The roll out of a system developed by SITECH Construction System continues for Orica with Kazakhstan the latest destination for one our staff as part of the implementation.
Product support technician Josh Anderson travelled to the Central Asian country from May 14 to June 2 as part of the In-Vehicle Monitoring System (IVMS) developed by SITECH and being introduced by Orica to its operations around the globe.
The system has a range of features that provide live monitoring of an array of activities and includes Trimble Car Cube, hands-free phone function, rollover sensor, duress switch, and interior and external cameras.
Location, road speed, driver behaviour, pitch and roll, and activity durations are among activities monitored.
Emergency situations are a particular focus with alert notifications, cameras, and duress switch just some of the safety minded applications.
Josh’s role in country encompassed installation and training local subcontractors to install IVMs as well as training local operators to use the system.
“The subcontractors I trained will continue on to finish the second half of the Kazakhstan installs and then will move onto Russia,” Josh said.
The largest land-locked country in the world, Kazakhstan was formerly a part of the Soviet Union and has a population of over 18 million people.
Josh was based in Ekibastuz, population 125,000, in the north-east of the country and home to the biggest open-cast coal field in the world.
The Vostochny Coal Mine was commissioned in 1985 and has produced more than 240 million tons of coal since the start of operations.
Much of the coal dug there is used to fuel three nearby power stations.
Despite that, Josh said it was ‘a very pretty place’.
“It’s basically one big, flat plain – if you have a view of the horizon you can see the curvature of the Earth,” he said.
“Despite its population, Ekibastuz feels like a village. As you’d imagine, as a former part of the Soviet Union, it looks a lot like you’d expect, with Soviet era buildings and vehicles.
“There’s also a lot of horses. I initially thought they were for riding … but most are for eating.”
Thankfully, Josh’s time in the country wasn’t during winter, when temperatures can plummet to -30C.
Language differences were just part of the task for Josh, who is based at our Brisbane office.
“When I arrived in Kazakhstan I made my own way to Ekibastuz so relied a lot on Google Translator plus hand gestures,” he laughed.
“For the work, I was fortunate one of the crew, who was Polish, had some English so we could work it all out and get the job done.”
Josh said project co-ordinator Grace Brosnan’s work had make the Kazakhstan roll-out as pain-free as possible.
“Grace organised parts ordering and shipping to our IVMS assembler in the US, liaising with them for system changes and updates, organising export of goods, contracting local subcontractors and working with Orica Kazakhstan and Russia, as well as making herself available at all hours of the day and night in case I had problems (like organising accommodation at 3am!),” Josh said.
“I couldn’t have done this project without her.”
Finland, Bulgaria, Dubai and Africa are among the coming locations for the IVMS roll-out, SITECH’s largest operation to date.