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George Francis Bachelor of Engineering Technology student with the new electronic control unit prototype that is being put into production for fire engine water cannons like the one held by Fraser Engineering GM Martin Simpson. The device will mean fire fighters can remain in their cabs and use a joy stick to drive a water cannon thereby greatly reducing safety risks.

Innovative technology designed and produced in the Hutt Valley by WelTec student

Media Release: 21 November 2014

Fraser Engineering in Lower Hutt is world famous for producing sophisticated yet rugged fire engines.

A final year WelTec engineering student, George Francis, has designed and produced a very smart device for Frasers that allows fire fighters to direct the hoses from the safety of their cab.

George designed a prototype electronic control unit for a remote control fire fighting nozzle known as a Monitor – mounted to the front bumper of a fire fighting vehicle. “It’s been sold to an Australian customer and by the end of this project will be in service ready for the busy bushfire season,” says George.

Martin Simpson, Fraser’s GM says, “Our future depends on our ability to innovate and through smart engineering solutions we can expand our business. We are focused on efficient manufacturing processes to support new ideas into production. As an industry we need smart, practical graduates like George who come along and assist with projects that really make a difference to our business.”

“This Monitor is relevant to all fire fighting situations. We aim to see one on every fire truck, especially in Australia where there are huge safety benefits from being able to fight fires from inside a vehicle’s cab. This device drives a fire engine’s water cannon through the use of a joystick. We have produced this unit which is not only cost effective but exemplifies the type of smart engineering technology Frasers is all about.”

Frans Weehuizen (George’s electrical engineering tutor at WelTec) says, “This project was produced to a very high standard and within a very short timeframe so much so that it is now in production which really is quite incredible.”

George’s work is one the incredible range of projects being showcased as part of the final year projects by WelTec Bachelor of Engineering students at WelTec’s Petone campus on Monday 1 December between 2pm and 8pm.

Other projects students have worked on have resulted in better tasting beer, faster storm water runoff systems, a hydrogen fuelled hob, a device which sieves fossils from rock samples, modern train signals for KiwiRail, developing a screen which assists the Kaitoke Intake to extract significantly more litres of water per day.