Industrial Wireless


Local PDS at the cutting edge of technology

November 2019 Industrial Wireless

With mine safety legislation getting progressively tighter, Booyco Electronics continues to ensure compliance with its locally developed proximity detection system (PDS). According to Pieter Janse van Rensburg, the company’s area manager for Mpumalanga, legislation coming into force in 2020 will mean the extended application of Level 9 safety standards, which require full intervention from a PDS on trackless mining machines (TMMs) to avoid man and machine related incidents.

Booyco Electronics’ PDS can facilitate such collision avoidance, with automatic slow-down and even safe-stop of mining machines. The system uses VLF antennas on a vehicle to create fields within a danger zone around the vehicle. The size of each field can be determined by the customer, to suit their specific operating environment and addressing identified risk.

An RFID tag installed on the pedestrian’s cap lamp alerts them – through a light and sound alarm – when they enter this zone. The light changes colour from green to orange and then red, the closer the pedestrian is to the vehicle.

The vehicle itself also receives a warning from the PDS, with the operator being alerted that a pedestrian is in the proximity. If equipped and configured appropriately, the vehicle can also be automatically slowed down at a certain distance from the pedestrian, and similarly brought to a safe stop.

One of the most significant advantages of the Booyco Electronics PDS is that it can effectively detect as many as seven TMMs and 20 pedestrians within one field, in the underground environment.

“Our combined technology includes a very low frequency (VLF) signal that penetrates rock walls underground,” he says. “This ensures that the pedestrian will still be warned of an approaching vehicle even if it is out of sight around a corner.”

The PDS can be applied to older ‘non-intelligent’ machines on a mine as well as the newer, controller area network (CAN) bus enabled models.

With 13 years of experience in PDS, Booyco Electronics has supplied in excess of 5000 sets of mining vehicle equipment around southern Africa, as well as 50 000 pedestrian sets of equipment.




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