Booyco Electronics said that coal mines are looking towards Level 9 requirements in South Africa that demand advanced collision avoidance capability for both diesel and electric trackless mining machines (TMMs).
"We are working closely with many OEMs and mining customers on aligning and testing our respective equipment for Level 9 compliance," said Booyco Electronics chief executive Anton Lourens, referring to the tier set by the country's Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT).
"The industry still has considerable work to do on the application of PDS technology to surface diesel TMMs, which pose a range of technical challenges."
Regulations currently demand that any electrically powered TMM in an underground mine must be equipped with a PDS, but many coal operations have a combination of diesel and electric units. He emphasises that the regulatory framework will soon enforce Level 9 requirements - with more advanced collision avoidance capability - for both diesel and electric TMMs.
Lourens said orders from underground collieries and opencast operations included coalfields in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. He expects to see an increase in demand for the company's Booyco CXS product, which can be used with more modern TMMs and older units which require a mechanical interface.
"Coal mines have a key role to play in the testing and application of collision avoidance systems, as the industry upgrades to ever-more effective safety protocols," says Lourens.