2020 Year of Collaboration

Collaboration in 2020

Collaboration is a key ingredient to secure opportunities. And a lack of Collaboration is a big impediment. So I was very pleased to see Manufacturers’ Monthly covering a recent project we did that needed Collaboration from multiple industry partners to work.

I presented this case at the IoT Impact 2019 manufacturing stream. I’ll include the main slides for that below. And this is for a product that was Made In Australia, not just because we want to, but because it was the only way it could happen in time.

Collaboration Case Study

The Collaboration Case Study is for the IND Technology Early Fault Detection system that was deployed to a rural SWER Line Monitoring trial as part of the Victorian bush fire amelioration program. This required us to coordinate the program and also do the primary electronics and embedded software design along with our supply partners gearing up for PCB Assembly, Cable and Loom Assembly and mechanical design and production for boxes, mounting and solar panels. All this in parallel with web services. For a new technology category. So we needed to work together very closely.

A Winning Combination covers the project. The story was put together by Connor Pearce of Prime Creative Media.

Successful Endeavours - CCBA Manufacturer of the Year 2019
Successful Endeavours – CCBA Manufacturer of the Year 2019

Collaboration Partners

It takes a team of partners to pull off a project like this. So here are some of the people we collaborated with:

And of course IND Technology were highly Collaborative as well.

IoT Impact Slides

These are the slides from the presentation.

A common IoT problem

•Buyers want a catalogue for solutions
•Catalogues don’t contain a viable solution
•There are plenty of sensors available
•Hardware platforms don’t fit the opportunity
•Software back ends are also often a barrier
•Total cost of ownership ends up too high

A possible solution

•Rapid design of a suitable hardware solution
•Get it made locally (in Australia)
•But the catch is that unless very confident, you don’t invest in this until you get the order
•So how quickly can it be done?

Example IND.T

•IND Technology EVFD – finds power system faults – reduces outages and bush fires
•Got the order for 65 trial units end of July 2017
•For Delivery in November 2017 (< 16 weeks)
•For a product not yet designed
•With features not yet confirmed eg. turned out most units had to be solar powered

IND Technology EVFD solar powered

IND Technology - EVFD Solar
IND Technology – EVFD Solar

Above is an example of one of the solar powered units as built but without the cover plate over the FPGA based processing systems that samples at 250MSPS.

Collaboration Ecosystem

Below is the Collaboration Ecosystem where Collaboration was needed.

IND Technology - Collaboration Ecosystem
IND Technology – Collaboration Ecosystem

The areas with dark borders are the parts we handled internally as well as overall coordination and integration. Each of the other areas was handled by one of our supply partners.

Precision Electronics Technologies received a supplier award for their contribution.

Precision Electronics Technology Staff
Precision Electronics Technology Staff

As did Connect Electronics.

Connect Electronics Team
Connect Electronics Team

And the overall result won the IoT Innovation Award for 2018.

IoT Innovation Award 2018
IoT Innovation Award 2018

So a very good outcome all round. And the trial was a resounding success showing that we have another weapon in our arsenal of bush fire prevention strategies. And isn’t that very timely at the moment?

So I’m looking forward to doing more Collaboration in 2020 and especially in IoT where it really needs whole ecosystem to deliver a solution.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years.

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This post is Copyright © 2021 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

SWER Line Monitoring

SWER Lines

In rural distribution of electricity, Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) is used to reduce the cost of wiring by running a single wire for the active and using the Ground (Earth) as the return path. Because these lines run for long distances through sparsely populated regions it isn’t as likely that a fault will be detected or that obvious preventative maintenance issues will be easily seen.

Which is one reason event like the Black Saturday fires can get out of control. No-one knows a fault has occurred until the fire is well established.

And example of a failing insulator leading to a pole top fire.

SWER Line Monitoring

This is why the Victorian Government is keen to find new ways to prevent bush fire events and a new technology developed in Melbourne is leading the way in making this happen. We can share some of this with you because we were engaged to do the primary development work for the product and it is now publicly available information.

IND Technology are a start-up out of RMIT University commercialising a PhD project. It uses very high speed sampling of electrostatic signals on the power lines (250Msps) and using mathematics and atomic clock synchronisation, courtesy of the GPS satellite network, can then determine the location of a fault. Recent detection of the sort of event that could have lead to a bush fire has shown the potential of the product.

EVFD Mid Span Conductor Snap Detected

EVFD Mid Span Conductor Snap Detected

Above shows a single strand of an overhead SWER power line has snapped mid span. Because of the elevated voltages, the sharp end points generate corona discharges and the cable slowly deteriorates until it severs and falls to the ground where it can start a fire.

