At Howden, we understand that mine site safety is a top priority for our customers. When feeding fresh air to miners, miles below the surface, it is imperative that your ventilation system is failsafe, working efficiently and effectively at all times. Ventilation is one of the most important processes in underground mines, which is why we have spent decades building our Total Mine Ventilation Solutions (TMVS) suite. TMVS is a customizable approach consisting of products and services, flexible enough to adhere to your unique mine requirements yet robust enough to perform at optimal capacity.
Below we outline the top five ways that our TMVS improves your mine safety. Note, these are not placed in any particular order as we feel anything that aides in safety is equally important.
The system is designed for safety
Starting from the initial assessment of needs and selection of hardware during your early planning stages, to the continual optimization of every day operations, Howden’s VentSim DESIGN
enables you to design with safety in mind. VentSim DESIGN accurately simulates the ventilation environment and real-time animated 3D graphics that represent actual airway dimension and shapes with animated airflows.
We strategically place our sensors, fans and airflow regulators in locations that will allow for optimal airflow and ventilation. This also enables the ventilation system to detect discrepancies that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Dilute diesel particulate matter (DPM) and blast gases away from active areas
As part of TMVS, our VentSim Solutions software suite can clear blast gases more rapidly with pre-programmed blast ventilation protocols. This is configured with the ventilation fans. With our software you can be confident of safe return-to-work conditions post-blast, and modulate the ventilation system to quickly dilute diesel particulate matter (DPM) by increasing airflow and directing more fresh air into the most active work areas.
automatically increase airflow as Load-Haul-Dump (LHD) and other high horsepower vehicle activity increases, without requiring personnel to manually turn fans on in the area. This allows for quicker turnaround time of the increased fan speed, meaning that the safe working conditions can resume faster.
Howden has ability to monitor over 20 different gases and airflow in real-time throughout the mine. With our gas sensors, you are guaranteeing the safest working conditions. In addition, you will be able to detect in real-time discrepancies due to air leakage from bulkheads or curtains rupturing from blasts, or if ventilation doors are left open.
Reduce mine congestion and improve data management
To take your mine safety one step further, you can reduce required workers in active areas by using our VentSim CONTROL software to remotely monitor and control the fans. This means people will require less time to run around underground and troubleshoot ventilation issues and stop and start the fan at the local fan starter panel.
With TMVS, you are able to survey, monitor and automatically log air quality remotely to comply with local mine health & safety regulations. This not only improves the ventilation of your mine, but also reduces the number of people in your mine – minimizing the scale of potential hazards.
Communicate essential information
By remotely monitoring real-time imperative information, we are also able to communicate that information out instantly to the miners via electronic billboards. These billboards show available information including, but not limited to, gas levels, air flow volume, the number of people at the location and diesel status. In addition, the billboards provide blast status updates and any emergency messages, should the need arise.
Monitor people and vehicles
Through the integration of Howden’s VentSim CONTROL with any tagging-and-tracking system, you will have visibility of personnel and vehicle locations throughout the mine. By knowing the exact location, the system will be able to recognize where to increase and decrease airflow. In addition, you will be able to meet underground air quality requirements for personnel and equipment based on actual status and location.
With miners working below the earth service, the ability to get them fresh safe air to breathe is everyone’s highest priority to ensure these miners can return home healthy at the end of the day. Therefore, safety is a non-negotiable for Howden.
Curious to know more? Watch our TMVS animation.
Footnote - Howden has installed ventilation equipment in the mines of every major mining company, in all of the most significant mining areas in the world. Our fans operate in permanently frozen sites north of the Arctic Circle, and in near-equatorial conditions in Africa and South America. Our engineering and technology has been tested and proven in the most demanding circumstances. This has given us the confidence to proudly state we equip our customers with the equipment, software, expertise and support needed to create the safest version of your mine.