Connectivity is king: modular solutions within gas detection
When it comes to maintenance and monitoring tasks, the chemical, oil and gas, process and water industries have, without a doubt, overcome exceptionally high and particular challenges. However, missing something here can have enormous repercussions for the safety of workers, rescue teams and surrounding areas, as well as for the operation and performance of the systems themselves. Gas detection, for example, is critical, not only for on-site but also for off-site safety.
With its Gas Detection Connect solution, Dräger turns individual products into one smart system. Being a safety and medical technology provider for both hardware and software solutions, offering digital connectivity is an obvious thing to do.
The company’s recently released multi-gas detector X-am 2800 is a device that measures up to four gases and transfers recorded data and location in live-time via Bluetooth to Dräger's Gas Detection Connect cloud solution software. As a result, critical data can be securely accessed and monitored anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, the x-dock test station allows for comfortable fleet management by transferring data directly to the cloud- speeding up inspection and detector maintenance. In in the future the connected family will grow to include the X-am 5800 and the Connectivity Hub (ConHub).
Holistic safety approach
Dräger combines safety-related software applications and connected safety devices that help ensure workers' safety and business continuity in providing coverage even across large plants. It's a holistic concept where hardware, software, backend and cloud-based components form a whole and become a coherent, embedded system. A sort of technological ecosystem that provides deeper insights for fact-based and smarter decision-making in case of danger.
In this context, Smart Safety Solutions pairs advanced detection and protection technology with B2B cloud computing and reliable modular software, which works on its own and yet offers possibilities for individualisation as well as being integrated into existing systems for an array of critical safety processes. Just like Dräger gas testers performing their tasks when they use a cloud connection for data transfer between a smartphone app and a web application to digitise the exchange of gas values during clearance measurements. This is a valuable feature for the inspection of industrial plants, such as those for biogas or the storage of fertilisers containing ammonium nitrate, as well as in other potentially hazardous objects, such as cold storage depots, petrol stations, sewage plants or even public swimming pools.
Wireless is more
Increasing demand for greater flexibility and lower costs in modern industrial plants has led to the rise of wireless safety technology. Smart devices connected via a cloud-based system allow for faster data transfer and transparency, even for short-term projects or in case of incidents. The latter is especially true for lone workers, whose situation is often difficult to assess. Remote observation, so-called live monitoring, and the immediate forwarding of alarms significantly increase occupational safety in this case. The personnel on duty can initiate appropriate measures in an emergency, even from far away. If needed, all data is logged in for later analysis. Equipment management and compliance are getting much easier, as data on operational status and test and calibration results can be pooled and called up from anywhere. Beyond that, it is possible to send device updates, upgrades and notifications centrally.
The use of connectivity offers considerable opportunities to increase safety in the workplace, for example, by relaying an alarm from one gas detector to another. Likewise, forwarding GPS position data is possible and digital interfaces connect robots and drones to carry out risk-free inspections in hard-to-reach areas or particularly hazardous situations.
Dräger's x-dock series controls all the company's portable gas detection instruments. Existing x-dock stations easily can be upgraded to an IIoT device, meaning directly connected to the internet. In addition, the x-dock series comes with two software solutions to choose from: the asset licence of the aforementioned web-based Gas Detection Connect can be used simply via any internet browser, with no installation required and fully fledged asset management functionality. Or the x-dock Manager software installed on site that exports data in CSV format offers an integrated module for dispensing and return of gas measuring instruments and manages your equipment fleet with its defined functions.
For all the connectivity and incessant collection of data, one thing must not go unnoticed: ensuring the security of all this information is crucial. Just as reliably as it is generated, data must be handled with equal confidentiality. When it comes to reliability, it's all about trust.
In the age of digitalisation, this means, amongst other things, using state-of-the-art encryption methods for log-ins and data transmission and defining access to the information in advance. Also, individual rights may be assigned for use and location profiles detached from personal data after a set time.
As digital connectivity is increasingly used to improve safety measures, this technology opens up an array of opportunities to protect those who face the most significant safety risks in their jobs.