Tag Archives: Anton Lourens

Booyco expects further global proximity detection tech growth

Proximity Detection System (PDS) specialist, Booyco Electronics, says it is continuing to grow its global footprint, securing key relationships with miners and service providers outside of its native South Africa in the last half decade.

Having recently made export development a strategic imperative, the company is seeing enthusiastic uptake of its technologies, according to Booyco Electronics CEO, Anton Lourens.

“These are exciting times, where we are already doing business in Southern Africa, West Africa, South America and Australia, while seeing considerable interest from countries in Europe and North America,” Lourens says. “Expanding our footprint has been made possible by building strong relationships with experienced channel partners who serve and know these mining regions.”

Booyco Electronics’ journey into international markets began many years ago through its involvement with the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT), Lourens noted. This global initiative of major mining companies guides best practice in minimising vehicle interactions and collisions.

With South Africa leading the world in regulating this space, Booyco Electronics was, and still is, able to contribute valuable insights to this global forum, it says.

“When we began designing our latest Booyco CXS generation of collision avoidance technology, we developed a solution that would lend itself to application in international markets,” Lourens says. “We then identified and engaged reputable partners who understand their customer base and are technically capable of supporting our innovative product line.”

The latest generation CXS system is a comprehensive and integrated proximity detection solution, taking a step beyond being just a warning system to become a “true collision avoidance system”, he says.

The first Booyco PDS system exported from the South Africa facility was installed in Madagascar about five years ago. This has been followed by further international installations in Ghana, Namibia (at B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine) and Chile.

“With our focus on developing safety equipment that ensures every employee returns home safely every day, we collaborate with responsible, diligent partners who apply their technical resources to realising that vision on individual mine sites,” Lourens says.

Key relationships have been established with Australia-based RCT, Ramjack Technology Solutions and Insucam. RCT has operations in 70 countries, Ramjack Technology Solutions provides system integration services globally and Insucam has a strong South American footprint, Booyco says.

“While our channel partners support the technology and the end customer, there is also significant value-add in our collaboration as our partners are already experts in automation, remote control and interfacing,” Lourens says. “Their experience in on-mine implementation opens doors to integrating our various technologies to the customers’ benefit. We can even incorporate their technologies into our solutions.”

Positioning Booyco Electronics well for its global growth is its familiarity with most mining environments, and its ability to address the various scenarios specified by EMERST in its protocols and guidelines.

“We have now been able to enhance this offering by adapting our machine displays and text to different languages to suit new markets, including our manuals and training materials for technicians,” Lourens says. “We also provide training – online as well as in person, where possible – to our channel partners. To do this, we leverage the power of video while also experimenting with innovations like body cameras for the more technical aspects of learning and on-site fault finding.”

Mining professionals in many countries are still relatively new to PDS, as regulations have not required the implementation of this technology previously, according to Lourens. This has led to Booyco Electronics focusing extensively on information and training tools that familiarise the international mining sector with the value of this technology.

It is clear, Lourens says, that PDS technology has much to offer mines globally, especially as mining operations seek digital integration that will continuously improve safety and productivity.

South Africa coal mines continue proximity detection rollout, Booyco Electronics says

South Africa-based proximity detection system (PDS) specialist Booyco Electronics says it is continues to grow its footprint in the domestic coal mining sector as more mines work towards “Level 9” compliance.

According to Booyco Electronics CEO, Anton Lourens, the scale of recent orders from underground collieries and open-cast operations are testament to the company’s leadership in the sector.

“We support an extensive population of our proximity detection equipment on trackless mining machines (TMMs) in coal mines and expect to see enthusiastic take-up of our new-generation Booyco CXS product,” Lourens says. He highlights that the customer base includes not only the Mpumalanga coalfields, but also those in KwaZulu-Natal province – supported by the company’s network of branches including Witbank and Richards Bay.

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.

“We are working closely with many OEMs and mining customers on aligning and testing our respective equipment for Level 9 compliance,” he says. “It should be remembered, however, that 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.”

An active participant in the mining industry’s Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT), Booyco Electronics says it collaborates extensively with stakeholders to support mines’ safety and compliance efforts.

“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,” Lourens says. “The Booyco CXS consolidates all we have learnt in our 15 years in business, taking that vital step from a warning system to a fully-fledged collision avoidance system.”

