Group Turns 20

As engineers, we’re better at talking about inanimate objects than ourselves, but we feel compelled to update you on the many happenings at GROUP Engineering. Did you know that as a business, we are now over 20 years old? We’ve gone from strength to strength and now have a number of groundbreaking achievements under our belt.

Group Engineering - Celebrating 20 Years

GROUP on track with new laser belt scanner

View Latest Product BrochureHC01BeltProfilerBrochureWeb.pdf


Twenty-six-year-old Flemming Nissen has not yet finished his engineering degree, but he already has his first innovation project under his belt.

As part of its commitment to sponsor and train young talent, GROUP Engineering has provided Mr Nissen with the first-class mentoring needed to ensure his innovative laser belt scanner has now reached the final testing phase.

“Our product broadens the applications of traditional belt weighers to increase and better manage production,” he said.

“We’re on track to have a product that will be commercially available to mining, sugar or grain industries by the end of this year.”

For the uninitiated, belt weighers are used on conveyor belts to monitor the volumetric flow of product, but according to Mr Nissen, they have their limitations.

“For instance, if the product is too light, like bagasse as used in the sugar industry, it’ll often be undetectable by the belt weigher,” Mr Nissen said.

“And you can’t place the belt weigher just anywhere especially if the conveyor bends or ascends.”

Thus the reason Mr Nissen has been perfecting a new system as part of his final year thesis, which he is completing via correspondence through the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).

Using mathematical techniques, Mr Nissen, with help from his mentors at GROUP, has devised a system that laser scans large volumes material and turns it into real-time data that a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) can use to make instant decisions.

“Our system is a profiler, using a laser scanner, so we are able to obtain detailed 3D information,” he said.

“You can place it anywhere on the belt, which means delays involved in correcting product before it reaches the discharge chute can be minimised.”

The GROUP Laser Belt Scanner has been completely developed in-house, and provides a robust base system, that can be configured to specific needs.

GROUP has been working with Sugar Australia to test the product in a real setting.

“Not only does our system detect the volumetric flow of product on a conveyor belt using PLC hardware, but it can detect belt damage, tracking or blockages and analyse the product profile and its position on the conveyor,” Mr Nissen said.

“All of this is done at extreme speed and accuracy.

“Creating something completely new is one of the most exciting aspects of engineering, but I wouldn’t have been able to reach this point without the support from Sugar Australia and my highly experienced mentors at GROUP Engineering.”

To summarise, the GROUP laser belt scanner allows the operator to:

  • Load a vessel to a known volume
  • Load conveyors to the fullest extent
  • Avoid spillage
  • Quickly detect and stop blockages
  • Calculate product density
  • Better control loads on the conveyor belt.

Mr Nissen is due to graduate from USQ in with a Bachelor in Engineering in April 2011.


View Latest Product BrochureHC01BeltProfilerBrochureWeb.pdf