Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets in detection vehicles for detecting gas leaks
Based in Strasbourg, GAZOMAT™ has been designing and manufacturing equipment for detecting gas leaks for more than 40 years. 20 members of staff contribute their expertise in the field of gas network surveillance. The company offers a wide range of products and services for the surveillance and maintenance of high-pressure water, sewerage, gas and oil networks.
With the CF-19, the company has integrated mobile Panasonic solutions since 2008. GAZOMAT™ markets complete solutions with gas detectors accompanied by the Toughbook CF-31, CF-19 or, more recently, the Toughpad FZ-G1, primarily for resale to its customers – the key players in the energy, gas and oil sectors. To date, the company has fitted out 150 manual units and 23 vehicles with Panasonic computers and tablets.
"We serve a niche market with completely integrated solutions. It’s important that they’re durable. After all, in tendering, the durability of products is a key criterion when it comes to ensuring a long life cycle,” said Christophe Durr, product manager at GAZOMAT™.
Essentially, two mobile terminal models have been used to date: the Toughbook CF-19 tablet PC and the Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet. GAZOMAT™ required completely mobile products which can cope with continuous outdoor use over an eight-hour day. The fact that the company uses geographical information systems means that it requires considerable real-time computing power and excellent screen legibility.
“We opted for Panasonic as we needed durable, cutting-edge technical products. More recently, the idea was to replace the CF-19 models we’d used for seven years with the high-performance FZ-G1, a tougher, lighter model. With its 10-inch format, it’s ideal for our needs. Once again, we’ve placed our trust in Panasonic. We’re very happy with the company’s products and service and we know we can rely on a rapid response from after-sales in the event of a breakdown, repairs or replacements.”
REAL-TIME GEO-LOCALIZED SURVEILLANCE
Using laser spectroscopy measuring technology, the INSPECTRA® laser developed by GAZOMAT™ is a high-performance methane detector. It allows methane leaks to be detected and localized accurately and is a useful service tool for gas professionals.
Coupled to a GPS system on a tablet or a tablet PC, this allows surveillance missions to be tracked by computer and the geographical position of possible leaks to be shown on a map. At the same time, concentration measurements can be recorded, annotations can be added during a mission and mission reports can be published.
GAZOMAT™ offers various surveillance systems depending on the terrain and accessibility: a motorized version with the NSV (Network Surveillance Vehicle) or with the lightweight transport vehicle and a manual version.
“European regulations require gas suppliers to survey their networks. We supply selective methane detectors which can be coupled to a geo-localization system. This ensures traceability when carrying out surveillance in geo-referenced networks.”
“The systems which use our technology are evolving all the time. One of our customers has a new mobile surveillance system project on a Peugeot/Citroen vehicle. In Nice, Twizys are used, and in Strasbourg solutions are installed on quad bikes. Both heavy (NSV) and lightweight (Twizy) vehicles can be combined to survey networks on main routes and in town centre areas where access is more limited.”
“We choose Panasonic devices with integrated GPS, a double camera and numerous other options as they allow us to meet the changing needs of our customers and offer them a lasting solution. Because autonomy is a very important aspect, we integrate the FZ-G1 with its high-capacity battery. The CF-31 which we also use is about to disappear, so we’re also looking at a new hybrid system with the CF-20 which combines mobility and robustness just like the FZ-G1.”
The GAZOMAT™ surveillance systems whether they are motorized or manual are designed to detect the slightest anomaly in sewers, to localize it precisely and trigger an alarm so that repairs can be carried out within the next hour. With their proven sturdiness, reliability and stability over time, these precision devices play an important role in ensuring the safety of the population.
They are very sensitive – at least 500 times more powerful than the human nose. GRDF is responsible for surveying 200,000 km of gas networks throughout France. Surveys are carried out on average once every four years. The GRDF detector vehicle travels the streets at speeds of up to 40 km/h.
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