Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), the largest U.S. distributor of specialty gases and equipment, unveiled its new line of remote gas monitoring systems for laboratory gases at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (PITTCON) in Orlando.
The product offering features several models at different price points, including a wired, low-cost system and two wireless solutions to efficiently monitor gas pressure or liquid levels in cylinders.
"The Airgas systems can monitor nearly any gas function within a facility and are priced to fit any budget," said Frank Kandl, manager of Airgas' national technical equipment center. "You can remotely and automatically monitor gas pressure in cylinders, liquid levels of liquefied gases, temperature, whether contacts such as doors or lids are opened/closed and laboratories can realize a significant cost savings in labor, reassigning staff to other important duties."
The basic remote monitoring system uses a wired connection and monitors gas pressure from up to 16 sources. It has indicating pressure switches that can be preset to send e-mail alerts when pressure and gas cylinder volume reach preset levels. Systems can be added to standard alarm panels that are rated NEMA 4, Class I, Division II, Group B, making them suitable for all inert and flammable gases, with the exception of acetylene. Its low cost is particularly attractive to laboratories functioning on smaller budgets.
The second model in Airgas' new line is completely wireless and can monitor data from any device with a gauge face or that produces a 4 to 20 ma or a 0 to 5 vdc signal. The system reads the gauge face or converts the signal and transmits the information, using wireless technology, to either a computer network or cellular telephone hub, which in turn calls or sends a text message alert.
The third model in Airgas' remote gas monitoring systems is part of the company's Smart Logic Manifolds, a line of fully automatic PLC-based change over manifolds that can be connected to a laboratory computer network. The system can be configured for any gas source, including high-pressure cylinders, liquid cylinders or a combination of the two. The system monitors a variety of data and can provide alerts to notify staff when a cylinder change out has occurred and that an empty cylinder needs to be replaced. It can also alert staff when detecting unusually high volumes of gas usage, which could indicate a leak.
The option to manifold systems also monitors the frequency of changeover from the active gas supply to the reserve gas supply, alerting the user that they could be overdrawing liquid cylinders - a unique feature not available in other systems on the market.
For more information about Airgas' line of remote gas monitoring systems, please visit the Airgas booth (number 3521) or call 800-939-5711, ext. 110. Registered PITTCON attendees who visit the Airgas exhibit will be entered to win a Kindle, Amazon's original wireless reading device.