Switzerland-based ABB has launched its ABB Ability Safety Plus suite of mine hoist safety products.

The products in the suite include Safety Plus Hoist Monitor (SPHM), Safety Plus Hoist Protector (SPHP) and Safety Plus Brake System (SPBS) including Safety Brake Hydraulics (SBH). Developed in accordance with the international 'safety of machinery' standard (IEC62061), the products have been independently certified by research institute RISE (Research Institute of Sweden) which works with companies, academia and the public sector in industrialisation, quality assurance and certification.

The Safety Plus Brake System is the mining industry’s first fully independently-certified Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) mine hoist brake system, says ABB. It is designed to improve the safety of personnel riding mine hoists as well as the safety of the equipment, hoist and shaft infrastructure. The Safety Plus Hoist Protector, in addition, provides enhanced protection for the mine hoist and mine shaft infrastructure equipment.

The SPBS handles the application of the safety brakes during emergency stops and the prevention of brake lift, while the SPHP monitors the speed and position of the hoists. The SPHP also monitors the instrumentation used by personnel accessing or using the hoist from different levels—for example at gates and maintenance platforms, emergency stop buttons and remote lock-out points—and interfaces with the safety brake system to bring or keep the hoist to a safe state, as well as interfacing with the drive and hoist control system.

“This is a significant milestone in mine hoist safety representing a world first for fully certified Safety Integrity Level 3 hoisting,” said Oswald Deuchar, global product line manager for Hoisting at ABB. “Labour safety is a key priority for mine operators and increasing legislation underlines this imperative. The ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists suite of products, SIL 3-rated components and self-diagnostics will ensure high availability of the mine hoist while providing the highest level of safety. These products are ready-made safety solutions, which are exhaustively tested in house, and designed for tough mine environments.”