Booyco Electronics will quickly transition into a fully-fledged international service provider of proximity detection systems (PDS) in 2022. This follows the conclusion of a collaboration agreement with global smart technology solutions specialist Wenco International Mining Systems (Wenco).

The agreement will see both companies work in partnership to deploy Level 9 PDS systems across the global mining industry – as part of their objectives to enhance safety and production efficiency across the sector. Through Wenco, Booyco Electronics is immediately exposed to Wenco’s global distribution network with customers in 40 countries and offices supporting those customers in every major mining jurisdiction.

“The benefits to both companies are significant,” says Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics. “Wenco is an internationally recognised and leading supplier of mining technology solutions and fleet management systems who truly understands open pit mining and operations. This affords our business the opportunity to enhance our existing PDS solution footprint and track record through their network. For Wenco, they now have a reference point in assisting their clients reach Level 9 PDS status through a well reputed service provider. Together, we can now collectively offer a safety system in both open pit and surface mines for PDS solutions for optimal personnel tracking as well as fatigue management.”

The Wenco technical services team are experienced in implementing complex real-time mining operation systems. They also have the requisite change management skills to condition these systems.

“As we’ve seen in South Africa, implementing a surface Level 9 PDS solution is highly complex. This was therefore an obvious fit with our system and marks a major step in introducing the highest level of PDS solutions to an international mining clientele,” Lourens continues.

Partnership established through excellence delivery

The collaboration is the result of a working relationship established between Booyco Electronics and Wenco through individual project execution work for new Gold Field’s project Salares Norte in Chile, South America. This is Booyco Electronics’ first execution work in the country together with local supplier, Insucam, and therefore an accolade in itself. Wenco was contracted to deliver a fleet management solution to site.

“Having recognised the Booyco PDS solution, Wenco approached me to evaluate the partnership potential between our two businesses and the rest as they say is history,” Lourens highlights. “Wenco is also recognised for publicly championing the benefits of new technologies and this new relationship is an extension of that message to market.”

With a working partnership firmly in place the focus for 2022 is the successful commissioning of new deployments. “Wenco has a number of contracts already in place with clients that are urgently looking for PDS implementation, so this year is ripe with quick win opportunities for Booyco Electronics. We will simultaneously focus on developing Wenco’s corporate knowledge of our systems so they fully understand the PDS offering, the capabilities of our technologies and then also how to integrate the different solutions into a single cohesive and comprehensive solution,” Lourens outlines.

While the global potential for PDS is clear, Booyco Electronics and Wenco (which has a South Africa-based branch) will focus equally on South Africa. The requirement for Level 9 PDS solutions remains an incoming legislative requirement, which was postponed due to the challenges of COVID-19, but should, according to Lourens be promulgated into law very soon.

“We believe there will be a massive spike in PDS deployment in the next 12 to 24 months as a result of this, equating to a solid and financially strong period for Booyco Electronics moving forward,” Lourens concludes.


As the implementation of proximity detection systems (PDS) takes centre stage at surface mining operations ahead of the yet-to-be-announced compliance deadline, leading PDS and CPS developer Booyco Electronics has encouraged mining companies to give equal impetus to both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-people installations.  

According to Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics, traffic management planning has come under the spotlight recently as requirements for PDS and effective risk management interventions are set to become enforceable under the provisions of the Mine Health and Safety Chapter 8 MHSA Act 29 of 1996. 

Despite the uncertainty around the exact compliance deadline surface mines have, in recent years, advanced their risk assessments and installation of PDS technology, where significant risk exists. However, Lourens is concerned about the seemingly one-sided focus on vehicle-to-vehicle installations, at the expense of equally important vehicle-to-people installations. 

“Out of the enquiries we get, we have observed that there is limited assumed risk on people detection,” says Lourens. “We see a big focus on vehicle-to-vehicle risk, with limited requests for the people protection aspect of PDS installations. We are not sure if the approach is informed by internal risk assessments or the fact that mines have put in place measures to separate people from machines.”

As part of their risk assessments, several operations have, as an example, implemented pedestrian walkways as a means of separating people from moving machinery. While Lourens acknowledges that PDS technology is not a silver bullet on the quest for Zero Harm, he believes that, as an engineering control system, the technology has proven its mettle in mitigating risk at mines. 

