Contracting Capabilities

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

Improving tower refurbishment safety

Location: Paraparaumu
Start date: 2013
Completion date: Ongoing
Project partners: Swazi, TR Group, Sokoza Engineering, Anything Electronics

Northpower drives industry innovation, design and collaboration to achieve best practice safety and operational efficiency outcomes

Collaborations with industry partners, including manufacturers and engineering firms, have been instrumental in the success of these innovations, which have led to significant improvements in safety and productivity across the company.

Refurbishing transmission towers involves inherent risks and physical challenges, demanding solutions to ensure safety, productivity, and environmental responsibility. We’re proud to have spearheaded several groundbreaking innovations in this space, to address these challenges, significantly improving safety outcomes and operational efficiency.

With the support of key partners, our teams have redesigned blast suits, developed a wireless blast remote, redesigned reel trucks and the design of a five-tonne blast truck with a custom-mounted compressor for tower refurbishment.

Blast suit redesign

Northpower collaborated with clothing manufacturer Swazi to design and test a revolutionary blast suit, with the first suits being put into commission in 2013. The new suit, 60% lighter than its predecessor, offers enhanced safety features and improved functionality. It provides superior manoeuvrability, reduced fatigue, and better comfort, significantly improving safety and productivity for our crews.

Wireless blast remote

In 2016, Northpower initiated research and development efforts to create a wireless blast control technology in collaboration with Nelson-based Anything Electronics. The resulting Kapiti blast remote eliminates risks associated with wired blast remotes, ensuring safer and more efficient operation for our people. It integrates seamlessly with blast equipment, enhancing ease of use and safety.

Reel truck re-design

Recognising the need to minimise manual handling and reduce injury risks while working around transmission repairs, we re-engineered our site setup approach in 2017. Customised electric hose reels were developed and mounted on trucks, enabling continuous hose lengths between blast equipment and transmission towers. This innovation significantly reduces physical strain on our crews and improves operational efficiency.

Blast truck integration

Northpower’s fleet team collaborated with TR Group and Sokoza Engineering to design a lightweight, five-tonne blast truck with a custom-mounted compressor for tower refurbishment.

This fully integrated vehicle removes the need for multiple pieces of equipment, which in turn reduces the risk of failure and enhances safety. The modern design also reduces carbon emissions, reflecting our commitment to environmental sustainability. The fully integrated blast truck has streamlined operations, also reducing setup time and improving service delivery.We’re proud to say the innovative blast suit, wireless blast remote, and reel truck designs have resulted in substantial improvements in safety, productivity, and comfort for our field staff.

In turn, this means crews have experienced lower levels of fatigue, improved comfort, and enhanced manoeuvrability, leading to increased productivity and safety performance. Our commitment to ongoing innovation has contributed to Northpower being a leader in safety and technology within the electricity sector.

Innovating Aotearoa

These innovations in tower refurbishment showcase best practice safety initiatives and operational efficiency within our industry. We continue to set the standard for excellence in engineering and technology, driving positive change for our people, clients, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s electricity contracting sector.