ChemDAQ, a manufacturer of sterilant gas monitoring systems, has posted a pdf of a comparison matrix on its website, pitting their systems against ours.

Fair enough.

We felt it only proper to reproduce their table, adding a fourth column with our comments. Since the tabular format is not ideally suited to detailed remarks, a few are added below, and are recommended, once you look at the table as we posted it.

Click here to view the commented table

1.    ChemDAQ touts its ability to monitor hydrogen peroxide, perhaps unaware that Interscan can also provide instrumentation for this gas.

Interscan acknowledges the growing interest in monitoring for hydrogen peroxide, in both sterile processing departments, and in decontamination operations.

2.    ChemDAQ makes much of a magic filter, said to remove isopropyl alcohol (IPA), and possibly other interferences. While it is certainly possible to create a chemical scrubber to remove various compounds, this is not a good solution.

In our experience, such devices will often create a false sense of security in the mind of the user, whereby the IPA (in this case) can be used carelessly, in a manner that will readily saturate the filter. Moreover, unless a filter is self-indicating—and few of them are—how do you know when it is exhausted, and needs to be changed?

Far better to either eliminate the IPA, by using modern germicides, or simply use our auto-shutdown restart feature, to prevent false alarms.

3.    The age-old debate regarding sample-draw versus diffusion sensors is invoked in various forms. No doubt, diffusion sensors are simpler but experience has shown in literally thousands of gas detection applications, that sample-draw gives more meaningful data, responds quicker, and is more reliable.

We are surprised that ChemDAQ would tout a sample filter, that can logically only perform properly in a sample-draw mode.

4.    Numerous references are made in which our stand-alone analyzers (not equipped with Arc-Max® data acquisition, archiving and recording), are compared to ChemDAQ units equipped with data acquisition.

As it is, for the extreme price ChemDAQ charges for its data acq, even though it performs the basic functionality, it is lacking many of the features of Arc-Max®, including live and historic trending. And, it must be said, extra video monitors are an expensive and overkill method of providing remote annunciation. Better approaches include simple wire-up modules, or professionally done annunciator panels from specialty vendors.

5.    Finally, ChemDAQ loves presenting a laundry list of various alerts that its system gives, including “impending” alerts. Assuming that a customer really does want to be alerted to an upcoming alert (kind of makes your head explode, doesn’t it?) there is only one case where this would be rational.

It would be useful to be advised if one is approaching the allowable 8-hour TWA, or if one has exceeded the four allowable STEL incidents per shift. This feature has been in all versions of Arc-Max® since the software was originally written for Windows 3.1. The information is always available on the screen, or at an on-demand shift report.

Note that Arc-Max® has no built-in “alert” for this. How can it? There is no authority on how close to the TWA, how far into the shift constitutes a problem. After all, you can legally run the TWA every single day and be in compliance. That’s why the level has been established!

We would urge our customers not to be taken in by this sort of fluff. If you have any questions about the EtO monitoring application—or ANY gas monitoring app, please contact us.

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