Booyco Electronics is currently installing its pedestrian detection system (PDS) technology at a surface mining operation. “We have completed the mining operation side and are now busy with the mineral processing side, wherein lie more challenges and definitely a lot more applications,” says managing director, Anton Lourens. “After we spent some time analysing the operational requirements, we were able to standardise the PDS deployment into specific zone shaping per vehicle type.”
Booyco Electronics would typically recommend a 10 m wide warning zone, for example, whereas the client would request that this zone be made smaller. “One of the advantages of our technology is that it is inherently flexible, enabling us to adapt it according to specific requirements and vehicle types,” explains Lourens.
Booyco Electronics is setting a standard in PDS technology for surface mining operations. “Currently there are quite a few systems out there that look at machine-to-machine interaction, but which are not necessarily applicable or effective on the pedestrian side. While we believe that we have one of the best solutions on the market, industry-wide implementation of PDS technology remains an issue,” he adds.
Lourens says that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has unveiled the draft version of the mandatory Code of Practice for Trackless Mobile Machinery (TMM). “It deals with TMMs in terms of what measures are expected by the regulator and where this is going. It is already past draft stage, and we believe it will change the immediate market requirements. The DMR has also specified additional testing to ensure that all the products out there comply with the same standards.”
The mining industry has adopted a cautious approach to the implementation of PDS technology. “There is quite a lot of work still to be done, as we are not yet at the point where these systems can just be switched on. A major challenge is that there are so many stakeholders to deal with, from the mining house and contractor to the vehicle OEM and PDS supplier. Ultimately the client has a specific viewpoint in terms of the operational requirements, so we have to ensure that all these stakeholders are properly accommodated,” says Lourens.
While Booyco Electronics is engaged in ongoing discussions with OEMs, the biggest part of its installations right now is retrofits, as many mining customers wish to ensure that they are compliant. “This market sector is highly competitive at the moment, but what gives us our advantage is the capability to offer a total solution,” adds Lourens. “What we have tried to do is create a total scope of supply so that the client does not have to worry about other related safety equipment. For example, we can supply our biometric licensing readers either in conjunction with PDS or as a standalone item.”
Another significant long-term requirement will be the servicing and maintenance of Booyco Electronics’ installed PDS base once the technology has been legislated. “There are huge opportunities for us, particularly in how we have positioned our products in terms of functionality and pricing. What gives us a competitive edge is that our products are designed and manufactured for local conditions and specifications,” concludes Lourens.
© Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd | All Rights Reserved