Coal Age

SEP 2017

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28 www.coalage.com September 2017 proximity detection Booyco Implements PDS in South Africa A new system gains traction among underground coal operators by jesse morton, technical writer Booyco Electronics announced in July that its Proximity Detection System (PDS) had been successfully implemented at South Afri- can miner Sudor Coal's Weltevreden operation. The mine, near Emalahleni, has three sections working a seam at 60 meters (m) below the surface. Rollout started in March 2016 and occurred in two phases, Booyco reported. As a mobile equipment detection system, PDS offers a number of benefits, and could help ensure the miner meets national government regulations mandating such systems at mines across the country, Booyco reported. PDS prevents possible incidents and collisions by alerting machine operators and personnel on foot to each other's prox- imity. "The Booyco PDS system includes buzzers and flash units on mine personnel, as well as transmitters on continuous min- ers, shuttle cars and roof bolters," said Anton Lourens, managing director, Booyco Electronics. When the system detects the close proximity of man and machine, "an audible and visual alarm is triggered, followed by retardation of the moving equipment, which is then brought to a standstill if no action is taken," he said. The system is proven in the field and uses established technology, Lourens said. "Booyco's technology of choice re- mains VLF (very low frequency) for detecting people as it has proven itself as the most reliable method," he said. "The com- pany pioneered this technology in South African mines as far back as 2006 and has been actively involved in benchmarking industry best practice with PDS." Since then, the technology has and continues to evolve, Lourens said. "With VLF as the foundational technology, continued improve- ments in processing technology has allowed the company to incor- porate and offer system upgrades," he said, "and this has allowed enhanced performance to be achieved with greater functionality." PDS uses both VLF and radio frequency technology for pe- destrian detection. Pedestrians are equipped with two-way radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, Booyco reported. Light ve- hicles or mobile equipment, such as loaders, are equipped with VLF antennae, which create several zones of a predetermined size around the vehicle. When someone or an equipped machine Commissioning of the PDS at Weltevreden occurred in two phases, Booyco reports. First, the warning system was activated. Next was the hot commissioning, in which an intervention, stopping the equipment, is triggered if warnings are unheeded. (Photo: Booyco) Mpumalanga miner Sudor Coal implemented the proximity detection system (PDS) from Booyco Electronics at its Weltevreden operation, Booyco reports. Above, the PDS display. (Photo: Booyco)

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