Evolution of technology systems in SA mining

SA mining sector

SA mining sector

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) A GLOBAL company is conducting machine testing on a South African mine in a milestone move aimed at enhancing the power of technology to promote safety at mines and boost output.

Wabtec Corporation, the diversified, global leader in equipment, components, services, software and systems for the transportation and mining industries is conducting the single and multiple machine testing on a production mine site using its collision awareness system (CAS).

CAS is seen as an integral part of mine safety management tools, helping workers make the right decision at the right time in order to mitigate vehicle interaction risk while helping to increase productivity and improve situational awareness.

Craig Hoffmann, Wabtec Senior Product Manager – Collision Awareness & Geospatial Systems, Digital Mine, said the range of machines being tested included rigid body haul trucks, articulated dump trucks (ADTs) and a rubber-tired wheel loader, which represent the typical high risk trackless mobile machinery found working on a mine site.

In order to address the significant challenges in achieving a level 9 – compliant CAS system, Wabtec Digital Mine had developed proprietary software algorithms that were able to interpret and anticipate the complex scenarios presented during normal mining operations.

“This enables the Wabtec systems to operate seamlessly with the operator,” Hoffmann stated.

The ongoing tests are, according to the company, are a third milestone.

The first milestone for the CAS supplier was to conduct independent lab scale testing done by the University of Pretoria at the Gerotek testing facility.

The UoP uses high precision measuring equipment to test and log the performance of the CAS system as is capable of providing a detailed independent report on the capability of the CAS system.

The second milestone, which the Wabtec Digital Mine CAS team conducted on an independent machine OEM site, is single and multiple machine testing.

Tests were performed, as real-world scenarios. They were conducted in dry and wet conditions and to speeds up to 40km/h.

Hoffmann said mining had always been seen as a risky business, whether undertaken above ground or deep beneath the earth’s surface.

He said thanks to a combination of government regulation in South Africa and a concerted industry effort by mining companies and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), further enabled by cutting-edge technology, it was becoming a lot safer.

“We remain committed to delivering a world-class, Level 9 CAS system to the global mining community,” Hoffmann concluded.

– CAJ News

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