Powerscreen’s Omni provides new view for crushing and screening

Powerscreen is delivering a new view of its crushing and screening equipment via the Omni tablet control system.

Unveiled at bauma, Omni provides real-time machine performance information as well as video feeds of Powerscreen equipment. As well, the tablet system enables remote control of the machine settings.

The information is delivered via tablet, which is mounted in the cab of an excavator or wheel loader at aggregate jobsites.

“With the launch of Omni, we’re putting this tablet-based wireless system in the cab of the excavator or wheel loader along with the operator,” said engineering director Barry McMenamin.

“The operator then gets the ability to have a lot more information in front of them in terms of the mobile machines on the work site.”

The Omni machine-mounted cameras show real-time footage from Powerscreen equipment, including stockpiles coming off conveyors or the chamber feed-in area, for example. This allows operators to see live footage of possible blockages, spillage issues and site hazards.

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“They’re watching what were previously blind spots on the machine,” said marketing manager Dearbhaile Muholland.

The Omni tablet also displays performance information in real-time, including run speeds, warning or alerts. Typically, an equipment issue would require the operator to leave the excavator and manually intervene with the equipment.

powerscreen omni
Powerscreen’s Omni tablet control system.

“We’re trying to take that level of risk away,” McMenamin said.

In addition to controlling individual machine settings from the cab, operators are also able to stop all machine functions with the touch of a single button.

“You can pause the entire fleet. Taking that kind of intervention step with one touch of a button is quite unique,” McMenamin said.

Omni development

Powerscreen developed the Omni system to increase operator safety at aggregate sites, a recurring theme during customer consultations.  

“Right at the top of the conversation is always the safety of the operator,” McMenamin said.

As well, Omni is designed to help attract younger, tech savvy operators.

“There’s a different generation coming into the operator space. People that are operating this equipment are coming from a technology background, they’re growing up with mobile phones and laptops,” McMenamin said. “It’s difficult to attract people to the work environment. It’s a tough environment.”

Omni runs on an industrial version of Wi-Fi that crease its own network onsite. The system allows up to six machines to connect to the tablet in the operator’s cab.  A secondary tablet may be added for loader operators to also view video feeds and diagnostics.

“It can be in the middle of nowhere and it creates its own Wi-Fi ecosystem,” McMenamin said.

The system has been tested on multiple sites and is available worldwide. Although Omni was announced at bauma, the first system was sold to an aggregate site in the United Kingdom, and it is already up and running.

“It’s been in development for a long, long time. We wanted to make sure we got it right,” Muholland said. “We’ve spent a long time getting it perfected.”