This is detected by the IND Technology EVFD devices which, in this instance, were solar powered and pole mounted approximately 5km apart.

EVFD Wood pole installation

EVFD Wood pole installation

The detection of a fault like this is a world first and an example of the potential of the technology which can also detect failing insulators, partial discharge and even tree branches rubbing against overhead wires on windy days.


A world-first trial of technology that detects electrical faults before they cause bushfires has had a breakthrough south of Ballarat.#9News | http://9News.com.au

Posted by 9 News Western Victoria on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

High Technology IoT

And this is a great example of a product that is a very high technology IoT device using the Internet as the communications medium for delivering the data back to the central web services that do the correlations. And it is Designed in Australia, and Made in Australia.

The development of this version of the product was awarded the IoT Innovation Award 2018 for Australia at the recent IoT Impact event at UTS in Sydney.

IoT Innovation Award 2018

IoT Innovation Award 2018

News Resources

potentially disastrous fire prevented by new power line technology

EVFD Pictures

IND Technology SWER Unit

IND Technology SWER Unit

SWER line fraying

SWER line fraying

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Endeavour Awards Winners 2018

Endeavour Awards 2018

Tonight was the awards dinner for the Endeavour Awards 2018. We are finalists in 3 categories and one of our clients, IND Technology, is a finalist for Outstanding Startup of the Year.

Endeavour Awards Ceremony 2018

Endeavour Awards Ceremony 2018

On this occasion we didn’t win but our congratulations goes out to those that did. Here is the list:

  • Technology Application Award – SPEE3D
  • Environmental Solution of The Year – Fletcher International Export
  • Outstanding Start-up Award – Robo Helix Pty Ltd
  • Global Supply Chain Integration of The Year – CST Composites
  • Best Industrial IOT Application – SAGE
  • Safety Solution of The Year – BOC
  • Exporter of The Year – REDAR
  • Australian Industrial Product of The Year – Carbon Revolution
  • Most Innovative Manufacturing Company Award – Watkins Steel
  • Manufacturer of the Year – BOC

Endeavour Awards 2018 booklet

Endeavour Awards 2018 booklet

We were pleased to share the evening with Water Synergy Group whose project we executes was finalist for Environmental Solution of The Year, IND Technology who were finalist for Outstanding Start-up Award and whose product we developed for finding faults in the electrical distribution grid was finalist for Australian Industrial Product of The Year and representatives from our local council, the City of Casey. Thanks Tom and Lydia for supporting us on the night.


Endeavour Awards 2018 WSG Casey

Endeavour Awards 2018 WSG Casey

One of the persistent themes of the night was the strong growth in Australian Manufacturing. So good news there. Our thanks go to Manufacturers’ Monthly for running the awards and supporting Australian manufacturers as strongly as they do. The official notification is at Congratulations to all the winners of Endeavour Awards 2018.

Endeavour Awards

Endeavour Awards

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award

Precision Electronic Technologies Supplier Award

2017 was a big year at Successful Endeavours. Lots of new projects and some world first products as well as operating out of our New Premises in Narre Warren and adding some staff. One of the things that makes it possible for us to complete Product Development project quickly is the local Australian suppliers that support us so well.


So it is with great pleasure that we awarded Precision Electronic Technologies with our Supplier Award for 2017 for offering us both the flexibility we needed and very rapid turnaround so our clients could get to market on time and secure new business because of that.


Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award 2017

Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award 2017

This was particularly important for 2 projects in particular.


IND Technology EFD SWER

IND Technology provide Early Fault Detection systems for the electrical distribution grid. These devices use the atomic clocks in the GPS network to time synchronise 250MHz sampling of electrostatic transients in the distribution grid and logging that, some FFT results and some other calculations to determine where in the grid there is activity typical of pending equipment failure due to things like partial discharge. They also get some statistics on overall grid health levels. The data is logged and uploaded at 1 second intervals.


Precision Electronics Technology Staff

Precision Electronics Technology Staff

So find potential faults early before you have shrapnel, unplanned outages or a fire.

The 3 phase version won the PACE Zenith Award for Best Networking Implementation for Australia in 2016.


This new version does the same thing but for rural SWER (Single Wire Earth Return) networks and are solar powered. There was a tight installation deadline to get them into the field before the fire season started.


So 4 new PCBs designed including an 8 layer PCB for the FPGA and 250MHz ADC sampling IC. And built in 4 weeks to first samples for testing. Because of that Precision Electronic Technologies made it possible for IND Technology to meet their delivery schedule.


So flexibility, on time delivery and fast turnaround made an impossible project possible.


IND Technology EFD

IND Technology Early Fault Detection


The second project was the Active Reactor arcHUB Smart City Sensor. This is a new type of device that does not need an electrician to install it. They can be solar powered or primary battery powered with field life of up to 5 years and a huge range of possible sensor options.


