Amid an increasingly digitalised and connected environment, mining customers are demanding integrated solutions in the mine health and safety space, which necessitates partnerships.
“With data becoming a key tool in the mining industry, more often than not we collaborate with technology partners to extract, and process, data.
“Simultaneously, artificial intelligence is being used to aid decision-making and create heat maps, for example, to enhance mine health and safety,” explains proximity detection system (PDS) manufacturer Booyco Electronics CEO Anton Lourens.
He adds that equipment connectivity and integrated fleets are major drivers of efficiency in the mining sector, which is leading the company to identify reliable, like-minded companies for collaboration in the markets in which they operate.
The company’s strategic collaboration with technology integration companies is particularly pertinent, since it has been focused on development and continuous product improvement in proximity detection and collision avoidance solutions for almost 15 years, and has established a reputation as a leading South African PDS original-equipment manufacturer.
Emphasis is placed on potential partners’ technology integration capability and resources as well as operating ethos and company culture to ensure that these align with those of Booyco Electronics, says Lourens.
“With regular changes in functional requirements, as more advanced technology is developed to make mining safer, the market has come to realise that no single technology is a silver bullet for PDS. Rather, the ideal solution lies in a combination of technologies with correct integration into an operation and education of the workforce.”
With South Africa’s mining industry (in many respects) leading the way in deploying collision avoidance systems, Booyco Electronics has developed “world-class” solutions that can add value in the global market.
“Having explored the best ways of servicing our international customers, we have chosen several strategic collaborations with technology integrators around the world,” Lourens tells Mining Weekly.
Consequently, the company is collaborating with several technology specialists worldwide, including Insucam, Ramjack, RCT and Tecwise.
Lourens says these partners understand the safety and other benefits of Booyco Electronics’ PDS solutions, adding their insights to the local conditions in which equipment can be applied.
“We believe that these technology partners – which understand our products and solutions – create the optimal channel to customers in regions where Booyco Electronics does not have its own infrastructure. These companies understand their customers’ specific needs and can apply our solutions in the most effective manner.”
He adds that the successes of PDS in the mining industry have demonstrated its mettle for use in other industries as well, as the technology lends itself to other applications where people and equipment work in close proximity.
He says demand for such systems is becoming more prevalent at ports and harbours, as well as on construction and industrial sites.
Booyco Electronics deems it imperative that customers first undertake risk assessments to identify the likeliness of safety-related incidents or collisions on site, as well as the level of impact, should something go wrong.
Lourens says the company often finds other areas where safety issues must be addressed using PDS technology, and then assists customers in installing this same technology on conveyors, chair lifts, drill rigs and dump trucks, for example.
Booyco Electronics endeavours to provide information and training tools that familiarise customers with the value of such technology, and how digital integration is continuously improving safety and productivity.