John Pierce-Jones, Founder and Chairman of Trolex is the 2015 inductee into the safety section (sponsored by FLSmidth) of the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame. John Pierce-Jones has been at the forefront of mining safety for more than half a century. He is leading name in hazardous gas detection and environmental condition monitoring and has led the development of a number of systems that have revolutionised mine safety around the world, saving thousands of lives.
These achievements include a ground-breaking vibration monitoring system for mine ventilation systems developed in the 1960s that was subsequently adopted at every coal mine in the UK, when there were hundreds of coal mines in the country. Known in the industry simply as MAVIS, the system he developed was renowned for its user-friendly method of operation, reliability. Mines depended on it for predictive maintenance and system failure indication of vital mine ventilation systems.
Working with the UK’s Mining Research and Development Establishment (MRDE) in the 1980s, Trolex under his leadership developed an improved mining smoke detector, the Trolex P3270, which was subsequently used in many of Britainʼs coal mines – then numbering around 150 – mainly for environmental monitoring of roadways. The P3270 was less sensitive to dust and moisture than previous devices and could respond to fires in wind speeds of up to 7 m/s.
In the 1990s, Pierce-Jones pioneered the TX9042 which quickly established itself as an iconic product in mining safety. The eight-way programmable sensor controller is hugely versatile and used for sensing gas, flow, pressure, temperature as well as vibration. In addition to eight frequency or pulse inputs for counting, timing and speed sensing, there are four programmable output relays plus simultaneous display of all input channels. The compact box is fitted easily in mining systems and elevated safety to a new level on account of its simplicity and user-friendly design that transformed monitoring.
Although there is a next generation product, it is still widely used with 500 new units installed globally in 2012.
More recently he led the development of Trolexʼs popular Sentro 1 (TX6351) intelligent universal gas detector, and the award-winning Sentro 8, the very latest generation of multi-gas and environmental monitoring systems.
The best-selling Sentro 8 brings together an array of hazardous area technologies in one easy-to-use system that is both highly versatile and cost-effective. Able to monitor multiple aspects of the mining environment such as gas, humidity, temperature, pressure and vibration, the Sentro 8 is a fully integrated system. Almost 500 installations have been made globally since it was launched in 2011.
Part of his nomination reads: “Where he stands out from others in the industry is his pursuit of making gas detection and safety monitoring devices as user-friendly and cost-effective as possible so there are no barriers to protecting lives, equipment and property in some of the most dangerous environments in the world.”