Caterpillar's Cat Detect Personnel is a personnel proximity detection system designed to enhance the safety of workers around longwall systems and continuous miners.
Personnel is part of the Detect capability set of Cat MineStar System, which incorporates fully integrated technology products used to optimise productivity, enhance safety and improve machine utilisation and uptime for underground and surface mining operations.
Using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags worn by personnel and detection units mounted on mining machines, Cat Detect Personnel (Personnel) accurately and reliably identifies the presence of people on a longwall or near a continuous miner and transmits personnel location information to the machine control system.
The control system then takes appropriate actions—such as inhibiting machine movement and providing warning signals—when necessary to avoid potentially unsafe situations. Enhances safety of longwall and continuous miner operations.
Personnel for longwall systems includes equipping each roof support with a detection unit, which transmits data to the control system governing automated roof support advance. In the case of the Cat PMC-R (Programmable Mining Control for roof supports) electrohydraulic control system, Personnel would delay advancing roof supports when people are detected in the affected area. The PMC-R controls have a bright 180-degree LED warning light and an acoustic alarm to indicate that roof support movement is pending.
Cat Detect Personnel for continuous miners is in development. The system detects the presence of people within a certain distance of the machine and in potentially unsafe locations. When appropriate, the system provides a warning signal to such personnel and the machine operator and inhibits machine movement until the area is cleared.