As South Africa’s leader in terms of the largest deployment of proximity detection systems (PDS) in the mining sector, Booyco Electronics has celebrated another massive landmark, its 5000th PDS installation. According to managing director, Anton Lourens, getting to this point has taken years of commitment to customers and a dedication to developing leading edge products that are reliable and fit-for-purpose. “Our stature in this market is well demonstrated by having the most deployments of any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or supplier, and we are proud to have delivered and installed this latest unit at a coal mine in the Witbank area,” says Lourens. “Since the company was established in 2006, our focus has been on developing top quality products backed up by skilled technicians who are close to customers for rapid response times.”
Booyco Electronics now boasts a wide service infrastructure, located strategically to cover South Africa’s platinum belt, coalfields and gold mining areas as well as the mining sites in the Northern Cape and in the Richards Bay area. “This allows us to have well over 100 well trained, experienced and resourced technicians to be constantly on the move responding to customer requirements,” he says. “This fully equipped support infrastructure of seven branches, carrying extensive stocks of parts and components, is vital to service our products and customers wherever they are and now represents a distinct advantage over our competitors who have only recently entered this market.”
He highlighted the importance of Booyco Electronics’ proximity to its customer base, which allows regular and detailed interaction to ensure that the performance of its PDS offerings always meets the customers’ expectations and operational demands. “We value the in-depth engagement with customers as a key input in our product development and evolution,” he says. “Working closely with customers, we are able to ensure our PDS meets all the requirements across a broad spectrum of commodities and different types of mining operations.”
The Booyco Electronics PDS delivers specific alerts when detecting pedestrians or other vehicles – starting with a warning, then for a controlled slow-down, and finally for stopping when a certain zone around a vehicle is breeched. This makes the offering unique, as it is able to achieve zone shaping and create narrow band zones in close proximity on the side of the vehicles to meet specific operational requirements.
Full self-diagnostics is another integral element of the system, as well as visual and voice display activated in the case of a warning or a system failure. “Our PDS was developed using the latest electronic technology for effective and reliable communication, and can be used in both underground and surface mines transferring information between users via our human machine interface,” says Lourens.
The use of very low frequency (VLF) technology is another indicator of Booyco Electronics’ depth of innovative capacity and expertise; the PDS incorporates VLF technology for pedestrian detection, either on surface or underground. The system incorporates various downloading options for recorded data, including wireless when at an access point. It is supplied complete with testing equipment for both the surface and underground areas to ensure maximum functionality. The system is also IS compliant, meeting the safety requirements of fiery mines.
“To identify the optimal solution for the customer’s needs, a detailed risk assessment is first conducted on site as the deployment of PDS technology could vary between different types of vehicles on a single site. Only then can the PDS be deployed, ensuring that it is suited to the required safety integration with trackless mining machinery and other OEM underground and surface vehicles,” Lourens concludes.
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