The APS is specifically aimed at enhancing vehicle and operator safety in surface mining operations.
In combination with its underground pedestrian detection system (PDS) technology, the company now offers the mining industry a turnkey, fully integrated surface and underground safety solution for machinery and personnel.
Having secured its forefront position in the PDS field years ago, Booyco Electronics is determined to replicate this success in surface applications.
“Our current surface solutions were developed using our underground VLF systems but work optimally for pedestrian speeds and movements, rather than fast-moving vehicles,” Martin Vermaak, COO at Booyco Electronics, says.
Designed for easy and effective communication between vehicles, the APS transfers information between users via a new, in-house designed and developed human machine interface. It incorporates a high definition LED screen and high-level controller with “massive computational power” to operate quickly at high speed.
“Because our system can process a large amount of data really quickly, it meets the requirements necessary for vehicle-to-vehicle safety protection,” Vermaak continues.
All forms of system communication are exchanged with the operators using icons, making it easy to use and understand; a significant advantage for users who are illiterate.
Additionally, messages can be provided via a pre-recorded voice programme and can be customised to any language, which “encourages adoption and prevents alienation of the system as well”.
Protocol and redundancy measures have also been incorporated to ensure the system continues working, despite a faulty sensor for example. Importantly, Vermaak notes, “if the system loses GPS signal, we can still determine where a vehicle is relative to other vehicles by accessing recently compiled information.”
Wireless internet (Wifi) capabilities provide users with the option to download data for incident analysis and can even aid in productivity by drawing comparisons between scenarios and vehicle operators. The system can be customised to suit specific requirements, without impacting on o changing the primary software design.
“By providing both surface and underground safety system applications which are completely integrated and can operate via a single interface, the resultant economy of scale and shared equipment functionality enables us to reduce capital costs and risk management for our customers,” Vermaak highlights.
Having completed the first APS prototypes at the end of 2015; taking customer requirements, previous lessons learnt and failure mode testing into account, Booyco Electronics has already commenced with its first on-site trial tests and has already received its first order.