Mining industry

While economic growth, environmental protection and social responsibility, three of the key pillars for the sustainable development of mining in the 21st century, are foundational to Trysome Auto-Electrical’s (Trysome) product and service offering, current and future product developments still need to align heavily with social responsibility, says CEO EDDIE SMITH.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 5 2018

Smith notes that the sustainable development of mining is the key to the security of raw materials and energy for many countries in the world, with Africa being one of the countries with the raw materials which are deemed ‘critical’ raw materials for the economy from the point of view of the European Union.

“While mining entities strive for sustainable development, Trysome, through its strategic partnerships, strives to improve the safety of the employees with a focus on a safer working environment,” Smith comments.

He explains that in support of employee safety, favourable changes have occurred in mining legislation. In an effort to prevent accidents involving trackless mobile machines (TMM) and pedestrians in the mining industry, South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has established safety regulations compelling surface mines to install by June 2019 ‘fail to safe’ methods of retarding the TMM to a safe speed thereafter the brakes of the TMM are automatically applied.

Moving safely

Smith points out that in June 2017, Trysome’s strategic partner Hexagon AB unveiled its HxGN Mine VIS, a vehicle intervention system that detects and prevents collisions by automatically slowing down or even stopping a haul truck if an imminent collision is detected.

He explains that Mine VIS is an enhancement on the SAFEmine Collision Avoidance System (CAS) which provides operators of TMM with 360° proximity detection at any speed and in all conditions via both visual and audible alerts on a cabin display unit. “VIS improves collision avoidance by taking control of a machine if the operator fails to react to a CAS warning. It does this by inhibiting propulsion, activating the retarder, or applying the service brake,” he adds.

Smith mentions that in 2018 the SAFEmine CAS, which has always been a vehicle-to-vehicle proximity detection tool, will be further enhanced by the addition of a fully integrated personal protection system (PPS) – personnel tags extending visibility and awareness to man as well as machine within a 50 m range. The PPS mutually warns the driver and the pedestrian and is manufactured specifically for noisy and busy environments where heavy machinery is in use. Through the use of smart algorithms, the generation of false alerts is prevented.

He illustrates that with CAS installed in more than 25 000 vehicles in over 60 mines worldwide, Trysome and Hexagon have ensured VIS integration with CAS and Fatigue Monitor to protect the customer’s initial investment.

“While every step is being taken legislatively and technologically to improve employee safety while at the same time ensuring a balance between the costs of safety improvements and sustained production, management still plays an integral role regarding safety in the mines, as the human factor is still a frequent cause of accidents taking place. Work organisation, training of employees, and formation of safe behaviour are therefore of vital importance,” he stresses

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