Precision Electronics Technology Award Presentation

Precision Electronics Technology Award Presentation

In order to bid on local council smart city projects the product development had to happen quickly and the manufacturing as well. Again, Precision Electronic Technologies came through turning around 2 new PCB designs rapidly so that we could complete the development and have enough units for a first trial deployment. As a result, Active Reactor won the contract for their first Smart Cities deployment.


So again, agility and responsive supply allowed another Australian manufacturing success.


arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

And also lead to the arcHUB Smart City Sensor being nominated for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science for Australia in 2017.


Here is a list of features you won’t find combined together in conventional devices:


  • battery operated (either solar charged or primary cells)
  • minimum 2 year battery life for standard AA cell alkaline batteries
  • 10+ day running time if solar charging is lost
  • up to 20 days on board non-volatile storage
  • compact form factor
  • multiple sensor types per node (up to 20)
  • sensor area network to minimise data costs
  • over the air firmware upgrades
  • over the air configuration updates
  • variable sample rates and upload timing
  • still has to be low cost to make and also run
  • easy to install

So here is the range of sensors already trialled:


  • wind speed (external anemometer attached)
  • sunlight level
  • night light level (street light monitoring etc)
  • temperature
  • PM2.5 particulate levels
  • PM10 particulate levels
  • Gasses €“ CO, H2S, SO2, NO2, H2S
  • Humidity
  • People counting (PIR based anonymous counting)
  • Soil moisture levels (external probe)
  • USB charger current (for usage analysis)

It is also the HUB and coordinator of a Sensor Area Network that can include modules that can measure any of the above as well as:


  • vibration
  • shock
  • movement
  • water level
  • GPS location
  • counting any device or system that has a pulse output
  • analog voltage measurements (AC and DC)
  • Sound and Noise

Launching a new electronics product is never easy, but working with the right design team and suppliers can give you a much better chance of success. So we commend  Precision Electronic Technologies for their excellent service and look forward to bringing many more new products onto the Australian and world markets in partnership with them.


Precision Electronics Technologies

Precision Electronics Technologies

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

PACE Zenith Awards 2016 Winners

We Won Best Networking Implementation

You might have read our post on being finalists at the PACE Zenith Awards 2016. Tonight we won the Best Networking Implementation award for 2016. Our Congratulations also go to IND Technology. Their Early Fault Detection product was the design we won this award for.


PACE Zenith Winners 2016

PACE Zenith Winners 2016


If you are wondering what the product does, it measures electromagnetic radiation from the electricity distribution grid using custom designed antennas, does DSP math on it, determines if a fault condition such as Partial Discharge is present, and sends an alert if it detects that. It does this at 250MSPS every second and uploads the summary results to a web service. Using PPS GPS synchronisation you can determine the distance to the fault from each EFD Device. Scatter a few of these around the network and you have the most cost effective Early Fault Detection system you can get. It is also a classic high bandwidth IoT project.


OK, enough engineer speak. Here is a summary from the night.


The MC was Merv Hughes who brought a lot of humour to the night through his novel pronunciation of technical terms.


The Keynote Address was given by Dr. David Nayagam who walked us through the The Bionic Eye project and the difference it was going to make to people experiencing blindness that didn;t have underlying receptor damage.


And we had an extraordinary interlude of entertainment by the Unusualist, Raymond Crowe.


PACE Zenith Awards 2015

PACE Zenith Awards 2016

2016 PACE Zenith Awards Winners

Here are all the winners by category:


  • Safety system innovation – Robotic Automation, for Multi-product Robotic Automation
  • Manufacturing Control – Sage Automation, for Integrated Process Control
  • Automation Innovation – Robotic Automation, for Multi-product Robotic Automation
  • Transport Control – Encroaching. For POW’R-LOCK
  • Mining and Minerals Process Control – Scott Automation & Robotics, for ROBOFUEL
  • Water and Wastewater Control – SMC, for Ethercat Network for Treatment of Wastewater
  • Machine Builder – Automation Innovation
  • Oil and Gas Innovation – Yokogawar Australia, Julimar Development Project
  • Power and Energy Management – Alliance Automation, Oxley Creek Rehabilitation Project
  • Best PLC. HMI and Sensor Product – Bestech Australia, Beanair Wireless Sensor Network
  • Best Network Implementation – Successful Endeavours, IND Technology Early Fault Detection System
  • Young Achiever of the Year – Kayla Saggers
  • Lifetime Achievement – Peter Maasepp
  • Project of the Year – Yokogawa, Julimar Development Project


Our congratulations go to all the participants.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2016 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.