Application of a Self-Adjusting Audible Warning Device as a Backup Alarm for Mobile Earthmoving Equipment 2005-01-3507
Most pieces of mobile equipment (machines) produce an audible signal to indicate movement in the rearward direction. This signal is intended to alert nearby personnel of the potential danger associated with the machine moving in a direction where the operator may not be able to see people or objects in the machine path. Anyone who has been on or near a construction site recognizes the familiar “beep…beep…beep…” of this signal as the backup alarm. To be effective, the backup alarm must be discernible, timely, and relevant to those people where a reaction is intended. As machine designers respond to various sound directives for reducing sound emissions (including the backup alarm), the performance of the backup alarm is receiving special attention. An emerging solution is an alarm capable of sensing ambient sounds and producing an audible signal proportional to the sensed sound levels-a self-adjusting backup alarm. This paper compares the characteristics of these self-adjusting alarms with the stated requirements of a stand-alone device and as part of the overall machine. A procedure for evaluating the appropriateness of self-adjusting alarms for a specific machine is described. The self-adjusting alarm offers several distinct advantages over fixed-level alarms.