Asset Management / Field Communications

Supplementary mobile equipment for surveying, data-logging and communicating from hazardous areas.

ABLE’s extensive portfolio of industrial process control instrumentation means that our measurement solutions are often deployed in hazardous areas with potentially explosive atmospheres, especially when dealing with the oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical and power industries.

In addition to being able to provide the most effective resolution to high-end measurement requirements such as those presented by critical flow, level, pressure, temperature or metrology applications, ABLE offers a “supporting cast” of portable equipment for communicating, surveying and recording data in hazardous areas.

When considering the purchase of hazardous area approved equipment, one should be aware of the difference between Intrinsically Safe and Explosion Proof design:

Intrinsically Safe is frequently used to describe any product designed using intrinsically safe circuits. An intrinsically safe circuit in which any thermal effect, produced either normally or in specified fault conditions, is incapable of causing ignition of a mixture of flammable or combustible material in air in the mixture’s most easily ignited concentration. There are three levels of Intrinsic Safety; ia, ib and ic and tools certified to these levels can be used in Zone 0, Zone 1 or Zone 2 hazardous areas respectively.

The most common Zone of operation is Zone 1. Explosion proof, according to the National Electrical Code, applies to an apparatus enclosed in a housing that can withstand a gas or vapor explosion. It means that, should there be an explosion, it will be contained within an enclosure. This containment is done through careful design of the enclosure so that the resulting energy is not only contained; it is also dissipated through the large surface of the flanges or threads of the enclosure.

Aegex 10 Intrinsically Safe Windows 10 IoT Tablet

One of these complimentary products is the Aegex 10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet, purpose built for use in ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 areas. This rugged device allows for superior mobile communications on hazardous job sites where traditional devices cannot be used.

Globally certified under the highest standards of safety for some of the most explosive conditions: ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 and Class I, II, III Division 1, the Aegex 10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet is part of a fully integrated Windows 10 platform that brings real-time communications and data management to the world’s most hazardous industries, helping begin their digital transformation to Industry 4.0.

Aegex Intrinsically Safe Tablets and Wireless IoT Sensors can completely transform the way a hazardous industry operates. By bringing the latest cloud platform, augmented/virtual reality apps, digital reporting software, and other technologies directly into the most hazardous zones of industrial operations, Aegex devices are the basis for an organisation’s digital transformation. Aegex’s NexVu IoT Solution, combined with Aegex partner software systems, provides contextual insight into hazardous operations to support data-based decision-making to optimise processes and drive improved outcomes.

The process-manufacturing industry requires a significant amount of data collection for operations that ensure process safety. Antiquated, paper-based data capture in hazardous field locations doesn’t allow for crucial real-time communications or collaboration. Transcription of paper-based data can introduce errors or cause loss of information that is crucial to a facility’s operational integrity. Additionally, manually captured data does not enable authenticated and validated (time and location) auditable inputs.

The potential for creating sparks prevents the use of most mobile computing devices (laptops, tablets, cameras, or phones) in ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 hazardous locations. Only devices that are intrinsically safe – certified to not cause an explosion – are permitted as a means of connecting personnel to the Cloud and enabling them to manage critical and validated information more quickly and accurately.

ATEX Cameras

The ATEX camera market is highly competitive and one of constantly evolving standards.

Quality, maintenance and inspection professionals have a variety of needs that determine the kind of Ex digital camera they should consider. A quality control officer may be interested in the colour of paint being used, so clear, repeatable, high-quality imagery is essential. A maintenance crew member may need to document wide area and close in shots in order to record before and after work, so an adaptable lens with both optical and digital zoom is imperative. A safety inspector may need to take shots of Ex rating plates of motors, valves or any number of process equipment located within the hazardous area to ensure compliance, in this case, an optical macro lens is not just essential, it’s vital to the safety documentation process.

The following are some key points to consider when purchasing an ATEX camera:

  • Buy a digital camera with the greatest number of pixels/best image quality that your budget can afford
  • Consider a digital camera that is rugged enough to do the job you need it to do, each day, every day
  • Need to document and present your findings to others? A database reporting package will help you organise and analyse your findings
  • A removable, rechargeable battery is a must to get the greatest return on investment from your Ex digital camera
  • Future proof your decision, optional lenses help your camera serve you in many ways, some you haven’t even though of yet
  • Choose a digital camera that operates in the environment you work in

With high quality photos and 4K video capturing, the Bartec Pixavi Cam is the successor of the market leading explosion proof camera Gravity X. The Pixavi is designed to make documenting, live-streaming, routine inspection, capturing images and video in a hazardous area, easy and hassle-free. Its 5.5” Full HD AMOLED Display, 12.2 MP back camera, 8 MP front camera and WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC functionality make it the go to solution for Zone 1/21 photography.

