The Connected Snow Removal Camera Solution (CSRCS) project was the product of several large enterprises. Global Roadway Maintenance, TELUS, Houle, Mobotix Corp., and Sierra Wireless came together to create a tool that brough a new idea into practice. Global Roadway Maintenance came up with a way to improve their snow removal operations by having access to real-time weather information at each snow removal site. This project delivered a device that can provide real-time weather information, visuals, and notifications when a drop in temperature is detected, enabling the operator to dispatch equipment effectively.
Houle contributed to the physical design, algorithm design, integration specialties, in-house prefabrication, Canada-wide installation services, and on-going remote monitoring services. Through value engineering, Houle improved the design of the Connected Snow Removal Camera. Originally the design included a PVC scepter hinged box to house the various electrical components. Upon re-examination, Houle’s design team decided to explore the benefits of using steel. It was determined that steel provides the ability to ground the antenna and shield interference (unlike the PVC). Switching to steel would also prevent intermodulation distortion, likely reducing the frequency of service calls once units were deployed to the field. As these cameras are being installed on poles and the sides of buildings, steel also acts as a lightning and surge protector during storms, whereas the PVC enclosure would be destroyed.
Houle knew at the start of this project that collaborating with so many independent companies would be a challenge. TELUS and Houle overcame this barrier by working together to trial and test solutions. Houle also had to overcome the barrier of designing a product that would withstand the wide-ranging Canadian climates. From the scorching summer temperatures of the interior BC to the freezing arctic winters of Yellowknife, Houle was challenged to come up with a design to function under a wide variety of weather conditions while staying on budget.
Excellent communication and collaboration between stakeholders contributed to the project success. No safety incidents or lost time occurred during this project. Houle ensured that materials were obtained well in advance to prevent the schedule from being impacted. Materials arrived at the prefabrication shop where they were assembled and packaged in custom boxes for shipping to the installation site.
“It has been an outstanding experience working with Houle Electric as a business partner and to have their input into product design, algorithm design, and integration expertise to meet the requirements set out for building a functional Snow Removal Solution.”
~Mark Bermel, Senior Wireless Specialist, TELUS Customer Solution