but the roadways do not, especially for the most vulnerable road users—those on foot and bikes.

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Topics: Safety Technology, Telematics, Blind Zones, Trucking Safety, Side Collision Mitigation

Mammoth Mining Equipment Needs Advanced Safety Technology

By Matt Wood on September 9, 2016

Since mining companies gain efficiency by moving more tonnage with fewer but larger vehicles, the trend leads toward ever-larger dozers, trucks, draglines and shovels. But the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind zones around them; and these blind zones can lead to potentially catastrophic accidents.

Larger Vehicles Can Mean More Danger

The blind zones around mining equipment can be huge: Sean Martell, Preco’s mining and construction sales manager, says that when operating large haul trucks, drivers can lose visibility to a hazard when the person or object is as far away as 150 feet from the rear of these massive machines. That’s half a football field.

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Topics: Safety Technology, Object Detection, Blind Zones, Radar Technology, Mining Safety, Heavy-Duty Safety

Engineering Systems That Won’t Fail You

By John Fadgen on August 31, 2016

Picture this: You are flying 36,000 feet in the air, on your way to a family getaway at Disney World, and suddenly the plane experiences a critical system failure. Thanks to the multiple duplicate components and systems on the plane, a new system seamlessly takes over operation of the aircraft, and you and your family safely reach your destination, none the wiser.

The duplication of systems in this scenario is called redundancy, and it’s one of the most common fail-safe methods around. Merriam-Webster defines fail-safe as “incorporating some feature for automatically counteracting the effect of an anticipated possible source of failure.” Fail-safe is further described as “a device or practice that, in the event of a specific type of failure, responds or results in a way that will cause no harm, or at least minimize harm, to other devices or to personnel.”

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Topics: Proactive Safety, Active Safety, Radar Technology, Heavy-Duty Safety, Fail-Safe

Heavy-Duty Equipment Requires Robust Safety Solutions

By Sean Martell on August 26, 2016

Every day heavy duty equipment goes through more extremes than the average automobile does in a lifetime. That’s why anything that goes onto a piece of heavy-duty equipment needs to be more rugged than the equipment fitted on automobiles. Engine bearings must be able to withstand fatigue resistance and have significant high torque load-carrying capacity. Tires are engineered for heavy loads, to maintain solid traction, and be resistant to punctures. Even heavy-duty equipment operators need to be hardy to keep up with the physical and mental demands of these strenuous and demanding jobs. It’s these factors that keep heavy-duty equipment moving and worksites productive.

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Topics: Active Safety, Object Detection, Radar Technology, Heavy-Duty Safety

The Dirt on Back-Up Cameras

By Doug Whitfield on August 17, 2016

Camera/monitor systems are an extremely useful technology, but it is important to recognize their limitations as a stand-alone solution for object detection.

Back-up cameras serve to reduce blind zones in reversing cars by 90 percent, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Considering that 94% of new cars on the market today have back-up cameras, that’s a lot of backwards visibility gained.

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Topics: Sensor Fusion, Active Safety, Backing Accidents

Who We Are

PRECO Electronics is a global technology provider that improves safety for operators, worksites, and the public. The effectiveness of our patented object detection radar systems is unmatched in heavy duty vehicle industries.

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