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At Last! Affordable Condition Monitoring For Hazardous Areas…

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At Last! Affordable Condition Monitoring For Hazardous Areas…

Historically, Intrinsically Safe condition monitoring equipment has disappointed

Condition based monitoring (CBM) equipment in hazardous atmospheres has always presented something of a problem. The very high cost and relatively low functionality of the available vibration data collectors has certainly not helped in this respect. Whilst it has now become common practice to use vibration data collectors on equipment in safe areas, their use in hazardous areas has not yet matched this level of usage. Yet if anything, equipment in hazardous areas requires even more monitoring given the possible catastrophic consequences of its unexpected failure. The safety aspects alone make sudden failure a potentially nightmarish scenario but even if tragedy is avoided, the cost of the required remedial work in hazardous areas can still be very damaging. (Read More)


As a consequence, operators have been forced to bite the bullet and absorb the high cost of intrinsically safe (IS) vibration analysers into their operating costs. It is however questionable whether they have been getting value for their money. The long timescales and high costs of taking instruments through IS certification means that instrument manufacturers are often reluctant to go with their latest designs, preferring instead to take tried and tested instruments, no matter how dated, through this long and intricate process. The result of this strategy has seen the availability of a limited range of high cost, low functionality equipment, much of it looking very clunky, with low res monochrome displays and poor battery performance. However, until very recently this has been the operators’ only choice.

Disruptive technology to the rescue!

The above scenario is extremely disappointing when considering the enormous impact that the disruptive influence of the microprocessor has had on technology. In almost all aspects of our daily lives microprocessor development continues to be responsible for step changes in technology, be it social or industrial, and particularly in the area of handheld portable devices. It seems incredible therefore, in an age where high definition colour displays fit neatly in the palm of your hand and communicate freely with the world, many vibration data collectors still look and feel like bricks that are not particularly easy to use.

In this respect Test Products International (TPI) believes it has introduced a game changer with the IS certification of its TPI 9080-Ex range of vibration analysers/data collectors. TPI has long been regarded as a leading independent manufacturer of high quality, affordable, test equipment and has set yet another new benchmark with the introduction of the low cost, easy to use, high functionality TPI 9080-Ex with its full colour OLED display and Bluetooth communications. IECEx/ ATEX certified to Ex ib IIC T4 Gb (-20°C≤Ta≤+40°C) with North American approval for Class I, Zone 1, IIC T4 (-20°C≤Ta≤+40°C) the TPI 9080-Ex is based on the widely acclaimed TPI 9080 that recently established new performance levels in high end affordable vibration analysis.

The TPI 9080-Ex uses industry standard BNC connected IEPE accelerometers and offers on-meter CBM analysis for detection of machine faults such as unbalance, misalignment, looseness and bearing wear. With colour coded alarms and on screen zoom and cursors, it can store up to 1000 machines each with up to 10 measurement points – i.e. 10,000 separate readings, all with full waveform and frequency spectrum (FFT). The TPI 9080-Ex can be used both in simple route based mode, where a list of machines is downloaded for data collection, or in off-route mode where readings can be captured, analysed and saved for uploading to a PC. The included VibTrend PC trending and reporting software has features normally only found on high end software such as automatic email notification of alarms, automatic report generation, local or remote databases (e.g. accessible over a network), waterfall plots and many other useful vibration analysis tools.  At the same time the windows based software is very easy to use. Its basic functions such as vibration level trending and alarming are totally intuitive so that the software can be used easily and effectively by both expert and novice users to implement a full CBM strategy.  In-line with TPI’s philosophy of being the value leader the TPI 9080-Ex comes at an incredibly low list price of only £3200.

For more information please contact TPI Europe’s head office on: +44(0)1293 530196 or take a look on the website at or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it