Dust explosion disasters like the one at the Imperial Sugar Company refinery in Georgia, USA, resulted in several congressional hearings in the USA that cited the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for not enforcing worker protection regulations. As a result, OSHA has since identified at least 30,000 plants in the USA as having potential problems from dust hazards. It is also estimated that around 2,200 dust explosions happen throughout Europe each year. As the industry continues to become aware of this potentially devastating problem, they will need solutions that protect their workers, plants, and the surrounding environments. Read in our blog article, where combustible dust atmospheres may occur and how these could be prevented.
Unlike containment or prevention, purge and pressurization separates general-purpose equipment from the surrounding potentially explosive atmosphere using a standard, lightweight enclosure. The enclosure is then purged with industrial-grade air or inert gas to eliminate all hazardous gas inside. Then, the flow is decreased to maintain a pressure higher than that of the dangerous external atmosphere. This prevents the flammable mixture from coming in contact with the components inside the enclosure.
Pepperl+Fuchs offers an array of purge systems. The 2000 series is a legacy system that is now obsolete, and its recommended replacement is the 6000 series—the latest Type X purge system from Pepperl+Fuchs.
Industrial monitors and operator workstations are installed in process plants and hazardous areas to safely monitor processes. To support and simplify input, a selection of keyboards is available. The EXTA2 industrial keyboards from Pepperl+Fuchs are specially designed for use in hazardous areas. They are ATEX and IECEx certified for Zone 1/21 and have UL Class I/II, Division 2 approval for use in the USA and Canada.
The safety integrity level, or SIL for short, is an indicator that makes risk reduction quantifiable. Plant and machinery can pose risks that are so dangerous that people and the environment should not be exposed to them under any circumstances. If such a hazard exists, the associated risks must be mitigated to meet the need for safety.
SIL is a core element of functional safety and simultaneously the object of many misconceptions. Pepperl+Fuchs clarifies three of the most common misunderstandings.
There are many types of protection available for your electrical control panel. Increased Safety (Ex e) and flameproof (Ex d) are two common protection types for electrical control panel enclosures installed in hazardous locations. Choosing the correct type of enclosure can be difficult and depends on many factors, including: