News-Antique.com - Oct 07,2010 - ENVIRONMENTAL AND GAS SENSING IS ABOUT TO BECOME A GREAT DEAL EASIER IN THE MINING INDUSTRY AS A RESULT OF A TWO-YEAR DEVELOPMENT FROM TROLEX. MARK ROWLAND, ENGINEERING MANAGER AT TROLEX EXPLAINS HOW THE NEW SYSTEM HAS BEEN DESIGNED.
Until now, the mining industry has had a range of equipment available for sensing purposes and a typical fixed gas detectors system would be integrated by a gas sensing consultant, or in the case of large companies, by a dedicated individual or department within the company who would have associated repairs capability, calibration and servicing equipment or would out-source all of this to a specialist support company. Often a full team of electronics and software experts would be required to deliver and support systems, particularly where datacomms or multiple systems were involved. The creation of a system would often require the integration of sensors, controllers, alarms, standby batteries, cabling and accessories from separate suppliers and would need specialists to install and commission. Invariably, this process would continue with on-going technical support throughout the life of the installation.
A New and Advanced System Evolves
Through understanding this problem, listening to users and customers, and applying technological developments available, a completely new concept in environmental and gas detection has come about.
First trialled in the tunnelling industry with great success, the system which is UK designed, developed and manufactured, has now importantly received ATEX certification for the mining industry, which will allow its widespread application.
The new system which has emerged – named Sentro 8 - is an integrated multi-purpose sensing station ready to be configured to meet gas detection and condition monitoring requirements without the need for complex investment in system design or the need for specialist back-up.
The system features intelligent, inter-changeable sensing modules served by a universal data communications architecture, making it straight forward to network sensor stations to a master computer and expand the system if required at a later date.
It would be no exaggeration to say that the development is nothing short of a breakthrough for the mining industry. It represents a simple and cost effective way to integrate sensors, controllers, alarms and other systems using compact intrinsically safe Sentro 8 sensing stations. Each Sentro 8 can simultaneously monitor the concentration of up to six different gases together with levels of ambient temperature, ventilation, air velocity or any choice of remote connected sensors that is required.
The Benefits to Mining
In the mining industry, this means that the new system can monitor all types of environmental conditions such as temperature, vibration, pumps and conveyors, as well as the typical gases needing to be monitored in the mining industry, methane, oxygen and carbon monoxide all in one integrated package.
The benefits are considerable and wide ranging – reduced cabling, installation and commissioning costs, reduced maintenance costs and downtime, a smaller number of failure risk points, improved integration of plant wide monitoring collateral, reduced size, weight and storage requirements, easy and fast calibration without the need to power down