Noise Dosimetry and the Advantages of MEMS Technology

What is a noise dosimeter used for?

Dosimetry is a key part of monitoring and understanding employee exposure to noise in the workplace throughout an entire working shift. By considering all of the factors including data gathered on-site in this way, the correct precautions and hearing protection can be applied and workers can carry on safely with their working day. PPE is the last option, every effort should be made to reduce the exposure to acceptable levels and only when that is not possible should hearing protection be used.

Worn on the wearer’s shoulder close to the ear, dosimeters today can record voice comments as well as audio events and have large memory capacities for data storage. With ATEX-rated models also available they are deployable in explosive environments, offering monitoring in most types of applications.

Durability issues with traditional noise dosimeter technology

Noise dosimeters are at the frontline of noise monitoring but, due to the nature of the environments and heavy industries in which they are used, they can be exposed to dust, dirt and moisture which all impact both the microphone’s performance and also potentially reduce its overall lifespan.

The technology traditionally used within a noise dosimeter or handheld sound level meter is also very sensitive so they can easily be damaged out in the field through accidental knocks or drops.

Consequently, it can be common for microphones to fail and incur high repair costs, as well as the inconvenience of downtime meaning an interruption to monitoring projects.

New robust MEMS technology

As technology has developed, the most recent MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones are a much more reliable option due to their robust design.

According to the MEMS & Nanotechnology Exchange, MEMS can be defined as miniaturised mechanical and electro-mechanical elements such as devices and structures, that are made using the techniques of microfabrication. They merge at the nanoscale into nanoelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology.

MEMS technology is very robust and resistant to mechanical damage, which means it offers excellent measurement performance over years of use. It also uses less power and therefore extends the battery life, while still offering accuracy to a Class Two level.

Shawcity supply noise dosimeters and sound level meters which contain MEMS microphones, to purchase or to hire from as little as £50 per month. Svantek, our partner manufacturer, are so confident of the quality they now offer lifetime warranties on their MEMS microphones.

For further information or to arrange a free demonstration.
Tel: 01367 899553

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