“We have seen operations opting for fixed barriers as part of their traffic management plans to separate people from machinery,” says Lourens. “Separating people from moving machinery only mitigates part of the risk, yet the PDS can warn against possible collisions (Level 7), identify corrective paths (Level 8), or implement a ‘slow-down and stop’ intervention together with ‘motion inhibit’ (Level 9), which makes it a better solution than physical barriers.”


Available from Booyco Engineering is a range of mobile HVAC systems specifically designed to meet the tough conditions typically encountered in the African mining, rail and military sectors. 

The systems, which are ideal for off-road equipment such as dump trucks, drill rigs, dozers and excavators, are able to cope not only with the vibration and dust associated with off-road environments but also the very high ambient temperatures that can often be encountered in Africa.

“There is a misconception that our mobile HVAC solutions are over-engineered, making them more expensive than they need to be, particularly in comparison to the mass-produced systems designed for use in typical heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). But these vehicles seldom run off motorways and they are typically designed for cooler climates,” explains Grant Miller, executive director of Booyco Engineering.

Elaborating on Miller’s point, Booyco Engineering’s MD, Brenton Spies, notes that Booyco Engineering’s systems are rated for use at ambient temperatures of 45°C to 50°C while mass-produced systems tend to be designed for cooler climates where 35°C is seen as the maximum operating temperature. In order to eject this additional heat, larger components are needed, such as larger condenser coils and more powerful fans. 

To cope with rugged off-road conditions, Booyco Engineering’s systems utilise welded structures and use thicker gauge (2,0 mm) steel plate than competitor products which tend to rely on less-expensive pop-rivetted structures and much thinner steel or aluminium sections. As a result, Booyco Engineering’s solutions are far more durable and reliable.

To counter dust, Booyco Engineering often includes scavenger fans and HEPA filters to maintain the air quality inside cabins. In addition, the cooling fin spacing is larger than on conventional units to limit dust build-up, which – if unchecked – can quickly impair the cooling capacity of inadequately designed systems. 

Summing up the case for choosing a Booyco HVAC solution, Miller says it is not sensible to pay money for a lower cost system that will not work in demanding African conditions. “And if someone claims that a lower cost system is the same as ours, beware! If it costs much less, it is likely not to work – and it certainly won’t work for long!” he warns.


Putting a proximity detection system (PDS) or collision prevention system (CPS) in place in a mining operation is a process that cannot be rushed, says Anton Lourens, CEO of leading PDS and CPS developer Booyco Electronics.

Rather, it needs solid risk assessment, planning, broad engagement and an integrated approach that considers the myriad details involved. Lourens emphasises that for PDS and CPS systems to effectively reduce risk as they are designed to do, everyone must buy into the project and support its outcomes.

“In Booyco Electronics’ many years in this sector, we generally find that haste is counter-productive,” he says. “Where a safety incident has occurred on a mine, for instance, there may be an understandable impatience to get a PDS and CPS solution up and running quickly. The result, however, is seldom what the customer was hoping for, and the process often just takes even longer than it should.”

The key, he highlights, is to conduct a detailed risk assessment upfront to establish exactly what problems the PDS and CPS are expected to resolve. A successful application of this technology will be one in which the mine is proactive about defining the requirement for PDS and CPS, to make sure they meet the specifications identified in the risk assessment.

The next vital task is to involve all stakeholders, including miners at the coal face, various levels of management, the mine training centre, original equipment manufacturers and other relevant suppliers.

“This engagement – and the acceptance of PDS and CPS by these stakeholders – is vital to a successful roll-out,” Lourens says. “Ultimately, all these parties need to understand why they are installing the PDS and CPS equipment, and what the implications and benefits are for each player in the value chain.”

Machine operators are among the key participants in the process, he notes. They need to engage one-on-one with the teams who conduct the equipment installation, and must receive several rounds of training to understand what the equipment will do and how best to look after it.

“A PDS solution is a potentially game-changing safety device that will reduce the risk of collisions and improve workers’ wellbeing in their daily working environment,” he says. “Over the past decade or more, we have seen industry embrace this technology and put it to good use.”

Nonetheless, he points out that the choice of the right PDS or CPS technology to address the identified risk is still a complex and technical process that needs considerable collaboration between suppliers and mines.


As one of the earliest pioneers in proximity detection systems (PDS) and collision prevention system (CPS), Booyco Electronics has been pushing out the technology envelope for 15 years in the service of customers’ changing needs.

“Understanding market requirements has always been the starting point for our technology journey,” says Booyco Electronics CEO Anton Lourens. “We have therefore combined our close customer relationships in the field with an ongoing investment in technical capacity and product innovation.”

