Coal Age

JUN 2018

Coal Age Magazine - For more than 100 years, Coal Age has been the magazine that readers can trust for guidance and insight on this important industry.

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June 2018 29 proximity detection continued System generators are installed on the continuous miner and create highly stable electromagnetic zones to delineate the edges of dangerous work areas. Elec- tromagnetic zones are designated as the outer Warning Zone and the inner Hazard Zone. They can encompass the whole ma- chine or be specific to certain areas. Gen- erators placed on the continuous miner boom ensure that the zones remain con- stant as the boom articulates. With the Strata system, a Warning Zone breach triggers alarms and a Hazard Zone breach triggers alarms and an over- ride to slow, stop or disable the hydraulics of the equipment. A controller box monitors the proxim- ity system's status and coordinates the in- teraction between multiple generators. All activities are logged and stored in the Pod, and data can be downloaded on demand using Wi-Fi or by wireless streaming to the surface. Miners wear PADs, which detect and measure the zones to determine their dis- tance from the machine. The PAD emits audible and visual warning alarms when a zone is breached. The size of zones for the system is set according to specifications at the time of installation. They are standard- ized for the mine and repeatable across all machinery. This simplifies training and optimizes productivity. If needed, adjust- ments can be made once in place. Strata said the system will detect fallen and elevated workers. Any PAD can remote- ly stop any equipment in the worker's line of sight using the Remote Stop function. The zones penetrate almost anything — coal, rock, dust and water — working around corners and through ventilation curtains and barriers. No line of sight is required. HazardAvert also tracks and records all interactions between miners and the continuous mining machine. Some mine managers believe the data reports provide essential information about work prac- tices, such as safety behavior, measuring productivity and even as documentation for incident investigations. Nanotron, Marco Develop System for Longwall Mining Nanotron Technologies GmbH and Marco GmbH recently announced they are work- ing closely together to deliver solutions in the mining industry, helping to improve both safety and productivity in longwall face operations. Marco has integrated Nanotron's prox- imity detection and positioning functions into its Longwall Face Control solution. Nanotron's swarm bee, a smart RF sensor module, is integrated into Marco's long- wall controllers, worker tags, remote con- trol units and excavation units. The integrated solution means the lo- cation of tagged underground equipment and mining personnel is known accurately at all times. Real-time tracking of mining workers, roof support and excavation units improves worker safety and drives compli- ance. It also increases longwall operational efficiency by safely accelerating work se- quences and increasing operator flexibility. "Both Nanotron and Marco are currently experiencing a sharp increase of the demand for their products in Russia and China, the two biggest mining markets worldwide," said Dr. Jens Albers, CEO of Nanotron. "In Marco's automated longwall controls, each device is connected directly into the network, and communicates in real time on- line," said Martin Reuter, CEO of Marco. "Our system integration is our customers' largest benefit and our innovations are at least two steps ahead of any competitors' solution."

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