Ask Michel Column

IP66/IP67 - What do the numbers mean?

IP66/IP67? What do the numbers mean? I was recently asked an excellent question, and I realized that many of our readers are likely wondering the same thing. I hope this column is useful, and I encourage you to keep the questions coming!  Submit your comments using the form on this website.... More

What is MTBF?

MTBF is the abbreviation for Mean Time Between Failures. MTBF is an indicator of the reliability of a reparable product or system. It measures the rate of random failures, excluding systematic failures due, for example, to design errors (e.g., software errors) or manufacturing defects (products at... More

SIL Reliability Data

It is simply not acceptable for anyone who must complete an instrument-based safety role at a certain SIL level to rely solely on the SIL level of each component. For example, it is critical to understand the probability of failure on demand (PFDavg) which, depending on the required SIL, must not... More

How To Select A Calibration Gas

Calibrating a gas detector consists of adjusting the zero and the sensitivity. To adjust the zero, I recommend using a bottle of reconstituted air (20.9% O2), with no traces of gas or other impurities. For oxygen (O2) or carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors, nitrogen must be used since air naturally... More

IP and NEMA Rating Systems: What is the Difference?

The NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and IP (Ingress Protection) rating systems are used to describe the degree to which a product is protected from water or dust, among other things. The product in question could be a gas detector, a central gas detection controller, or a... More

No Ordinary Day

The work week had just begun and I could already tell it was going to be a long day. Sounds familiar, right? It was one of those days where you know you’ll never come close to finishing all of the things you need to do. On top of it all, there was this program to write and upload to the new... More

How many detectors and modules can I connect to an MX43?

It depends on the number of lines.  The 4 line version of the MX43 can accommodate up to 16 modules and detectors, while the 8 line version has twice that capacity (see Table 1). The system is comprised of the following digital modules: Digital detector (OLCT10N, OLCT80, iTrans... More

Explosive Gases and Calibration Gas

Just yesterday, one of our clients explained to me that he needed to equip his tank farm with hydrocarbon detectors to prevent explosions in the event of a leak. With the variety of chemicals present at the site, he didn't know which detector to choose, especially since the storage tanks are... More

How long does a gas detector last?

First of all, a gas detector is made up of electronics and a detection sensor. Although the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of the electronics is longer than 200 years, as is the case for our OLCT50 detector, for example, the sensor won't last as long. The lifespan of a sensor depends on... More

Introducing Michel

I have worked for more than 18 years in gas detection. With my degree in handheld instrumentation engineering, I started with us in 1994 as a sales engineer before successively becoming Regional Agency Manager for Southwest France, later Northern France, then finally Global Director of Product... More