Project- Mining Cap Lamp
Mining Cap Lamp Project - Jannatec Ltd. originally contacted an injection moulder to try and develop their new cap lamp. The moulder referred them to Dayman Design Inc. and Jeff Dayman as it became apparent the design task was a major project. Existing cap lamps at the time, most designed in the 1930's, were mainly incandescent lights with short working life and high current consumption. Visibility down a 100 m tunnel was adequate but user injuries caused by near invisibility of objects underfoot and just in front of the user were frequent. Any additional -function systems or radio equipment needed a separate enclosure mounted elsewhere on the helmet or cap or worn on the user's body. The batteries required for the high current incandescent lights were lead acid type, huge and very heavy to give reasonable working time per charge. Bulbs needed frequent changes and were over $50 each for approved types, and needed to be changed by a certified lamp technician to ensure safety. Jeff Dayman worked with Jannatec's president and their technical leader to develop an LED lamp concept with capability of focusing the lamp, incorporating backup LED's for safety if the main LED should fail, and also to incorporate circuit board bays for a lamp control circuit and a bay for a second PCB for future applications including room for a vertical can type RF antenna to enable communication with other devices. The PCB bay work was done as a close collaboration between Jeff and Jannatec's electronics team leader. This product was not just a cap lamp anymore- it was an electronics platform with a lamp! An optical design lab was consulted to optimize the reflector curve and size with the main LED chosen by Jannatec's electronics team. After making a prototype which achieved the required 100 m tunnel light intensity, focus was directed to lighting the user's path at their feet. Several approaches were tried, extra LED's, angled reflectors, etc. Jeff suggested simply cutting away an angled portion of the reflector and letting light spill downward. This worked well and was chosen as the solution for the project, and can be seen on the finished lamp at right. All mechanical design work, CAD modeling, detail drawings, and coordination with part vendors was done by Jeff Dayman. After building the necessary moulds and part tooling, parts were shipped, units were built and a rigorous testing program was performed at Jannatec. Durability and reliability test results were better than expected. Unit weight was exactly as CAD predicted and considerably lighter than existing product. Current consumption was a small fraction of the current required for incandescent lamps. LED life was proven to be many thousand times more than incandescent bulb life. The low current requirement allowed Jannatec to design a power / radio unit using a much smaller battery combined with a radio in a housing as shown in the picture beside the cap lamp. This housing held the battery and radio and was still much smaller and lighter than existing lead acid battery packs- let alone the separate radio used with lead acid batteries. When taken underground for the first time to gauge how miners would accept the unit, as soon as they saw the better quality, wide field light from the Jannatec LED cap lamp unit, the miners immediately said they wanted one and wanted to hand in their existing incandescent lamps and lead acid batteries. Getting the cap lamp mech. design done by Dayman Design Inc. and tooling up for a product like this was a huge step for a small firm like Jannatec. They were nervous about being able to sell just the 600 units they needed to break even. Over several years they sold approx. 8500 of the units, making a good profit which enabled development of further products.