An important contributor to the technological breakthroughs developed by the company has been its engagement with the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT). This global initiative of major mining companies to improve safety has given Booyco Electronics valuable insight into the future requirements of PDS and CPS.

“Working with the key players in pedestrian and machine safety, we have ensured that we apply the latest technology in precisely the direction that the market demands,” says Lourens. “For instance, we were able to develop solutions to meet EMESRT’s Level 9 requirements, so that trackless machines could be “instructed” to automatically be brought to a stop in a risk / hazardous situation.”

Driving this progress is a top-class engineering team which has been steadily growing to now comprise some 25 specialists. This highlights the need for the company to stay abreast of digital and electronic developments that can be harnessed in the PDS and CPS space.

“Globally, technology is developing at an exponential rate,” he says. “To keep up with what is available, and to fully leverage new technologies into our PDS offerings, we employ a team that is young, well qualified and enthusiastic.”

To make the most of modern technologies, this new generation of engineers is paving the way to safer and smarter mining, says Lourens. This cohort does not shy away from change and advancement, making them ideal to keep Booyco Electronics at the cutting edge of PDS and CPS innovation.

“This has allowed us to keep upgrading our products for greater functionality and versatility,” he says. “The process has included making regular use of the testing services of third party providers, such as. at the Vehicle Dynamics Group at the University of Pretoria – to fully evaluate our innovations before release to the market.”


Proximity detection systems (PDS) or Collision Prevention Systems (CPS) have come a long way in the  last decade, with South Africa‑based Booyco Electronics at the centre of key technological advances. 

“When we were established in 2006, PDS was an exciting technology helping address mining companies’ heightened concern with health and safety – arising from incidents of collisions between vehicles and pedestrians on mines,” says Booyco Electronics CEO Anton Lourens. “Our equipment began as essentially a pedestrian detection system only, but has fast grown into much more powerful solutions for mines.”

PDS offerings have also become more than just a range of disparate product lines from various producers, he says. Rather, the whole field is now increasingly integrated into global efforts to enhance interoperability – in the interests of applying PDS and CPS solutions more effectively on various mobile equipment and trackless mining machines.

“We began by developing a very low frequency (VLF) solution for underground operations, as this technology was based on a magnetic field that could travel through the rock between tunnels or haulages,” he says. “Initially, our CWS500 system – focused on ‘collision warning’ – would simply alert the operator that there was a pedestrian located in a potentially hazardous position, close to the machine.”

As this technology rolled out to the industry, it quickly became clear that customers were looking for more functionality. This led Booyco Electronics to develop the next level of PDS – the CWS800 range that included vehicle-to-vehicle interaction. The company’s first five years saw the rapid evolution of features on the CWS hardware platform, including the addition of global positioning system (GPS) technology to make it applicable in surface mines.

“This also created the basis for us to develop the ground-breaking CWS900 system in 2010, which went beyond being a warning system to actually stopping a vehicle automatically in the event of danger,” he says. 

“This opened the door to developing ‘collision avoidance’ systems, and was a breakthrough in terms of our ability to begin meeting the Level 9 requirements of best practice as formulated by the global Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT).”

EMESRT is a global initiative involving major mining companies including Anglo American, BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto. It engages with key original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in mining to advance the design of equipment to improve safe operability and maintainability. Booyco Electronics has been integrally involved in EMESRT initiatives from as early as 2014.

“South Africa had also been leading the way with safety legislation, which encouraged the take-up of PDS technology in our local mining sector,” says Lourens. “This placed the country’s PDS suppliers in a good position to put equipment into action in the field, and to continuously improve our solutions in response to real-life mining conditions.” 

Working with EMESRT and Minerals Council South Africa, Booyco Electronics was also the first supplier to validate its equipment through the agreed simulation model developed by Vehicle Dynamics Group at the University of Pretoria. This independent verification process was an important step in the PDS and CPS development, creating a quality benchmark against which all the market players could be assessed. 

Progress in technology continued apace, with Booyco Electronics further evolving its hardware platform to new levels of stability and maturity, Lourens says. 

Booyco Electronics’ CXS solution is now software-driven, allowing even more flexibility and adaptability to customer’s specific needs. “This is another step-change for the technology, as we can keep up with fast-changing industry requirements without replacing our equipment,” he says. “The modifications can be made in the software rather than the hardware – and updates can usually be done wirelessly on site.”

