Honeywell’s Thomas Negre identifies the latest trends in gas detection technology.
As operations in hazardous, industrial environments become increasingly more complex and geographically dispersed, technological innovations in gas detection are revolutionising the way companies manage safety and productivity out in the field.
Increasingly, companies are adopting connected technological solutions that provide real-time safety intelligence. We are seeing a shift away from individual or point solutions to connected solutions.
Critical data can now be collected from smart personal protective equipment, biometric monitors and gas monitors worn by workers – and this information can be sent via the Cloud and shared across an enterprise with all remote stakeholders on a smartphone, PC or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
In this way, companies can respond more quickly and decisively to a safety threat.
Companies are adopting connected technological solutions that provide real-time safety intelligence. We are seeing a shift away from individual or point solutions to connected solutions
As firms begin to deploy these technologies, there is a growing emphasis on wireless gas detection systems that combine portable gas detectors with location tracking and software, which can then be used to inform safety managers of the real-time gas status throughout a facility or at a specific location.
To start with, managers can immediately determine the location and the severity of a gas alarm. They can also draw on instant readings of an individual’s situation, which can then be used to better inform how best to rescue the worker and potentially evacuate others that might be at risk.
Finally, managers can proactively monitor the readings of any gas detector remotely in real-time. This is vital when it comes to enhancing worker protection.
This information can then inform how safety is managed going forward and the automated system also frees the supervisor up from having to compile timeconsuming reports.
The latest gas detection technology can also help businesses improve productivity in a number of ways.
For instance, it allows workers to concentrate on the job at hand instead of worrying about whether their gas detector is working properly. It also identifies trace gas leaks from process equipment, which reduces costly downtime.
What’s more, it simplifies the safety audit process so that workers don’t have to be pulled from the field because of non-compliance.
Developments in gas detection technology are moving at a breakneck speed and the possibilities are fascinating to pore over
Finally, in some confined space scenarios, workers can use wireless technology to report gas detector readings back to their supervisor, thereby removing the need to stop work every few minutes to send this information back manually.
Developments in gas detection technology are moving at a breakneck speed and the possibilities are fascinating to pore over.
In the past few months, for instance, we have seen the industry’s first wireless four-gas monitor, which operates with all of the most essential wireless communication protocols – Bluetooth, Mesh networking, GPS and Wi-Fi.
This means that companies can now use a single device with wireless and nonwireless capabilities to monitor gas hazards in real-time at remote locations.
Where companies do not use wireless gas detectors and/or they don’t have Wi-Fi installed, it now means that the end user can achieve wireless connectivity without the expense of a private network.
By enabling businesses to integrate data to provide real-time visibility of operations as they unfold, end-users are better placed to make informed decisions.
At a macro level, that can mean executing the right emergency response, resolving a small issue before it blows up to become a costly and damaging crisis and, arguably most importantly, making sure that safety is never compromised.
- Thomas Negre is director, global product management, gas detection, Honeywell Industrial Safety