With substances such as hydrogen sulfide, benzene, methane, and various hydrocarbons common in almost all industrial settings, it has become important to have technology allowing for careful monitoring of volatile organic compounds. This is particularly important in facilities containing confined spaces, since VOC buildups can occur quickly and lead to eye and throat irritation, headaches, mental confusion, and damage to kidneys and the nervous system if exposure is prolonged. To keep these situations from developing, companies rely on detection systems designed to monitor VOC substances.

Portable Monitoring Systems

While it would be ideal to put fixed VOC gas sensors in all confined spaces at a facility, this option is not practical from a logistics and financial standpoint. Therefore, companies rely on portable monitoring systems to protect workers who are in confined spaces installing, testing, and repairing equipment, as well as those who are in warehouses or storage areas. Compact, able to offer hands-free monitoring while being clipped to clothing or belts, and transmitting real-time data to on-site and off-site engineers 24/7, these monitoring systems have proven to be very effective, cost-efficient, and very accurate.

Linking with Wireless Networks

When using a VOC gas meter to monitor confined spaces, one of the biggest advantages offered by them is their ability to be easily linked to a facility’s wireless network. In doing so, this allows real-time data to be sent to mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, letting engineers and technicians always have access to the latest data. This can be important should high levels of methane, benzene, or other volatile organic compounds be detected, since dangerous levels of these substances can quickly accumulate in confined spaces. Thus, in the event of an emergency, key personnel will be able to monitor levels in these spaces as they enact evacuations, equipment shutdowns, or other emergency procedures.

Work Environments

No matter what type of facility a confined space is located, it is likely the work environment will be quite harsh. In most cases, confined spaces are subject to such environmental factors as temperature extremes, humidity levels that are very high, shocks and vibrations from equipment, and dust and dirt that can sometimes impact the performance of monitoring equipment. However, as technological developments have been made in recent years with VOC gas transmitters, the electronic components used in these monitors are kept safe by protective magnetic shields. With this feature, calibration can be performed via wireless devices, guaranteeing accurate and reliable data will most likely always be available.

Production Schedules

In many facilities, equipment located in confined spaces must be regularly monitored to ensure it keeps performing at high levels. If this does not happen, malfunctions and breakdowns often happen, leading to production shutdowns that cost a company valuable time and money. However, as the use of portable VOC gas detectors has gained in popularity, it has become much easier for engineers to locate problems with worn parts or other factors, allowing for repairs to be made before a shutdown is needed.