Electronic mine safety equipment specialist Booyco Electronics has introduced one of South Africa’s first Explosion Protected (Ex) tablets that is Ex ma [ia] Group I certified for use underground in fiery mines. This robust, full sized tablet carries an IP54 rating for ingress of dust and water and is drop resistant from the standard height of one metre. The Booyco IS tablet was designed locally, in collaboration with an international manufacturer, to suit South African underground mining conditions.In the hazardous environment, hard wire connections to the unit can be achieved with various Booyco-supplied barriers to ensure safe functionality. “The Department of Mineral Resources recently increased the approval requirements on coal mines and we recognised the opportunity to develop an IA device that is able to be safely used in this hazardous environment,” Anton Lourens, Managing Director of Booyco Electronics, explains. “In the long term, it is anticipated that most South African mines could be classified as fiery mines and when this legislation comes in, it’s going to require a lot of changes to the underground electronic environment. So in developing an IS tablet at this time, we’re meeting both an immediate need at coal mines and a future industry-wide requirement.“In addition, most vehicles operating underground in our coal mines are moving over to electronic management systems. Computer programs are not always accessible from the surface, so in order to interface with the controls of these machines, there’s a definite and increasing need for an IS computer device to receive and transmit data and programme systems underground.” The Booyco IS tablet has a battery life of up to eight hours and runs off any Windows operating system.