Vallen Engineering Ltd. is an integrated service provider offering a full range of industrial, oil and gas and electric utility asset maintenance and product supply services. The company’s key offerings include valve assembly, maintenance, repair and fault finding, operational management, custom-engineered solutions, controlled service management process for asset integrity, and 24/7 reactive functionality to support clients with all planned and emergency requirements.
Vallen Engineering wanted to improve communications between its engineering team members when working on projects at their clients’ facilities. As these facilities are operated by different clients in different locations, the requirement was for efficient back-to-back communications, also known as direct mode operation (DMO). In direct mode operation, the radio terminals communicate directly with each other without the need for any external network infrastructure such as base stations or repeaters.
The company was looking for a robust and feature rich portable radio terminal capable of operating reliably outdoors in all weather conditions. The managers on site required a terminal with a display screen, so they could ascertain which user was calling. They also wanted to have the ability to privately call individual users on-site during lifting operations, as well as ensuring no interruptions during mechanical valve overhauls.
Vallen approached Hytera partner Commercial Radio Systems (CRS) with whom the company had an existing and trusted relationship to see if it could recommend a suitable solution. CRS offered to demonstrate some radio models including Hytera HP605 and HP685 Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) devices.
In the demonstrations, the Hytera HP6 series radios excelled in terms of resilience to inclement weather while on trial, thanks to their IP67 certification for waterproofing and dust resistance. The radios are compact, light, easy to carry and simple to operate. At the same time, they are still very rugged and robust as they meet the MIL-STD-810G standard for resistance to drops (up to 2m) and vibration.
The integrated BT5.0 technology provides flexible wireless connections for audio accessories, thereby enabling engineers to keep their hands free for their jobs, while still remaining in constant touch with their colleagues. The radios can also be operated easily with gloves, which is a major consideration in this heavy engineering context.
The radios also provided better voice quality than other vendor models, delivering clear and loud audio at all times thanks to Hytera’s latest AI-based noise cancellation technology - an important factor when communications have to be heard in noisy engineering environments.
The HP6 series also supports a far greater range in back-to-back mode when compared with other models the client had previously used. Another major bonus the client really appreciated was the long battery life of over 20 hours (5-5-90 standard), which enables users to work a full day's shift without having to recharge the radios.
The first batch of HP6 series radios was issued to the lead engineering team. This provided a valuable proof of concept demonstration to the organisation. This successful trial encouraged it to move the radio upgrade process forward and commit to expanding the company’s communications capacity.
One of the key benefits the new Hytera HP6 series radios have brought is that it allows Vallen to carry out larger contracts more safely and professionally. The radios make it easier to coordinate the activities of the engineering teams on site, as well as boosting safety and helping to improve productivity.
The customer has already discussed the prospect of looking at investing in portable DMR infrastructure, which would greatly increase the range and security of its communication systems. It is also considering adding Man Down and Lone Worker emergency protocols for increased worker safety, and these features can easily be integrated and brought online with the HP605 and HP685.
Ben Loxley, Operations Director at Vallen Engineering Ltd, commented: “The HP6 series exceeded our expectations for a hand portable radio with an array of programmable features, user-friendly operation and impressive range, clarity and battery life. We are very pleased with these portables and look forward to expanding the fleet, exploring the capabilities of the units and adding infrastructure to our portfolio for larger contracts in future.”