Preventative Maintenance: Proactive not Reactive

by | Dec 18, 2013 | Emissions Monitoring, Fixed Gas Detection, Gas Detection

Imagine one alarm or sensor failing and the whole process having to shut down whilst you wait for a service engineer call out. Can you afford to work around an unexpected plant shut down?

There’s no doubt that during your gas detectors life cycle each component will need attention at different stages. The sensors will need routine calibration, replacement and frequent testing – and that’s just one part of your program, what about the control panel, the outputs and relays and the comms?

If you’re responsible for the gas detection program on site and you want to keep your gas detectors in good health and avoid any nasty surprises, it’s a good idea to look into preventative maintenance.

Spot failure before it occurs! By planning ahead you can minimise the occurrence of your gas sensor false alarming and maximise plant safety.

What is preventative maintenance?

“Actions taken earlier on intended to prevent failures in advance”

You can implement solutions that can self-diagnose, warn and resolve gas detector issues before they become a crisis.

Preventative maintenance is necessary however it’s not always acknowledged – but why not? By gaining insight in to your gas detector performance, including all alarms, sensors, outputs and control panels you can take a predictive approach, you can preplan when your gas detection system needs maintenance.

Certain tasks must be scheduled ahead, and designed to keep the plant from experiencing any unexpected maintenance and additional costs.

What are the challenges?

  • “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – if the issue can be solved when it arises then it’s likely that other issues will take precedence often leaving preventative maintenance to be ignored without any immediate concerns.
  • Justifying an additional cost up front – it’s possible that extra training could be required or maybe even extra plant workers to carry out the initial check.
  • Allocating resources – finding the time and man power to carry out a full check of your system. Most companies aren’t equipped with the right staff to be able to seek out problems and the cost of training them do to so is just another unnecessary cost.


Why do I need it?

Because gas detectors are complex, routine maintenance is critical to ensuring your detectors are providing protection at their peak performance. Preventative maintenance allows you to meet these extensive service requirements.

However, early identification of problems through preventative maintenance can help you to;

  • Allocate resources efficiently
  • Maximise gas detector up time – effectively reducing any gas sensor downtime
  • Reduce unplanned costs
  • Reduce additional stock of spares or consumables (i.e. gas sensors) required therefore saving costs and unnecessary storage
  • Plan a calendar of scheduled work, history and overdue maintenance – which in turn helps with accountability
  • Ensure that your gas detector is reliable enough to work to schedule with guaranteed protectionImprove gas detector life cycle
  • Achieve high quality in your gas detection program – if the gas sensors are slightly out of drift, the response can be delayed and the gas leak could be costing you money

In more recent years, most gas detectors are built to provide “maintenance free” operation and although this is great and reduces the cost of ownership, it is still important that your gas detectors are routine to regular calibration and maintenance checks.

Properly working gas detectors means alerting personnel if dangerous levels of hazardous gases are present. And those alarm settings cannot be relied upon unless the gas sensors have been calibrated / checked in accordance with industry recognised guidelines.

The maintenance and calibration of a gas detection system whether, fixed, transportable or portable will depend on a number of factors including;

  • Sensor type – catalytic, infrared or electrochemical
  • Application
  • Concentration of exposure gas

Even though factors may vary it is important to remember that all gas detection and gas monitoring devices require calibration and routine servicing.

Are you prepared?

When a maintenance program is implemented correctly, breakdowns can be avoided, operational efficiency is increase and the risk of expensive reactive work is reduced.

a1-cbiss can help you get on the right foot when it comes to planning and implementing your preventative maintenance plan.

The free gas detection service health check from a1-cbiss delivers insight to your gas detection program with the aim of helping you to get the most out of it. Our technical service engineer which come out to site and assess the condition of your gas sensors, controllers and outputs.

Using our consultative approach we will then give you personalised advice on how to improve plant safety and the best strategy to take when it comes to scheduling maintenance.

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