Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Succeeding with the Solutions Engineering Center (SEC)

Posted by Barbara Vazquez-Isla on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

Customized, certified solutions for hazardous locations

In Pepperl+Fuchs lingo, “SEC” stands for Solutions Engineering Center. Our newest SEC location is in Houston, Texas. Other SEC locations include one in Twinsburg, Ohio as well as international locations in England, Germany, Singapore, and Australia.

We have an engineering team to design custom solutions and a production team to build them. There are many types of solutions that can be designed and built at our SEC locations. What they all have in common is that they are customized, certified solutions for hazardous locations. Before giving you some examples, let’s clarify some concepts.

Are you familiar with Ex e boxes? These are increased safety boxes. The first thing to know is that Ex e is a protection method for hazardous location zones, such as Zone 1, Zone 22, etc. Because of that, it will have an IECex or ATEX label (sometimes both). The second thing to know is that an Ex e box is more than just a box. The Ex e protection method is based on the fact that no spark can take place inside the enclosure and the enclosure temperature will never reach auto-ignition point of the explosive atmosphere.

To achieve this level of protection, there are many design rules to follow, and the products being used should be carefully selected. That is why an Ex e box is a solution and not just an empty box. Lastly, you should know that an Ex e U is an approved enclosure that can be used to create an Ex e solution. This is a certified empty enclosure, but once you place a terminal, gland, or any other device inside, the certification is void and a recertification needs to be done by an approved agency.

Some examples of Ex e solutions are terminal junction boxes, fieldbus junction boxes, control stations, and any other application where we can guarantee that the live parts won’t get wet and that arcs or sparks won’t be generated. The terminal junction box (shown in Figure 1 – Ex e Terminal Junction Box) is an example of a solution built at the SEC.

The terminal junction box is a stainless steel enclosure with 40 gray terminals, a cable entry plate from Roxtec, and two stainless steel cable glands. It is ATEX Zone 1 approved and IP66/67/68. The customer requested this solution for an Oil & Gas application, specifically a rig floor.

Terminal junction box
Figure 1 – Ex e Terminal Junction Box

Another example of a SEC solution is our customized Remote I/O system (RIO) (Shown in Figure 2 – Zone 2 RIO). This particular solution is in a glass fiber-reinforced enclosure to limit the weight. It is Zone 2 ATEX approved and IP66. This particular enclosure has one communication bus, one power supply, and four intrinsically safe modules. All the black plastic glands are for power and communication requirements to the box. The blue cable glands are for intrinsically safe connection to the field devices. The application for this solution is to collect field information in a hazardous environment and send it back to the controller via Modbus RTU. The amount of wiring decreases when the RIO is located near the field devices.

Remote I/O enclosureFigure 2 – Zone 2 RIO

The above terminal junction box and RIO solutions are just two examples out of thousands of customized solutions that Pepperl+Fuchs has built out of our SEC locations around the globe. No matter where you are in the world or what type of hazardous location application you have, Pepperl+Fuchs can provide a fully customized, fully certified solution.

Interested in knowing more?

Download our brochure: The New Product Portfolio of Terminal Junction Boxes (PDF, 265 KB)

Visit our website for Explosion Protection Equipment:

Topics: Approvals/ Certifications, Hazardous Area Enclosures/ Equipment

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