A week ago, I was introduced to the 3M Versaflo TR-800 PAPR, a remarkable piece of engineering that brings high-end respiratory protection into the electrical field. Its intrinsically safe construction of the filter and housing made it possible to use in heated environments without risking combustion. This is a big innovation, and will hopefully make electricians’ lives and jobs easier and safer all over the world. All that is great. There is still a drawback, however: a PAPR’s effectiveness is directly affected by the air density around it, which is determined by elevation and temperature. Denser air has more particulate that can overload the filter, possibly breaking the unit. Certain regulatory measures are built in to keep the airflow at a level tolerable to the machinery, but even these mechanisms aren’t enough to keep the unit in working order at higher elevations. As a result, such products are useless in some of the areas that need them most.
Enter the TR-300+ series. Another PAPR, you may ask? What could possibly be different or special about this one? It features what 3M refers to as “upgraded altitude compensation,” allowing the unit to be used at heights of 14,000 feet or less. This is a significant leap forward that will expand the market dramatically, and bring vital respiratory protection to the masses.
The information I have access to about the TR-300+ is limited to the sparse promotional literature I’ve been given, as it doesn’t seem to have an online presence quite yet (the plus sign in the product name doesn’t help). It does exist though, and the possibilities it opens up for the workforce are exciting. Workers at extreme elevations will be able to properly protect themselves whenever conditions require. While there’s nothing in the literature that indicates it’s an intrinsically safe product like the 800, its existence is a welcome step towards that kind of comprehensive protection (which may or may not be necessary depending on conditions in the labor world, reliable data on which I don’t know how to find.
Like the TR-800, which was engineered to be compatible with TR-600 replacement parts, the TR-300+ is easily serviced by the entire line of TR-300 components (with the notable exception of the TR-371 filter cover). This includes breathing tubes, filters, batteries, belts, face shields, and more. Maintaining the unit is simple and straightforward. Combine that with the user-friendly interface that automatically informs you of the battery, airflow, and filter’s respective operational status, an ease of use is present here that we don’t always associate with products like this.
Also in line with other Versaflo products, the TR-300+ comes in three packaged kits tailored to specific applications. As of this writing, we only have the Heavy Industry Kit (linked above) on our website, but the others are sure to be listed upon full rollout. These include the Easy Clean Kit, which emphasizes simplified maintenance, the Heavy Industry Kit for hardcore industrial environments, and the Healthcare Kit (in small and large) for pharmaceutical and medical applications.
The TR-300+ is a welcome addition to the Versaflo line and will help a lot of people. Consider it if you’re in the market.