South Wales Sports Grounds limited operate throughout South Wales as well as into Gloucestershire. They undertake contracts for a broad range of clients from local authorities, major contracting groups, universities and colleges through to individual sports clubs and private clients. Established in 1964, they have continued to cultivate a reputation as one of the leading sports surface contractors in the region.
Employing the latest technology, they are able to develop and construct natural turf pitches, artificial turf pitches, and a variety of playing surfaces for multi games use. In addition, they undertake ancillary work such as fencing, floodlighting, drainage, retaining walls, car parks and footpaths.
Below: Newly constructed 3rd generation facility at Cwmbran Stadium by SWSG.
Francis McDermott (construction Director of South Wales Sports Grounds) asked Zeus Hydratech to assist on a project requiring bespoke hydraulic controls for their bespoke gravel grading machine.
As part of the work completed at their client's sports facilities, South Wales Sports Ground need to dig trenches ready to lay different service lines, they then need backfill the trench with gravel. Historically this process had been completed manually which was both time consuming and very laborious. Francis wanted to incorporate a hydraulic system to allow the driver to precisely control the position of the conveyor while controlling the feed of gravel as required while driving alongside the trench.
Considering the fixed elements of the project, which included the limited space inside the cab for the mounted control panel, the number of different controls needed, the location of the valves and cylinders and finally the flow requirements, we began to sketch out a suitable hydraulic circuit.
We then looked at suitable components to give the required flow and pressure for the application. Using our previous experience, we looked to the range of Walvoil valves, these particular units allowed us to create a bank of valves mounted in a single location, but provided independent flow and pressure to each of the required services on the cart system. We selected their electronic solenoid control option, permitting connection to an electronic control panel in the cab. The Walvoil units also incorporate a pressure relief valve, a safety feature which prevents excess pressure into the hydraulic system.
Next, we needed to design a suitable control panel that could be easily mounted in the cab of the tractor unit. The control panel had to include independent lever controls for each of the services, including conveyor belt start and stop, conveyor arm up and down movement, conveyor arm fold away function and finally, control of the gate valve on the hopper. Using a trusted contractor, we were able to build a complete control panel unit with indicator lights - we even installed the correct Massey Ferguson power cable to allow simple connection to the power socket located in the cab. Further to that, to reduce the number of cables inside the cab, we created a single umbilical cable to run from the control panel to a smaller electrical distributor box (mounted by the valve block)
Francis also explained that it would be desirable to be able to control the speed of the conveyor belt so we incorporated one of our line mounted flow control valves.
Below: The completed electrical control panel
Within 3 weeks of Francis contacting Zeus Hydratech, we were able to provide a complete hydraulic control package with a bespoke made control panel for their gravel conveyor unit.
Francis managed to install the supplied components inside 1 week and reported that the cab mounted control panel fitted and performed perfectly. The net result was a semi-automated system that has allowed South West Sports Grounds to massively improve on the time taken to complete the back-filling of the trench filling.
Below: The completed gravel cart - the valve block and electrical distributor box can be seen to the front of the trailer unit.
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