Innovation in a matured industry – not likely?

Paramount Safety value safety above everything else and deliver this with its Linq products.

Paramount Safety has recently become a part of PIP Global – an announcement which highlights Paramount Safety’s mission for developing and offering high quality products for the Australian market.

The key to innovation in the lifting and materials handling industry is mainly the result of listening to the industry, understanding the challenges and being solutions focused.

Paramount Safety began “out of a small shed” in Perth in the early 1990s, laundering cotton safety gloves for reuse, but quickly recognised the opportunity to grow its own line of personal protective equipment.

The passion for safety underpinned every decision made by Paramount to expand, leading to the development of the Linq range of lifting and rigging equipment.

“If aliens did not build the pyramids, and in fact it was humans, then you can bet some form of lifting technique would have been used to do so,” said Paramount Safety’s Linq Chief Technical Officer Stephen Sugden.

“The industry has gotten to the point where the only way that you can really develop and innovate is to understand the specific needs of a particular industry and then solve the issues endemic to that industry. This led to the Linq brand’s innovative and class-leading products for the safety-critical industries of lifting and rigging.”

Paramount Safety’s Paul Bozkurt is the category manager for Linq and recognises that every jobsite is different, so Paramount must adjust accordingly.

“We often find ourselves being called into consult directly with the industry on behalf of our country-wide distributors, for our safety products in the construction, lifting, and mining industries,” he said.

Stephen Sugden has been developing lifting, rigging, and height safety products since the 90s right across the globe. Since joining the team at Paramount’s Linq and PIP Global’s network, he continues to use his extensive experience to develop products in reaction to industry specific needs.

The Linq chain block and lever hoists are products that have been designed by Sugden and the team at Paramount. The Linq Elite range of chain blocks has an innovative seven-bearing crank for enhanced longevity, resulting in bespoke gearing, giving a really low hand chain or lever effort.

The Linq products continue to be developed and push the lifting sector forwards.

The introduction of the dust gasket feature for both the ranges of chain blocks and lever hoists prevents dust ingress to the working gears and contamination of greased moving parts whilst in use in high-dust environments.

Working in Australia poses a number of challenges, especially when working in harsh environments such as building sites and mines, but the dust gasket feature designed by Paramount lowers wear and tear, and improves safety.

Whilst the need for innovation is ongoing, as it is a response to industry needs and feedback, Sugden and the team at Paramount strive to ensure the highest levels of safety.

“One of the things that we understand foremost is that, in a mature industry such as the materials handling, lifting, rigging, and height safety industries, pretty much anything that has been thought of has already been done,” said Sugden.

“Any faults, in particular designs over say the last 100 years, have been mostly rectified and changed, or have just been accepted. As a result, innovation has slowed because the cost of innovation is very high compared with the offerings from a 1,000 parts assemblers in the general market.

“That dust cover has been on my design list since the 90s, when I was supplying lifting products into African mines, so it’s not often that you get an opportunity for company’s as large as the PIP Group and Paramount Safety to listen to your ideas,” Sugden said.

The Linq Elite range of chain blocks and lever hoists require less effort – for example on a one-tonne Linq chainblock the effort to raise the load is less than 26kg compared to the 33kg per tonne effort that is typical of others in the Australian market.

“That’s almost a 30 per cent advantage in terms of effort. Over time this mechanical advantage helps to improve safety as operator effort is significantly less,” said Sugden.

All Linq lifting chain blocks and lever hoists utilise steel lock nuts as opposed to nylon. This helps eliminates premature replacement due to lock nut failure, wear from environmental issues such as heat, and UV. Steel lock nuts also allow for safe reuse at service time.

“We have identified that one of the big issues in Australia is how to keep the product operating safely for longer. This calls for tighter tolerances in the manufacturing process,” said Sugden.

“Each and every Linq chain block and lever hoist is proof loaded to 150 per cent of working load limit prior to despatch. Each batch test sample is conducted with a minimum of 1,500 cycles at 110 per cent of working load limit. This ensures that consistency in manufacture process is maintained and proven to the highest standards each batch, every batch.

“Our product is not a no-name import with a label slapped on for marketing purposes by an anonymous assembler of dubious source.

“Linq blocks are locally designed, locally developed, manufactured using our parts on a vertically integrated ISO manufacturing facility covering forging, stamping, heat treatment, case hardening and assembly, all under one roof as can be seen by the forging and stamping of our brand on all parts, including our load chain.

“What this means is that this is our product – we have total responsibility for it. We get that Australian law says that if you are the importer then you are the manufacturer, but we’ve taken that many steps further.

“We are the manufacturer and our bespoke, OEM-appointed, ISO accredited facility that no one else in Australia has access to means the end user can have complete confidence in our products,” Sugden said.

As with everything Paramount Safety does, safety is at the core of every product and every decision made is to ensure that its customers work safely.

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