Back in 2005 a friend of ours who owns an engineering works approached us and asked if we would be interested in discussing the possibility of designing and manufacturing a device for the mining industry. He’d had a meeting with someone who had taken this equipment to his workshops and wanted him to do it. As they weren’t supplying him with blueprints, he decided against it and rang us.
What was needed was a device designed and manufactured to fit an encoder switch assembly to a B.E. Pedal. On the way back from the meeting, we knew we could do it and immediately set to work to get the first one done.
This B.E. encoder switch assemblies were then quickly supplied to the mining sites who had been struggling for years with antiquated equipment. Because these devices were so old, a lot of the parts had been discontinued and they were constantly ‘band aiding” to keep them going.
One day an old Marion pedal was sent over to the work shop and we designed a similar system that would adapt to it.
When the B.E. Pedal was in the workshop (weighed in at around 50 kgs), we thought that this device was a massive overkill. All it had to do was drive the encoder/or resolver switch assembly, which would still be under the floor and require a cherry picker to still come in, to enable the engineers to climb in to service the machine. We had issues with the safety of doing this.
We then decided to build a “prototype” pedal with switch gear and encoder /or resolver built into pedal assembly . This would be “In cabin” rather than under the floor. We proved that this concept would work . This original prototype didn’t have heel cups as we were told that they weren’t necessary, however feedback from the mine sites indicated that they preferred them and so they were added as part of the design.
Later on, we were shown a Gessmann pedal which had been shelved due to lack of interest. The fact that they had gears to reverse direction meant that backlash was a serious issue. If ever the switch needed to be replaced it was almost a total dismantle to get at it.
These pedals were stripped down and re- engineered to make them more practical. We then decided to design and manufacture a new swing pedal system from the ground up to eliminate all the problems that were being experienced by the mines.