He highlighted that the Booyco CXS retains the intrinsically safe technology of previous generations, making it more cost effective and generally easier to manage. “The common alternative to intrinsically safe equipment is for suppliers to add a flameproof enclosure to house the PDS, which tends to be heavy and impractical,” he says.

Another contribution to safety and productivity is the Booyco Electronics Asset Management System (BEAMS) – a central information hub for a mine’s PDS assets. Centralising information from PDS hardware and monitoring devices, BEAMS enhances operations by identifying patterns of unsafe behaviour that can be promptly addressed, according to the company.

Booyco Electronics to provide Otjikoto gold mine with ‘true collision avoidance system’

Proximity detection specialist Booyco Electronics says it is equipping 19 mechanised mining machines with its latest Booyco CXS proximity detection solution to enhance safety during the development phase of underground operations at B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine, in Namibia.

According to Anton Lourens, Booyco Electronics CEO, the order was placed by Murray & Roberts Cementation, one of the contractors establishing the underground stoping horizon for the Wolfshag zone at Otjikoto mine.

The contract also includes sensing devices for 120 underground personnel on the operation, which will be included in the employee’s cap lamp to provide an alarm.

“Our equipment will help achieve the highest level of safety by mitigating the risk of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles, and between vehicles, on this project,” Lourens says. “The installation of our CXS units is in line with the commitment by the mine and the contractor to zero harm in the workplace.”

The Cementation Lewcor JV contract will take 28 months. Lewcor Mining is a Namibian company with extensive mining experience in that country. The contract includes a decline of 5 m wide by 5.5 m high being driven to the orebody from a portal in one of Otjikoto’s depleted open pits. The operation will be highly mechanised, with equipment including drill rigs, dump trucks, LHDs and utility vehicles, as well as shotcreting and ancillary equipment.

Lourens highlights that Booyco Electronics’ latest generation CXS system is a comprehensive and integrated proximity detection solution, taking a step beyond being just a warning system to become a “true collision avoidance system”.

He added: “The CXS system on this project will deliver Level 7 and Level 8 capability in terms of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) and can also accommodate Level 9. Although there is not yet a legal requirement for collision avoidance systems in Namibia, our customer and the mine adopt a global best practice approach to all aspects of safety in mining operations.”

With the mine’s location more than 300 km north of Windhoek, it is important the equipment is robust and reliable to ensure maximum uptime, according to Lourens.

“To ensure that the equipment performs optimally, we have trained the customers’ artisans on how to look after it,” he said. “A qualified serviceman from Booyco Electronics will also visit the site regularly to audit performance, assess the equipment and conduct any necessary maintenance.”

Booyco Electronics’ home-grown technology has seen wide take-up in underground operations – both hard rock and coal – as well as in the open-cast environment, plants and warehouses, the company says. It now has a footprint of over 100 mining customers in South Africa, with this Namibia project part of a gradual expansion into other countries in Southern Africa.

Lourens says the use of collision avoidance systems is likely to keep increasing, as more miners adopt the EMESRT guidelines.

He concluded: “The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is also an important stakeholder in this process. The ICMM highlights that transport and mobile equipment accidents were highest cause of fatalities at their members’ operations in 2018, accounting for 30% of fatalities.”

Booyco lays groundwork for all miners to achieve Level-9 safety compliance

Supporting mines in their quest for zero-harm, Booyco Electronics says its CXS solution has leveraged technology to achieve new levels of safety in underground and surface mining environments.

“The Booyco CXS solution is engineered to mitigate the risk of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles, or between vehicles, in operational environments,” Booyco Electronics CEO, Anton Lourens, says. “This system takes the vital step from being just a warning system to becoming a collision avoidance system.”

Lourens highlights that the Booyco CXS consolidates everything the company has learnt in its 15 years of serving the sector. By upgrading to a new hardware platform, the system’s software updates can be conducted remotely and more frequently – providing increased functionality. It also allows users to comply with the latest and ever more stringent safety regulations.

“Our Booyco CXS is a comprehensive and integrated response to Level 7, Level 8 and Level 9 safety levels – as defined by the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT),” he says.

The new hardware platform is based on principles proven by Booyco Electronics over many years. Technology includes the reliable and accurate Very Low Frequency technology for pedestrian detection, and GPS and radio frequency technology for vehicle detection in surface applications.

