The Influence of a Continuous Mining Machine and Roof/Rib Mesh on Magnetic Proximity Detection Systems

  • Jingcheng LiEmail author
  • Jacob Carr
  • Chenming Zhou
  • Christopher C. Jobes
  • LaTasha R. Swanson
  • Jennica Bellanca


Magnetic proximity detection systems (PDSs) are used with continuous mining machines (CMMs) to protect miners from striking and pinning accidents. Generators are used in a PDS to create magnetic fields covering the space around a CMM. The PDS determines the proximity of a miner relative to the CMM based on the magnetic flux density detected by a miner-wearable component (MWC) and simultaneously alerts the miner and stops the motion of the CMM if the miner is within a proximity that creates a striking hazard. A stable magnetic field is essential to the accuracy of the proximity calculations performed by the PDS. This paper presents the results of a systematic study of the magnetic influence of two types of steel structures found near a CMM—the body of the CMM itself and the wire mesh used for roof and rib control. The results show that the steel of the CMM body can change the magnetic field distribution and also alter electrical parameters of a PDS by changing its generator current. The study also shows that, depending on the distance between the wire mesh and a generator, the magnetic field can also be altered.


Magnetic distribution Proximity detection system Wire mesh 



The authors sincerely thank NIOSH technician, Mr. Jeffrey A. Yonkey. The authors are also thankful to NIOSH mechanical engineers, Mr. Peter Bissert and Mr. Joseph DuCarme, for their support and help in setting up the experimental system, and Mr. Adam Smith, Deputy Director of the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, NIOSH, for their comments and suggestions during the course of this research.


The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingcheng Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacob Carr
    • 1
  • Chenming Zhou
    • 1
  • Christopher C. Jobes
    • 1
  • LaTasha R. Swanson
    • 1
  • Jennica Bellanca
    • 1
  1. 1.Pittsburgh Mining Research Divisionthe National Institute for Occupational Safety and HealthPittsburghUSA

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