The safety of a plant is a top priority for operators and manufacturers of chemical plants. For companies, it is important to have an expert on hand for support and advice regarding projects in the field of explosion protection. Choosing the right electrical explosion protection method is as individual as the customer’s requirements, and the plants themselves. Pepperl+Fuchs offers its customers unique solutions that are individually adapted to the project and the application of each individual customer. The company advises its customers during the design phase with in-house engineers planning and developing the ideal product and recommends the ideal type of protection for the respective requirements. Customers can choose from solutions with the following types of protection: purge and pressurisation (Ex p), flameproof enclosure (Ex d), increased safety (Ex e), intrinsic safety (Ex i), and combinations of these types of protection. In conjunction with global and customer-specific approvals, the customer is provided with products and services that allow them to concentrate on the core area of business in their field.
Automation of the process industry
On the whole, explosion protection is becoming more complex because plants are increasingly networked and automated. The problems faced today are different than those faced ten years ago. This increases the need for solutions that use industrial sensors in hazardous areas. As an expert in the field of sensors and explosion protection, Pepperl+Fuchs is particularly focused on bringing its own sensor technology to Ex Zones 1 and 21 for its customers.
A recent project undertaken with a manufacturer of fall protection systems for filling tankers with liquids uses the R2000 photoelectric sensor to monitor whether the fall protection system is optimally positioned. This process is to be implemented in hazardous areas as well now. The objective was to help customers in the chemical industry to protect people, plants, and the environment from hazardous chemical substances during the filling process. Pepperl+Fuchs engineers facilitated and developed an individual solution for the customer. The R2000 was installed in an internally developed flameproof aluminium enclosure with a viewing window without the signal quality of the R2000 being compromised. The solution was specifically tested, calibrated, and approved for Zone 1, 21, and Zones 2 and 22 for this application.
Customer-specific certifications for individual solutions
Pepperl+Fuchs offers special services with approvals in accordance with the ‘system certificate’ for solutions with protection type Ex p. Within the scope of this certificate, the company is qualified to certify solutions with protection type Ex p in accordance with ATEX and IECEx as a notified body. The major advantage of this is the flexibility to take into account the certification requirements in the design and planning stages. This results in cost-effective and above all quick approvals for customer-specific purge solutions. The highly qualified engineers at Pepperl+Fuchs oversee every stage of the project in close collaboration with the customer. From the design phase to joint acceptance, change and adjustment requests are discussed directly and incorporated into the specification. There is no need to involve an external certification authority. This means that the certification process is not unnecessarily prolonged. The system certificate, which documents all variables in detail and in full, makes it easier to coordinate with the customer and ensures an efficient approval process.
Approvals for purpose-related use are not unusual today, for instance in paint shops, where companies frequently require individual evidence of silicone-free materials or other paint-wetting-impairment substances (LABS). Pepperl+Fuchs offers a certificate for its products to prove LABS conformity, which is listed in the VDMA 24364 standard sheet which defines the hazard classification, including a categorisation and assessment of the products to be tested according to their specific location of use. This makes individual tests obsolete for customers and manufacturers. With the certificate, paint shop employees can use the precisely defined test methods to determine whether the product is suitable for the intended purpose. The Pepperl+Fuchs portfolio includes LABS-compliant terminal boxes, controllers, and control units for LABS Zone 1 in accordance with test classes A1 and B2.
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