That Proximity Detection System (PDS) technology has over the years ushered in a new era in mine safety management is no overstatement. Given the pace of development in the past two years, Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics, says the PDS is advancing its value proposition beyond the avoidance of accidents on mine sites.
“To provide context, the PDS technology is increasingly part of the development of ‘digital twin’ simulations, where mines are analysing big data to understand their operations better. This has been a big developmental step during the past few years. Owing to the large amount of available operational information it is now possible to see how machines interact and operate, allowing for proper traffic flow analysis and implementation of suitable traffic management plans,” says Lourens.
Over the years, the PDS, he adds, has proven to be a relevant and important tool in the industry’s quest for Zero Harm. Over and above its primary functions, the technology can now be used as an evaluation tool to identify incident hotspots, review heatmaps, analyse traffic flow and inform traffic management plans.
Looking ahead, Lourens believes that PDS technology will continue to develop, particularly leveraging advancements in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. He is also of the view that no single technology will offer a total solution; integration of multiple technologies such as GPS (Global Positioning System), RF (Radio Frequency), cameras and radars, among others, will be key to providing the industry with the best possible tool to realise Zero Harm.
“By adding different technologies, the value proposition to the customer is expanding. The PDS is therefore transforming from being a legislative and often a ‘grudge’ purchase to a prized, must-have tool that offers immense value to the industry,” concludes Lourens.