Portable PID helps geotechnical firm stay on track


AWARD-winning geotechnical company BAMRitchies Limited is using an Ion Science handheld Tiger photoionisation detector (PID) for nightly monitoring of volatile organic compound (VOCs) concentrations during on-site headspace testing of contaminated soil samples on railway contracts.
Supplied through Ion Science’s UK distributor, Shawcity, as a replacement for one of the company’s older models, BAMRitchies chose the Tiger for its portability and long battery life between charging. As it is being used in all weather conditions and environments, the instrument’s “market-leading humidity and contaminant-resistant PID technology” was also a key factor.
According to Ion Science, the Tiger is independently verified as being the best performing PID, providing the most stable, repeatable readings, when tested against competing instruments in humid and contaminated conditions.

Rapid readings necessary
BAMRitchies provides fully integrated ground engineering services, including ‘design and construct, for government organisations, local authorities, main contractors, utilities and public / private companies. The firm delivers innovative solutions to complex geotechnical problems with reliable delivery by a large, highly skilled and well-equipped workforce.
Stuart McQuade, Senior Geotechnical Engineer at BAMRitchies comments: “Our consultant engineers specify prompt information on contamination levels on a very regular basis making it essential that we quickly found a replacement for our old instrument which had started to fail. As we’ve used Ion Science PIDs before and found them to be good quality and reliable, we were content to go with Shawcity’s recommendation of the Tiger PID.

Consistent performance prioritised
He continues: “Consistency of performance was a key requirement as it is being used to test approximately five to ten soil samples per night. The Tiger is in use during the most severe weather and in the harshest environments so a robust design together with humidity and contamination resistance was also very important to us. Like other Ion Science instruments, the Tiger is extremely easy to use and has proved very reliable so far.”
Providing a dynamic detection range of 1 parts per billion (ppb) to 20,000 parts per million (ppm), the Tiger offers what is said to be the widest measurement range of any other VOC instrument on the market.
Ready to use, straight out of the box, the instrument requires no complex set-up procedures via a PC to perform basic functions and provides the best available VOC detection and software features available.
Ion Science’s Tiger also has a fast response time of just two seconds and can be connected directly to a PC via the USB offering extremely fast data download capabilities.
It has been designed for the safe replacement of batteries in hazardous environments and is intrinsically safe (IS) – meeting ATEX, IECEx, UL and CSA standards.