Providing Unique and Reliable Electronic Solutions
for Specific Safety Problems in Mines
This is the motto under which VAK Technical Solutions was established in 2004 by Dr (Eng) Valery A. Kononov.
In order to provide in-house research, development and manufacturing, a technical and commercial association was formed with Dr Kononov’s long-time business partner, Bernhard R. Richter, founder and owner of Selectronic Funk-und Sicherheitstechnik GmbH (Germany). This amalgamated the 40 and 30 years worth of experience in mining electronics the partners had respectively, to the benefit of the mining industry.
Their combined efforts have resulted in the development of "Collision Warning Systems" (CWS), for surface and underground application. This successful development became possible as both companies possess a profound knowledge of Very Low Frequency (VLF) technology application for communication in mines. VAK is the holder of South African Patent 2006/03514, which protects the CWS development.
The very first CWS500, based on VLF, was installed in an underground section of Anglo Coal Greenside Colliery in March 2005. This system is in constant use and to date has not had a single failure. On the surface, the system based on Selectronic’s Microwave Adaptive Radar (MAR) was installed on Dragline at Kromdraai mine.
When V. Kononov re-located VAK from Johannesburg to the Eastern Cape in November 2006, Booyco Electronics was appointed as a distributor of the VAK / Selectronic systems. Booyco Electronics currently provide further marketing, installation, and servicing of the VAK / Selectronic products.
Since the first deployment of CWS500, the following new developments have been implemented by the VAK / Selectronic consortium:
- CWS800 with advanced functionality.
- CWS900 with narrow warning zones.
- Last Roof Bolt warning system.
- “Smart Cable” warning system for winch transportation tunnels.
- Collision warning for surface and underground vehicles.
- CWS with wristwatch personnel tag.
- Tracking system with Cross-Point RFID Reader.
- Trapped Miner Location system LOC-030.
- Microwave adaptive radar for vehicle collision warning.
By the end of 2011 about 30,000 miners in South Africa are equipped with tags for collision warning and tracking purposes.
Besides developing products which contribute to safety in mines and collision warning and collision avoidance systems for mine safety, VAK and Selectronic develop equipment for public and industrial safety.