IS & Ex


Ex solutions for chemical processes

July 2022 IS & Ex

Safety 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 10 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 world-renowned 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 now set to be implemented in hazardous areas as well.

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 Zones 1 and 21, and Zones 2 and 22 for this application.

Application-related and customer-specific certifications

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 as early as 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. Since there is no need to involve an external certification authority, 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. The certificate allows Pepperl+Fuchs to manufacture and approve purge cabinets with a volume of up to 15 m3 for Zone 2 and up to 12,5 m3 for Zone 1.

Approvals for purpose-related use are not unusual today. In paint shops, 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 that 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 unnecessary 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 its 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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