• Technology + tenacity = lifetime AQMesh global support

Environmental Laboratory

Technology + tenacity = lifetime AQMesh global support

Apr 11 2023

AQMesh small sensor air quality monitoring systems have been in use around the world for over a decade now, but it remains the case that support challenges are always greater with:-

  1. 1. New customers, unfamiliar with the product
  2. 2. Located a long way away (distance, time zones, business culture)
  3. 3. In difficult conditions (environmental, infrastructure)
  4. 4. With little or no knowledge of air quality monitoring
  5. 5. Working at the end of a long chain of parties

Whilst any one of these points in itself makes user support harder, the AQMesh team have energetically pursued the ideal of providing great support, even when all five challenges apply.

To illustrate this point, we can tell the story of 16 pods used in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Philippines and Mongolia. AQMesh was chosen for this project, funded by an international bank, coordinated by an international consultancy and procured through a UK distributor. The pods were shipped in April 2020 all measuring PM and a combination of gases including NO2, O3, CO and SO2 using mains and solar power. Most pods were installed easily, as AQMesh is designed for quick installation, by simply connecting the power supply and using the standard fittings provided to mount to a post.

In November 2020 two pods in Philippines were reported as ‘dead on arrival’. As the cause for this failure could not be quickly established remotely or through the chain of communication, two new replacement pods were shipped and it was confirmed they were functioning normally as soon as they were installed. Inspection of the two returned ‘dead’ pods indicated that the pods had been internally re-configured since they left the factory: this sort of curiosity is not unknown, and it is rare that any party wishes to hold their hand up, so the issue was not pursued further and all of those involved in the project were happy to see all pods delivering data. In February 2021 it was agreed that AQMesh would take over direct support of the pods, as it streamlined support by no longer communicating via the UK distributor.

By April 2021 some sensors had been replaced under the no-quibble 12 month warranty and the AQMesh team was explaining why data is redacted in ‘extreme conditions’. Briefly, all electrochemical sensors produce less stable output when subjected to high temperature and low humidity, often showing artificially elevated readings. AQMesh identifies and flags data under such conditions and the default is to redact flagged data, which avoids likely over-reads being reported. Even in the most extreme global environments, redaction leaves data delivery well above the 90% target set for conventional air quality monitoring equipment.

In September 2022 the international consultancy confirmed that their project had finished. The only way the pods could continue being used in the countries was through direct support from AQMesh, so the chain of communication shortened further and AQMesh offered to continue to support the pods, using the free weekly data delivery service.

To date the AQMesh team still supports the pods, free of charge, and recently resolved communication problems with pods in Pakistan which had been caused by environmental debris blocking the solar panels used as the power supply. One pod is now being returned to factory to be investigated, repaired and returned to the user.

AQMesh has always prided itself on its customer service. There is no cost for technical support and location continues to prove it is not a barrier. A wealth of online training material is provided in addition to remote technical support and smart remote diagnostics, including power cycling, re-stabilisation and sensor rebasing. Users also benefit from free remote firmware upgrades for the life of the product and free of charge data processing algorithm upgrades for gas channels, which means customers can be reassured they are always the using the most up to date technology available, giving them the most accurate and reliable data possible.

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