ASSAMSTADT, GERMANY--(Marketwired - Jun 25, 2015) -  Regular audits and inspection of equipment installed in hazardous areas are a necessity to verify that the equipment is included on the equipment list (or 'register') and to document that the equipment remains 'fit for purpose', ensuring that the original explosion protection feature(s) that existed when the equipment was new are still viable to prevent an explosion in the event of a gas leak or dust cloud.

One such inspection type -- commonly referred to as 'EX Inspection' and 'ATEX Inspection' -- involves the inspection of electrical equipment, instrumentation, mechanical equipment and other to ensure it remains safe.

Traditionally, inspectors would be armed with paper checklists and printed diagrams to search for the equipment to be inspected, note the inspections to be performed, and record the inspection results. This method is not only cumbersome, but inefficient -- often leading to inaccurate registers, inconsistent inspection results, and long delays until required action can be taken to correct potential defects or hazards.

More recently, proactive inspectors are using Explosive Zone-rated handheld computers to replace the paper, enabling improved inspection accuracy. This translates into faster results and communication to the technical authority and management responsible for the safety of the site. In addition the use of RFID combined with these devices has been shown to deliver the assurance of the inspector actually being present at the equipment. RFID will also provide improved accuracy of the inspection results.

Although the advantages of this digital approach are evident, these devices are mainly used as single application devices even though the user may already have requirements for multiple applications. The small screen size of the traditional PDA device often times limits the ability to show diagrams and certification documents when the inspector needs it -- this typically occurs when searching for, or standing in front of, the equipment. Also in many cases the lack of an integrated camera requires the inspector to carry along an additional camera if they need to take pictures of any defects found.

With the recent introduction of ecom's pocket-sized 4G / LTE Smartphone Smart-Ex 01® device, inspections can be performed easily and quickly using the touchscreen and stylus -- even when wearing gloves in both hot and cold locations. Suitable for use as a multi-purpose tool, Smart-Ex 01® can be used by individuals or shared between teams for cost-effective inspections. With the powerful processor, battery and plenty of memory, multiple software applications can be supported by the same device for use on different tasks -- for example, performing an inspection and recording a defect notification in your SAP or similar system.

If defects are found, a picture can be taken or, if a wireless or mobile phone network exists, live streaming video can be fed back to remote experts to allow fast diagnosis and immediate actions.

Due to the larger and higher resolution screen, diagrams and plot plans are easier to read than before, with fast pan and zoom showing you the detail you need.

Typical applications for the Google certified Smart-Ex 01® device include plant audits/surveys, equipment/tool management, field inventory management, supply chain logistics, operator rounds, inspection/maintenance/repair, emergency mustering, and plant security checks.

And, the benefits include: reduced user fatigue and improved user experience; accurate equipment records, consistent inspection results enabling continuous improvement, reduced risk of non-compliance, increased safety, reduced operational/capital costs, and reduced downtime.

All pictures are property of ecom instruments

Brief profile of ecom
Globally, ecom instruments is the leading provider of mobile devices for use in explosive areas, whether including chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas production, mining or energy and the environment. For almost 30 years, ecom has set the standards and gathered comprehensive expertise in explosion protection for daily use in hazardous industrial areas across the globe. In its four core disciplines of communication, mobile computing, portable hand lamps and measurement calibration, ecom instruments offers a huge variety of innovative and proven solutions.

Further information on ecom instruments can be found at

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