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Posted by Jim Blais

Toxic Gas Monitoring System Design - 20 Years of Lessons Learned and Shared

April 24, 2019

For the past 20 years, I have been focused exclusively on designing Toxic Gas Monitoring Systems (TGMS). It has been quite a journey.  I’ve had the opportunity to work on many TGMS projects on a large scale. I’ve also had many opportunities to work in small R&D facilities with only one tool.

Large scale opportunities begin with the first “LonWorks” based TGMS, configured in Germany and installed in the USA with MST.  This TGMS was initially a 600 point gas detection system installed at the “White Oak Semiconductor” FAB in Virginia.

We were fortunate to begin our “learning process” at Hallam-ICS by actually “teaming” with major gas detection manufacturers. At their request, we initially did the upfront and final designs, with our teaming relationships including Zellweger Analytics (now Honeywell Analytics) and now also with DOD Technologies and Draeger.

Over the years our involvement and capabilities have expanded to where we now provide turnkey services, beginning with user requirements, design, fabrication, installation, integration and validation of TGMS platforms.Jim Blais

So this part of my journey arrives at retirement. I have had the privilege of working at Hallam-ICS for 27 ½ years.  Hallam-ICS is filled with great people, all of whom are super smart!   Again – I must repeat; it has been my privilege to meet and become friends with so many throughout this great organization!

I have also truly enjoyed meeting and working with lots of really fantastic people.  Among the many  clients I include; Analog Devices, Applied Materials, Axcelis, MIT, MIT Lincoln Laboratories, Cornell University, Harvard University, Global Foundries and many others.  I’m also especially grateful for becoming friends with my much esteemed colleague Mr. John Cox P.E., C.I.H.  John has helped and worked with me on several projects and has been a great teacher regarding everything associated with EH&S.

I have created a brief summary of some key lessons learned along the way, followed with a few more details, along with real experiences (true stories) shared – perhaps highlighting the challenges and the need to pay attention to the… details.

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Please note that the following represents only a small tidbit of a few of the important things to consider when designing a TGMS. We have a lot to share, (I’m one of those passionate “detail” persons) but it is obviously impossible to ‘condense’ 20 years of knowledge into a small paper. 

Yet – I’m completely unfamiliar with the concept of this thing called retirement. But I guess I’m going to be giving it a try. Thank you!

Jim Blais

White Paper Download TGMS Design 20 Years of Lessons Learned

About the Author

Jim is the senior technical lead for Toxic Gas Monitoring Systems (TGMS) with 50 years of experience.  He determines TGMS “user requirements”- evaluates, recommends, selects and applies the best gas detection technologies available – based upon each user’s gas targets.  Jim also provides guidance on harmonizing and utilizing both applicable codes and best practices, selecting ideal sensor locations and developing functional “cause & effect” (CE) gas safety matrices.  For more information please contact Jim at jblais@Hallam-ICS.com or through our

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About Hallam-ICS

Hallam-ICS is an engineering and automation company that designs MEP systems for facilities and plants, engineers control and automation solutions, and ensures safety and regulatory compliance through arc flash studies, commissioning, and validation. Our offices are located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and North Carolina and our projects take us world-wide.

Topics: MEP Engineering, Toxic Gas Monitoring Systems

Jim Blais

By Jim Blais

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April 24, 2019

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