The mission for Connectus Global is to bring accurate, Real-Time Location data to companies globally to allow them to make changes that save time, money and lives. Coupled with our electronic permitting solution, companies will be more productive, profitable and ultimately safer.
Tell us about yourself?
While working at an underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin NE Australia, Mike was working on the roof supports of a long wall mining machine while a co-worker of his was working on the shear controls. The shear of the long wall about 2m wide with a few 8” picks that rotate with the drum as it shaves coal off the seam. While Mike was working, he heard a sound like someone threw a bucket of change against a steel wall. When he turned around he saw his co-worker was caught by a pick on a rotating shear. Within a second the worker was pulled over the top of the shear in front of him. The result of this catch is that it pulled the worker into the machinery and was masticated Infront of our founder. Being the only person on the scene he was forced to shut down and safe out the equipment while calling emergency services.
From this incident, Mike then collaborated with developers from around the world to create the first iteration of the Connectus business, an RFID chip that was sewn into the coveralls of the workers and a solenoid valve placed on the master hydraulics of the rotating equipment. So when they approach, it shuts off the machinery by reduction in hydraulic fluid flow and pressure to the shear.
This solution has since been patented by Joy Global and is sold on long wall globally as critical safety infrastructure. Personally, Mike holds three trade tickets; Steamfitting/Pipefitting, B Pressure Welder and Boilermaker. Mike also holds his ABSA Level 4 Boiler Inspection and Trouble Shooting ticket, Steam System Design and Level Two Nuclear Leak Seal certification.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Networking is so key to running your own business and I would advise myself to reach out sooner to peers, especially at an executive level, for support and advice.
What problem does your business solve?
Connectus technology solves the question, “Where are my people and what are they doing? Using real-time location data to drive, first of all, safety but also productivity, and profitability. An increase in workforce efficiency partnered with a reduction in non-productive time for people and assets is a strong driver for companies to utilize our RTLS solution.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
After many years of working in the Oil&Gas industry through several onsite incidents, some tragic, it seemed to me that there has to be a better way to track the workers whereabouts. Not only is this important from a safety/emergency response perspective but also from the view of restricted areas and the increase in young, new workers. Much of the industry experience is about to retire and that lends itself to a whole other problem when lack of knowledge/experience can potentially be life-threatening.
What is your magic sauce?
The main item that differentiates Connectus from its competitors is that we utilize this technology in hazardous environments. As well, we partner our Electronic Permiting with our Real-Time Location Solution to deliver a full package for the Oil&Gas / Mining sector. This gives full visibility to the entire operations and maintenance activities of site solving the fundamental questions about your workers, where are they, what are they doing, and are they safe.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We would like to expand our global reach in the Oil & Gas / Energy sectors but also branch out to offer our technology into Agriculture, Healthcare and Forestry as there are many problems in these fields that can be solved or minimized with RTLS Technology. Also incorporating biometrics and live video to our edge devices to increase knowledge transfer to other workers and new workers.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Funding has to be the number one barrier for Connectus but also for our customers. Many large companies prize profitability over safety and this causes a challenge for us to be able to deliver this very important solution at a price point that is acceptable to corporations. For Connectus the challenge comes to the forefront when we want to bring our solutions to the global market which is very expensive, to travel and meet in person the decision-makers in the Oil & Gas / Mining sectors.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Reach out to Connectus for a conversation about how our technology can work for your specific situation via [email protected] We can arrange a live demonstration or a pilot at your location.