Telecommunications and information technology company Allied Electronics Corporation’s Netstar subsidiary has developed a unique and fully compliant solution that helps mitigate accidents in mine fleets.
“Ensuring safe working conditions for the mining sector is a challenge, particularly when it comes to complying with regulatory standards such as the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) collision avoidance system requirements for mine vehicles,” says Netstar MD Pierre Bruwer.
Netstar’s fleet solution for mines was unveiled this week at Electra Mining Africa.
The solution was developed following the DMR’s amendment to legislation, making it mandatory for all vehicles on mines to be fitted with collision avoidance proximity systems.
This law was enacted to improve safety on mines, especially when vehicles as tall as 30 m are in operation, such as in opencast operations, as well as aid in the reduction of injuries associated with pedestrian mining accidents.
Bruwer notes that Netstar's system provides drivers with a 360° view, through an in-vehicle display, of the proximity of other vehicles, as well as pedestrians, and is particularly effective in dusty conditions and at night, when visibility is significantly reduced.
“The system works by alerting drivers audibly and visually ahead of potential issues, which not only reduces accidents, but also improves operational efficiencies.
“Additionally, the system provides real-time data and connects through a variety of options, including cell networks, WiFi, Bluetooth and radio, as additional fail safes,” he explains.
By June 2019, the solution will have the added functionality of being able to take control of a vehicle and slow it down if the operator does not acknowledge the presence of a vehicle, person or object and, by June 2020, the solution will be able to automatically come to a stop without human intervention.
In addition, when coupled with Netstar’s other fleet functionality, the solution enables companies to optimise their fleets as it monitors driver behaviour, which aids in cutting down on excessive fuel use, alerts managers as to when maintenance services are required, and provides valuable data that will aid in the event of an insurance claim.
“By incorporating telematics and collision avoidance software into our current toolkit, we have created a fleet solution that makes mining safer, since mining is a core part of South Africa’s economy,” highlights Bruwer.
The real-time solution can also be used in other sectors such as warehousing, distribution, manufacturing and logistics.