Digga launches Halo auger alignment system

By: Harrison Hunkin, Photography by: Scott Belzner

Presented by
  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Harrison Hunkin recently got a glimpse of Digga Australia’s most exciting development yet – the Halo

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It’s rare nowadays to see truly impressive manufacturing feats in Australia. A lot can be pinned on the obvious – there just is not as much manufacturing in Australia as there once was.

However, while the industry has shrunk, there are still homegrown gold nuggets to be found, and we believe we’ve found one from Digga Australia.

No stranger to the earthmoving and farming sectors, this Gold Coast-based business has been manufacturing machinery attachments from its factory since 1981, and after four years of hard work, research and development, Digga has produced what it believes is the future of drilling.

It’s called the Halo – an alignment system that’s been built into the hood of the drive unit and uses a band of highly visible LED lights to indicate when the unit is in a plumb position or when the unit is out of alignment.

Green is good and indicates to the operator that the auger is in plumb position, while a sequence of red and green lights illuminate the Halo ring to guide the operator back to plumb when the unit goes out of alignment. It’s so simple it’s genius.

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EYES ON THE PRIZE

Yeah, we know there are plenty of monitor and levelling systems available on the market, but none that have that all-important visibility. With the Halo positioned on the drive unit, the operator’s eyesight is constantly on the job at hand.

There is no need for a spotter, which will save a business money. The lack of adjusting and glancing at monitors will also keep work efficient, while the guidance of the Halo itself ensures straight holes without in-hole adjustments.

Some operators might think they’re skilled enough without any of this technology, but pride aside, the results don’t lie. The brains of the Halo are found in the hood box, which is situated inside the hood.

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The hood box comprises of six sensors that accurately measure inclination to +/-.25°. This hood box is then plugged directly to the Halo LED ring. Digga explained to us that Halo has been programmed to show all-green LED from 0°to 1.5°of incline. After 1.5°the LEDs will show a sequence of red and green lights. These lights move around the hood to indicate which way to move the drive to return to plumb.

"The red and green lights are always opposite each other, thus if the operator can only see the red light, he or she will surmise the location of the green and be able to "chase" it," Digga says.

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TECH HAS COME A LONG WAY

Komatsu demonstrator trainer Phillip Bailey, who was onsite to test out the new Halo, was impressed with how seamless the Halo felt when used.

"I didn’t know much about the product initially, but I was really impressed with the Halo, to be honest," Bailey says.

"Every operator thinks they can drill a straight hole, it’s a pride thing, but this really does help, especially with angled work… it’s exceptional.

"Taking your eyes off your drive unit for just that split second to look at a monitor can force your auger out of position, which leads to oversizing of the hole.

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The new Halo Auger alignment system from Digga Australia

"Having the LED alignment system built into the drive unit is a great idea and removes those split second lapses because you have to constantly look at the head unit," Bailey adds.

"Another thing that impressed me were the actual lights [themselves]; you could see the bright LEDs beaming, even in glary sunlight. It would be really cool to see it operating at night time actually," he joked. "Due to how the lights work I think my reaction time was better. You don’t know how much you need [the Halo] until  have it. Technology has come a long way."


LED MAGIC!

The Halo project has been a work in progress for Digga since 2016. It’s been teased on social media and showcased at trade fairs for years, but finally, after a wide range of testing and design upgrades (including water, vibration, longevity and heat testing) the Halo is set to make its official launch.

Digga has had over 50 Halo units out in the field with customers since November 2019, and with the final amendments made, it will be released to the public on August 3.

Currently, only PD3 to PD7 Drives are available with Halo. However, Digga confirms that work is underway for a Halo in PDD to PD50 by the end of 2020 and SD drives by 2021.

Visit www.digga.com for more information about the impressive Halo auger alignment system.

 

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