Matrix Design Group’s M5 Machine-mounted Methane Monitor has received U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) approval and is now available in the U.S. M5 is the next-generation system from Monitech Mine Monitoring Systems of South Africa and represents a significant improvement over existing methane monitors available in the coal market, according to the company. M5’s unique sensor design, system software and beacon sensor monitoring technology make it more precise and enable it to maintain a stable zero setting, the company added.

“Current methane monitors can be a hindrance to productivity either through system faults or inspection stoppages,” President David Clardy said. “M5 couples mine-tested technology with several new design features to help improve operational efficiency.”

The unit is highly water- and vibration-resistant, easy to calibrate and simple to maintain, Matrix said. Because users can calibrate the M5 on the display or beacon, a miner can apply test gas to the sensor and magnets to the beacon without going back to the display. And while miners still need to bump-check each shift, the 4-20 milliamps connection allows for a more stable calibration, meaning they won’t need to calibrate as often.

Additionally, mines that are required to run two sensors per CM find they only need to use one unit, since the M5 can monitor both sensors using a single controller/display and power supply, according to the company. The M5 is RS485 and CAN-bus enabled, which will allow for the Methane Monitor Override Function if a system fault occurs in the face.

While M5 delivers a new monitoring technology to the U.S. market, its maintenance is similar to currently available systems, allowing for easy adaptation for mine personnel. Matrix’s field service staff is also available to train and advise mines and install and service the M5.