“Businesses handling flammable material are at risk of an explosion” states Malcolm Davis of explosion protection specialist Pyroban. “However, it is possible for staff to operate safely by sticking to the right plan and choosing the right partner.”
Typical hazardous area applications include production and storage operations where flammable gases, liquids and powders are handled. Such areas are common in a wide range of sectors such as food, drinks, cosmetics, logistics, chemical, oil, gas, paints, inks, pharmaceutical, waste and military.
“Compliance with the DSEAR* regulations is law, and for good reason. Science tells us that if an unplanned release of gas or vapour and an ignition source from a forklift truck or vehicle combine there is likely to be an explosion or fire” says Malcolm. “At the very minimum, businesses must risk assess their operations, classify areas where necessary, select appropriate Ex certified equipment, provide staff training and ensure equipment remains Ex compliant throughout its lifetime. The aim is simple. Keep people safe and prevent an explosion that could destroy a site.”
Pyroban is a group of companies that specialises in hazardous area safety management and engineering. The company is trusted as an explosion proof partner by some of the largest global brands to provide a complete safety management solution to help keep their staff and stakeholders safe.
To help businesses comply with DSEAR, Ex-Solutions Consulting, a Pyroban business area, provides a range of hazardous area consulting and training services. The team of experienced hazardous area consultants assists in assessing and managing fire and explosion risk in any industry.
Services range from hazardous area risk assessments, area classification, explosion proof equipment verification, training of personnel working in hazardous areas and annual safety audits. These are some of the first steps to help a business understand its risk and set a plan to manage it effectively. They will help define whether an area is formally classified as Zone 1, 2, 21 or 22, from which point equipment can be specified and operated.
Explosion proof equipment conversions
Pyroban is well known for converting any brand of forklift truck or mobile equipment so that it is safe for use when operating in a potentially explosive atmosphere. This means that forklift truck users can work with their usual materials handling supplier and receive all of the performance benefits of the latest truck models with full ATEX 94/9/EC** compliance. Within the UK and Ireland truck conversions typically take place at the company’s factory in Shoreham-by-Sea.
Malcolm Davis believes there are many reasons why Pyroban is the safe choice for forklift truck suppliers and users. “We ensure that the converted forklift is fully approved by the original manufacturer, is ATEX certified with one CE mark and delivered with full operation and maintenance manuals. Trucks modified without the truck manufacturer’s permission may not be compliant with the appropriate standards and legislation and therefore could present a serious business risk.”
Zone 2 is the most common hazardous area, typically being where flammable material is stored in sealed containers ready for supply to production sites or as finished goods ready for distribution. Pyroban’s most popular Zone 2 solution for equipment such as diesel and electric forklifts, access platforms, cleaning equipment is system6000.
Launched this year, system6000 combines gas detection with explosion protection methods such as restricted breathing enclosures and surface temperature limitation. Uniquely, the system incorporates a choice of gas detection technology (infrared or pellistor) to continuously monitor the environment around the protected equipment and to automatically shut down the equipment before a flammable atmosphere is present.
“It is critical that the correct gas detection technology is applied to the right application to prevent the system being blind to the presence of a flammable gas. With an option for either infrared or pellistor gas sensors Pyroban offers a unique solution that can protect for almost any hazard” he says. “Our system also self calibrates and checks the detection integrity every time it starts so you know it is safe and reliable.”
The system complements the latest technologies in engine and electric forklift design including energy performance and ergonomics, and is suitable for almost any forklift or plant equipment.
For Zone 1 applications Pyroban has also minimised the effects of conversion on performance, ergonomics, reliability and lifetime maintenance costs. Equipment for Zone 1 requires significant re-engineering as it is expected to operate and provide safety through the presence of an explosive atmosphere.
Explosion proof Ex’d’ enclosures, Ex’e’ motors, Ex’i’ intrinsically safe circuitry, Ex’m’ encapsulation and surface temperature limitation are some of the principles used by Pyroban for equipment used in Zone 1. Similar solutions are available for Zone 21 and 22 where powder and dust is the hazard.
For areas not formally classified but where there remains a small risk Pyroban Gascheka systems may offer the solution. Gascheka has been widely adopted on vehicles used in refineries and by third party logistic companies storing finished goods such as aerosols and finished paints. The systems are cost effective, simple to operate and often installed locally within a day.
Reliability and lifetime safety
To ensure continued and correct maintenance of Pyroban equipment in the field, Pyroban provides service engineer training for customers, a full parts and technical support service, EX-ASA annual audit programme and specialist field service engineers as backup support and continued safety for equipment users.
Long heritage, stronger future
In September, the Pyroban Group was acquired by Caterpillar Inc., ensuring more effective networking within a global market. The company’s commitment to working with a wide range of equipment manufacturers and suppliers will remain unchanged.
Ian Ratcliff, Managing Director of the Pyroban Group confirms “We will continue to work with all our customers and their brands with the same trust, integrity, confidentiality and impartiality that we have always had.”
Following a forty year heritage Pyroban now plans for significant growth as it increases its global footprint in Asia and Europe and continues its mission of “protecting people, their investment and our environment”.
* DSEAR and ** ATEX 94/9/EC – Visit www.pyroban.com for more details
Pyroban Group Ltd
Tel: +44(0)1273 466200