Safety-critical berm monitoring system first in SA

29th January 2021

Safety-critical berm monitoring system first in SA

SICK Automation’s truck-mounted berm monitoring system

Safety berms are critical for the safe movement of heavy machinery in openpit operations and ongoing monitoring of berms to ensure berm integrity is crucial.

Traditionally berm monitoring is conducted by means of manual vision inspections, which can be time-consuming and imprecise.  ­­SICK Automation has developed a new Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system which offers high reliability for outdoor applications and is particularly suited to berm monitoring.

The company’s Advanced Object Detection LiDAR system (AOS LiDAR) uses an outdoor scanner, safety controls and an intelligent system to automate the process  of berm monitoring.

The solution provides a truck-mounted, perception-based system that scans berms in real time. It consists of an onboard embedded processing system, a global navigation satellite system localisation and the AOS LiDAR scanner. It is designed to provide reliable long-distance detection in any environmental conditions and incorporates defined alarm outputs for predetermined objects to reduce false alarms. The system’s modular construction offers flexible extension options and easy integration into machine control.

­­SICK Automation highlights AOS LiDAR’s effectivity in the reduction of downtime and costs associated with berm-related accidents. The data from scanned berms is transmitted through a central server and reporting system 24/7, allowing operational personnel to identify any section of any berm that requires investigation, ascertain the fault criticality and take the action required.  

Features of the system include:

The system is truck-mounted to offer a simple, reliable solution that ensures bunds remain as effective critical controls in openpit mining.

SICK’s berm monitoring solution is the first of its kind in South Africa and was recently installed and customised to fit the requirements of an Mpumalanga-based coal mine. The scope of work included technical vehicle inspection, ensuring software compatibility for the solutions’ management system, product installation, integration and commissioning.

The company affirms that the result is an easy-to-use berm monitoring system tailored to the mine’s specific application needs, and that it is sufficiently flexible to accommodate future adaptations.