Throughout history, technological advances have underpinned improvements in product performance and the humble Emergency Safety Shower is no exception to this rule, placing Hughes Safety Showers / Hughes North America at the vanguard of this vital safety equipment technology.  Capitalising on license-free 2.4 GHz wireless technology, the Hughes Sentinel Electronic Control Unit, facilitates the cost effective integration of remotely located Hughes Emergency Safety Showers or Eye Washes, into a centrally managed plant asset, ensuring additional safeguards to effect an immediate response when lone casualties operate emergency facilities.

By automatically providing continuous status information to the plant control room, the Hughes Sentinel ensures that the Emergency Safety Shower or Eye Wash remains in a fit condition to do its job and crucially, informs emergency staff when it is in use so they may give the necessary assistance. It also helps to support a Plant Manager’s legal responsibility for health and safety, by logging that the necessary servicing and shower flushing activities required under the American National ANSI  Z358.1 2014 standard have been performed. Automated flushing of the shower supply water is also possible under the control of the Hughes Sentinel, or can be done on demand from the control room to ensure that optimum water temperatures are available when needed.

The Hughes Sentinel Emergency Safety Shower monitor, alarm and control unit, uses the industry standard WirelessHART communications protocol to link up with other pre-installed WirelessHART based process-plant sensors to form a highly reliable smart mesh network which can be controlled from a central location. This network can route data and control signals from the site control room to various plant components over a vast area beyond line-of-sight, without the expense and complexity of hard wiring, as each WirelessHART device or node will automatically relay messages to and from its nearest neighbours. In addition, the network is self-healing as it dynamically reconfigures itself to ensure that signal routing integrity is always maintained between the various plant components and the control centre. This is done by adapting the signal pathways between nodes as circumstances dictate, as would be the case if for example a forklift truck goes by or a new piece of plant equipment is installed which would otherwise block these radio communications.

The Hughes Sentinel ideally complements the Hughes portfolio of Emergency Safety Showers and Eyewashes by providing intelligent, remote monitoring and control capability to shower installations in both hazardous and non-hazardous process plant environments. Communications can be wireless or via hardwired Ethernet or RS485 as required. Status information is clearly displayed on an integrated colour screen and local operator interaction with the unit is achieved using a simple, operator friendly, magnetic stylus interface. Additionally, a local Wi-Fi interface allows service personnel to interact with the Hughes Sentinel via a PDA or smartphone to maintain the unit and download or examine historical data-logs.

The Hughes Sentinel comes in a variety of build and sensor options, tailored to suit individual customer’s Safety Shower and plant requirements. These include data logging and monitoring of: alarm status, up to 4 various temperatures, water pressure, level and flow, and ambient lighting. Output options are also provided to control various audio or visual alarms and operate solenoid valves as required. Power consumption is very low and options include operation from 100V to 240V ac mains, or from a 24V dc supply. In case of power outage, there is a built in 30 minute battery backup, whose capacity can be extended by the provision of an external unit.

The future of Emergency Safety Showers and Eyewashes is monitored!