A Proximity Detection System (PDS) detects and warns equipped vehicle’s operators and equipped pedestrians of each other’s presence. The size and inherent blind spots of some mining vehicles (underground or surface) make it nearly impossible for the operator to be fully aware of the presence of pedestrians, vehicles or hazardous objects within its immediate vicinity. Proximity detection systems improves the operator’s awareness by detecting possible collision threats and warning the operator visually and audibly. Equipped pedestrians are also notified of possible danger by means of a visual and audible warning if an equipped vehicle is in proximity.

Over the past few years a lot of development has been done by various bodies to put standards in place for proximity detection systems. With a measurable user requirement, it is now easier for clients to choose a system that fits their needs.

As part of the user requirement three levels of control is defined:

  • Level 7: Operator awareness; Alerts the operator – This is a warning system
  • Level 8: Advisory controls; Advises the operator – This is an advisory system
  • Level 9: Intervention controls; takes control from the operator – This is a collision avoidance system

Collision avoidance systems or Level 9 systems intervene with a vehicle by either slowing it down or stopping it to prevent, or at least minimize the severity of collisions between equipped vehicles and equipped pedestrians. Objects can also be equipped with sensors to enable a system to detect, warn and intervene if the object poses a collision risk.

Mernok Elektronik’s multi-technology proximity detection system provides a complete solution for surface and underground operation for most applications including:

  • Vehicle to vehicle
  • Vehicle to pedestrian
  • Vehicle to static hazard
  • Vehicle to rail bound equipment
  • Rail bound equipment to rail bound equipment

Mernok Elektronik proximity detection systems consists of a control unit and sensors fitted on a vehicle. Pedestrians are equipped with transponders (standalone OR integrated with a cap lamp). Underground and surface applications use different sensors but the control unit which is the biggest cost driver is the same which simplifies stock carrying and training for operators and maintenance personnel. The control unit has an LCD to simplify feedback to the operator.

The vehicle operator is shown information about possible collision threats on a color LCD. The operator receives a visual and audible warning when, a threat which poses a collision risk, is detected. The same applies to the detected threat which could be another vehicle or a pedestrian. Three zones are used to indicate the severity of a threat;

  • Presence
  • Warning
  • Critical

Depending on the specific implementation the direction of the collision threat is also shown.

The zone distances are dynamic and are dependent on factors like speed, direction and the type of threat. This allows for a balance between efficiency and safety as the risk of collision is calculated and only acted on if there is an imminent risk of collision.

The system is modular and expandable allowing different technologies to be easily implemented. The control unit has a dedicated vehicle interface according to ISO21815 which allows for upgrade of a level 7 (warning system) to a level 9 (Collision avoidance system) by simply adding a harness and updating software.

  • Proximity detection systems improves vehicle operator’s situational awareness thereby improving safety.
  • Chapter 8, ACT NO 29 of 1996 of the Mine health and safety act that was amended on 27 February 2015. The act requires an employer to take reasonably practicable measures to prevent pedestrians from being injured as a result of collisions between trackless mobile machines and pedestrians. Refer to section 8.10.1 and 8.10.2 of the act.
  • In summary it is a legal requirement that a warning system (Level 7) must already be in place as from 2015 for all vehicles and mining operations where there is a significant risk.
  • It is furthermore a legal requirement that by the end of 2020 all vehicles and mining operations are equipped with collision avoidance systems (Level 9) where there is significant
  • Multiple technologies
    • – RFID (Radio-frequency identification technology)
    • – LF (Low-frequency magnetic field)
    • – GPS (Surface only)
  • ISO21815 vehicle interface
  • Detects up to 150 collision threats simultaneously
  • Adjustable operator exclusion field
  • Configurable low power beacons for hazards
  • Configurable geofences for surface applications
  • Configurable rules for different threat types
  • Configurable brake distance tables
  • Wet, slippery and dry road conditions catered for
  • Work zone function
  • Simple user interface
  • Data logging
  • Vehicle management (See our vehicle management section for more detail)
  • Data can be sent to Command Suite for reporting

Mernok Elekronik PDS systems can be used for various applications underground and on surface.

Different applications require different technologies which makes the modularity of our systems ideal.

Mernok Elektronik proximity detection systems comprises of combinations of the products listed below dependent on specific client requirements, vehicle type and application.

  • Vehicle control units
    • – Commander2xx
    • – Commander1xx
    • – MaxusX
  • Proximity detection products
    • – GPS100 (GPS module)
    • – Pulse400 (Reader)
    • – Pulse300 (Vehicle transponder)
    • – Pulse500 (LF transmitter)
    • – Pulse110 (Standalone pedestrian tag)
    • – Pulse120 (Standalone GPS pedestrian tag)
    • – Pulse111 (Cap lamp integrated tag)
  • Connectivity
    • – WiFi100 (Wi-Fi module)
    • – GPRS100 (GPRS / GSM module)
  • Ancillary
    • – LightBar100

Our solutions cater for all vehicle types including mobile temporary solutions for visitor vehicles up to full control systems for rail bound equipment.