Contracting Capabilities

Northpower provides contracting services across the North Island including engineering, infrastructure management and maintenance and construction.

An image of our eMotion 40H load skates in action

Innovating equipment installation in commercial facilities

Start date: 2020
End date: 2021

Tech innovation where it matters

Northpower is always looking for opportunities to explore and adapt new technologies, using innovation to overcome challenges.

One such challenge for our contracting teams is the handling of heavy machinery, particularly within tight spaces such as substations. The manual movement of large items like switchgear and transformers, weighing up to six tonnes, poses risks of injuries including sprains, strains, and crush injuries to our crews. Recognising the need for a safer and more efficient solution, we embarked on a journey to innovate our equipment and processes.

An image of a eMotion 40H

Mitigating risks

Over a number of years, Northpower has explored technological solutions to mitigate risks and improve safety conditions for our people. In 2020 and 2021, we identified load skates and mini cranes as ideal solutions for moving heavy items safely. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which made sourcing this technology from Europe difficult, we remained committed to enhancing safety and invested in this cutting-edge machinery.

Two key technical solutions are now employed by Northpower to help keep our people safe; the first is the ECOSkate eMotion Load Skate. This heavy-duty, battery-powered load skate, equipped with remote-controlled functionalities, can move items weighing up to 10 tonnes. Its joystick-controlled navigation and proportional function remote control make it suitable for manoeuvring in narrow and awkward spaces, such as substation environments.

An image of a Mobilev mini-crane

Using new technology

We also adopted the use of the Mobilev Mini Crane. The heavy-duty, electric-powered mini crane, also equipped with remote control capabilities, can lift and transport loads of up to 3500kg. Its compact design allows for easy navigation through narrow spaces, providing operators with a full field of vision.

To prepare our people for the use of this new technology, we initiated a comprehensive training programme. Teams underwent training in a simulated substation environment, ensuring our crews were proficient in operating both the load skates and mini cranes safely and efficiently.

Our commitment to innovation

This commitment to innovation and problem solving has delivered a number of significant benefits. The adoption of load skates and mini cranes has enhanced safety, significantly reduced the risk of crush injuries and muscle strains for our teams. The new technology has also seen genuine improvements in efficiency. Tasks that previously required six staff and took up to two days can now be completed by just two people in as little as 20 minutes, leading to enhanced productivity.

Northpower’s new approach has revolutionised the handling of heavy machinery, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people while enhancing operational efficiency, additionally benefiting our customers.