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John Warburton, Strategic Marketing Manager at Honeywell company, City Technology, talks to Tomorrow’s Health & Safety about how advances in oxygen sensing can help plants enhance safety and leverage considerable value.

What do today’s industrial safety applications need from

an oxygen sensor? Oxygen (O2

) sensors used in safety-

critical applications have a hard remit; lives and assets depend on accurate, high performance detection, fast response speeds and stability. Sensors used in industrial gas detectors or gas analysers come up against harsh process/plant conditions and environmental extremes and transients, so reliability, stability and a quick recovery time are essential.

Optimal plant safety and efficiency depends on maximised instrument uptime; just one failure or nuisance alarm can result in $100/hr in lost labour at a plant and $100,000/hr in lost yield revenue at an oil and gas facility, as examples. Reduced ongoing maintenance needs are also important.

repeatability is very important. A high performance sensor that can work as long and hard as the gas detector - in all conditions it might face - is the industry ideal.

Sensor performance must also be consistent every time; thousands of O2

What is the operational life of City Technology’s new O2

market offering? Our new 4OxLL long-life O2


and how does this compare to the sensor has

an operational life of five years. It is designed to work for the full life of the average portable gas detector, which is 3 years longer than the average 2 year life of many current sensors.

38 sensors may be used at a plant, so

What specification elements make the 4OxLL so valuable to

industrial applications? 4OxLL is class-leading in many respects; it offers a fast response speed and recovery and less than 5% drift over whole operational life. 4OxLL also provides unsurpassed performance in environmental extremes and transient conditions, which minimises nuisance alarms. Its intelligent, robust design dramatically reduces field failure occurrence and ensures consistent performance in even the most challenging applications. Ongoing instrument service needs are also greatly reduced with 4OxLL.

You mention cost saving potential ― can you provide real-

terms, this translates into large savings. For example, a site operating a fleet of 200 portable gas detectors, can save 200 hours of maintenance labour ($20,000 in total, based on $100/hr labour) over five years (based on a standard two year operational life sensor and an estimated 30 minutes sensor replacement time).

world examples? 4OxLL provides incremental value by reducing sensor replacement; one of the key aspects of ongoing instrument maintenance. It operates two and a half times longer a standard O2

Nuisance alarms and field failures can have large associated labour and decreased yield cost. Using the same example of 200 portable gas detectors at a petrochemical plant,

this cost is highlighted; sensors producing just five nuisance alarms and five field failures over the whole fleet (2.5%), during a two year operational life, could result in over 12.5 lost labour hours over five years (based on 30 minutes to replace/ re-test the device). Factoring in the yield decrease impact, the total cost is over $1.2 million over a five year period (based on $100/hr labour and $100,000/hr yield loss).

How does 4OxLL achieve best- in-class stability, reliability and

sensor and in real-world providing 4OxLL’s long operating life.

extended life? We used advanced component design and tools such as Finite Element Method Modelling (FEM) and Six Sigma, to deliver a robust design with industry leading performance. The sensor design is based on “oxygen pump technology”, which unlike conventional galvanic sensors does not have a consumable anode (the life-limiting element in an O2


Field performance depends not only a good design, but also rigorous testing and reproducible manufacture. We used advanced life test programmes and the latest Lean and Six Sigma tools, which combined with our automated manufacture processes, ensure the highest standards of reliability in the field.

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