Intrinsically safe wearables
To comply with health and safety regulations, miners and various industrial workers are required to wear personal air sampling pumps. These devices measure occupational exposure to potentially harmful dust and particulates; and – as they need high levels of sealing, ruggedness and intrinsic safety for explosive environments (ATEX) – are rather bulky. As such, despite their good intentions, existing products can often hinder work activity.
Part of Ideal Industries Inc., Casella is a global leader in occupational hygiene monitoring solutions and has been synonymous with innovation since supplying Charles Darwin with instrumentation for his 1830 expedition. In 2015, Casella wanted to create a next generation device that would overturn the problems of existing pumps.
The new pump design was to be more ergonomic, minimum in size and weight but also improved in performance and compliance. With these goals in mind, Casella selected PDD to take on the challenge of developing the new pump technology and redesigning the rugged casework.
By integrating all the fluidic elements into a self-contained pump assembly, PDD succeeded in reducing the overall size of the product. This modification also brought about flow uniformity, reliability, lower assembly cost and – through improved efficiency – also reduced the battery capacity and size. We challenged accepted form-factors and minimised body projection in a square unit that is equally well-suited to standing and seated use. The casework is fully sealed yet remains personal in feel and is further protected by a sacrificial, removable boot.
The class-beating APEX 2 personal air sampling pump provides outstanding performance, a slim ergonomic design and great battery life. Moreover, it is helping Casella qualify for bids and win new contracts.
In parallel, PDD also redesigned the Casella noise-monitoring ‘dBadge’, improving appearance and achieving the required level of rugged performance. Both new products were launched to widespread acclaim.