It is an early morning in Clermont and Ben Ellis and Travis Key have already opened the roller door to their Delta Fluidpower workshop.
The breeze whistles through, you can smell grease, metal, and determination.
You hear the tinkering of tools and a few laughs echo in conversation.
For these diesel fitters, the workshop is their comfort zone, they know the tools and machinery like the back of their hands.
But Ben and Travis are not your typical diesel fitters.
It is their innovative spirit and problem-solving minds that has created a game changer for hydraulic flow testing and control systems in the mining, agriculture, and construction industries.
The duo has designed and built the Dual Input Flow Meter Assembly (D.I.F.M.A) product, which is a portable, remote control testing device used to check the health of and adjust pumps and hydraulic systems.
In 2018 they were Highly Commended at the Queensland Mining Industry Awards Health and Safety conference for their innovation.
“Hydraulic testing is known as high-risk work, with the established methods, it requires fitters to be in close vicinity of high-pressure hosing and the D.I.F.M.A does away with that.
“The established method of testing is still widely used in our industry, it is not a good job it is hot, loud and you are working on top of high-pressure hosing. Our product eliminates that because you are standing 10 meters away,” Travis said.
The idea came to life while Ben and Travis were working on a mine site after an incident.
“I had the concept a few years earlier, at that stage we didn’t have the control systems available to do it. Then data loggers were really starting to be available on the Australian market,” Ben said.
Travis said the product had to be simple for the diesel fitter to use, which made it more complicated for them to build.
The duo has tested the product in a real-world environment on site at Glencore’s Clermont Mine, they have received positive feedback from the fitters using the D.I.F.M.A.
Ben said the support and encouragement from Glencore’s Clermont Mine has been a valuable and important part of their transformation story.
“Since we have started, we have had 2000 recordings of individual pump tests. We have that tracked history of multiple machines for the sites we have been using it at, which has created some impressive results of component life and the availability.
“There are less breakdowns, the machine health has improved, it is saving costs – there has been a real flow on effect.
“We have had guys who have sat with us for 10 minutes and stated that they learnt more about the hydraulic pump system in 10 minutes than they have in 10 years of doing flow testing the other way – it is amazing,” Ben said.
Both Ben and Travis admit when they started, they never planned to go this far.
“Evolving is the best way to describe us. We have found deficiencies in the old way of doing things and have created a product and a solution.
“That is what we will continue to do, find glaring holes in safety and see how we can fix them,” Travis said.
To learn more visit https://www.deltafluidpower.com.au/