While the market appears flooded with low cost real-time dust monitors these days, many of these devices are built to a price and are prone to drift with variations in temperature. And we are not talking about a little bit of drift, we are talking about some serious drift in accuracy, particularly when they are used in outdoor air monitoring applications. Some suppliers try to compensate for this drift by offering customers additional add on modules and or hardware, other suppliers simply do nothing. Either way, its something customers need to know about to ensure they are making accurate, reliable measurements.
Many companies using real-time dust monitors use these in close proximity to compliance monitors, others use them for indicative measurements to see if they are compliant with the AS3580 and or other standards. Either way, these devices are often measuring particles in the air less than 50ug/m3 in concentration most of the time. Customers often watch this data like a hawk as it is very important to them. Many organizations cannot afford to have dust levels get out of control on their sites. Accuracy and stability of the measurement instrument is critical in obtaining reliable data.
Some of these instruments have been known to drift +/- 1ug/m3 (or greater) for every degree C of temperature change from their zero point. It’s right there in their user manuals. Now this may not sound like much, however if the device was zero’d at 10 degree C some months back and the outside temperature today hits 45 degrees C, that’s potentially a 35ug/m3 drift in accuracy and or measurement error. And that can be a big problem for many people relying on their data to be true and accurate.
So what do you do ?
1 – You either buy instruments and try and adapt them for use outside buy investing in extra modules and or hardware. You make sure you visit and inspect your dust monitors constantly to empty water traps, clean optics, check flow rates and or perform other laborious, time consuming and often costly tasks. Even with all of the above in place, it only takes a simple pump failure in many of these dust systems for the whole system to be shut down, packed up and sent back to the supplier for repair.
2 – Alternatively, you invest in equipment that costs a little more from day one, however is specifically designed for real-time outdoor air monitoring AND does not suffer drift issues, does not need zero modules, does not use water traps, does not suffer frequent pump failures like some other systems, needs very little maintenance, needs 6 to 12 monthly checks (if that) and is calibrated against U.S EPA approved measurement technology.
This is where German particle instrument manufacturer Grimm Aerosol Technik truly stands out. Their range of dust monitoring systems and instruments are German made, are of the highest standard and they are designed to work and last. Through decades of constant development, these ultra stable instruments also don’t drift, nor do they need add on modules and or constant supervision / maintenance (like some systems) to ensure their pumps don’t fail, optics block and so on.
So, if your organization is interested in real-time dust / particulate monitoring and you have suffered with these or other instrument related problems, feel free to call us today to discuss how a quality German made Grimm system or instrument can help you.