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Hummingbird Electronics – Past and Future

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The article below featured in Mining Safe to Work. It has been republished with their permission

Written by Mining Safe to Work

Click here to view the full article.


Hummingbird Electronics was founded in 2010 by electronic engineer, Norman Ballard, and so for almost 10 years, the company has been working with customers from the transport, heavy vehicle, mining and civil construction industries by delivering new and innovative solutions.


All Hummingbird products are designed in Williamtown by Hummingbird’s team of electronics engineers. The company provides a full-service capability to conceptualise, design, test and manufacture products.


Since inception, key customers have brought great ideas to Hummingbird, and the company has delivered new and exciting technologies. Critically, many solutions are designed to improve the safety of vehicle and mobile machine operators.



Innovation ethos

Hummingbird believes that the ability to be agile, proactive and responsive is critical to innovation success.


This pursuit also means that Hummingbird ensures that its electronic products meet the requirements of the Australian regulatory environment and environmental conditions, and of those specified by their customers.


National Sales and marketing manager, Mark Bruce, said, “Customer consultation is crucial and it begins with gaining a thorough understanding of the problem at hand, from this we can provide a comprehensive solution that delivers the desired outcome.


“Our custom products are designed and manufactured specifically for customer needs and rigorous testing in conjunction with the customer ensures also that the product works for years to come.”

Quality is also on the forefront. In June 2018, the company achieved certification to ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, demonstrating a consistent commitment to quality, transparency and customer satisfaction.


It ensures Hummingbird are continually recognised internationally as one of the world’s best-managed electronics manufacturing companies.


What they do

Hummingbird is in the business of designing products that use sensor technology to monitor vehicle and machine stability, distance, speed, pressure and power. Many products aim to improve operator safety by delivering audio and visual warnings, signals and alerts.


Mark Bruce said, “Our bespoke solutions encompass all aspects of driver and mobile machine operator safety. It’s this capability and innovation that has seen Hummingbird deliver unparalleled safety solutions to our target industries.”


The company develops measuring and monitoring devices, such as battery monitors, data loggers CAN-Bus adapters, cabin pressure monitors and RF wireless monitors. Its speed measurement devices include GPS speed alert systems utilising the latest in GPS technology. Its distance measuring devices also utilise the latest in GPS technology to accurately display information relating to trips and distance.


Hummingbird’s vehicle stability monitoring devices include inclinometers and tilt switches, focused on improving safety, based on dual-axis tilt and roll-sensing of mobile machines. Many of these products were originally designed to meet the need of their customers have gone on to become part of the regular Hummingbird offering, for example, the Inclinometer was originally designed for BHP.



Innovation example

Its latest example of innovation can be seen in Hummingbird’s audio alert system. It is an innovative design that enables safety warnings with a verbally specific question, instruction or warning.


Imagine getting in the vehicle and hearing, ‘Have you done your pre-checks?’, ‘Fasten seatbelt’, ‘Apply the handbrake’ or ‘Warning, oil pressure low.’ With this smart system, any safety message or warning can be tailored for the application using a voice pre-recording. Vehicle and machine operators can act swiftly having heard a very specific communication.


New era

In 2015, Hummingbird Electronics was purchased by advanced manufacturer, REDARC Electronics who chose to retain the Hummingbird brand.


Anthony Kittel, Group company managing director said, “REDARC and Hummingbird are highly complementary with comprehensive product portfolios, industry-leading technological and innovative excellence with outstanding staff.


“The Hummingbird team is exceptionally knowledgeable and continually build upon product innovation, quality and performance.”



Hummingbird Electronics has found its niche in low-volume production, bespoke electronic design. Where it can be established that there is a market for a new product, it is designed and manufactured in Australia, using in-house and outsourced resources.


Products that become a standardised offering are then marketed directly to key customers, through distribution to customers within Australia and internationally. By designing custom products specifically for individual customer needs, it enhances its relationships, builds on existing intellectual property and expands its technology base.

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