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INTELLIGENT SALT SPREADING, THE GILETTA WAY
Eliminate ice from the streets using 30% less salt, to reduce the environmental impact, increase security, save time and money. This was the idea behind the project ‘Golden Ice’, an innovative system for salt spreading, patented, produced and marketed by Giletta of Revello, located in the province of Cuneo. An innovation whose central point is attention to the environment, so much so that Microsoft has inserted it within their “Green campaign”. The Giletta patent, in fact, is implemented using Microsoft technology in combination with modern satellite navigation technology (GPS, Galileo and Egnos), to develop a tool for the optimal control of salt spreader machines.
“The innovation which has always been our point of distinction on the European and international markets” explained Enzo Giletta, the CEO of Giletta S.p.A, “is the growth motor which has allowed us to export to over 40 countries, and to obtain large orders for salt spreaders. Our philosophy has always been to produce not only salt spreaders or snow ploughs, but also to try to solve street management problems on a 360° level, and this is how we arrived at patenting the use of GPS for the automated management of the services and the vehicle fleet for winter maintenance. From the initial results, we have calculated that the use of ‘Golden Ice’ produces a salt saving of more than 30%.”
Thanks to the use of registration and spreader route mapping techniques, together with other important information (the exact position of the vehicle, calculation of the exact amount of material to be spread, etc.), the system optimizes the distribution of the salt, according to the road surface conditions and the width of the vehicle, with an accuracy of 99.95%, while at the same time permitting the machine operator to manually adjust the parameters of the spreading and to update the information in the case of modifications to the street section, or according to specific needs for the treatment of particular routes. The project leader, Mauro Mattio, explained that “the project developed from the idea that a manual control by the operator of the machinery, as occurs today in almost every case, could never attain the quality control standards, the essential element of the project was to introduce a complete automation of the salt spreading process by taking advantage of the new Galileo satellite oriented technology such as Egnos and Edas.” The vehicle is able therefore, thanks to Golden Ice, regulate the quantity of salt according to the system’s signals regarding the width of the street, the gradient, and so forth. “It is not realistic,” continued Mattio, “to think that an operator would be able to spread, on their own, the correct amount of salt required by the street conditions, with the attendant constant variations. The automation through ‘Golden Ice’ will instead allow this objective to be reached, optimizing salt use.”
In order to guarantee a high level of security for both the machine operator as well as the vehicle drivers during winter season operations, the project ‘Golden-Ice’ has been specifically planned to integrate the new European E-Call standard for the management of emergency calls from and to vehicles. In addition, the system is able to provide a position guarantee, ‘certifying’ whether or not the street has been maintained in a safe and drivable condition. The Giletta group produces more than 2 thousand winter maintenance machines annually, not only in Italy but also in France, Germany and Spain, with distribution and production planned for further countries.