Flodraulic, a fluid power company, announced Feb. 10 the launch of its Archimedes Precision Spreader, a next generation precision snow plow and salter. Working with the University of Guelph, the Town of Halton Hills, and the City of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, Flodraulic has redesigned salt management to accurately measure the salt applied on roadways in real-time.
Unlike current road salters, the Archimedes Precision Spreader uses a LiDAR-based sensor array to measure the salt applied on roadways. This sensor data is then instantaneously fed back into the control system to control salt application rates to be as precise as possible. This solution can also detect over-salting, under-salting, as well as blockages.
Flodraulic also developed a cloud-based command structure and web center that can assign salt application rates to specific GPS coordinates. This solution allows operations teams to raise and lower salt requirements at any location based on weather, risk, and environmentally sensitive areas.
These advanced salt controls have the potential to allow for more accurate municipality salt usage. The University of Guelph has run tests and determined some salt trucks use more salt than necessary on roadways. This is often attributed to combating blockages, erring on the side of caution, or proactive applications from weather forecasts. The closed-loop control technology in these new trucks with the Archimedes Precision Spreader will automatically respond to blockages for the operator and will recommend an application of salt that will use less salt than current trucks on the road while maintaining the same level of public safety.