Among the company’s over 100 mining customers in South Africa alone, Lourens highlights that each site has its own functional requirements, with some sites having more than one set of parameters. The way of the future, then, is software-based flexibility, so that mines can improve their requirements over time without having to change their installed PDS equipment. 

Building on VLF

Very low frequency (VLF) technology allows for a magnetic field to be created around trackless mining machinery underground, which will detect a pedestrian standing too close and will alert the system. VLF’s long wave-lengths can travel through rock, so can detect a pedestrian even when the operator cannot see them. 

Booyco Electronics developed its first proximity detection systems (PDS) from this technology, creating an electric ‘fence’ around a vehicle. An alarm is triggered when a pedestrian breaks the boundary of this magnetic field.  

The physics of VLF is a well-established area of science and industry; it was an important aspect of submarine development, allowing these craft to communicate while submerged under water.


South Africa-based proximity detection specialist Booyco Electronics is broadening its global reach through collaboration agreements with selected technology integrators.

Solutions from Booyco Electronics, a pioneering force in proximity detection systems (PDS) and collision avoidance, have been attracting increasing international interest, says CEO Anton Lourens. The company has been applying and improving its technology mainly in the mining sector for the past 15 years.

“With South Africa’s mining industry in many respects leading the way in deploying collision avoidance systems, Booyco Electronics has developed world class solutions that can add value to global markets,” says Lourens. “Having explored the best ways of servicing our international customers, we have chosen a number of strategic collaborations with technology integrators across the world.”

The company now has collaborations with several technology specialists worldwide including Insucam, Ramjack, RCT and Tecwise. These partners understand the safety and other benefits of Booyco Electronics’ PDS solutions, and bring their insights into the local conditions in which this equipment can be applied.

“We believe that these technology partners – who understand our products and solutions – create the optimal channel to customers in regions where Booyco Electronics does not have its own infrastructure,” Lourens says. “These companies understand their customers’ specific needs, and can apply our solutions in the most effective manner.”

He highlights that collaborative partners are expected to have high levels of expertise in related fields, a solid technical capacity to support customers, and the necessary insight and experience to implement value-adding solutions.

“Their role in applying our PDS solutions would include the full scoping of customer needs, close engagement to clarify options, training of customers’ operators, installation of equipment and general project execution,” said Lourens. “This gives the customer confidence that our solutions will be properly leveraged to satisfy requirements.”

“We appreciate the fact that new technologies like ours are easier to introduce through an existing relationship – for instance, where a mine has already been working successfully with a trusted technology integrator,” he says. 

“Our approach is therefore to build on those links where confidence has already been built, based particularly on the delivery of innovative solutions.”

The company’s partners are therefore best placed to facilitate Booyco Electronics’ access into markets not yet familiar with PDS.


As part of bringing its cutting-edge collision prevention system (CPS) or proximity detection system (PDS) technology to the world, South Africa-based Booyco Electronics is now in a strategic collaboration with technology systems integrator Ramjack Technology Solutions.

“Technology is changing the way that key technical services are provided to mines,” says Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics. “The world is becoming a smaller place, and the value that service providers deliver to mining customers is no longer determined by a corporation’s size.”

Technological specialisation now demands expertise, skill sets and hardware that extend far beyond what single multinational companies can provide, says Lourens. This invariably leads to silos of expertise developing on mines that require bridging. Booyco Electronics will therefore be working with Ramjack Technology Solutions to help mines to integrate their CPS and PDS solutions with other technologies effectively, in the interests of greater safety and productivity.

“With South Africa’s mine safety legislation being very advanced in terms of requiring Level 9 compliance for collision avoidance, our partnership can offer considerable overall value to mines across the world,” he says. 

According to Mike Jackson, president and CEO of Ramjack Technology Solutions, Booyco Electronics fills an important space as a best-of-breed technology provider in a critical component of mine safety.

“Our role as a systems integrator is to help mines get more value from their chosen production and safety technologies,” says Jackson. The company does this in two main ways, he says; horizontal integration bridges the gaps between the technology ‘silos’ on mines, while vertical integration takes the process right from instruments up to platform level. 

He highlights that the inter-operability of leading technologies such as Booyco Electronics’ collision avoidance systems is the optimal way to achieve the ‘mine of future’. This allows mines to take up the best technologies available and ensure that they work together on their on-site platform.

“Technology providers like Booyco and Ramjack have the advantage of learning from the experience of many mines – not just one,” he says. “This gives our customers significant added value, as they can benefit from the learnings that have taken place elsewhere, without bearing the cost of developing that experience on their own.”

