Mining equipment supplier Becker Mining South Africa has extended its range of safety and communications systems to include an upgraded atmospheric and environmental monitoring system, designed for use in industries where the presence of gases may pose a safety or health risk for employees and the environment.
The high accuracy Becker Varis Smartsense gas monitoring system - Smartsense SSFM-100 - initially introduced two years ago has been upgraded in the second quarter of this year. The Smartsense SSFM-100 meets stringent quality, safety and environmental specifications, and enhances safety in diverse sectors. Adherence to intrinsically safe certification means this system can be safely deployed in hazardous and potentially explosive areas.
Environments which require dependable atmospheric and environmental monitoring, include general industry and manufacturing facilities, petrochemical, oil and gas plants and mines.
“Becker’s high accuracy Smartsense SSFM-100 – with integrated features for the detection of ambient temperature, humidity and barometric pressure – forms an essential part of critical communications and safety systems in the workplace,” says Becker Mining SA electronics senior GM Andrew Trentelman.
He adds that some factories make use of manufacturing methods that can produce high levels of poisonous gases, or even explosive gases. In these environments, it is important to monitor gases emitted into the atmosphere real time and have a reliable system to take immediate automatic action to eliminate the possibility of poisonous environments, as well as explosions.
“Apart from the accurate detection and monitoring of ambient temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, every device can monitor up to four gases, including oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen dulphide, chlorine, hydrogen andnitrogen dioxide.
“The Smartsense SSFM-100 can be fitted with different gas monitoring heads to suit specific environmental monitoring needs,” stresses Trentelman.
An important advantage of the Smartsense SSFM-100 over conventional monitoring systems, is all features are integrated into one compact device. There is no need for complex cable connections, troublesome programming or difficult calibration.
Additional analog/digital input ports provide compatibility with other devices, to accommodate a plant’s expansion requirements. For example, an additional sensor connectivity could be for air-flow.
Smartsense SSFM-100 gas monitors/controllers allow for localised use, or for implementation into a system-wide installation using industry standard communication protocols, such as Modbus remote terminal unit and open platforms communication (OPC) connectivity or for integration into legacy systems using between 4 mA and 20 mA.
This hybrid system is customisable to all installation requirements, including copper radio frequency, WiFi and fiber optics data connectivity. There are various graphical representation methods to display data, including the Becker Mining Systems application for smart phones, or integration into existing supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Web-based remote viewing of an entire environmental monitoring system is made possible through OPC interface over a customer’s existing local area network network.
The Becker Varis team designed this system for easy installation and effortless calibration. There is no need to remove the monitoring head for external calibration - the system can be adjusted even during operation.
The Smartsense SSFM-100 fixed monitor has three fully programmable alarm set points for alarm and output controls, with a short-term exposure limit and time weighted average limits, displayed on a large liquid crystal display (LED) screen. It is possible to view the reading from up to 5m away. An adjustable back-light makes this device suitable for both underground and above-ground applications.
An internal battery provides power back-up for use in remote areas for up to eight hours and robust industry power supplies ensure safe operation in harsh conditions.
This system, with low power consumption, has an index protection IP67 rating for protection against the ingress of dust and liquids.
The Smartsense SSFM-100, with its integrated controller functions, operates as a ‘black box’ and stores critical information, which could be needed in a post-accident investigation. Stored information includes the calibration record, alarm history and data logging.
The ‘watchdog’ feature alerts the user team of any system errors, for example, if the system has detected inaccurate measurements or calibration errors. This information is communicated both locally through the maintenance LED and remotely on the supervisory platform.
The Smartsense SSFM-100 is supplied with three types of mounting brackets for easy installation – panel, roof bolt or cable mounting.
Becker Mining South Africa’s commitment to providing a critical service to local industry encompasses the design and manufacture of products and systems, using the latest technology. “Plant safety is significantly enhanced by the implementation of one, or a combination of Becker’s specialised multi-technological energy distribution, automation and communication solutions,” concludes Trentelman.