Get Proactive with Smoke Density Measurement

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Particulate Matter Poses a Serious Threat to Worker Safety

using the PMX sensor for smoke density measurementNumerous industries make use of heavy equipment and processes that result in the production of heavy smoke, dust, and other airborne particulate matter (PM). This matter itself is incredibly small and is often measured and reported using PM 2.5 readings: the amount of PM present in an environment with a diameter below 2.5 micrometers, or just three percent of the diameter of a single human hair. This matter is invisible to the human eye. What’s more alarming is that for every one particle that you can see, there are one million that you can’t

This is why smoke density measurement solutions are needed for these environments. Because these particles are so small, they can remain in the air for extended periods and even bypass the nose and throat during inhalation — entering lungs immediately and leading to heart and lung disease over the long term. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a significant concern and focus for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has developed a variety of resources to educate people on the impact of PM and how to take steps to reduce it.

While standard building ventilation systems are necessary in these environments along with other solutions like dust collection units (particularly if the PM is combustible) and heavy-duty air conditioners, it’s important to align the usage of these systems with actual demand. Doing so prevents them from operating at full capacity and at all times, instead turning them off or reducing their speed during non-peak times. To achieve that, a smoke density measurement solution is needed. One of the proactive options for this is a particulate monitoring system.

How Particulate Monitoring Systems Work

A particulate monitoring system is one of many types of industrial automation sensors used in production environments worldwide. These advanced sensors use a thru-beam design consisting of two separate units: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter emits a green LED beam to the receiver. The units can be mounted up to 30 feet (10 meters) apart from one another, allowing for complete flexibility depending on the application and environment. As smoke and other PM pass through the LED, that change in light transmission is measured.

EMX Industries, Inc. has designed one of the most advanced and easily integrated particulate monitoring systems for smoke density measurement. Our PMX particulate monitor features up to 99 levels of relative light transmission. This allows you to set an extremely specific threshold for your environment and production needs. With both a discrete PNP/NPN output as well as an analog output, you can easily integrate the system into your environment and configure next steps as needed. 

The analog output allows external systems to monitor readings and log changes over time, enabling automated control of demand control ventilation systems, exhaust hoods, and more. If different threshold levels are reached, the new signals from the PMX can be set to activate faster speeds on these systems to accommodate the increased demand. The sensor will activate a ventilation system for 60 seconds and then recheck the environment to determine whether the system should remain as-is, increase or decrease speed, or turn off. Its lightning-fast 100-microsecond detection speed ensures that your environment is properly monitored at all times.

Depending on your application, the PMX particular monitor is available in two configurations:

  • Board-Only — This circuit-board-only configuration is intended for applications in which the PMX will be integrated with OEM equipment as part of a complete solution.
  • NEMA 4X — NEMA 4X housings protect the PMX particulate monitor from environmental conditions such as corrosion, water, and more. The PMX is built into the 4X housing with a high-quality window enabling accurate smoke density measurement.

Download the PMX particulate monitor spec sheet to learn more about its capabilities.

Put the PMX Sensor to Work for Your Smoke Density Measurement Needs

The PMX particulate monitor is in use in numerous industries, including:

  • Wood shops where high levels of sawdust trigger shop vacuums to begin collecting dust to protect workers and equipment
  • Agricultural facilities like chicken farms where high levels of dust and other PM can quickly fill the structure
  • Manufacturing facilities where incineration systems produce significant smoke and must be properly vented to allow gasses to escape

Whatever your application may be, invest in the ideal system for smoke density measurement to protect your people, equipment, and facilities for the long term. EMX Industries, Inc. has been designing, manufacturing, and supporting a complete line of high-performing, cost-effective industrial automation solutions for decades, and we’re ready to put that expertise to work for your success. 

Connect with us today to learn more about the PMX sensor and how it will support better air quality, cleanliness, and employee well-being in your environment.