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The Importance of Minimizing Gas Detection Downtime

  • Proper use and maintenance of the sensors are necessary for accurate and reliable gas detection.
  • When device failure is detected during routine calibration, it should be repaired or replaced.
  • The “Interscan Sensor Express” program offers sensor replacement on pre-determined schedules to reduce downtime.

Several industries use or produce toxic gases that must be controlled. Gas detectors are vital for monitoring to ensure that toxic gas limits stay within given standards and protect personnel from fatal accidents and severe health impacts. Safety managers must ensure gas monitoring for life safety and not just for compliance and operational efficiency. In this scenario, minimizing gas detectors’ downtime is critical.

Importance Of Gas Detectors

Gas detection helps an industry in the following ways to protect staff, buildings, environment, and investments:

Identify hazards: Early detection of flammable and explosive hazardous or toxic gas leaks can ensure timely response. It reduces accidents and injuries to personnel by evacuating occupants from a building in time and addressing the cause of the problems to mitigate property and equipment destruction. It can also help in preventing environmental damage.

Monitor workstations: Monitoring gas concentrations continuously through fixed gas sensors or portable devices helps maintain a safe workspace by providing real-time information on gas emissions. Besides averting potential disasters, the data also gives information on the equipment and processes, allowing staff to make informed decisions and respond to changing conditions that would improve efficiency.

Minimizing factory downtime: Timely detecting gas leaks can ensure smooth and efficient operations. Averting accidents or explosions due to gas-related hazards minimizes downtime when production stops. Gas detection also limits costly repairs, work schedule disruption, and economic losses.

Regulatory compliance: Every country has set standards for permissible levels of toxic gases in workplaces to ensure personnel health and environmental protection. Gas detectors ensure a production facility can meet these standards. When data loggers are connected to gas detectors, the business can also show documentation to prove its safety records to avoid fines and protect the company’s reputation and brand.

Because gas detectors have so many benefits, their proper operation should concern safety managers, personnel, owners, and investors.

Gas Detector’s Use

Properly positioning equipment in the production facility, using the correct number of sensors and appropriate detectors, and following good maintenance practices can achieve the best benefits of gas detectors.

Safety managers can consult international standards such as IEC 60079-29-2:2015 on selecting, installing, using, and maintaining gas detectors for combustible and oxygen. National regulatory bodies also provide specifications for minimum gas detection requirements.

Gas detectors function in environments exposed to various chemicals and vapor, which degrade the instruments over time. Therefore, these sensors require maintenance and timely replacements to ensure reliable detection and data.

Prioritize Maintenance

Bump testing and calibration are crucial maintenance practices that safety managers must follow. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a “safety and health information bulletin” on testing and calibrating portable gas meters in the US.

OSHA recommends daily bump testing and calibration checks of the devices before use. If device performance during calibration checks is not within the acceptable range, then a full calibration should be carried out.

Gas sensors are sensitive to temperature, humidity, and pressure fluctuations that cause calibration drift, which impairs gas detectors’ accuracy. So, the devices must be serviced every six months.

Using uncalibrated gas detectors is dangerous as the readings are not reliable. Even false positives are a severe issue, as they lead to the deployment of maintenance operations, unnecessary production downtime, and extra costs. Moreover, false alarms create complacency, and production personnel have been known to ignore alarms that result in fatalities.

Gas Detectors Replacement

For gases like hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide, the sensor’s life is typically 2 -3 years with proper maintenance, and when exposure to concentrations above measurement maximums is rare. Some gas sensors have a shorter lifespan of 12-18 months.

Even though instruments may appear undamaged, harsh operating conditions can affect internal functioning. Devices should be considered unfit if they display an error message or don’t allow operators to adjust display readings. This instrument needs to be replaced or serviced by qualified professionals. Also, significant calibration drift due to aging indicates that the sensors must be replaced.

Businesses should know the manufacturer’s instructions about termination support and sensor replacement.

Safety managers should minimize gas detection downtime due to replacing sensors, which creates unsafe working conditions and production downtime.

Solutions to Gas Detection Downtime: “Interscan Sensor Express”

Some gas sensor manufacturers, such as Interscan, are addressing their clients’ gas detector downtime challenges.

Interscans Sensor Express program can be valuable for reducing sensor downtime. In the past, safety managers had to ship the entire device back to the manufacturer to replace the expired sensor. The process took anywhere from a week to a few months, leaving the facility unprotected by gas detection and, in some cases, resulting in production downtime.

The Sensor Express program solves this problem. It is designed to negate downtime for gas detectors in users’ facilities. When users sign up for Sensor Express, they are put on a pre-determined schedule, depending on the sensor’s lifespan and the specific gas.

The program helps managers because they don’t have to contact Interscan to order a new sensor. They receive a box in the mail right on time when they need it since Interscan uses the well-known average lifespan of gas detectors to fix the sensor replacement time. Safety managers will receive a new pre-calibrated sensor that they can change themselves.

Users save time because they do not have to calibrate the sensor to start it. The gas sensors are named ‘The Interchange Sensor’ because the replacement is simple, toolless, and doesn’t require device opening. So, the new sensor is up and running in a few minutes.

Interscan saves industries time by anticipating replacement time and delivering calibrated and fully functional new sensors to avoid gas detection and production downtime.

Being Proactive

Safety managers who are proactive about gas detection and monitoring are an asset for the industry and production organization as they anticipate problems and prevent production downtime. Reducing gas detection downtime so that accurate and reliable gas readings continue smoothly helps maintain manufacturing efficiency and productivity. Most importantly, it ensures that personnel safety and health are not compromised.


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