Spanish technology developer Torsa has unveiled its next-generation Collision Avoidance System (CAS) for shovels, haul trucks, auxiliary and light vehicles that optimizes loading operation, allowing two trucks at the same time, and mining front detection.
There have been many changes in Torsa since it installed its first version of CAS in a world-class mine like Antamina; for example, its technological success was recognized and awarded by the Peruvian Ministry of Mines.
“For our first generation, our design team evaluated all the detection technologies available in the market; with the focus on reliability and operators’ safety, LiDAR became the technology of choice,” New Business Development Director Gabino de Diego said.
“Actually, Torsa [was] the first one in the market with a LiDAR-based CAS. Now, in our fourth generation, a new 3D LiDAR is able to scan more than 900k points per second, for an extremely accurate map of [a] vehicle’s surroundings. In addition to LiDAR, Torsa CAS system is equipped with cutting edge detection technologies to provide maximum accuracy: ToF, UWB and high precision GPS. The combination of all those technologies allows our system to detect vehicles and other equipment with centimetric precision.”
Deep confidence in the mining sector is something that Torsa has been able to earn day by day in the last 10 years. “We started the development of our CAS system nine years ago. Our engineers have spent countless…hours in mines around the world to develop the system with and for the final users.
“This work has allowed us to make our system simple, but, at the same time, tailored to the exact needs of the operators that will use it. The constant feedback gathered by our design team helped us understand the needs of the sector and incorporate them into our system,” he said.
Thanks to the mentioned feedback, Torsa has developed a user interface that has been hard to engineer but easy to use. Working with the final user has allowed it to provide only the information that is required for them both for the people running the vehicles and equipment and for the ones in the control rooms, reducing the information noise and providing a minimal invasive system.
“For example, in our fourth generation CAS system, we have incorporated a predictive algorithm to avoid false positives because we know that this is key for someone who is driving many hours every single day,” de Diego said.
“Our awarded CAS system [has] been in non-stop service for millions of hours to date in various mines. This solid work and the awards talk about the quality of our system. Our plans will be to continue expanding globally and bringing our technology to mines in [the] U.S., Canada, Africa and Australia from 2022.”
Business intelligence platform
Like all Torsa solutions, the collision avoidance system for shovels, trucks and light vehicles is integrated into the Torsa Cloud environment, thus ensuring the correct interaction, operation and technical information management for all our clients. According to de Diego, this part is one of the most significant evolutions of the system: the user experience.
“User interfaces have also been designed with the help of the people running the equipment, which makes both the web platform and the display in the cabin the most intuitive systems in the market. Graphics on the cabin displays have been specially adapted to the operator´s requirements in order to provide clear and intuitive information,” de Diego noted.
“The cloud-based platform provides real time data, and information that can be used to target specific issues in the mine, running campaigns to optimize the operation. Thanks to the business intelligence modules included in the platform, users are able, for example, to play back incidents and vehicle interactions for detailed analysis, or rank the operators based on multiple parameters to study and optimize behavioral KPIs.”
Torsa collaborates actively with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) where the company is involved in the Innovation for Cleaner Safer Vehicles (ICSV) program, which brings together 27 of the world’s leading mining companies and technologies suppliers to collaborate in a non-competitive space in order to accelerate the development of a new generation of mining vehicles. de Diego said the system is designed to perform at Control Levels 7, 8 and 9 according to the safety requirements based on the ICSV program by ICMM following the EMESRT (The Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table), where Torsa also participates defining the new ISO 21815.