Safety foundation builds on REDARC’s success

REDARC products go through accelerated life testing to determine their life cycle and robustness in harsh conditions.

The growth of REDARC has defied the difficulties of 2020. The company’s team, facility and manufacturing expansion tells of a business that never sleeps. 

Based in South Australia, REDARC Group is an Australian-owned company that manufactures power management and vehicle safety products for the mining, defence and automotive sectors via its two primary brands, REDARC and Hummingbird. 

The company was selected as a finalist in the 27th Annual National Safety Awards in 2019. 

Run by the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) Foundation, REDARC was a nominee for the Best Health and Wellbeing Program category.

It recognised workplace initiatives that delivered a positive impact on employees through changes in workplace behaviour, performance and processes.

“Our work health and safety committee work together with our health and wellbeing champions team to make sure our program is continually improving and contributing to positive workplace culture,” REDARC group managing director Anthony Kittel tells Safe to Work.

Such attention on individual employees, and the company’s penchant to go above and beyond in every aspect of the business, translates to the quality of its products.

REDARC group mining and industrial sales manager Scott Montgomery says the company manufactures a range of products, from inclinometers and audio alert systems, to monitoring devices and battery master isolation switches, as well as hand brake alarms and brake controllers.

The company is also a manufacturer of electronics that power sensitive equipment, as well as devices that deliver safety alerts to the operator.

“If any of those fail, you’d have catastrophic consequences. That’s why we manufacture everything to the highest quality,” Montgomery says. 

“Our philosophy is, if they can survive in a defence vehicle, then it can survive in a caravan or dump truck.”

REDARC’s advanced electronics manufacturing and testing facility includes leading technology to ensure the REDARC and Hummingbird branded products are built tough, reliable and efficient.

Its electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) chamber tests products based on their noise radiation and performance against international standards. 

This ensures that the products do not interfere with other electronics and vice versa. 

Montgomery describes the chamber as a world-class facility that also helps decrease the company’s time to release a product to the market.

“By having our own testing facility, we can speed up our product development process, and that’s the biggest benefit from having our own facility,” he says. 

In this way, REDARC has set itself apart as one of the few companies to own an EMC facility and be certified to undertake testing on behalf of other companies.

Products also go through accelerated lifetime and environmental testing to determine their lifecycle and point of failure. 

The highly accelerated life testing and highly accelerated stress screening (HALT/HASS) accelerates 10 years of product life over two days.

It cools products to -100 degrees Celsius and heats to 200 degrees Celsius. The vibration and climatic chamber combination or AGREE (advisory group on reliability of electronic equipment) machine simulates driving conditions and temperature and humidity extremes.

“We put them on a vibration table at a certain temperature because we won’t be satisfied until our products are suitable for use in the harshest conditions in the world,” Montgomery says.

REDARC is also committed to reinvesting up to 15 per cent of every dollar of sales generated into research and development.

“REDARC has a long-term vision. If you talk to anyone, you’ll find that most companies will set aside 5 per cent,” Montgomery says. 

The surface mount technology (SMT) line has extremely high specifications, making it only one of the few SMTs in the world. This makes REDARC’s circuit boards remarkably tougher and longer lasting. 

The SMT line is one of two at REDARC’s facility and has given the company the ability to increase its production capacity by 250 per cent. 

It’s hard at work being fuelled by an unprecedented demand for REDARC’s products. The production floor is running almost 24 hours a day, taking advantage of its capacity. 

“In the space that we’re in, we’ve been kept very busy, putting on three shifts running 24/7 most days a week – the first time in the history of the business,” Montgomery says.

“We have gained the trust of the mining, defence and emergency services industries. We have a good reputation in the market due to our product integrity and our commitment to safety.” 

This story was also published in the May issue of Safe To Work.

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