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Becker Mining Systems: ICAS collision avoidance system

Becker Mining Systems are a leader in Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) for underground coal and hard rock mines around the globe, in 2013 the Collision avoidance product offering was expanded with a global distribution agreement for Intelligent Collision Avoidance System (ICAS) surface collision avoidance system which now allows Becker to provide a full suite of products for the mining industry.

Over the years there have been many procedures written and products implemented to reduce collisions in the mining industry but serious incidents img1still continue to occur with catastrophic social and commercial consequences, although there are many products available today many in the industry are still reluctant to adopt new technologies or the technologies are cost prohibitive depending on the size of the mining operation.

It is invertible that the mining industry will be forced to adopt reliable technology as a proactive tool to reduce inevitable accidents injuries and deaths related to mobile equipment. In April 2013 the NSW Government released guideline MDG 28 relating to coal stockpiles which recommended that as one of the minimum controls for dozers working around draw points be that position indicating devices to assist the dozer driver in determining location of draw down points in high risk zones “shall” be used.

The MDG 15 Guidelines for mobile and transportable plant for use at mines states that Proximity detection systems and collision avoidance systems should be considered when introducing plant to a mine. Proximity detection systems should alert persons to the imminent interaction between equipment to persons, equipment to infrastructure and equipment to equipment. In addition, collision avoidance systems should also intervene and take a form of control to prevent impact between equipment to persons, equipment to infrastructure and equipment to equipment.

Early in 2014 MDG 2007 Guideline for Collision Management will be released putting more pressure on organisations to adopt and install preventive measures.


The ICAS Surface Collision Avoidance System has been developed with the entire mineral recovery process in mind infrastructure to provide a pit to port solution with dedicated firmware developed for the mining environment and mining equipment.

The product is an economic solution for all mines large and small, it provides the industry with a realistically priced solution to overcome an industry wide problem. The financial and community cost of doing nothing in relation to mine equipment collisions that cause asset damage, injuries and death out weights the cost of adopting a proactive tool to improve safety.

The extensive Warning Range of 20kms also makes ICAS a perfect solution for alerting track workers and locomotive drivers of potential collisions with advanced and timely warnings to clear railway tracks.


The system for mining applications has been engineered on an existing collision avoidance hardware and software platform used in the maritime market to prevent collisions in the marine environment where it is also mandated to have a system installed.

The benefit of this association is that the equipment has proven reliability and robustness in the marine environment which is one of the harshest on the planet. The IP67 marine grade device with incorporated display is designed and delivered with an 18 month warranty providing fleet owners’ confidence that once installed, machine downtime due to system failure is minimised and production continuity is assured.


ICAS is a dedicated safety instrument independent of all other infrastructure or networks. The system is capable of expansion and accepting of other sensors for data collection but its primary objective is as a safety system to keep personnel safe and prevent damage to assets.

The GPS /VHF based solution uses proven GPS (Global Positioning Systems) technology to detect the position of all surrounding mobile and fixed plant with a maximum detection distance of 20km. Once detected the ICAS devices communicate their information between each other on an inbuilt secure VHF wireless network, information transmitted includes the plant ID, position, speed, direction and object type.

This information is displayed via a small cabin mounted, clutter free display of surrounding equipment their location and course information. The system filters out non priority targets and only displays critical information on equipment that may be on a collision course. This reduces operator uncertainty and related stress when operating in highly dangerous, congested, low visibility and isolated environments.

By using an intelligent display with a mix of audio and visual alerts, it provides advanced warnings to operators, reducing the risk of accidents and near misses from insufficient reaction time and lack of situational awareness.

The Systems GPS coverage is obtained via an industry leading inbuilt 50 channel GPS industrial receiver that provides reliable 3D positioning minimising the need for surface based repeaters. If repeaters are already installed the majority can be integrated with the ICAS product. The peer to peer VHF wireless network requires no licencing


Virtual ICAS provides users the ability to make all hazards visible to drivers when the placement of hardware is too costly or difficult to deploy, virtual ICAS allows hazards such as feeder holes on stock piles, overhead power lines, buried objects (pipes cables power), haul road breakdowns and other obstacles to be alerted to operators.

This is simply done via a PC connected to a Virtual ICAS transponder, the inputting of coordinates of the hazard and applying a description of the hazard. The Virtual ICAS technology offers a flexible product to all organisations using collision avoidance and can interface with fixed plant PLC systems This can be utilized in applications such as stock piles where plant operators can be advised of what draw points are being used.


There are many different types of mobile plant used in the mining industry which differ significantly in their operation with relation to size, speed and sometimes rotation. All of these differing types have different interaction scenarios which have to be considered with applicable alarm logic.

There is a requirement for all site applicable scenarios to be risk assessed with outcomes applied to the ICAS alarm logic and setting of guard zones. The ICAS system has a suite of inbuilt scenarios for differing fleets but can be modified in conjunction with each sites existing risk identification and procedures.

This requires the involvement of Becker, site management and key equipment operators for the best outcomes.


There are three components required for installation which are a graphical display, a VHF whip antenna and GPS antenna with incorporated heading sensor. The heading sensor is an important inclusion as it provides operators with the most basic but critical information which is what direction is the detected equipment is traveling. This enhances the operators’ situational awareness.

The installation and commissioning of any system on production equipment needs to done in a timely manner so interruption to production are minimised. The ICAS unit is extremely simple and a quick product to install much the same as a two way radio installation as an example, any upgrades of firmware are completed wirelessly minimising maintenance downtime.

Once turned on, the ICAS systems inbuilt wireless network automatically establishes itself, detects and displays all ICAS and virtual ICAS systems within proximity parameters set in real time.


Back to base reporting and equipment position monitoring is achieved by simple installing an ICAS transponder at an appropriate location and connecting a PC, although information is data logged by each machine and can be retrieved remotely.

An optional centralised PC based vehicle tracking and event reporting system is available with no additional communications infrastructure required. This also provides site supervisors the ability to quickly identify and track equipment fitted with an ICAS system.

The GPS receiver is compliant to NEMA 0183 which means that when connected to a PC its output is compatible with standard mapping software.


All Mines have a need for temporary contractors on site and with mine wide collision avoidance systems there is a need to cater for contractor vehicles, ICAS provides a simple solution with portable units that can be fitted in minutes to a contractor’s vehicle. The fitting of the portable equipment is similar to fitting a portable flashing light with magnetic bases and would simple be required that a mine maintain some assets at security for placement on contractors vehicles.

beckerThe system is highly reliable, easy to use and an economic solution for all applications for more information or enquiry contact Jim Dwyer 0458 497 667 at Becker Mining System or email

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