Flodraulic Launches Next Generation Precision Snowplow and Salter




Flodraulic recently announced the launch of its Archimedes Precision Spreader. Working with the University of Guelph, the Town of Halton Hills, and the City of Guelph, in Ontario, Flodraulic has redesigned salt management to accurately measure the salt applied on roadways in real-time.

The Archimedes Precision Spreader uses a LiDAR-based sensor array to measure the salt applied on roadways. This sensor data is then instantaneously fed back into the control system to dynamically control salt application rates to be as precise as possible. This solution can also detect over-salting, under-salting, as well as blockages.

In tandem, Flodraulic also developed a cloud-based command structure and web center that can assign salt application rates to specific GPS coordinates. This solution allows operations teams to dynamically raise and lower salt requirements at any location based on weather, risk, and environmentally sensitive areas. The role of salt adjustment has always been solely the responsibility of the operators, who need to navigate dangerous roadways while simultaneously plowing snow.

“Snow and ice vehicles are large and by definition are only operated when road conditions are at their most dangerous,” said Chris Passmore, director of technologies at Flodraulic. “The Archimedes Precision Spreader will increase the safety of drivers by almost entirely removing salt control from their operational procedure. The municipalities will now be conscious of salt usage and environmentally sensitive areas without adding a layer of complexity for their drivers.”

Through Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), Flodraulic received support to commercialize this advanced R&D, which otherwise may not have been possible.

Natural waterways and wetlands are being salinized at alarming rates from winter road salt application. With this solution salinization can be cut by up to two thirds, in turn helping to preserve wildlife and maintain drinking water supply.

These advanced salt controls have the potential to allow for more accurate municipality salt usage. The University of Guelph has run tests and determined some salt trucks use more salt than necessary on roadways. This is often attributed to combating blockages, erring on the side of caution, or proactive applications from weather forecasts. The closed-loop control technology in these new trucks with the Archimedes Precision Spreader will automatically respond to blockages for the operator and will recommend an application of salt that will use less salt than current trucks on the road while maintaining the same level of public safety.

Flodraulic set out to create a semi-automated snowplow truck. After rigorous development, commissioning, and field testing, Flodraulic’s patent-pending control system is now on trucks and proving to be successful.

Source: Flodraulic

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