If you’re like most people, you’re more connected than ever. Cell phones monitor your location to alert you to delays on your commute. Your activity tracker syncs every step and tells you how much to move to meet your daily goals. Your smart TV even learns your taste in movies to recommend something for the next movie night.
What do these technologies have in common? They all use data to guide your decisions. This functionality is expanding many types of devices, including gas monitors.
Gas monitors are becoming more sophisticated, storing large amounts of valuable data. As a result, you’re getting more information than ever before. More gas detection data is a good thing, but it might not feel like it if you don’t know how to use it. It’s not always easy to tie the numbers back to what’s happening in the field, let alone use the data to make decisions for the future. Figuring out who was carrying monitor number 176 (out of 400+ monitors) when it went into an H2S alarm can be a manual and tedious task.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. There are tools to organize gas detection data so you can gain visibility and extract meaningful information to take action.
How to Track Your Data
Some gas detection software allows administrators to assign “users” and “sites” to monitors to help sort and tag data. However, if a worker carries a different monitor each day and travels throughout the site, this solution can be time consuming.
A better option for a worker who is mobile and may pick up a different monitor each day is using a gas detector that tracks who was using a monitor and where, like the Ventis® Pro5 Multi-Gas Monitor with iAssign® Technology. With the Ventis Pro5 and iAssign Technology, the worker taps his iAssign tag to his monitor to wirelessly enter his name into the instrument. Then, as he moves about the facility, his monitor automatically registers his location when within range of an iAssign® Beacon, a Bluetooth device that provides location and access information to the gas monitor.
All data the gas detector collects will be tagged with the worker’s name and location, allowing you to easily see who had the instrument and where they were located during an alarm. This makes it easier for you to take action on the gas detection data.
iAssign in Action
You can use the Ventis Pro5 with iAssign Technology to make it easier to understand your gas detection data. Here’s an example: Mike H., who works in maintenance, gets his instrument in the morning from the tool crib and immediately taps the instrument to his personal iAssign tag, which he keeps on his hard hat. Mike will be doing repairs in Zone 1 today. Once he gets to the area, Mike’s gas detector will receive Bluetooth location information from an iAssign Beacon mounted on the wall. Now the instrument is recording that all data is from Mike H. in Zone 1. Later, Mike moves to Zone 6 and his gas detector tags readings with his new location.
When Mike docks his instrument at the end of the day, all data is tagged with his name and the locations he worked in throughout the facility. Having Mike’s user data captured and labeled makes it much easier to act on the data.
For example, if Mike and his colleagues John and Jamie all experienced high H2S alarms in Zone 1 this week, you’ll know you need to investigate that location and possibly make repairs.
How Does iAssign Technology Work?
Ventis Pro5 monitors use Near Field Communication (NFC) to read information from a pre-programmed iAssign tag. NFC is the same technology that allows you to pay for items by tapping your credit card to the reader at the register, pay for items in a vending machine by tapping your phone to the reader, or transfer pictures and files from one smartphone to another with a tap. Using NFC, a Ventis Pro5 can quickly read data from iAssign tags without the operator even pressing a button.
iAssign tags are small, light, require no battery, and hold up in harsh outdoor environments. The tags can be continually overwritten as needed or locked so that they cannot be reprogrammed. They work with the Ventis Pro5 and can be programmed in seconds with the name of a user, site, or both using an Android smartphone or tablet and the free iAssign app from the Google Play store.
iAssign Beacons rely on the same Bluetooth technology as consumer products, used here to provide location information to portable gas monitors. The iAssign Beacon is built for use in the toughest and most hazardous industrial environments with an ingress protection rating of IP65. iAssign Beacons operate at temperature ranges from -40 ºC to 50 ºC and are certified for use in Class I, Division 1 or Class 1, Zone 0 hazardous locations. An iAssign Beacon will provide up to 4 years of continuous operation on just two AA lithium disposable batteries.
Your gas detection data can give you valuable insights into your site and workers – you just need the right tools to help you use the data to gain actionable insights.