Wabtec Digital Mine has launched its latest Generation 3 Collision Avoidance System (CAS) to enhance safety and productivity, as well as provide a new level of performance with a rules and intelligence capability.
The Generation 3 CAS incorporates a brand new, cleaner, simpler user interface with context-based voice alerts that have been built using the latest human factor design. It replaces “beeps-and-buzzer” analog technology with sophisticated discreet, directional, and audible warnings. This interface enables operators to work without distraction and respond instantaneously to audible alerts.
Wabtec’s innovation focus was on shifting from traditional proximity detection to true collision avoidance. Core functionality such as real-time self-test, personnel detection and secondary sensing capabilities are maintained in the Generation 3 CAS, ensuring the highest levels of performance in the industry.
Glencore approached Wabtec with a well-defined set of functional and performance requirements. These requirements included vehicle-to-vehicle interactions and the different types of interactions vehicles can experience at a mining site. These requirements also extended to the user interface design so that vehicle operators receive appropriate feedback from the CAS system.
The user interface was validated by expert in human factor design, Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick from the University of Queensland, to shape the development of the new product. This led to three years of live proof-of-concept and production testing, which set a new industry benchmark.
Wendy McMillan, Wabtec senior regional vice president, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, said: “We know mining equipment interactions, whether vehicle-to-person or vehicle-to-vehicle, are among the highest safety risks for mining operators. This system’s advanced rules and intelligence engine provide the flexibility to deal with the most complex vehicle interaction scenarios.”
Ashley McLeod, Glencore regional general manager, explained that in 2018 it undertook a review into mining vehicle interaction using the control framework methodology. The outputs from this review were used as the reference point for determining what would become the minimum requirements for what a collision avoidance system should provide in the company’s mining operations.
“After assessing various products against our criteria, we selected Wabtec as our preferred supplier. The previous version was built with mining conditions in mind and the Wabtec personnel were eager to improve the next generation product. We are very excited that this collaboration has resulted in a product that will assist in keeping our people safe.”
The Generation 3 CAS, like previous generations, is OEM agnostic and designed to be installed on all machine types. The hardware and software developed for Generation 3 CAS is compatible with the Generation 2 CAS system to ensure a seamless transition through the generations and provides customers a clear path to Wabtec’s advanced Level 9 intervention capabilities. It ultimately lowers the total cost of ownership, while giving existing customers flexibility to transition when they were ready.