Man down technology, also known as fall detection, is designed to automatically detect when a person falls and send an alert for help. This technology is integrated into devices like the iTAG X-Range to protect lone workers and workers in hazardous environments. When a fall or sudden change in orientation is detected, the device will initiate an alarm sequence, vibrating, flashing and beeping to alert the user. If the alarm is not cancelled by the user within 30 seconds, the device transmits an emergency alert to monitoring software or personnel. How Man Down Detection Works Man down detection relies on accelerometers to monitor acceleration on three axes and detect the forces involved in a fall. When a fall occurs, the accelerometer detects a sudden downward acceleration followed by an abrupt stop when the person hits […]

A worker location tracking system is an integrated solution for monitoring the location and safety of employees while at work. The use case can vary from location to location, but often the business goal is to achieve continuous improvement as part of a wider digitalisation strategy. There are many worker tracking products on the market, most of which can be configured to address multiple use cases. Selecting the right system depends on the needs of your application and will influence the extent of the infrastructure required. This article aims to address the basic working principles of worker tracking systems and to explore typical use cases in the process industry. Components of Worker Tracking Systems Worker tracking systems are composed of three core components: location tags, or badges; a tag reader (a device or infrastructure to […]

COVID-19 has affected all walks of life, causing business closures and global economic uncertainty. Industries that are unable to adapt to the so-called new normal cannot maintain pre-coronavirus work patterns which impacts throughput with often severe ramifications to the bottom line. Few market segments have been more affected than the process industries, where strict social distancing requirements are hard to sustain. Real-time location systems (RTLS) for personnel and asset monitoring have emerged as a potential solution to the challenges of COVID-19 compliance. Many RTLS companies quickly recognised the potential of existing personnel tracking platforms for contact tracing and social distancing. These unique technologies offer a data-driven solution for those industries hardest hit by the pandemic to make safe inroads towards returning profitability. Learn more about Extronics RTLS RTLS Technologies for Social Distancing There are various […]

Are your devices certified for use in hazardous areas? Practically every wireless device manufacturer serving harsh industrial environments has been asked that question before. It is being posed more frequently than ever thanks to the IoT revolution. Process industries are increasingly adopting strategies for improved digitization across their sites and facilities. This naturally leads to questions about safety certification. If you are one of the few manufacturers who hasn’t been asked about safety-certified wireless devices already, don’t worry, it is only a matter of time. A common misconception among buyers is that standard wireless devices can be easily certified retrospectively. This is rarely the case. Getting an existing device approved to standards required for hazardous areas is no easy process. It isn’t low cost or quick to do either. Here we will run through some […]

The safety of workers, whilst always important, is moving higher up the list of priorities for investment. Workers in process industry environments face a variety of risks over and above their counterparts in other industries. ‘Hazards of the job’ are that much more serious, with a higher potential risk. Falling objects, exposure to dangerous substances, fire, and explosion of flammable gas and dust are potential threats and whilst large-scale disasters are thankfully rare, they still occur. It is unlikely that any one location technology ticks all of your boxes, and there is no silver bullet. Hybrid location technology is the only practical solution to the complexities of the use cases in the process industries. It involves using two or more location technologies as part of the same solution: To deliver wider coverage with reduced infrastructure […]

This article aims to show the advantages of using RFID tags for asset management or in hazardous process industry settings compared to more traditional barcode solutions. Uses of RFID Tags and Barcodes in Hazardous Areas Radio signals are potential causes of explosions in hazardous areas. As such, the use of Radio Frequency Identification, known as RFID, needs to be carefully considered. Versatile and low cost, passive RFID systems can improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and aid productivity. These systems have proven valuable to industrial companies, helping with asset and personnel tracking, inventory management, maintenance planning, and more. As such, they are becoming more and more commonly found in hazardous areas. This rise in popularity is reflected in the updated IEC 60079-14 standard. In June 2014, a new clause concerning RFID tags was added and has potential […]

