Gold Fields’ South Deep gold mine in South Africa continues to enhance its EMESRT Level 9 collision avoidance capability (technologies that actually intervene in terms of automated machine control to prevent or mitigate an unsafe interaction) in the form of an ongoing project with Nerospec company Nerospec OSCON, based in Bromhof, Randburg.
“We are proud to partner with a world-leading mine at the cutting edge of technological advancement,” says Lee Bothma, Group HOD of Sales at the Nerospec Group. South Deep Gold Mine is a world-class bulk mechanised mining operation located in the Witwatersrand Basin, near Westonaria about 50 km south-west of Johannesburg. Final testing of Nerospec’s Vehicle Intervention Controller (VIC) for Level 9, the neroHUB, is underway, and it will be rolled out across mulitple machine types and brands.
Sandvik-owned Newtrax got the South Deep Level 9 order for the PDS systems and VIC for the sizeable Sandvik fleet of machines at South Deep. However, for the rest of the fleet of mobile machinery – units of a variety of brand/type, including a loco – Nerospec’s neroHUB Level 9 technology was added for interoperability reasons. Martin Preece, Gold Fields EVP told IM: “The neroHUB is an important component that we need to use to allow the Newtrax system and certain other machines talk to each other – it is in effect an interface to allow control of certain machines.”
Gold Fields’ Head of Technical and Production Intelligence Systems Johan Sliep comments: “South Deep has the Epiroc MT2010 and MT436B trucks and the Epiroc ST1030 LHD in the primary load and haul fleet. Nerospec’s neroHUB interfaces between the Newtrax system, which provides the Level 9 Crawl & Stop signals, and the machine to react to these signals from the Newtrax system. Epiroc has certified most of their fleet with the neroHUB as the interface for collision avoidance. neroHUB is the intervention controller South Deep has selected to interface with all non-Sandvik machines such as Epiroc trucks and LHDs but also non-primary machines from other OEMs such as our AARD Mining Equipment utility vehicles, Toyota Land Cruisers etc.”
Harald Bornebroek, Business Development Manager at Nerospec told IM: “The neroHUB can also do a lot more things then just L9 and Nerospec has been a frontrunner in developing this over the last seven years including succesful implementations at mines such as Glencore’s Kroondaal. We now have some 3,000 neroHUB installations, installed on over 30 different OEM’s mobile equipment on over 100 different machine types.”
Nerospec says the neroHUB provides a universal interface for Trackless Mining Machines (TMM) and Collision Warning Systems (CWS). It increases productivity and improves mine safety with the intelligent use of Crawl & Stop processes as well as providing uniform and secure records to promote operational efficiency. It is designed to be a ruggedised, multipurpose specialised vehicular controller, data communications hub and black box recorder.
It adds: “The desire to eradicate mine safety incidents is what motivated us to begin and is at the core of why our engineers work tirelessly to find incremental innovations that protect and save. With our HUB Range of Proximity Detection Interfaces and Machine Controllers, we can achieve EMESRT Level 9 Crawl and Stop Intervention Control on any machine, regardless of type or OEM.”