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INDUSTRY INNOVATOR | SAFETY BOOYCO ELECTRONICS Cutting edge pedestrian South Africa is leading the mining industry globally in terms of the deployment of Pedestrian Detection Systems (PDS), Anton Lourens, MD of Booyco Electronics tells Mining Review Africa. W hile both the US and Australia are driving legislation globally in terms of the minimum spec- ifications for the functionality of PDS technology, the labour-intensive na- ture of the South African mining industry has resulted in a rapid deployment rate that is unmatched elsewhere.” Machinery is one of the major causes of deaths in South African underground mines. In addition, Lourens says that legislation being developed by the Chamber of Mines’ Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) taskforce is being fast tracked to compel the implementation of PDS technology wherever Trackless Mobile Machinery (TMM) is deployed, whether in underground or surface mining. “We will probably see some developments in this regard in the first quarter of 2015. There is a lot of attention being paid to PDS technology at the moment, which chal- lenges us to make sure that we are able to meet our customers’ expectations, due to the tight timeframe that has been set by the taskforce.” Booyco Electronics has been at the forefront of PDS technology in the mining industry since 2006, and has since grown to be the industry leader and innovator. “When we started out with collision warning systems, there were no specific regulations or functionality requirements that had to be complied with, which meant that manufacturers simply adhered to their own best practices in conjunction with the specific needs of their customers.” 18 MINING REVIEW AFRICA | JANUARY 2015 Lourens says that the high trackless machine accident rate in the South African mining industry in recent times has com- pelled the Department of Minerals and Resources (DMR) “to establish a structure in terms of legislation and minimum require- ments and performance, with the specific aim of some level of intervention.” This resulted in the establishment of the MOSH taskforce, which represents the interests of the DMR, mining houses and PDS and TMM suppliers. “While all the varied stakeholders have realised that this is now quite a critical issue, there is also the realisation that this is a highly complex and technologically sophisticated sector.” It is for this reason that Booyco Electronics has emerged as a market leader, due to its continuous and considerable investment in research and development over the years, in addition to its rigorous testing, verification and trialling procedures. “The one factor in favour of our products is definitely the quality, while the other related issue is the maturity of our products due to our experi- ence and expertise. We do regard ourselves as probably the most experienced player in this sector. Even we are constantly encoun- tering new challenges, different scenarios and applications, specifically because this technology does not comprise simple off the shelf solutions.” Lourens comments that the MOSH task- force is adding definite value to the South African mining industry, particularly as progress has to be reported on a monthly basis. “What is quite important is that all the TMM suppliers have acknowledged the technical complexity of the PDS technology. An important breakthrough in this regard is FROM TOP LEFT The mineworker is equipped with a two-way Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag fitted into a cap lamp cover that flashes a warning whenever the mineworker approaches machinery Booyco Electronics has been at the forefront of Pedestrian Detection System (PDS) technology in the South African mining industry since 2006 The Pedestrian Detection System (PDS) from Booyco Electronics is based on Very Low Frequency (VLF) technology