CorDEX are another well respected manufacturer of ATEX cameras. The current generation of “ToughPIX” camera’s, the Extreme, has built its reputation on its security. Unlike constantly connected IoT devices which represent a real threat to the security of your assets and intellectual property, the ToughPIX EXTREME maintains the integrity of your site by creating a single Wi-Fi hotspot link for image download, safe to use within the hazardous area. Alternatively, for ultimate security, simply return to the safe area, remove the SD card from the camera and download your images onto a PC via the card reader provided.

Certified for Zone 1 IIC T4 (G) hazardous (explosive) areas, CorDEX ToughPIX Extreme is an excellent low cost, high value solution to digital image capture needed in today’s industry. Already fully certified by a UK (UKCA) and EU Notified Body, the ToughPIX EXTREME is BREXIT compatible with no disruption in supply.

CorDEX also manufacture a compact thermal imaging camera with the same footprint. The ToughPIX Digitherm is intrinsically safe and made from aircraft grade aluminium with a robust design which makes it highly functional, especially in difficult environments. The Digitherm weighs just 400g for ease of use.

The ARMADEX Ex-M OZC is the only explosion proof camera that is equipped with a 5x optical zoom function. Together with its 16.4 MP camera and Ultra 4K video recording capabilities, this makes the ARMADEX the highest specification ATEX Camera on the market. Suitable for use in ATEX Zone 2 (Gas), its compact yet rugged camera body is shockproof against drops up to 1.8m, waterproof up to 25m, freezeproof up to -10 degrees Celsius and dustproof. Furthermore, this device is waterproof up to 25m, with the camera’s hardware perfectly suited for taking sharp pictures underwater, even under low light conditions.

ATEX Smartphones

An ATEX phone can be used in environments where a potentially explosive atmosphere can occur. Our ATEX smartphones and ATEX cell phones are available in different price ranges, but more important than the price are the functionality and features of such a robust phone. In order to know which model of rugged phone you need during your work in an ATEX Zone, it is very important to know in which ATEX Zone the work and explosion hazard falls.

The first distinction you need to make is between a gas or dust environment. For gas environments you need an ATEX phone for Zone 0, 1 or 2. For dust areas the requirement is for Zones 20, 21 or 22.

When does which Zone apply?
If a potentially explosive atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods of time (more than 10% of the operating or activity duration), this calls out Zone 0 or 20. If the probability of a potentially explosive atmosphere being present in normal operation is high (between 0.1 and 10% of the operating or activity duration), this describes Zone 1 or 21. If the probability of a potentially explosive atmosphere being present is low and only for a short period of time (less than 0.1% of the operating or activity duration), this defines Zone 2 or 22. Before placing an order, therefore, please carefully consider for which zone the phone should be suitable.

Built to provide optimum performance while ensuring safety in hazardous areas. Highly ruggedised, yet refined and compact, in the PIXAVI, Bartec have produced a superior, intrinsically safe Android smartphone.

Weighing only 293 grams, the PIXAVI Phone is the lightest and slimmest Intrinsically Safe smartphone on the market. Its low weight and slim design, combined with the market-leading 5.5″ Full-HD AMOLED display, provides the user friendliness of a consumer smartphone – without compromising safety or ruggedness.

PIXAVI Phone Features

  • Android 9.0
  • ATEX: II 2G Ex ib IIC T4 Gb II 2D Ex ib IIIC T1 35°C Db IP68
  • 4G (LTE)
  • Bluetooth® 5.0
  • Dual-SIM or Single-SIM + SD Card
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Octa-Core 2.2 GHz
  • 5.5”, 1920×1080 AMOLED Display
  • Replaceable battery

Another excellent example of the next generation of robust ATEX smartphones is the Ecom Smart-Ex 02. This device incorporates a large 5” multi-touch display, made of tough impact and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass® 2, in an ergonomic design with several advanced features.

As a Google-certified device, the Smart-Ex 02 smartphone meets all requirements for industrial use and allows access to various apps for greater productivity, transparency, and safety.

Whether used as a smartphone, PDA, scanner, or camera, these auxiliary appliances are making digital applications mobile beyond company boundaries. Global frequency bands and certifications, along with a high-performance operating system, allow users a wide range of applications worldwide, opening up new possibilities for industry 4.0 uses worldwide.

Miscellaneous Accessories

As well as their high-end cameras, CorDEX also provide a range of intrinsically safe lanterns and portable work lights. These lightweight appliances (only 1.2kg with battery) use LED bulbs to produce a very impressive 400 lumens are therefore effective even in the darkest hazardous locations.

Completing the CorDEX intrinsically safe product portfolio is a non-invasive thickness gauge for measuring metal thickness for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and Predictive Maintenance on pipelines and fixed equipment within hazardous locations. Its unique corrosion mode option helps identify spots of thinning; MultiECHO™ technology improves accuracy on uneven surfaces; onboard memory stores up to 1000 readings.

We are on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding Asset Management / Field Communication products, please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1189 169 420 or contact us for a callback. We also offer ongoing product support.

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