ATEX Smart PPE with 4G LTE-M, NB-IoT and LoRaWAN

Successful ATEX product certification

After 2 years of intense R&D and industrialization efforts, Intellinium has succesfully passed the ATEX product certification (EU Type Examination Certificate) and Quality Assurance Notification (QAN) for explosive environment under the examination of the European Notified Body LCIE Bureau Veritas, one of the most internationaly trusted and demanding certification body worldwide.

A large scope of industrial environments

Our equipments (“Safety Pod” and “Detection Pod“) have been designed with intrinsic safety protection mode to have a large compliance as a portable product in ATEX zone 1 and zone 2 for surface (gas and dust) but also for underground mines.

Intellinium ATEX marking

From deep indoor confined space to wide open industrial area

Sometimes considered as a niche market, ATEX explosive environments can indeed be found in a lot of public and private organisations: water treatment, oil & gas, agriculture, mines, petrol station (…) and in a lot of various environment ranging from confined areas to wide open industrial operation sites.

Most of people are not aware of the very large scope of ATEX.

We also believe that a new type of ATEX product is emerging to cover more broadly existing and new risks.

Connected Worker calls for ATEX Smart PPE

The Connected Worker trend is now a kind of hype with companies trying to push forward some cloud-analytics with little to no value, something similar as the Smart City use cases. Nevertheless, we strongly believe that the connected worker safety use cases will drive Industry 4.0 revolution.

But moving from traditionnal leather-based PPE such as safety shoes to connected safety shoes require to rethink the nature of the PPE itself. Eletronics and battery-powered devices bring new risk. Among the consequences, Smart PPE shall comply with European ATEX directive (and also with IECEx and equivalent) while traditionnal PPE are out of the scope of ATEX directive). It’s a deep change in compliance paradigm and it will force compliance and HSE managers to rethink their risk assessment.

A truly game changer in ATEX portable equipment market !

Until now, the ATEX market has been driven by traditionnal portable gas sensor equipments and safety devices (only) embedding 3G or 4G for communication. Very often, those equipments fail to deliver a communication link in very harsh telecom environment.

Intellinium is now game changing this highly inertial market with a revolutionary device which can communicate using different frequencies and different protocols : 4G LTE-M, 4G NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Low Energy, NFC and GNSS. By using an external gateway, we also provide satellite communication (for instance, using Iridium). Thanks to this large array of technologies, we are able to establish communications in most of all challenging areas.

In addition, we provide a very large choice of sensors (accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, light sensor, PPG (HR and SpO2), temperature, hall effect) and a several low-power cortex M cores running Zephyr OS. That way, we can provide fine-grained environemt and human conditions monitoring with efficient and reliable automatic man-down detection.

Maybe the most interesting feature is that average battery life is 2 weeks (for a lightweight 80 g) compared to 12 h for most of equivalent products (often less).

80% of our ressources are invested in R&D and production to propose the propose our customers something unique. Intellinium is product-driven because on the field marketing has never saved anyone !

Why not providing gas sensing in your product?

Among all possible sensors, we do not provide gas sensing. Why?

Because based on industral customers feedback, we believe that personal gas sensing does not make sense for the following rationale:

  • Personnal gas sensor devices tend to be expensive and to be limited in terms of potentiall detected gas.
  • Personnal gas sensor has a high cost of maintenance and several industrial customers have found that cell gas detection are fragile.
  • For a new team member, you need an extra gas sensing device.
  • The weight of those devices add an extra burden to workers.

What looks more appealing is to change the paradigm. Instead of having several personal gas detector, why not providing a static (or dynamic) multi-gas sensor located where you want to protect your workers and ensuring that this device can communicate locally wirelessly in Bluetooth Low Energy. That way, N-workers (N ranging from 0 to hundreds) can immediately get notifications about a gas presence and/or concentration. This approach brings extra security and lower the overal cost. The price to pay is to decide the maximum distance between this device and workers. But if needed, it’s possible to install several static wireless unit insted of one.

ATEX is also an assurance to have a safe product for anyone

Intellinium strongly believes that ATEX certification can also be of interest for anyone looking for a safe Lithium-based product. What is known as “thermal runaway” can have dramatic consequences. Explosion of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (2017), Apple Watch (2022) and e-Scooter (2022) have democratized how unsafe basic products can be, even produced by very well-known brands.

The US OSHA has even produced a notice on that specific hazard: “Preventing Fire and/or Explosion Injury from Small and Wearable Lithium Battery Powered Devices“.

By definition, an ATEX product such as the one produced by Intellinium is safe and cannot be a source of hazard for users in terms of explosion nor it can create any risk of explosion should the user be located in a room with a gas leak.

Last but not the least, the overall product quality is likely to be better for an ATEX product than for a regular product. Why? Because there is so much requirement on ensuring the product safety that other quality factors are almost necessarly taken into consideration as well.