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Pharmaceutical Company Required Toxic & Combustible Gas Detection System

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A large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing facility needed to develop and implement a gas detection system at their site to mitigate risk to personnel and equipment from a potential combustible or toxic gas leak. The project progressed from the assessment stages of developing a gas detection philosophy to ultimately integrating an industrially designed GDS 1400 MK II panel for the gas detection control and alarm system.


This pharmaceutical facility had a large number of uncommon toxic and combustible gases and vapors. The gas detection philosophy document needed to account for the physical properties of the gases present at the site. The previously developed gas detection philosophy document did not account for the required gas detection alarm levels and sensor ranges. It also did not account for the limitations of the available detection technologies. Additionally, the document needed to describe how to address cross-sensitivity when multiple gases are present in the same area.


We developed a gas detection philosophy in compliance with the latest industry standards. The document addressed all of the following:
• The physical characteristics of the gases and vapors at the facility
• Industry-recognized exposure levels for the gases
• Preferred gas detection technologies
• Minimum requirements for gas detection including leak sizes
• Addressed gas detection cross sensitivities

aeSolutions designed and provided a comprehensive gas detection system to monitor all of the toxic and combustible gases and alert personnel to the hazards. Once established, the gas detection philosophy was used as the basis for integrating the GDS 1400 MK II gas detection control and alarm system. This unit utilizes the Siemens Simatic PCS7 series hardware/software platform and interfaces to the facility’s building management system and fire alarm panel. Its SIL 3-capable logic solver was scalable to a large I/O count, which ended up totaling 650 I/O counts distributed among seven (7) remote I/O panels for the large number of chemicals.
The following were delivered:
• Gas Detection Philosophy Document
• Gas Detection Plot Plan and placement within the client 3D model
• GDS 1400 MK II Gas Detection System
• Specified and procured all of the gas detectors
• Interface with building management system for HVAC control (e.g., overriding the HVAC control to dilute and/or remove explosive gases from the facility)
• Interface with Fire Alarm panel for mass notification messaging
• Interface with process control system for process shutdowns, where applicable


The pharmaceutical company now has a scalable gas detection system capable of reducing the risk to personnel and equipment and complying with their corporate safety program requirements. The system also provides long term data collection of gases that have been measured in the facility.

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Geography: Southeast

Unit Operation: GDS 1400 MK II, Gas Detection System, PCS7, SPHA I/O, FGS

Take a look at our Success Stories page for more ways aeSolutions has helped our clients. 

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