Coal Age

JUN 2018

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28 June 2018 proximity detection Developments in Proximity Detection As more continuous miner operations install proximity detection systems, developers are providing additional options In March, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) proximity detec- tion rule became fully effective. It requires underground coal operators to equip place-changing continuous mining ma- chines with proximity detection systems (PDS), which use electronic sensors on both mining machines and miners to de- tect motion or the location of one object relative to another. The rule also mandated certain operational standards, such as au- dible and visual warnings, and it stops the machine before contacting a miner. Most of the provisions of the final rule could be met by making minor system changes, such as adding warning signals. Two popular systems in the U.S. are provid- ed by Matrix and Strata Worldwide. By pro- viding a warning zone and defining a danger zone, they help train miners to avoid haz- ards while working near continuous miners. Programmable Safety Zones Matrix said its M3-1000 is designed for the high-uptime requirements of con- tinuous miners (CM), and the company has installed more than 100 systems with no decline in productivity after an initial training period. The system uses a set of receivers that detect transmitters worn by support personnel. The receivers, which are strategically located and guarded to protect them from operational damage, are designed for the harsh environments of mines and other industrial applications. Personnel location and zone contact is de- termined using triangulation calculations by the system. All the M3-1000 transmit- ters and receivers are MSHA-approved as Intrinsically Safe. The Matrix PDS creates two opera- tional safety zones. The Caution (or Warn- ing) Zone, using highly visible flashing lights, warns workers they are nearing a potentially dangerous area. The Stop (or Shutdown) Zone is closest to the equip- ment and causes immediate shutdown when a worker enters this area. Zones are programmable and can be customized to specific equipment. The Matrix PDS allows precise (X,Y co- ordinate) personnel traceability and data logging. It has a sensing range of 30 ft. The system stores a minimum 80 hours of ma- chine operation time for analysis and in- depth training programs. The Matrix PDS transmitter is compact, lightweight, and worn by support personnel, and is pow- ered by a 14-hour rechargeable battery. Robust, Durable Design Strata's HazardAvert proximity detection system generates electromagnetic marker zones around machinery and alarms when these zones are breached, both when a per- son approaches operating machinery or when the machinery approaches a person. The individual wearing the personal alarm device (PAD) and the machine operator are simultaneously warned. Multiple people and multiple machines in a working sec- tion can be detected at any time using the system. The HazardAvert system, accord- ing to Strata, is built to be robust and dura- ble, with all system components enclosed in explosion-proof (XP) enclosures. Proximity detection systems for continuous miners are based on two zones. (Image: MSHA) As the name implies, the Shutdown Zone shuts down the continuous miner when people get too close. (Image: Matrix)

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