Capella’s Les Dunn won ABC-TV’s New Inventors this week with a gizmo that could save mines millions.
Capella’s Les Dunn won ABC-TV’s New Inventors this week with a gizmo that could save mines millions.

Winning mine site invention Dunn Easy

A CAPELLA inventor is on the cusp of international recognition for a simple device that could save mine sites millions of dollars and lives.

Les Dunn took out this week’s New Inventors on the ABC with his Dunn Easy – a conveyer idler assembly whose innovative technology impressed the judges.

“The judges agree that it’s going to save a lot of lives and save the mines millions of dollars,” said Mr Dunn, 63, who admitted his TV debut left him lost for words at one point.

His Eureka moment came on Xstrata’s Oaky North Bowen Basin mine site struggling to solve a conveyer belt problem in 2006.

So he came up with the Dunn Easy.

In a nutshell, it’s a frame and roller system that enables the rolls on conveyer belts to be changed while they are still running. It’s a five-minute job in an industry where conveyer shutdowns can last for 24 hours at $2000phr.

The assembly is now in Oaky North, the new ship loader at Abbot Point, BMA’s Hay Point and at a gold mine and Cape Lambert in Western Australia.

Les’ partner in Tamec Services along with Gold Coast-based Robbie Hogg is Anakie’s Ron Church, the town’s rural fire service first officer.

The trio is setting up a manufacturing plant for the rolls at Capella, while the assemblies will be manufactured in component parts in China due to cost.

After almost 25 years perfecting his one-fit rolls, and another 14 on the Dunn Easy, the New Inventors win could be just the fillip needed to gain a foothold in the lucrative mining industry and generate interest in a product that plays its part in reducing carbon emissions.


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