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Efficiency|Gas|Mining|Power|Safety|Systems|Training|Underground|Equipment|Maintenance|Solutions|Environmental|Operations
efficiency|gas|mining|power|safety|systems|training|underground|equipment|maintenance|solutions|environmental|operations

Software enhances underground mining safety

EASY INTEGRATION
VUMA Live integrates with existing supervisory control and data acquisition systems, streamlining its adoption for mine operators that are already familiar with such platforms

EASY INTEGRATION VUMA Live integrates with existing supervisory control and data acquisition systems, streamlining its adoption for mine operators that are already familiar with such platforms

15th March 2024

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer

     

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In its continuous endeavour to achieve operational excellence and uphold safety standards in the underground mining industry, global independent consultancy BBE has set a new benchmark with the recent launch of its VUMA Live software.

Led by BBE director Christo Visagie, this advanced and innovative solution represents what he says is a “significant leap forward” in real-time monitoring and management of underground mine ventilation and cooling systems.

Developed with the collective expertise of leading ventilation and refrigeration industry specialists, VUMA Live integrates with existing supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) systems, streamlining its adoption for mine operators that are already familiar with such platforms.

Leveraging standard programmable logic controllers (PLCs) prevalent in mining operations, the software enables remote monitoring and control of ventilation equipment, thereby improving underground mining efficiency and safety.

Experts, led by Visagie, have developed communication drivers compatible with major PLC and Scada systems, thereby ensuring direct communication and interoperability across network protocols.

Supported network protocols include Ethernet Internet Protocol, Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU and ProfiNet.

Key to its success is VUMA Live's ability to programme control philosophies, enhancing its utility as a useful tool for both monitoring and simulating underground mine working conditions.

Recent enhancements have further improved accuracy and ease of integration with other systems, as well as modernised the user interface and customised detail reporting, ensuring “seamless” operation and faster environmental predictions, according to Visagie.

VUMA Live operates on two primary functions, collecting and displaying real-time data from underground measuring instruments and control equipment. This data feeds into a calibrated ventilation model to identify environmental deviations, enabling timely manual or automatic adjustments for unsafe conditions, such as rising temperatures or gas accumulation, before they become greater issues.

Additionally, the software’s unique capability lies in its ability to forecast future conditions using real-time data and harnessing artificial intelligence for continuous equipment and environmental monitoring, prompting maintenance or calibration as needed to uphold accuracy and safety standards – an approach familiar with preventative ventilation control, he explains.

BBE’s collaborative approach extends beyond software implementation, with dedicated training sessions tailored to the client’s specific needs.

Through the commissioning of VUMA Live, BBE conducts workshops or group training sessions as part of the handover process, focusing on educating the client’s engineers and operators about their specific ventilation model.

As a result of BBE’s global 35 years of commitment to specialised research and development, VUMA Live is an example of the transformative power that innovative software solutions can effect within the mining industry, Visagie concludes.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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