Pedestrian Detection System (PDS) developed by Booyco Electronics is expected to change the face of mining in South Africa

The drive by Booyco Electronics to pioneer Pedestrian Detection System (PDS) technology in South Africa is expected to change the face of mining. Legislation under development by the Chamber of Mines’ Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) taskforce is being fast tracked to compel the implementation of PDS wherever Trackless Mobile Machinery (TMM) is deployed, whether in underground or surface mining.

“We will probably see some developments in this regard in the first quarter of 2015. There is a lot of attention being paid to PDS technology at the moment,” Anton Lourens, Managing Director of Booyco Electronics, says. Booyco Electronics has been at the forefront of PDS technology in the mining industry since 2006, and has since grown to be the industry leader and innovator.

“When we started out with collision warning systems, there were no specific regulations or functionality requirements that had to be complied with, which meant that manufacturers simply adhered to their own best practices in conjunction with the specific needs of their customers,” Lourens says.

It is for this reason that Booyco Electronics has emerged as the market leader, due to its continuous and considerable investment in research and development over the years, in addition to its rigorous testing, verification and trialling procedures.

“The one factor in favour of our products is definitely the quality, while the other related issue is the maturity of our products due to our experience and expertise. We do regard ourselves as probably the most experienced player in this sector. Even we are constantly encountering new challenges, different scenarios and applications, specifically because this technology does not comprise simple off the shelf solutions,” Lourens says.

The MOSH taskforce is adding definite value to the South African mining industry, particularly as progress has to be reported on a monthly basis. “What is quite important is that all the TMM suppliers have acknowledged the technical complexity of the PDS technology. An important breakthrough in this regard is that the taskforce has been able to define clearly where accountability rests in terms of functionality. In other words, what happens when a PDS detects a worker and then relays that signal to the TMM. Defining that boundary of responsibility has been a really significant achievement.”

Booyco Electronics’ PDS is based on Very Low Frequency (VLF) technology, which the original equipment manufacturer has verified as being the most suited to the particular conditions of the South African mining industry.

In terms of the latest developments, Lourens says that Booyco Electronics has added a data capturing or logging functionality to its PDS, which is also included as a DMR requirement in the near future. “We have also increased the level of diagnostics in the equipment to ensure that the system is fully functional at all times and that it can be connected ‘fail to safe’ on a continuous basis.”



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