Development of Segnut FIRST system
Project description and overview:
Segnut Pty Ltd (SPL) is a Western Australian based developer and owner of the Segnut fastening technology. SPL introduced its patented range of Segnut fasteners to the Australian and New Zealand market in early 2019 through its exclusive distribution arrangements with the Konnect Fastening Systems, part of the Coventry Group Limited.
The Segnut fastener is based on a patented design. The product is comprised of three-inner-nut segments held in place by an outer retaining sleeve. The design allows the Segnut to be used in place of a conventional steel nut. It provides a release mechanism that enables the rapid and safe release of the nut, even when the thread is damaged or seized. When the Segnut needs to be released, the outer sleeve is rotated to a position which allows the three-inner-segments to move out radially, away from the bolt thread to thereby release the bolt.
The Segnut has helped mining and resources companies to improve productivity and safety in their maintenance operations. However, there is now a desire to improve maintenance safety when attaching and removing the cutting edges on the dozers and other mobile plant used in their mining operations. In this case, the hazard being addressed is crush injuries incurred using conventional removal methods. These types of applications are commonly referred to as Ground Engaging Tool (GET) applications.
Compared to fixed plant, GET such as dozer blades are subject to significantly higher levels of vibration, impact, erosion, and damage. This is due to the nature of work being performed, such as the pushing and loading of ore around the mine sites as part of the processing and transportation of the bulk material. Sacrificial “cutting edge” blades are used and need frequent replacement to protect the front of the dozer and typically require replacement every 400-500 hrs of use.
Due to the loads applied to the dozer blade in service, there is a need for the retaining bolts to be applied with much higher torque than that required for typical fixed plant, in order to ensure that the GET does not fall off. Traditionally, this has been done using nutrunners, impact wrenches (“rattle guns”) and “gas-axing” (oxy-acetylene cutting) to remove the nuts when the threads are corroded or damaged
The Segnut FIRST project will bring to the Australian and global markets, a new system for applying and removing heavy duty fasteners with a clear focus on vastly improved safety to the worker tasked with installing and removing such fasteners. The system will comprise:
- A specialised attachment called a Reaction Socket unit
- A modified plow bolt design referred to as a “reaction bit plow bolt” or a “Segnut FIRST plow bolt”.
The Segnut FIRST system will allow the use of nutrunners to install AND remove nuts to matching bolts without the need for a reaction bar – thus no finger crush danger is created. The Segnut FIRST system incorporates a Reaction Socket with a dual drive mechanism which attaches to the modified threaded end on the plow bolt, and inner Segnut section for installation. Another larger Reaction Socket with a dual drive mechanism attaches to the inner and outer Segnut sections for removal.
The existing Segnuts and plow bolts are produced in China. This project will increase Australia’s capability in manufacturing fastening products and systems which will provide opportunities for local suppliers.
- Increased spending on R&D
- Increased collaboration with other manufacturers
- Larger patent portfolio
- Better qualified employees
- Newer equipment
- Greater capital intensity
- Larger geographical reach
- Segnut expect a 10% year on year penetration for the first three years in the market before growing to a 50% adoption rate for the GET applications in Australia. This would represent a retail value of $1 mill – $2mill in the first full year of market sales growing to $5 mill to $10 mill in the third year for Dozer GET applications
- During this project, Segnut expects to employ an additional 5 engineering and design staff
Government Funds: $252,500 | Industry: $252,500 | In-Kind: $57,500