classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2017

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


Becker Varis gas monitoring for Zimbabwe mine
May 2018, IS & Ex

Becker Mining South Africa, specialists in safety and communications technologies for the mining sector, is soon to install a robust atmospheric and environmental monitoring system at a mine in Zimbabwe. The high accuracy Becker Varis Smartsense gas monitoring system has integrated features for the detection of ambient temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.

“A dependable atmospheric and environmental monitoring system, which enhances safety and improves productivity in the mining sector, forms an essential part of critical underground and surface communications and safety systems,” says Andrew Trentelman, senior general manager: Electronics, Becker Mining South Africa. “This project in Zimbabwe will encompass the installation of 19 environmental points underground at the mine, where each Smartsense device becomes an environmental station, monitoring up to seven different parameters.

“Apart from the accurate detection and monitoring of ambient temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, every device will also monitor up to four gases, including oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide and nitrogen dioxide.

“An important advantage of the Becker Varis Smartsense SSFM-100 device over conventional monitoring systems, is all features are integrated into one compact device. There is no need for complex cable connections or troublesome programming or difficult calibration. Additional analog/digital input ports provide compatibility with other devices, to accommodate the mine’s expansion requirements. For example, an additional sensor could be connected to measure air flow.

“What is also important is that this system, which adheres to stringent local and international quality and safety regulations, is also certified for use in hazardous areas.”

Customisable system connected over fibre

In this project, the Smartsense system will be integrated over an existing Ethernet fibre backbone, to communicate measured levels in real time to the surface. The real-time information from the 19 monitoring stations, being available over TCPIP protocol, enables integration to other related systems using OPC connectivity, i.e. scada integration over the existing LAN network.

This hybrid system is customisable to all installation requirements, including copper (RS-485/Ethernet) RF (UHF – VHF data radio/Wi-Fi) and fibre optical data connectivity. There are various graphical representation methods to display data, including the Becker Mining application for smartphones or integration into existing scada systems. The system has also been designed for easy installation and effortless calibration and there is no need to remove the monitoring head for external calibration as the system can be adjusted during operation.

The Smartsense SSFM-100 fixed monitor has three fully programmable alarm set points for alarm and output controls, with a short-term exposure limit (STEL) and time weighted average (TWA) limits, displayed on a large LCD screen. It is possible to view the reading from up to five metres away and an adjustable backlight makes this device suitable for both underground and surface applications. An internal battery provides power backup for up to eight hours and robust industry power supplies ensure safe operation in harsh conditions. The low power system has an IP67 rating for protection against the ingress of dust and liquids.

The system, with its integrated controller functions, operates as a ‘black box’ and stores information that could be critical in post-accident investigations This includes the calibration record, alarm history and data logging. The ‘watchdog’ feature alerts the user of any system errors, for example, if the system has detected inaccurate measurements or calibration errors. This information is communicated both locally through a maintenance LED and remotely on the supervisory platform.

Preventative maintenance requires only simple procedures – between monthly and quarterly – to ensure optimum performance and extended service life. It is important that sensor intake areas are kept clean, with no obstructions. Three types of brackets are available for easy installation namely panel, roof bolt or cable mounting.

For more information contact Andrew Trentelman, Becker Mining South Africa, +27 (0)11 617 6300,,

Supplied By: Becker Mining South Africa
Tel: +27 11 617 6300
Fax: +27 11 908 5806
Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • The next generation in fire detection
    June 2018, Alien Systems & Technologies, IS & Ex
    Cirrus Hybrid represents the next evolutionary step in the advancement of fire detection systems.
  • HellermannTyton offers intrinsically safe multimeters
    June 2018, HellermannTyton, IS & Ex
    The TBM811XEX and TBM812XEX multimeters with a CATIV 1000 V rating from HellermannTyton are designed for hazardous environments such as mining and petrochemical. The approved explosive protection rating ...
  • Do not let untrained personnel maintain fire suppression systems
    May 2018, Alien Systems & Technologies, IS & Ex
    Alien Systems & Technologies (AST) takes great care to ensure that its fire protection systems are designed and manufactured to the highest quality standards. In addition, its personnel are highly trained ...
  • Fluke simplifies safety compliance testing
    May 2018, Comtest, IS & Ex
    Fluke has introduced a unique tester to the market that sources both AC and DC steady-state voltage for Hi-Z and Lo-Z instruments, thus simplifying safety compliance testing. The Fluke PRV240 Proving ...
  • Selection of cable glands in Ex areas
    April 2018, Pepperl+Fuchs, IS & Ex
    Cable glands are the most common means of leading cables into hazardous area equipment. There are several conditions to be considered when selecting the right cable glands for the specific application. ...
  • Explosion-proof encoder for offshore applications
    April 2018, Countapulse Controls, IS & Ex
    Many applications in the oil and gas industry that require the use of absolute encoders are demanding, not just from a performance perspective, but also because of the operating environment. An example ...
  • Safe motion control in Ex areas
    April 2018, Parker Hannifin - Sales Company South Africa, IS & Ex
    Machinery and moving equipment is a vital element in all areas of modern automated industry, but what happens when the atmosphere in the working environment is potentially explosive? In short, regulations ...
  • Detonation flame arresters from Energas
    March 2018, IS & Ex
    Technology is developing fast, and while innovation is taking centre stage, versatility remains right up on the checklists of both manufacturers and end users alike. With that in mind, the new Protectoseal ...
  • Electronic instruments in hazardous areas
    March 2018, R&C Instrumentation, IS & Ex
    In many industries, there are certain areas that are classified as hazardous or Ex areas. This is an area that contains, or may contain, combustible substances such as gas, vapour or dust. Typical hazardous ...
  • Safe torque-off option simplifies machine design
    March 2018, Rockwell Automation, IS & Ex
    Rockwell Automation has introduced a networked safe torque-off option module, allowing safety and non-safety functions to share the same EtherNet/IP network. Designed for the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 ...
  • Innovative approach to machine safety
    February 2018, Deebar, IS & Ex
    Food and beverage manufacturers use a series of packaging machinery to label, bottle and package their products before they are dispatched for distribution and final consumption. One of the latest trends ...
  • Safety in the cloud
    February 2018, Phoenix Contact, IS & Ex
    At the SPS IPC Drives 2017 trade fair, Phoenix Contact presented a cloud application for recording and analysing safety-related data. With the Proficloud solution, companies receive important information ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.