Strata Worldwide has years of experience with proximity detection and collision avoidance technologies. Working closely with mine managers and personnel around the world, the company continues to expand and enhance its safety technologies. More recently, the company has successfully implemented its second-generation HazardAVERT systems in surface mining applications.

HazardAVERT is a near-field electromagnetic (EM) detection alarm and interlocking system. The system consists of on-dash LCD display screens, proximity generators and interface modules. With a graphical representation of the zone and camera inputs, the on-dash display keeps the operator informed. The proximity generators project EM zones around machinery. They also detect the EM zones from other generators on other equipment to prevent collisions. Pedestrians wear personal alarm devices that detect the EM fields and warn against potential dangers. The interface module supplies power to the proximity generator and the on-dash display. More importantly, it can slow and stop machinery. The module also has memory and the ability transmit data by WiFi.

“What sets us apart is our ability
to interface and interlock with the
machines,” said Mike Walling, general manager-proximity sys-
tems for the
Americas. “We have the ability to slow and stop machinery. The other far-field technologies do not have those capabilities. They simply warn the operator. We warn the operator and the pedestrian

“We started deploying surface systems a couple of years after we had installed the underground coal systems,” Walling said. “It is the same type of EM-based system. In the last two years, we have transitioned to a Gen 2 system, which provides a few more features.”

With the Gen 2 system, Strata has integrated GPS into the EM technology, which can be used for fleet management. “If a mine is using WiFi, we can track assets in the pit,” Walling said. “The mine can monitor who is in a warning or hazard zone and how often in real time with WiFi or the data can be downloaded at the end of a shift.”

This technology can also be used as a training tool and some mines have used it to track production. “Basically, they can see how long it takes to travel to and from a dump point,” Walling said. “The data is there as well now.”

Gen 2 also has CANBUS capabilities so it can be adapted to existing machinery. “Strata is able to work with any piece of equipment to create custom solutions,” Walling said. “HazardAVERT is OEM agnostic. We have also installed these systems on drills. We have many customizable solutions for near-field applications.”

Strata has also been working to apply this technology to conveyors. “We’re able to create a linear field using the EM technology on a cable,” Walling said. “We are able to stop the machinery when someone enters the hazard zone.” The current design allows five different portions of the conveyor to be protected.

Walling explained that installation is easy enough for the mine’s maintenance department to handle. “We train everyone on how to install the components,” Walling said. “This holds costs down for the miners.”