Managing a fleet of gas detectors is a complex business, especially if you’re still relying on manual methods and human search to find records. Thankfully, cloud computing and in particular connected gas safety solutions like our own Crowcon Connect can make light work of what are otherwise overwhelming workloads: and they can make your outcomes better, too.
In previous posts (here, here and here) we have explored the nature of connected safety solutions and how they can improve operational and business outcomes, drive up safety and reduce costs. In this post we will see how connected gas safety solutions make light work of fleet and device maintenance and improve safety and other outcomes.
The challenges of device management
Most organisations that use portable gas monitors have multiple devices. In some settings – for example where sites are widely distributed or the organisation rents out device fleets to other businesses – these numbers can run into many hundreds. What is more, each device might be sent to multiple locations at various times, and used by a range of different people.
Historically, this has made the task of tracking and maintaining those detectors incredibly complex, resource-intensive and time consuming. Traditionally the types of record kept – calibration due dates, maintenance schedules, event data, location and user IDs – have been entered manually onto spreadsheets, or even paper.
And when that information has been needed for audit, maintenance activities or any other purpose, some poor person in an office has sifted through the records to find and collate the information required, hoping that human error hasn’t compromised the data quality.
Not only is this time consuming and liable to take highly-skilled people away from their specialist work, it also introduces multiple risks to the process. With manual or even merely hard-to-search records there is always the risk that a vital indicator – an overdue calibration date, a failed sensor, a dangerous event – can be overlooked. In some cases, data may not be recorded, or be entered inaccurately.
Not only does this make efficient fleet management almost impossible, but it also ramps up the risk of catastrophe.
Connected gas safety insights transform operations and protocols
Connected safety makes device management much more straightforward, accurate and resource efficient.
It achieves this by clearly linking each device with its named user at the start of every work session and then, when the detector is returned to its docking station or charger, it pulls data directly from each gas detector into the connected safety portal (and logs off the user). In the portal, that data is automatically sorted and aggregated and presented in user-friendly formats according to need.
That means no more manual record keeping or report collation for compliance audits, no risk of incorrect information, no missed calibrations or bump tests (the system can flag these up for you), no more failing or faulty devices missed.
If you’d like to see this in action, please have a look at our interactive online demo of Crowcon Connect.
Connected gas safety solutions let you keep and easily search detailed, reliable records. They make exceptions easily and immediately visible, which lets you accurately assess (and then reduce) risk.
Because they boost data gathering, insight analysis and record keeping, and present data through highly accessible dashboards that are easily configured to show multiple perspectives, connected safety solutions give you a 360-degree overview of your gas safety operations that is available 24/7/365.
Maximising device lifespan and asset management
Connected safety solutions can also help to extend the life of your gas detectors and improve your asset management. Generally, this improves efficiency and reduces costs.
For example, gas detectors rely on their sensors and in every case, those sensors will ultimately fail. All sensors must be replaced eventually – but replacing them too early (when they have plenty of life left) is inefficient and costly. Crowcon Connect keeps you informed about all factors that affect device function, including sensor life, which allows you to replace sensors only when you need to.
Most devices suffer wear and tear, and potentially terminal damage to a portable gas detector can be hard to spot. That’s why you should be conducting regular maintenance and testing. A connected safety solution makes this simple, because it logs and flags maintenance due dates. And because you get ample warning, you can intelligently structure and plan your maintenance schedule to avoid busy periods, minimising disruption and costs.
With a connected safety solution, you can instantly see which devices are good to go and which need attention. And you can easily keep on top of maintenance, so it becomes easier to streamline the number of devices you need – because you can always be confident of having a sufficient number available.
For example, if you currently have enough portable detectors for every member of your workforce, a connected safety system may let you reduce that fleet to approximately the maximum number required at any given time. The connected system’s 360-degree view and alerts will help you to keep the maximum number of devices ready for use, and Crowcon Connect’s ability to quickly link devices to named users and locations will drive down detector losses.
Crowcon Connect is a gas safety and compliance insight solution that helps you to streamline fleet management by gathering insights from across the device fleet and presenting these in practical, useful forms. If you’d like to learn more about the ways Crowcon Connect can make light work of managing your fleet(s) of portable gas detectors, why not check out our white paper on that very subject?