Archive for category Honeywell

Sensor drift in gas detectors

Gas sensors drift. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when and by how much. When gas sensor drifts, your gas detector might not go off when the gas levels reach a dangerous level, putting you and your employees at risk.

According to OSHA, there are seven factors that contribute to sensor drift:

  1. Degradation of phosphorus-containing components
  2. Degradation of lead-containing components
  3. Gradual chemical degradation of sensors and drift in electronic components that occur normally over time
  4. Use in extreme environmental conditions, such as high/low temperature and humidity, and high levels of airborne particulates
  5. Exposure to high concentrations of target gases and vapors
  6. Exposure of electrochemical toxic gas sensors to solvent vapors and highly corrosive gases
  7. Handling/jostling of the equipment causing enough vibration or shock over time to affect electronic components and circuitry

If your gas detection sensors are exposed to any of these factors, it is important that you calibrate your gas detectors more often and not just bump test them.  (A bump test only confirms that the gas detector can sense that gas is present; it does not tell you if the instrument is still properly detecting low and high levels of the gas or how accurately it’s performing.)

Maintaining your gas detectors shouldn’t be difficult to do. The calibration itself is quick and easy, but this procedure seems to get lost in the shuffle as countless other tasks pile up.

How often do your gas detectors really need to be calibrated? Instrument manufacturers typically recommend that each sensor is bump tested daily and calibrated monthly.

The problem with this recommendation is that it is based on the gas detectors being in a perfectly clean environment that is not too hot, cold, wet, or dry. This is an ideal situation for gas detectors, not a realistic one. The fact is: gas detectors will be placed in all sorts of environments, each requiring a different level of sensor care.

At RAECO, we understand how the calibration process can go wrong or be forgotten altogether. Your employees might not be properly taught the calibration process, or they might be too busy and the procedure gets over looked. If that’s the case, call us!  We’d be happy to take care of your system’s field calibration and make sure you can trust your gas detection systems again.

Want to learn more about our calibration services? Visit

Learn more about portable gas detectors and monitors and fixed gas monitoring systems at

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Minor Gas Leak Creates Opportunity for Major Safety System Improvements

As much as our customers may try to prevent them, sometimes toxic gases are released during the course of plant operations or after hours. When a minor gas release occurred at a local manufacturing plant, safety engineers took it as an opportunity to improve the safety of their employees and the emergency personnel that get called to help resolve the problem.

The plant’s engineering, safety, and industrial hygiene teams, their alarm company, and the local fire department met with a team from RAECO and Honeywell Analytics. Their goal was to improve the safety of company employees, the rescue workers that support them, and improve their working relationship with the surrounding community.

This broad-reaching safety planning team started by identifying the potential hazards: chlorine gas and hydrogen cyanide could be released from the plant’s wastewater treatment operation, and there is the possibility of ammonia release from a bulk storage area. With risk to area workers, the adjacent neighborhood, and the first responders, being prepared for how to handle a leak is critical.

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Open Path Perimeter Monitoring Using Honeywell’s Searchline Excel and XNX Transmitter

When we get involved in gas detection projects, they are typically concerned about the safety of the employees, as they should. However, what if the concern is for the public?180-honeywell-searchline-excel

Roughly a year ago, we had a rather unique project involving open path perimeter monitoring for a large oil company. Their pipeline division has a terminal facility sitting between O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and a residential community. The corporate safety division had concerns regarding gas leaks and how that would affect that community living next door. So they were proactively looking for a solution.

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A simpler way to calibrate your Honeywell XNX transmitter sensors in an ambient gas detection system

You know the drill, you have to run all over you site to calibrate your sensors. And remember the number of transmitters and sensors you placed about a foot off the ground so you could measure a heavy gas? Yeah, the ones that saved you a few dollars to mount together. You’re probably excited about getting to lay on the floor to calibrate them, scrolling through menus with the supplied magnet and hoping that you are reading everything correctly.

Would you be happy (or less not happy) if you could use your HART communicator to calibrate them?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes? Well then prepare to be happy. We spent a little time with Honeywell a few weeks ago and they walked us through a way to use the Emerson 475 to program the Honeywell XNX gas detection transmitter. There is a local HART port on the XNX that allows the user to plug in their HART communicator and use it for programming, zeroing and calibration. There is not a wireless feature as of yet.

If you are already using HART communicator, and you likely spent a fair amount on it, this provides you with yet another use for it . This will help further standardize you maintenance programs, make it easier to record data, and (importantly) also help justify the purchase.

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Using HART communication for proactive and predictive maintenance

We pride ourselves in helping our customers achieve their goals. We occasionally like to brag about about these successes and we are still celebrating one of our key customers and their achievement of being name HART plant of the year in 2012.

Monsanto’s chemical manufacturing plant in Muscantine, IA has integrated over 600 HART-enabled devices in to their control systems, CMMS (SAP) and daily work processes help to reduce costs and improve plant operations. Monsanto is the manufacturer of Roundup (which you may have in your garage or shed at home) and this plant produces over 70% what is sold in North America.

HART (which is an  acronym for Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) is a way of sending and receiving digital information across analog wires between smart devices and host systems. It’s basically the same technology that allows caller ID to work on your landline (assuming you still have one of those). A host can be any software application from a technician’s hand-held device or laptop to a plant’s process control, asset management, safety or other system using any control platform. 

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