Winter and Smith are skilled in the design of complete systems, uniquely tailored to a user's requirements, whatever the industry. It is often the case that a system will consist of custom electronic equipment designed to perform a function not attainable using off the shelf parts. Embedded software and pc software is often required as well, for control purposes or data logging. In some cases, dedicated machinery or mechanical equipment is needed, Winter and Smith have a comprehensive machine shop for this purpose. We have manufactured many such systems in the past, using a wide variety of technologies and methods.
We were approached to design and build a noise safety system by Mercedes AMG High-Performance Powertrains, the Formula One World Champions. They have a large engine manufacturing facility in the UK where various machines if run together and at higher speeds, can increase noise levels to the point where hearing protection is required. An intelligent system was therefore needed which would visually inform the operator of this requirement. We designed and built a wireless mesh network system of 30 noise detector modules, each with a bespoke light-up “WEAR HEARING PROTECTION” sign. These were installed around the factory, near the machines. When the local noise level exceeds the threshold, the sign lights up and the unit informs a System controller that it has been triggered. The software in the main controller allows the user to associate various zones together, to create buffer zones around noisy areas – so when one sensor is triggered, the neighbouring signs are automatically lit up as well. The system is fully configurable by the user, and provides data logging of system activity that can be downloaded to a PC for analysis. The unit shows on the main front panel the state of all the sensors with LED indicators and also transmits this over USB for future integration with a video display that will show a live plan view of the factory.