Automated Safety and Efficiency Messaging Systems

Automated Response Systems developer Sigteq is Ireland’s only manufacturer of automated safety and efficiency messaging systems. Its BlueBox AlertNet platform was developed for industries engaged in hazardous or highly automated operations.

BlueBox is a multi-modal communications platform linking fire, gas, plant, and process controls with a variety of mobile or static messaging devices including pagers, digital two-way radio, Cell-phone, Tetra, Public address, LED Informations displays and more. BlueBox offers rapid notification of faults, fires and emergencies and provides vital information to people on the move.

Larry Murphy, CEO of Sigteq, chose to work with Horner and its OCS range of products to reduce long lead times on projects. “Our recent success had left us with a bit of a “Log Jam” of orders, most of our project work involves third party data protocol manipulation, typically written in embedded code. The Horner OCS range simplified the process considerably, while providing a more convenient industry standard platform for interfacing with external control systems and our own communications hardware.  No two projects are ever the same. The horner modules allowed us to standardise our hardware and minimise the time spent writing and testing code.

The Jack Lynch road tunnel, taking 40,000 vehicles under the River Lee each day, needed to introduce a system to monitor maintenance personnel working within the confines of the tunnel system. Our brief was to supply a system workers could carry and use to seek assistance in an emergency. The solution also required an automated alert if a worker had a fall or was overcome by fumes.

Sigteq’s BlueBox AlertNet options include two methods of lone-worker / man-down monitoring. Two-way radio and / or a GSM (Cell-phone like) based lone worker system. In this case two-way portable radio was recommended as tunnel staff use radio for day to day operations. Sigteq replaced their radio system as part of the upgrade including a number of lone-worker equipped radios.

The BlueBox system includes the Horner eXL6 supplied with a custom overlay to match our branding colour scheme.  We prepared a customised application written in structured text, to allow the monitoring of six lone-worker equipped radios.

A radio alarm is instantly decoded by BlueBox, identifying the user and type of alarm. This triggers a pre-scripted escalating series of automated tasks, including the transmission of sms text alerts, emails and radio announcements. A data link to the Tunnels Management System (TMS) displays the radio status on their SCADA screen. The TMS can automate additional aspects of the response, including traffic management, lighting control and out of hours notification to the Dublin Port Tunnel Control Team.

The system is wall mounted in a convenient self-contained enclosure, with its own backup power source. A web interface on the eXL6 provides tunnel staff with a facility to change contact information and radio user data.