An Ex nR or restrictive breathing enclosure removes the fuel element of an explosion by stopping any flammable gasses entering the internal enclosure. In doing so, potentially explosive gases never come into contact with hot surfaces or an ignition source potentially present inside the enclosure. Restrictive breathing enclosures are only certified to Zone 2 hazardous areas, where the area is considered safe in normal operation with flammable gases only present in fault conditions. The technique ensures the cumulative concentration within the enclosure does not exceed the lower explosive limit for the gas or vapor concentration over short and long periods of time. A Ex nR enclosure typically has the following characteristics: Lightweight metallic or non-metallic construction Designed to prevent flammable gases entering High ingress protection levels Tightly sealed iWAPXN3 Zone 2/Division 2 Hazardous Area Enclosure […]

An Ex d enclosure is designed to contain an explosion and stop any flames, sparks, and hot gases from escaping into the surrounding atmosphere should an internal explosion occur. In addition, an Ex d enclosure protects the fitted equipment against external moisture, dirt, dust, or water. The enclosure may house equipment such as, contactors, relays, power supplies, transformers, radio devices and other electrical equipment with potentially hot surfaces. Sometimes referred to as ‘flameproof’ or “explosion-proof”, an Ex d enclosure includes what is known as a flame path. The flame path design can vary depending on the construction of the Ex d enclosure system. Flame Path Flame paths are gaps within the enclosure that, if an internal explosion occurs, ensure that by the time the flame has reached the end of the flame path it has […]

GPS is not a new technology, but its use across large industrial processing environments for worker safety is only starting to be realised. A GPS signal receiver does not need to transmit any data and it operates independently of any telephone or wireless signal; Wi-Fi is only needed for data backhaul for RTLS applications. This article explains how personnel GPS tracking can help reduce the need for dense Wi-Fi Infrastructure as part of a hybrid RTLS for true site wide personnel tracking. White Paper: Enhanced Worker Safety in Process Industry Environments Personnel GPS Tracking in Outdoor Environments Site wide RTLS is a challenge when you consider the size of process industry facilities, such as oil & gas tank farms, refineries, or chemical processing plants. One technology alone cannot solve the diverse nature of the use […]

When installing a real time location system (RTLS) for worker safety, it is not uncommon for personnel to feel it is an attempt to track their every move, catching them out any time they run over a coffee break by thirty seconds. The fact is location tracking is designed to increase worker safety and ensure that in the event of an emergency, all on-site workers are looked after to avoid serious injury or loss of life. Worker safety becomes even more important when you consider that personnel in process industry environments face a variety of risks over and above their counterparts in other industries. ‘Hazards of the job’ are that much more serious, with a higher potential risk. Fire, working environment collapse, and explosion of flammable gas and dust are potential threats and whilst large-scale […]

Covid-19 has forced every business to evaluate their working conditions. At Extronics, we have been asked a lot recently if our Real Time Location System (RTLS) products can be used to provide a contact tracing and social distancing solution. With so much noise out there online, how do you know you are getting the facts about the different options available to you? Extronics has been providing RTLS solutions to hazardous industries for over fifteen years. We specialise in developing and manufacturing ATEX, IECEx, and North American certified equipment for use in hazardous areas, and rugged industrial products for harsh environments. We serve customers around the world from industries such as oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, and mining. We have created this article as a guide to some of the most common technology available, and the […]

Received signal strength indication (RSSI) location principle uses received signal strength to determine the location of the transmitting device. A wireless device sends a signal out and that signal is received by a gateway or access point. Multiple access points will pick up the signal and from that a received signal strength is determined by each access point. The further away the access point to the transmitting device the weaker the signal. In comparison, the closer the transmitting device is to an access point the stronger the received signal strength. Location is determined by receiving the signal from multiple access points and taking the different measurements to make an approximation of location by trilateration. The approximate location can then be positioned on a map. For example, an asset or a worker wearing a Wi-Fi RTLS […]

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