29 July 2021

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GKD Technologies show new Safety Control Solutions Range at Rail Live exhibition

GKD Technologies design, develop and produce height, slew and load safety control systems for Road Rail vehicles (RRV’s) and general construction equipment – the company is a leader in its field on data driven safety solutions.

GKD Technologies has announced that it will be exhibiting at the much-anticipated Rail Live exhibition 16– 17 June 2021, Quinton Rail Technology Centre, Warwickshire, showing the very latest in rail related technology.

GKD’s rated capacity indicators are the preferred system across the UK rail network, and the systems are widely sought after with over 1,000 systems currently installed world-wide. Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs) fitted with 3 RCi’s are achieving 98.6% reliability (UK Network Rail performance statistics).

The company has recently upgraded its Series 3 rated capacity indicator system to include a multi-point virtual wall feature and the new tandem lift function.

Sean Layton, Senior Technical Engineer at GKD Technologies, explains the enhancements to the Series 3 product range. “From an operator and a user point of view the new Series 3 RCI has a quicker start up time and will operate more smoothly with an increased display update rate. The brand-new features on the system include a multi-point virtual wall system, which we have had on the current civils products for some time but will be the very first time this feature has been included on a rail product.

Until now, the system has had what we call ‘parallel’ virtual walls where you have one set on the left and one on the right – with the latest system you can have up to four independent virtual walls, at any angle or position, for full envelope control.”

Sean continues “The new version of the Series 3 has the new ‘Wireless Tandem Lift system’ inbuilt. We worked closely with our installer and distribution partner, G.O.S Tool & Engineering to develop this system, which will revolutionise tandem lift operations on UK Rail Networks.  The Wireless Tandem Lift is currently available on an exclusive basis through G.O.S. Tool & Engineering for installation on new G.O.S. machines or as an upgrade to G.O.S. machines in the field running a GKD version 9 System. GKD is in parallel going through Network Rail certification for the Wireless Tandem Lift System on a standalone basis and is expected to be approved and ready for UK wide distribution with our other partners in July / August 2021.

The tandem lift operates by plugging a communications device into the display unit of each machine carrying out the ‘lift’ – the operator then activates the tandem button – and the devices then ‘talk to each other’ which enables the machines to show what the other machine is lifting and share their current lift status.”

Sean adds, “The current standards say that when you go into tandem mode you have to derate the machines lift capacity by a third – but with the GKD tandem system you don’t have to reduce the lifting capacity of the machine, which also means that you don’t have to use two machines of the same size – you can use a bigger machine and a smaller machine. This means that the most efficient, cost effective machine for the job can be selected.” 

Also on display at Rail Live, installed on an excavator, will be the new Series 2 LHS+ civils system fitted with an ‘Off Rail ALO’ upgrade. Sean explained, “The Series 2 upgrade, once fitted to a piece of plant, will enable a civils machine to operate adjacent to an open rail line (ALO).  The new Series 2 LHS+ system conducts all of the dual verification, as per the Series 3 rail system, to meet ALO and OLE requirements.  Series 2 LHS+ also offers full RCI capabilities including height, slew and load control as well as slow down zones and virtual walls capability.

Sean concluded, “Currently, with a civils machine you can’t operate any closer than three-metres of a live railway line with the new GKD system installed on a civils machine you can safely work right on the boundary should you need to.  GKD has also implemented a remote ‘safety switch’ where at a push of a button it will halt all the hydraulics.

As Network Rail continues to push on with the £0.8 bn of investment for CP6 to 2024, the ability of hirers and contractors to safely support the ambitious rail projects, works and improvements will be key to their success.”

Also being demonstrated on the GKD stand is the newly upgraded SiteZone proximity warning system with SmartBubble option.  SiteZone is GKDs Value Added Reseller for Proximity Warning Systems in the UK market.

All new excavator systems supplied by SiteZone Safety will now have SmartBubble’s Deadman’s Handle (DMH) option installed as a standard safety feature. SiteZone is the only proximity warning system (PWS) available with this patent-pending SmartBubble Technology, making it a unique safety offering for high-risk sectors.

Gary Escott, Managing Director of SiteZone Safety says, “SiteZone Safety has decided to take this action because since the launch of SmartBubble 18 months ago, there has been increasing customer demand  for its various options across all types of plant.  This reinforces its valuable contribution and effectiveness in the prevention of personnel to vehicle collision risk. We have taken the decision to enhance safety on all SiteZone excavator systems.

SmartBubble automates authorised approach to plant vehicles when they are in a ‘safe state’ without  triggering workers’ SiteZone PWS tags and system alarms. It reduces potential “nuisance alarms”, downtime and simplifies operator interaction with the SiteZone system. It also operates in conjunction with existing safety protocols, like ‘thumbs up’ and helps reinforce positive safety behaviour around mobile plant.

Visitors to the GKD stand (Zone J Stand 31) will be amongst the first to see the company’s new rebranding and corporate image. The rebranding is designed to reflect the company’s vision which is to inspire industries to adopt a safety first, data driven approach to protecting people and their investments with innovative, practical safety solutions. GKD will also announce the renaming of its product range.

Commenting on the rebranding, GKD Technology CEO, David Perez said, “It has been an exciting first six months at GKD getting to know our customers, what is important to them and how we can be easier to do business with going forwards. The new branding is reflective of this, a fresh start with simplified product naming and line up. As always though, built on a solid foundation of innovative technology and 20-years of experience. Our ambition going forwards is to deliver meaningful data to the industries that we serve, to help shape a safer, more sustainable way of working. As an industry innovator we welcome opportunities to work with clients new distributors and to integrate our proven technology with partners. There will be more exciting news to come so watch this space.”

Visitors to Rail Live 2021 (16th 17th June 2021, Quinton Rail Technology Centre, Warwickshire) will see the new range of products in zone J on stand 31 Visit www.gkdtec.com for more information on the GKD range.