OZmist fosters local innovation in dust prone environments

LINAK actuators play a key part in the automated sprayers by Victoria-based manufacturer, OZmist, who is paving the way for high-pressure misting systems within a range of environments.

In many areas of the world, dust clouds can pose a severe challenge on the factory floor. The Australian enterprise OZmist, based in Wangaratta in the north-east corner of Victoria, has driven innovation into new and uncharted territory and developed a solution applicable across many trades.

Being locally owned and operated, innovation is at the company’s core. With 20 years of experience, the company has maintained a proactive approach to R&D and have shown the ability to adapt current designs to suit different environments for their applications. OZmist is continuously looking at ways to design new products, or to modify existing ones, and LINAK actuators play a central part.

“Our first mist cannon is unique and comprises a tandem-wheel trailer fitted with a 2,000L aluminium tank, high-pressure pump and fan, which throws mist 50 metres. All run from a generator that is fitted to the draw bar,” said Dean McDonald, director of OZmist.

“With 2,000 litres of water on board, the trailer can be towed by most SUVs.”

Dust is a major issue, particularly in some rural Australian working environments. It not only affects the air quality for workers, but also the wider community as plants and crops tend to suffer as well. According to McDonald, this is the motivation for many customers to invest in its products. If companies are doing the right thing, they also follow the requirements of the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) and the local councils.

Built to work in harsh environments

Mist cannons typically operate through the use of a pump, which transfers water from the onboard tank and pumps it at a high pressure through rings of nozzles at the outlet of the cannon. A fan blows millions of tiny water droplets, which exit the nozzles, to create a mist.

Although mist cannons have been used as a mister at large concerts or gatherings to cool patrons, they are traditionally designed for dust suppression in harsh environments. This includes mining, demolition, excavation, road building, and for concrete plants where the millions of water droplets from the fan attach themselves to the dust particles and drop them to the ground.

A LINAK actuator is a key component in these mist cannons as it is used to lift and lower the outlet of the cannon to adjust the throwing distance of the mist.

Finding the right partner

In 2018, OZmist developed their first mist cannon for dust control. Today, it manufactures two variations of the product, both using LINAK actuators. During the design process, OZmist needed a heavy-duty, robust, reliable, and water-resistant actuator that it could build into its system.

“The actuator is subjected to a huge amount of vibration and has to be able to lift the heavy cannon as well as withstand life outdoors and in very dusty environments,” Mcdonald said.

“The LA36 fits ideally into the system due to its programmable configuration, robust construction and reliability in these harsh environments.

LINAK account manager, Ron Diocera, said OZmist needed a reliable dust suppression system and local support.

“We believed in their system as a solution to an ongoing issue of airborne hazardous dust in the industry, which is a major risk to the health of workers,” he said.

“Traditionally they would have some hydraulics in it to actuate the cannons. But with the electric actuators, the whole system includes a power pack, hoses and the actuator itself.

“It’s a lot simpler, maintenance free and a lot easier to install. That gives a lot of value to OZmist, and to their customers as well. They don’t have to worry about servicing the hydraulics systems.”

Local suppliers is essential

As the only Australian manufacturer making these types of mist cannons, OZmist prides itself in sourcing local suppliers to assist them in further innovation and improvements.

“There is nothing worse than having a machine on site that no one can fix or parts are on the other side of the world,” said McDonald. “Building them from scratch in Australia allows us to be in control of quality and the end product that the consumer receives.”

Technical support from LINAK also played a large part in the decision making as communication and feedback was important to the final product.

“If we have a failure, we all want to know why so we can fix it,” said McDonald, who speaks directly into central LINAK cornerstones – to provide precise and reliable adjustment of various industrial applications and to work with customers to ensure the right solution for their product.

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