Introducing a better collision avoidance system

Noise, distraction, busy traffic and poor visibility will always mean that mining is potentially dangerous. However, improvements to Hexagon’s Collision Avoidance System, otherwise known as CAS, continue to minimize those risks. The latest release of MineProtect CAS is the result of customer feedback, focused development and grueling field trails. The enhancements accelerate efforts to help mines in the pursuit of zero harm.

MineProtect Application engineer Florent Garin discusses some of the exciting new features in CAS 4.6 during a podcast interview.


Q: Describe some of the new features in CAS 4.6 and how they help customers.

FG: The latest 4.6 release has three main features. The first is the integration with IDS GeoRadar, which is basically an integration with a product from the GeoRadar division with the Collision Avoidance System. It brings one more layer of safety. The second feature is General Purpose Controller, known as GPC, which allows for behavior customizations. The last one is the UI Threat isolation, which isolates the threat among other traffic awareness LED’s.

Q: What features have been added to the GPC?

FG: We started it with the possibility of triggering customized behavior, just using collision alarms. Now we have the possibility to use whatever alarms are generated by CAS. The Tailgating alarm can be an over-speeding alarm, it can be a Personal Alert alarm, radar alarm, whatever alarm comes from CAS. What we can also do is create customized voice messages. An application example would be having a seat vibrator triggered and a voice announcement when you have a collision alarm, a haul truck versus a light vehicle high priority, meaning that the time to impact is less than three seconds. This lets customers tailor an alarm based on their needs.

Q: What are the benefits of the Threat Isolation feature?

FG: The basic principle of the system is to avoid collisions. We can enhance that with Threat Isolation. The idea is to remove everything that is non-critical at a given moment. So, let’s say you are in a crowded place, such as a face where a shovel is working, you have trucks around you, you may have other light vehicles, wheel dozers, etc. If you were at risk of colliding with one of these mining units, you would want to know where it is and on which side it is. So, the Threat Isolation will just show you where this unit is.

Q: Can you describe what the field trials were like for CAS 4.6 and explain what goes into proving the effectiveness of a solution like this?

FG: We want field trials to be as close as possible to a real operation. We must be very careful not to hinder production and release a tested version of the software. First, we do small tests. Driving around, repeating scenarios to make sure that we have the core feature of the Collision Avoidance System. Then we take it in the pit to make sure that interactions are as expected and then we have a feature-based approach, that we run scenarios to make sure that our features are working as we expect them to work.

Q: How do customers receive this release and what are the installation requirements for it?

FG: Let’s first talk about the customer and then the requirements. We have three groups of customers. The first one is the case of a brand-new installation. Those customers are going to receive the latest version 4.6. Then, if the customer has a maintenance contract, it’s going to be included in this contract. So, one just needs to get in touch with their Hexagon rep and they will come onsite and perform the upgrade. The last group is customers who don’t have a maintenance contract. In this case, the process is basically the same but first they would have to ask for a quote. CAS 4.6 requires the latest CAS QC units: QC241, QC242 and QC250 revision B.

To hear the full interview, click here.

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