It may surprising to the amount of situations you would need to use intrinsically safe electronic equipment that would be safe in dangerous areas prone to explosions or fire. In a world where we rely on high explosive fossil fuels to power our cars through to ships and airplanes and gas to power our heating of factories, we need those who work in these industries need be safe. One of these items often used in these environments is the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or mobile computer where data needs to be entered or stored within areas that could easily catch fire from even a low voltage spark or increase in temperature. PDA’s can come in different shapes from a modern touch pad, to something that can be held with a grip handle, with even a scan feature. This data collected from the PDA can be transmitted wirelessly to a main computer outside of the danger area to be analysed.
Common Places Of Use
The obvious places to use an intrinsically safe PDA, would be the many oil and gas rigs across the world from the North Sea to the Gulf. Other areas of use could be managing the engines of large ships or boats, to a fireworks factory. But there are more local areas, such as oil refineries and even our local gas providers.
In a western world where safety should come first, there is an increasingly worry that even small businesses should use intrinsically safe equipment within their work, such as petrol stations and even motor mechanics as they work under a vehicle.
Obviously these units cost more than a typical tablet, as every wire and exposed connection needs to be professionally shielded so no heat or spark can occur. In most cases these units are not made from scratch, but factories use existing technology and then make it intrinsically safe. This way these PDA’s can be bang up to date with technology, operating systems and software.
You can’t buy this technology from your local electronics store, they need to be supplied from professionals who know the varying degrees of safety needed for different situations. There are some extremely dangerous areas, where even some intrinsically safe PDA’s cannot be used at all, so it makes sense that only someone who fully understands the industry should be giving advice on something that has the potential of killing someone, if not used correctly in the right environment.
However it is fair to say that large corporations are fully aware of what electronic equipment can be used in different situations, so they shop for their items based on reputation of products and exact specifications, which have tested thoroughly to ATEX standards.
Mark works with ecom instruments UK to help market the intrinsically safe equipment they sell to large organisations and small businesses across the world.