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Booyco Electronics|Health|Infrastructure|Innovation|Mining|PDS|Proximity|Proximity Detection Systems|Resources|Safety|Service|Surface|System|Systems|Technology|Equipment|Infrastructure|Operations
Booyco-Electronics|health|infrastructure|innovation|mining|PDS|proximity|proximity-detection-systems|resources|safety|service|surface|system|systems|technology|equipment|infrastructure|operations

PDS data evolving beyond original use case

An image of a Booyco Electronics PDS system

IMPROVED MODELLING Booyco Electronics has an extensive footprint of customers facilitating harnessing of technology for digital twin modelling

30th June 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor

     

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The data captured by original equipment manufacturer Booyco Electronics’ proximity detection systems (PDS) not only helps enhance safety at surface mining operations but can also be used to improve efficiencies on site when input into a digital twin simulation model.

Whether acquired by early adopters or as a grudge purchase necessitated by changes in legislation, pertaining to Chapter 8 of the Mine Health & Safety Act, the use of PDS is now standard practice for surface mining companies and, as is the case with Booyco Electronics technology, can provide them with added value, says Booyco Electronics chief sales officer Graeme Jardine.

Booyco Electronics did not initially set out to apply the data collected by its proximity detection technology in digital twinning when the company was founded in 2006. However, in the past two or three years, mine owners and operators started to realise the value of data and the benefits of using this data for the mining operation as a whole, he highlights.

“While the primary function of our PDS remains to enhance safety, our product and service offering has evolved significantly, and today is a tool that can be used beyond its initial use case.”

Using the Booyco Electronics Asset Management System (BEAMS) software suite, users can analyse the data captured by Booyco’s PDS to identify patterns that inform their decision-making.

“We collect and store all the interactions between vehicles and pedestrians, and vehicles with other vehicles and objects. This data can be automatically uploaded in real time, where our Internet of Things (IoT) beacons are installed on a fleet of trackless mobile machinery.”

If users do not have IoT beacons, data can be collected manually using downloading stations or tablets either through a physical connection or WiFi.

Booyco Electronics also has offerings that enable it to adapt to a site with poor connectivity, owing to the depth of its pit, for example, to boost connectivity. The company’s PDS also has built-in redundancy to avoid connection loss, whereby data is continually collected and is not reliant on connectivity or global positioning system signal.

The Advantage of Data

Once data has been collected from the PDS fitted on the vehicle, it can be applied to a digital twin model used to create a virtual representation of a surface mining operation to simulate scenarios that can enable the optimisation of fleet movement and other aspects of a mining operation. Users can also access and apply historical data collected by the Booyco BEAMS software tool.

“A client can use the data collected to generate a heat map to identify areas where fleet movement may be inefficient. While the procedure may stipulate that vehicles should only be inactive for ten minutes at a loading point, in reality, they may be inactive for 25 or 30 minutes. We can either analyse the data further or it can be accessed in real time to determine the cause of the delay and enable informed decision-making to resolve the issue,” says Jardine.

Booyco Electronics can assist mining operations by using this data to determine where improvements are possible by running digital simulations using a digital twin model eliminating the need to create costly scenarios in real life, thereby, “saving a lot of time and money”.

By inputting data on fleet movement into a digital twin model, users can determine whether diverting half their fleet to improve throughput, for example, will yield a worthwhile result or not, adds Jardine, emphasising that there is no such thing as bad data.

However, where clients do not have the resources to buy the capital-intensive infrastructure and software needed to enable digital twinning, Booyco Electronics will, going forward, be able to provide this service.

“Our customer base is diverse, from blue chip companies which can afford to invest in digital twinning to smaller operations who may not want to, or who may not be in a position to, purchase the equipment.

“While we have firmly established ourselves as a market leader in PDS and technology we view ourselves as an innovation partner and not only a PDS supplier,” concludes Jardine.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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