Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2018

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COLLISION AVOIDANCE JULY 2018 • E&MJ 37 www.e-mj.com Collision Avoidance Gets Personal In February, Hexagon Mining introduced the Mine Personal Alert, which it de- scribed as "an accident-avoidance device worn by field personnel that ensures 360° visibility around heavy equipment." The system "protects pedestrians within 50 m of a vehicle via an ergonomic tag that communicates with strategically mounted proximity anchors integrated with Hexa- gon's Collision Avoidance System," the company reported. The solution speaks to a need beyond the capabilities of Hexagon's object de- tection system, Tracking Radar, which can sense ground personnel and leverag- es "intelligent algorithms" to differenti- ate threatening and non-threatening ob- stacles, but is most effective within line of sight, the company reported. In contrast, Personal Alert offers the capability to literally "track people and to warn people on foot" of possible impend- ing danger, said Fabien Kritter, product manager, safety and autonomous solu- tions, Hexagon Mining. "We developed a new technology where we can actually detect people without having line of sight, which is working with a tag and an anchor on the vehicle and is fully integrated in our Collision Avoidance System," he said. While Tracking Radar is excellent at detecting nearby pedestrians, it will not identify them individually, said Marcos Bayuelo, product manager, safety, Hexa- gon Mining. "Radar will alert you to any- thing, but it could be a berm, it could be infrastructure, or it could be a person," he said. "Personal alert conveys the im- portance of a pedestrian to the operator." Hexagon reported Personal Alert uses time-of-flight technology in the ultra-wide band range. That means the anchor sends a signal that is bounced back by the tag and the onboard CAS computer calcu- lates the distance between the two by the time it takes to receive the return. "The technology is very robust, especially for the mining environment," Kritter said. "It is very resistant to interference," such as from weather events, "and multipass." The tag is slightly smaller than a hand- held device, enabling it to be palmed, built into a helmet or slipped into a pock- et. "It is something you can wear on the belt or on the shoulder, or in your front pocket of your safety vest," Kritter said. "It is pretty compact and is especially de- signed for mining." The tag is ergonomically correct, Bayue- lo said. "We wanted to have something that people can wear that is not so small that it will get lost, and not so big that people will not like to wear it," he said. The anchor is bigger than the tag but is diminutive enough for easy handling. It can be mounted with metal brackets or magnet- ically for temporary use. "Usually it goes on the roof of the machine, but a haul truck or a large machine may have multiple an- chors, such as on the back of the machine to cover the rear," and otherwise provide 360° of vision, Kritter said. "A light vehicle may require only one on the roof." CAS allows the miner to configure zone-based alarms. "It is our philosophy to have that very configurable for the cus- tomer, so they can quickly adapt it to the operation," Kritter said. "It is very easy to install and to configure it to what the customer needs to protect everyone." Typically, the alarms are configured based on the size and speed of the machine, as well as its expected operating area and movement rate and range. "You have differ- ent zones depending on the alarms that are

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