Booyco Electronics introduces full asset management solution

Booyco Electronics has become one of the first local companies to respond to the mining industry’s requirement for a single, full asset management solution designed to optimise mine safety. BEAMS — Booyco Electronics Asset Management System — combines several safety building blocks into a single software system with full database history reporting capability.

“Based on the mining industry’s highly successful uptake of our visual warning products, a single management solution was the obvious next step for our corporate offering,” Anton Lourens, managing director of Booyco Electronics, says. “The new system, which has been under development for the past 12 months, offers better control, accountability and a single point of contact for the customer, effectively addressing an emerging trend in the industry.

“BEAMS has been designed to be adaptable to the information and infrastructure environment. The system is able to interface with a mine’s own IT system and its components are adaptable to existing equipment. Everything on the surface is largely controlled and managed by passive technology and underground management is based on our collision warning VLF technology.”

The heart of the system is the Booyco Electronics’ state-of-the-art underground collision warning system (CWS) technology. A CWS consists of a sensing device that detects the presence of an object, an interface that provides an audible and/or visual alarm to the equipment operator and wiring between the two. These systems warn both vehicle operators and pedestrians of potential collisions and danger. Warning zones are stable and predictable and can be adjusted to mine-specific zone requirements and standardised to a particular type of equipment.

“CWS technology makes it possible to locate pedestrians and vehicles underground, which enhances production efficiencies and facilitates emergency locating,” says Lourens. “The system warns pedestrians when they enter the outer danger zone of approaching and moving machinery and warns operators when a pedestrian has entered the inner danger zone in close proximity to the vehicle.

“What differentiates our CWS technology in the current marketplace is the fact that it works equally well on electrically-driven and diesel-powered vehicles. We are the first to have achieved this capability and, with more than half of the trackless or mechanised mining equipment presently in use in the industry being diesel powered, this is a critical requirement.”

Another key element of BEAMS is the lamp room management system that ensures legal compliance to South African mining industry lamp room requirements and allows for asset locating of the mine’s safety equipment such as lamps, self-contained self-rescuers, gas cylinders and gas instrumentation. The system effectively eliminates the paper trail and restricts human intervention in the management of the monitored assets.

BEAMS also introduces an early warning notification capability communicated from a central control room that uses an LCD display on the miners’ lamps. Lourens comments that because the successful implementation of the paging system depends on the mine’s underground infrastructure, BEAMS is able to accommodate the mine’s existing underground infrastructure either via a leaky feeder voice communication system or a fibre-optic backbone.

Booyco Electronics owns fibre optic splicing and testing equipment and has access to trained and skilled fibre optic technicians through its black-owned subsidiary Booyco Ya Batho. This subsidiary is able to assist with installation of the BEAMS underground network, allowing the entire system to be implemented within the Booyco Group which, Lourens says, ensures uniformity of quality and controls costs.


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