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Vapors Trailed
Indiana company specializes in portable multi gas detectors
Volume 25, No. 2

Management, not government regulation, is the driving force arming more industrial employees with individual portable gas detectors to protect against corrosive, toxic or flammable gases, said Richard Hall, Gulf Coast representative for SENSIT Technologies.

"It all comes out of the HS&E departments," Hall said. "There are some government regulations, but I find that the regulations aren't that stringent. By comparison, some companies have very stringent requirements."

Hall was on hand for 25th?annual Industrial Fire World Emergency Responder Conference & Expo held in February in Baton Rouge.

Founded in 1980, SENSIT Technologies of Valparaiso, Indiana, specializes in portable multi gas detectors. With a product line of more than 20 gas sensors optimized for a broad range of users and environments, SENSIT's largest selling products include the Sensit Gold 100 and the Sensit Gold CGI.

For example, the Sensit Gold CGI is a four gas detector with an audible "tick rate" alarm that helps lead the user to the leak like a Geiger counter searching for radiation, Hall said.

"It can be used as an investigative instrument in doing gas leak surveys on pipelines, pipeline purging and confined space entry," Hall said. "It's a very versatile instrument."

The detector gives an instantaneous gas reading between 0.1 percent LEL up to 100 percent gas volume. Optional low cost electrochemical sensors can additionally monitor any combination of oxygen, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide simultaneously. The operator can select either propane or natural gas as desired.

"It will pick up any explosives or combustible gas out there," Hall said. "We can add other gases such as hydrogen cyanide. It's not just limited to flammable gases but can detect toxic gases too."

As opposed to other gas detectors that use an internal diaphragm pump to draw in samples, Sensit uses a weather resistant rotary vane pump, Hall said.

"That means the rotary vane pump is designed to improve in performance the longer it operates," he said.

As well as requiring detectors, some companies have strict rules governing recalibration to verify accuracy, Hall said.

"Some companies require recalibration every day during a turnaround," he said. "Other places such as fire departments may consider? recalibrating on a 30 day to 60 day calibration cycle.? It all depends on the Fire Department's procedures," he said.??

One method for verifying instrument accuracy is a "bump" test which verifies calibration by exposing the instrument to a known concentration of test gas. The instrument reading is compared to the actual quantity of gas present (as indicated on the cylinder). If the instrument's response is within an acceptable tolerance range of the actual concentration, then its calibration is verified.

SENSIT detectors utilize a Smart Cal calibration station to verify accuracy. When connected to proper calibration gases, the Smart Cal automatically communicates with the instrument tested, automatically cycles through the appropriate tests based on the instrument software, applies gas, and stores the information as well as updating the instrument itself.

"It allows you to do all your calibrations in house," Hall said. "You don't have to send the detector out to be checked."

A large display monitors all activity, and then can download reports for sending to management through email, fax, or printed copy, he said.

"We have infrared downloading that allows you to download communications to a hand held printer you can carry in the field," Hall said. "You can also download to your PC or to our Smart Cal system.

As for an energy source, SENSIT detectors operate off ordinary C cell batteries with a continuous use life of almost 18 hours.

Today, most of the major Gas Companies throughout the US, hundreds of Metropolitan Fire Departments, as well as hundreds of International Users in over 30 countries around the globe, rely on SENSIT Technologies.

 
 

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