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Past Project in Detail

Digga Australia - Re-design of "Lil Digga" post-hole boring machine

01/12/2003

Jordan Blackmur (QUT student) with the 'new & improved' Lil Digga.  

Re-design of “Lil Digga” machine - Digga Australia (Mechanical Engineering)

Digga Australia is a rapidly growing company, located on the Gold Coast. Originally founded in 1981, the company has become Australia’s largest manufacturer of planetary gearboxes and also manufactures a full range of trenchers, augers, brooms, aluminium ramps, pallet forks and one-man boring machines. In 2003, Digga Australia was named Gold Coast Business of the Year by AusIndustry, and won multiple other business awards in manufacturing, construction, innovation and export.

The focus of this CEED project was to analyse and re-design one of Digga’s current products – “Lil Digga”, a one-man posthole-boring machine. The objectives were to improve the appearance, assembly, manufacturability, operation and safety of the machine, but not compromise the strength of the product or components. The scope of the project also included investigating use of lighter materials and a more modular design, which could be more attractive to the export market.

Jordan Blackmur, QUT B.Mechanical Engineering student was appointed to the project. Jordan tested the product by boring a few holes, to analyse how it handles and to identify areas for improvement. Next, he gained feedback from customers about it’s ease of use and their desired features/changes. After taking this feedback into account, plus ideas from various Digga staff, Jordan started modelling, engineering and implementing these improvements to check their viability. During this phase of development, Jordan did the engineering calculations to ensure that the modifications adhered to the Australian Standards. This stage also incorporated prototyping and testing, to ensure that the desired improvements had been achieved. In the final stages, Jordan produced detailed manufacturing drawings for production and updated general documentation for the “Lil Digga” product.

At the conclusion of the project, Jordan was able to deliver a simpler, lighter, easier to assemble and cheaper to manufacture prototype product. These modifications also included the ability for the product to be sold in a “knock-down” kit form, which would be very attractive for some of Digga’s markets, in Australia and overseas.

Stewart and Suzie Wright of Digga Australia were very pleased with the outcome of Jordan’s project.

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