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EPC-UK’s safety success story at Hillhead

EPC-UK team at Hillhead 2018

Company reflects on an ‘exciting response’ to its Augmented Reality technology demonstrations

Reflecting upon their highly successful showcase at this year’s Hillhead exhibition, EPC-UK report on the exciting response received from demonstrating their innovative, new Augmented Reality (AR) technology system, introduced to further the company’s priority towards safety and to provide improved training capabilities.

The market-leading manufacturer and distributor of commercial explosives introduced the sound, sight and movement-based AR technology to Hillhead visitors; the equipment consisted of live video imagery, speakers and floorplates to combine Virtual Reality with the real world to improve operator knowledge and safety.

Back at their Derbyshire headquarters, the equipment has given the EPC-UK team the strategic edge when it comes to raising their safety standards and applying the latest innovations to their business development.

‘We’re delighted to have been able to exhibit our latest AR technology at Hillhead this year,’ commented Ben Williams, managing director of EPC-UK. ‘Back on site, we have found it to be an invaluable technological addition that’s given us a true advantage when it comes to keeping operatives safe and enhancing our industry expertise.

‘It is showing itself to be a tremendous developmental aid, with the capacity to demonstrate safer working practice to countless operatives.’

With a mind to the future, Mr Williams and the EPC-UK team are also researching how the technology can be effectively utilized to improve student development. ‘We’ve been trialling this technology internally to determine its parameters and evaluate its benefits, and it is clear that it will be an extremely valuable aid when it comes to training,’ he explained.

‘Students and operatives-in-training have the opportunity to learn so much and become better prepared for working safely in a real quarry environment once theoretical training is at an appropriate level.’

Back to Hillhead, and Mr Williams described how, at the EPC-UK stand, the AR tech drew plenty of attention from visitors to the exhibition, where, by responding to the instruction of a specially devised app, virtual screen-based explosions were conducted using prompter wall targets.

‘Our live video imagery, enhanced with computer-generated graphics, have effectively, and realistically simulated experiences where Hillhead visitors can be situated within a specific blast environment, without being presented with the potential safety risks.

‘We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to share our innovations and technological advancements with so many from our industry’s community.’

In addition to the AR demonstrations, the EPC-UK team used Hillhead as a platform to showcase their innovative EPC-Metrics service, which has been developed in partnership with Datum Monitoring Services to facilitate the immediate access of event data, via fixed monitoring stations.

The opportunity was also taken to announce a series of new industry-leading EPC-UK training courses – ‘Environmental Management in Blasting’, ‘Geology for Blasting’, ‘Managing the Blast Site’ and ‘Explosives Legislation for Senior Managers’ – that have been made available to all professionals within the commercial explosives and blasting services industry.

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