Safely Mixing and Inspecting Chemicals with Mobile Barcode Applications

Aegex10 IS Tablets + Snively TagMinder & Safety Tracker

The Challenge

Chemicals used in paint mixing are highly toxic and often emit hazardous fumes. Areas where these chemicals are stored and mixed are usually classified as hazardous locations because the chemicals are highly combustible. As a result any electronic equipment used in these areas must be officially certified “intrinsically safe” for UL Class I Division 1 hazardous areas. Intrinsically safe equipment is incapable of causing a spark that could potentially ignite an explosion; a necessary feature when combustible fumes are constantly present.

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The Solution

Using the Aegex10 IS Tablet, industrial painters can employ TagMinder to verify that the barcodes of each chemical used in paint mixes are the correct ones, thereby guaranteeing an accurate mix, as well as helping operators save time when searching for the correct inputs. To ensure all equipment is performing optimally, and to verify the safety and quality of their equipment, it is suggested the paint manufacturer also use Snively’s Safety Tracker software that allows for onsite digital inspection reporting. All of this is possible in real time in UL Class I Division 1 hazardous areas with the intrinsically safe Aegex10 IS Tablet. 1. Hardware - aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet Using the Windows-based Aegex10 IS Tablet, operators can access Windows 10 apps, cloud services and third party apps, even in the most volatile hazardous areas (UL Class I,II,III Div 1; ATEX/IECEx Zone 1). Certified for UL Class I, II, III Division 1 hazardous locations in North America, as well as equivalent areas in Europe (ATEX Zone 1) and internationally (IECEx Zone 1), the Aegex10 operates on Wi-Fi or 4G LTE from any hazardous location around the globe on a unified platform. The 10.1-inch Aegex tablet is rated IP65 rugged for industrial use, yet is lightweight and priced as low as non-certified devices. Its Windows 10 operating system gives users uniform access to the Microsoft cloud, plus apps and services, including software like that of Snively. 2. Software - Snively Inc., TagMinder and Safety Tracker Snively Inc., a U.S.-based application developer and provider of hazardous area equipment, web apps, barcoding and RFID solutions, can provide the paint manufacturer with two separate pieces of software, TagMinder and Safety Tracker, to be used on the Aegex10 IS Tablet. Tagminder is an RFID-optimized inventory management solution that tracks items’ unique RFID tags, providing information about their movement and location. Users can integrate TagMinder with PLCs, back-end systems and shop floor systems. TagMinder also connects with external visual aids and triggers, such as light stacks, message boards, alarms, infrared beams, scales, etc., to allow automated and error-proof tracking of:

  • Raw Materials
  • Work-in-Process
  • Finished Goods
  • Machinery
  • Reusable Containers
  • Material Handling Equipment
  • Consumables
  • Human Assets
Safety Tracker is a mobile inspection tool for hazardous area equipment. Specific inspection instructions are generated when an inspector scans the barcode or RFID tag of each piece of equipment. The inspector can complete the inspection onsite on an approved mobile device that is communicating directly with a centralized database on the company’s network or can be synchronized to a database once connected.

The Results

With the Aegex10 IS Tablet and Snively software, forklift operators can enter the most volatile hazardous areas (UL Class I, II, III Division 1) and more easily locate the correct totes of chemicals to be used in paint mixing without fear of causing an explosion. Using the Aegex tablet and Snively TagMinder, workers can:

  1. Scan the barcode of each tote of paint
  2. Scan the work cell of the paint pump
  3. Pass the data over Wi-Fi or 4G LTE from TagMinder on the tablet to a programmable logic controller (PLC)
  4. Verify with the PLC that the correct combination of ingredients is being selected
  5. Send an affirmative or negative response to the tablet from the PLC 6. If the proposed mixture is correct, the PLC automatically starts the pump. If it is incorrect, the tablet operator can easily locate the correct inputs by using Tag Minder to find the correct product on the tablet.
Using the Aegex tablet and Snively Safety Tracker, inspectors can:
  1. Scan the barcode or RFID tag of each piece of equipment with the Aegex10 IS Tablet
  2. View automated inspection scripts for each asset
  3. Check off each inspection item on the tablet screen
  4. Store resulting data for each inspection in the Safety Tracker log and/or automatically upload it to a server for online storage and sharing.
With the Aegex10 IS Tablet, operators can also use a number of Windows 10 applications to communicate information to teammates, such as:
  • Opening Skype for Business to speak and show the item in question
  • Using Exchange/Outlook to email photos or other data
  • Uploading information to the cloud
The Snively apps can be used anywhere in hazardous locations via the Aegex10 IS Tablet. Certain apps are also available offline when wireless networks are not available. The solution is transferable across different geographies since the Aegex10 IS Tablet is certified worldwide. The Aegex10 IS Tablet + Snively solution reduces mistakes in the manufacturing process and makes inspections simpler and quicker, even in hazardous areas.

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About Aegex: Aegex is a technology engineering and design company that provides intrinsically safe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and mobile solutions for hazardous industries. Our globally certified intrinsically safe Windows 10 tablet, sensors and partner monitoring systems, form an IoT platform that manages big data to improve efficiency, safety and productivity in hazardous industrial environments in oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, utilities, public safety, defense and other industries with potentially explosive atmospheres.

Partner Info

Integrations of RFID, barcoding and user interfaces for complex manufacturing environments.