“At the heart of the system is the Booyco Host Unit (BHU),” Lourens says. “This receives information from the pedestrian sensors, the trackless mining machine sensors and the wheeled mobile equipment sensors. It then conducts the necessary proximity calculations and algorithms to alert users to any impending risk scenarios.”

Lourens also emphasises that this BHU integrates with original equipment manufacturer systems, either directly or through a third-party interface, in accordance with ISO 21815.

“This allows the Booyco CXS to apply Level 9 intervention instructions to the machine, as required to, for example, automatically slowing it down or bringing it to a complete stop,” he says. “Our flexible, comprehensive approach with the Booyco CXS solution has been developed to ensure that all customers can achieve Level 9 compliance, irrespective of the age of their machines.”

Miners can leverage Booyco PDS for wholesale safety improvements, Lourens says

Centralising information from its proximity detection system (PDS) hardware and monitoring devices, Booyco Electronics says it offers mines a rare opportunity to become both safer and more productive.

According to Anton Lourens, CEO of proximity detection solutions focused Booyco Electronics, a single source of information on the mine’s assets is the key to enhancing operations by identifying patterns of unsafe behaviour.

“Our Booyco Electronics Asset Management System (BEAMS) is essentially a central information hub for the mine’s PDS assets,” Lourens says. “The software suite is a web-based application used on a robust database, linking the PDS hardware products and the monitoring devices.”

This provides a single source of data that can be leveraged for greater insight into relevant aspects of the mining operation – raising the level of safety and productivity in the workplace.

“The real achievement of BEAMS is that it allows the data from our Booyco CWS, Booyco PDS or Booyco CXS to be analysed for patterns which indicate unsafe behaviour,” Lourens says. “Customers can then design an appropriate intervention to prevent any further occurrences.”

This allows a mine to paint a complete picture of the working environment, shedding new light on operational issues previously not visible, Lourens said. Measuring the working environment and interactions in this way means risks and bottlenecks can be actively reduced and managed – boosting productivity as a result. This helps to give mines an in-depth view of the operation and the performance of their related assets.

“We have engineered BEAMS for easy implementation,” Lourens says. “It can be used on web browser platforms, and is designed to be adaptable to the information and infrastructure environment.”

BEAMS can also integrate with the lamp room management systems in underground mines, ensuring legal compliance with lamp room requirements. It helps mines locate its safety equipment, such as lamps, self-contained self-rescuers and gas instrumentation.

“BEAMS can be set up to suit the needs of each user,” Lourens says. “It can generate a standard set of reports, or be customised to specific requirements.”

Booyco looks to new technology, Mining Charter requirements with PDS tie-up

Booyco Electronics has teamed up with Mernok Elektronik and Selectronic to bring new generation technology to its proximity detection systems (PDS).

The collaboration with the two firms will speed up development of future technologies, according to Anton Lourens (pictured), Managing Director of Booyco Electronics.

Booyco Electronics claims to have pioneered the use of PDS in South Africa and today has around 5,000 of its PDS units in the field, which have delivered over a million hours of service to date.

Lourens said: “The experience we have gathered in the field with our existing technology has informed the direction of more recent technology, and this collaboration agreement allows quicker development and rollout of technology.”

South Africa-based Mernok Elektronik’s strength lies in its in-house design and engineering capability, according to Founder and Managing Director, Schalk Janse van Rensburg.

“This expertise, which we have been developing for over 10 years, drives our research and development efforts,” he said. “The result is a world-class product range developed for the specific needs of the South African mining sector.”

With an extensive branch footprint developed over the past 13 years, Booyco Electronics will ensure the new generation technology is within reach of customers and is constantly supported, the company said. Booyco’s service facilities are manned by trained field technicians, capable of both installing and supporting this hi-tech equipment, according to the company.

“Our proven levels of field support will ensure that the technology benefits of the latest PDS design are translated into bottom-line and safety benefits for our mining customers,” Lourens said.

The collaboration also recognises the value of greater localisation in the mining supply chain, in line with the requirements of the South Africa Mining Charter. “Together, these two South African companies are able to further enhance their respective contributions to local economic development by promoting the country’s technology advancement and skills growth,” Booyco said.

Lourens highlighted that regulatory compliance has been an important factor in driving the application of PDS in mining. All products are therefore certified in terms of South Africa Department of Mineral Resources requirements.