The two companies have already collaborated informally on a significant deep-level gold mining project in South Africa, and are excited by the prospects that this work has opened up. Lourens notes that mines globally are moving toward the Level 9 requirements outlined by the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMERST), even though relatively few have made it compulsory through national legislation. 


South African proximity detection system (PDS) specialist Booyco Electronics has further extended its global reach with a recent contract to a surface gold mine in Chile. 

According to Anton Lourens, CEO of Booyco Electronics, over 50 of its market-leading Booyco CXS systems have been installed on vehicles and other machinery on the mine. The installations followed a demanding testing phase which confirmed the customer’s trust in the technology. The project was carried out in collaboration with Booyco Electronics’ distributor in the region – mining and industrial technology company Insucam. 

“South America is a key focus in our drive to open markets abroad, so we are excited about the take-up of our latest CXS offering in that region,” says Lourens. “Safety on site is always a core concern for mines, and we value the opportunity to help them ensure that all their teams get home safely at the end of every day.”

Carlos Pinto Reyes, business development and new technologies manager at Insucam, says the customer analysed several systems in the market, finding that the Booyco CXS gave them the greatest reliability. 

This latest generation offering is built on Booyco Electronics’ pioneering role in developing PDS solutions for over 15 years. Ongoing product improvement has allowed the company to continuously enhance its features and functionality, creating a best-in-class product.

“After the installation of the Booyco Electronics CXS systems, every operator on the mine is aware of the exact location of machines and their distance away,” says Pinto Reyes. “They are quickly alerted to any possibility of collision, as the system tracks the trajectory, speed and position of each machine. Operators also appreciate how intuitive the system is, while not overwhelming them with persistent sounds.”

He highlights that the Booyco Electronics CXS uses direct GPS signals from three constellations of satellites to determine spatial positions, so it is not reliant on the GPRS coverage used by mobile phones. This is an important advantage for mines located in remote areas without reliable GPRS signal.

Lourens emphasises that the success of Booyco Electronics has been based on its high level of support wherever its products are installed, through which it builds long-term relationships. 

“We therefore partner with credible companies like Insucam, with the requisite technical skills, resources and footprint to ensure the optimal performance of our PDS products,” he says. 

Insucam has over a decade of experience in systems to improve the operation of mining machinery, and serves customers in South American countries including Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. 

The technology advances made by Booyco Electronics’ CXS solution elevates it from being a warning system only to being a fully-fledged collision avoidance system – avoiding collisions between vehicles or between pedestrians and vehicles. It therefore provides a comprehensive and integrated response to Level 7, Level 8 and Level 9 safety levels – as defined by the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT).


As mines work to improve the safety of their trackless operations, the starting point remains a detailed risk assessment that will guide the correct selection of technology and proximity detection systems (PDS).

“There have been too many examples of mines incurring capital expenditure on PDS solutions that are not fit-for-purpose,” says Schalk Janse van Rensburg, chief technology officer (CTO) at Booyco Electronics. “More careful planning will ensure that the solution chosen can be well integrated into the mine’s operation.”

Janse van Rensburg highlights that PDS is a last resort in the risk management hierarchy, and that the mine safety regulations require a proper risk assessment to be done to indicate whether and how PDS will address the mine’s significant risks. 

Such an assessment needs to establish design guidelines for the mine, including site requirements for TMMs, segregation controls to prevent collisions, and operating procedures. Three more levels of operational discipline control in the use of TMMs – the authority to operate, fitness to operate and operating compliance – must also be considered. 

“If interventions at these six levels still cannot adequately mitigate the significant risk, then the mine must move on to consider the collision avoidance options at levels 7, 8 or 9,” he says. “At Level 7 the PDS will provide proximity awareness by alerting the driver, at Level 8 the system will advise on action to be taken, and at Level 9 the system will slow or stop the machine through engineering control.”

Assisted by the TMM operating scenarios outlined by the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMERST), mines must be able to provide PDS suppliers with a tabulated scope of what they require. Once a supplier has provided a credible proposal in response, he urges mines to effectively test the solution before making a final decision. 

“The process of installing PDS systems in a mine TMM fleet, and ensuring that operators use the system well, must also be well planned and carefully rolled out,” he says. “The Booyco Integrated Approach includes the technical collaboration with OEMs and on-mine staff, and working closely with operators and management alike to ensure their buy‑in and co-operation.”