09 May 2006

Noise protection system wins award

An 18 year-old German has invented a computer programme to protect against machine noise. The invention earned Johannes Hartmann from Schongau a design award at a trade fair in Munich.

The noise protection system may contribute to improving the environment in workplaces everywhere. Many countries have adopted work place noise regulations, but often people neglect or forget to take the proper steps to protect themselves against noise from machinery and other equipment. As a result, in Germany alone, 7,000 new cases of work related hearing loss are reported annually.

Johannes Hartmann, a technically inclined high school student from Schongau, developed his prize-winning WWPS-Wireless Work Protection System in response to this. His invention earned him one of the 12 prizes awarded in the ”Award for outstanding innovative contribution to manufacturing” category. Johannes Hartmann has used the 5,000 euro prize to patent his ear-friendly invention.

„The programme makes sure that you can switch on noisy machinery only if you are wearing hearing protection, “ explained Johannes. Sensors attached to the machinery determine whether or not proper hearing protection is in place. The hearing protection is also fitted with an emergency switch with wireless remote capability to turn off the machinery, if needed. This enables the worker to switch off the machinery without having to look for the switch on the machine.

The cost of the protection system is approximately 60 Euro. A central control unit for up to 30 employees is about 900 Euro.

Johannes Hartmann got his idea for the protection system during several internships when he repeatedly found, as he put it, “that noise hazards are not taken seriously in many companies.”

Source: Schongauer Nachrichten

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