Coal Age

DEC 2012

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proximity detection continued from the shuttle car down the entry, the PWD will give them an audible beep if they enter into the warning area. If they are behind a curtain, it will give them advance warning before they ever see that shuttle car coming. We can also reduce the shuttle car's speed, not shut it down, just reduce its speed to retain control. We're also looking at how we can better modify these zones underground. Our system is designed to be intelligent, that's why we named it IntelliZone," said Moore. The newly designed Matrix IntelliZone system is capable of slowing a mobile machine down, as well as applying brakes, if it enters a red "shutdown" zone unchecked. With certain parameters set, an operator can travel up to 5 mph in-by the feeder, but the Matrix system can reduce that to 2 mph when an operator approaches a designated warning zone or slowdown zone. "When you get in the red zone, IntelliZone shuts things down. The system slows down the rate of advance in certain zones and dynamically changes the zones based on speed and direction. And eventually, if needed, it turns off tram and on some equipment, could apply brakes," said Moore. "If that person is out there 50 to 60 ft, the proximity detection system does not need to throw on the brakes, but we need the driver to know that someone is out there, and both need to be cautious and safe. You only need to shut the machine down if someone is in the path of the machine, and is too close. This is done by precise triangulation of the personal wearable device worn by the mine operator and machine zone configuration based on the direction and speed of travel. With Matrix's advanced software, caution, warning and shutdown zone configuration can be any shape we want," said Moore. Matrix already has shuttle cars equipped with the new system that are being used to prove it out. Although the company is once again partnering with Joy, they are designing the new system to be able to function on equipment available from a variety of manufacturers. But the changes in the system are not confined to just the CM. In addition to the equipment installed on the CM, each min- December 2012 er already wears a small transmitter. The next generation of this device will likely feature a buzzer or an audible beep as well as LEDs. Matrix didn't install this earlier because the first system was geared to be closer to the CM machine, 35-ft being the max range. Although you're running a miner remotely, Moore explained, you're really not walking away from it and you have the LEDs and such already on the machine giving you feedback. "We're considering putting these other warning signals on the longer range system. With the shuttle cars and other mobile equipment running, we're really working to protect everybody on the unit itself. Everybody on each unit will have a transmitter on their person, we're calling it a 'locator,' which is receiving signals instead of transmitting them. The new system will be receiving signals from the machine-mounted transmitter, so they're transmitting the magnetic field," said Moore. On the current system these machines are called receivers since they're receiving signals from the trans- mitting device. Matrix's new system is a total reversal of that. The machine now will transmit magnetics to a receiver on the person. The new machine-mounted components are going to be called 'drivers' since they literally drive the signal forward. All of this gear is very different from the new locator technology that many miners now wear on their hard hats. "That technology is RF. It's used to track through our tracking network, but it's not used on the system that we're using because the hat tag is only transmitting once every two seconds. It doesn't have the repeat rate that we use. Also RF attenuates badly. If you look in one direction, you get a different signal than if you look another. That's why we're using magnetics, because they really penetrate and the transmitting rate is much faster," said Moore. Many on the Matrix team believe that eventually every piece of mobile equipment will require an integrative proximity system that talks to multiple pieces of equipment, such as a single transmitter locater device, but how long it will take 57

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