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An Outstanding Humanitarian Effort

Orbital Screener a Global influence in Humanitariain
Mine Clearance

-By Guy Petts

I have had the privilege of being able to work across the world as the mechanical manager in two of the biggest Humanitarian Mineclearance Organisations, The HALO Trust and Mines Advisory Group albeit in war affected countries where the work is extremely stimulating. The challenges are difficult to find off the shelf machinery and equipment to deal with the after war contamination and the investigation leads us to lots of interesting and motivated people particularly when they find out what we want the machines for, Orbit Screens have shared that enthusiasm with support above and beyond.

The first association with Orbit Screens in early 2000 was with the US DOD, in particular Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) or as it is now called, Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HD R&D) who I have had the privilege to have  worked with for over 15 years. The team from HD R&D were looking for a versatile screening unit that was robust, economical, manoeuvrable and simple to operate, particularly in war ravaged countries. My contact with Orbit Screens started with the first unit going into Afghanistan courtesy of US DOD where it was used to screen soil excavated from minefields in the central, northern and western regions, the soil was excavated and fed into the screener and anti-personnel mines and unexploded munitions would appear from the Overs Conveyor. By the time I left Afghanistan there were at least three Orbital Screeners in country, some of those worked around Bagram US Base and I would sometimes wonder whether the Military personnel who would watch us work from behind the wire actually realised that the Orbital Screeners came from the US. Due to the successful use of the Orbital Screener we then bought another one and I accompanied it into Mozambique where it carried out anti-personnel mine clearance working on stockpiled earth along a 70 mile long electric pylon line, which links South Africa. The job entailed screening stockpiled soil that had been bulldozed away from the pylons, which were all minefields, so that after the war the national Electric Company could get access to the pylons for maintenance work. The work took approximately 4 years to complete and the Orbital Screener was the predominant clearance machine, clearing in excess of 10 thousand anti-personnel mines and ordnance.

The move to MAG included an evolution of innovation, which inevitably included the Orbital Screener, which we brought into Northern Iraq, where it worked on legacy minefields from the Iran - Iraq war to the Gulf war barrier minefields and the border minefields of Turkey and Syria, which in recent times the Orbital Screener helped with safe passage for refugees. Again thousands of mines and ordnance have been cleared using the Orbital Screener with over 5000 hours and one engine change and very little in the way of component replacements. This provided the impetus to then buy and bring another Orbital Screener into Lebanon where we are running it on the Israeli - Lebanese border minefields. The continued support from Brad and the company has been great and any issue whether big or small has been met with the same enthusiasm as it has always been.

Guy Petts

Guy Petts
Global Mechanical Operations Manager         

Mines Advisory Group

12/29/2017, Brad’s Blog #98

When we began to make Orbital Action Screening plants some 20 odd years ago, we thought our design was unique, and it is.  The first use was obvious, compost and topsoil.  Our machine is very good at removing not just rock but almost every other unwanted material from compost and topsoil.   What happened over the next several years still amazes us.  Our customers started to come up with their own unique applications.  The original Model 68 became the 68A, then 68B and now 68C, each change addressing new applications.  One machine was even mounted on a barge to remove hazardous waste from a lake bed.  You read that right, Orbital Action works with water!

Our primary goal has always been making money for both our customers and ourselves.  About 15 years ago at a dairy farm compost demonstration day we were made aware of a group within the US Army focusing on removing land mines.  This was, as you can imagine, a complete surprise. This unusual application has grown and we now have 15 machines working around the world.

Receiving this Essay from Mr. Guy Petts was an emotional experience that I want to share.   I am at loss for words, humbled by their success and personal dedication working in remote, hostile areas of our world.

While your application may not have the humanitarian angle that this one does, we love hearing how our machines are being used.  Please tell us you job story, send it to

Happy screening

Brad Schnittjer
Blog # 98



I will continue my comments about the many advantages of Orbital Action Screening in my next Blog. Meanwhile, look over our Videos and Job Stories to learn more about Orbital Action Screening. Our products, with their user friendly features and high performance levels could take you into a new season with a much higher profit potential.

Send us your requirements by filling out and submitting the Intended Use Form and you will soon have full details and a quote for the correct model and available options to fulfill your job application needs

“The Finer Cut”, is Brad’s Blog. Each issue will cover a topic of interest about our machines, our industry, our customers and more. I am excited about the opportunity to use a Blog to broaden our communications with our customers and industry. I invite you to return and visit from time to time, cruising through previous issues to learn many details regarding our products.

I also invite you, our reader to contribute by offering your comments. Please send your thoughts to, by letter or fax, 563-922 9060.

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Orbit Screens, Inc.
722 3rd Street

P.O. Box 345
Delhi, Iowa 52223
Phone: 563.922.9230 * Fax: 563.922.9060

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