Ensuring product quality within manufacturing is crucial to business success. Quality is the bedrock of any company, whether considering people, products, processes – quality sits at the heart of excellence. This article discusses two indispensable tools which operate in tandem to not just guarantee quality but also efficiency: PFMEA – Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis – and DFMA – Design for Manufacture and Assembly. The terms may sound technical, but their value within manufacturing is integral for a successful business. In essence, there are ample lean tools to assist any manufacturing businesses to succeed. From 5S to Six Sigma, there is a broad toolkit for companies to choose from to enhance their operations. Focusing on quality between production and design, PFMEA and DFMA form excellent foundations to start with. PFMEA guards against process pitfalls, while […]

Solar insolation is not insulation! Sometimes these two terms can get confused.  Solar insolation is the incident solar radiation onto an object.  Specifically, it is a measure of the solar energy incident on an area over a period of time.  Typically expressed as either:  Kilowatt-hours per square metre (kWh/m2); or  Watts per square metre (W/m2)  The energy from solar radiation can either be absorbed or reflected by an object. When the radiation is absorbed, it is converted into thermal energy and the object will heat up. If you have ever sat on a hot metal park bench in summer and burnt the back of your knees, then you have experienced firsthand the effects of radiation absorption. The metal structure of the bench has absorbed the solar radiation, which has heated the material making it hot […]

Background John Crane, a global leader in rotating equipment solutions, supplying engineered technologies and services to process industries, have launched the John Crane Sense® Turbo, a first-tomarket dry gas seal digital diagnostics solution to monitor conditions at the heart of the compressor. The Turbo solution consists of sensors embedded into a dry gas seal that monitor process conditions and seal health. By using John Crane Sense® apps, users can monitor the seal from anywhere and receive alerts about process upsets or other operational irregularities. This allows you to respond immediately before manageable issues become more significant failures that require downtime. It also ensures you’re getting the most out of your equipment. Traditional forms of seal monitoring provide some information, but they don’t give a complete picture or sufficient indication of a seal’s health. Understanding health […]

There are many misconceptions when it comes to hazardous area wireless installations. As experts in this field, we notice the same questions recurring time-and-again. Notably: As an end user, can I buy and install non-certified wireless equipment inside a pre-certified hazardous area enclosure myself? This Q&A is based on a discussion we had on our recent podcast, which focused on this misunderstanding and what you can and cannot do under global Ex directives and health and safety legislation. What is a pre-certified wireless enclosure? Before resolving the misconception, it makes sense to set the groundwork of what a pre-certified wireless enclosure is. There is a lot of wireless technology out there, and customers want the latest generation. They also want to deploy this technology in potentially explosive atmospheres. However, there is a lag between the […]

Digitalisation of the process industries is gathering pace. The deployment of wireless technology is both a key driver and enabler of this rapid rate of change. Radiofrequency identification (RFID) systems operating at ultra-high frequencies (UHF) are one such solution finding increased uptake in the sector. More specifically, users are increasingly looking to deploy Gen 2 UHF RFID readers and tags for location tracking and asset identification across plants. However, RFID technology comes with its own challenges.  Using wireless electrical equipment near dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres naturally must be done within a regulatory framework. Standard UHF RFID systems are unlikely to be compliant with the hazardous area certification requirements. Yet a suitable solution is to use pre-certified hazardous area wireless enclosure systems. Provided the wireless device fits into the enclosure and meets some basic limitations […]

Products intended for use in hazardous areas need to consider design and material choice, usually involving more arduous testing and approvals than standard industrial products. Furthermore, the products need to be approved by a Notified Body. In this article we provide insights into developing a hazardous area product and how working with a Notified Body can help streamline the process. Selling Hazardous Area Products Around the World If you are planning to have your product available for sale across the world, in general, you will need ATEX, IECEx and North American approvals. Other countries may not fully accept these approvals, but they often form the basis of all certifications and having them often goes a long way towards obtaining approval globally. Selecting a Notified Body that can either perform these approvals in-house or have close […]

The world of Ex manufacturing is as important to global industry as it is satisfying to the manufacturer. The products produced are critical to the safety of personnel who work in hazardous environments. Extronics has been engineering and manufacturing Ex products for hazardous areas since 1992 and is proud to support the process industries increase their use of Smart technology, remain Safe and stay Connected. The manufacturing process for these items begins much earlier than the shopfloor. From the design and certification stage, where the concept  is analysed for suitability and compliance, to first articles and supply chain integrity to ensure maximum quality of parts. The adage of ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link’ is something that is at the forefront of this process. Working within a solid process of New Product Introduction […]

Customers often ask us if they can install a standard wireless device inside a hazardous area enclosure themselves. It is a reasonable query. The short answer is no, you can’t. But the short answer does not tell the full story. There are some fundamental reasons for this, and these reasons are effectively the same for all hazardous area certification schemes around the world, including ATEX, IECEx, and North American standards under the jurisdiction of OSHA. We have written this article to explain some of these fundamental reasons in more depth.  Device Certification  Getting a device certified is called the type approval process, and it is just one part of the requirement. Depending on the requirement the following are applied; Annex III of the 2014/34/EU ATEX, IECEx has the requirement to follow several IECEx Operational Documents […]

There are a few important steps to go through when determining the suitability of an Ex certified wireless enclosure system for the chosen wireless device. It is important to ensure it is still compliant to the Ex certification, does not invalidate other product certification such as product safety and make sure that the wireless device performs as the original manufacturer intended, especially from the RF signal perspective. The key points you must go through when installing an Ex wireless solution into a hazardous area are summarised in this article. 1 – Does the wireless device meet the parameters set out by the Ex certification requirements? Operating voltage Regulatory compliance, such as product safety e.g. EN62368 Maximum power dissipation allowed in the enclosure Cross sectional area and volume stipulations for Ex d explosion proof certified enclosures. […]

There are many factors to consider when installing wireless devices into a hazardous area. One area that should not be overlooked is the impact of the environment in which your chosen device is going to be deployed in. In this article we consider key factors that can affect the success of a hazardous area wireless installation.  1 – Materials of Construction Often hazardous areas are also subject to extreme weather conditions or corrosive substances. It is therefore extremely important that the materials of construction used in any Ex enclosure be carefully considered to ensure the product can withstand the extreme condition long term. For instance, when installing an Ex wireless enclosure into a marine environment the material of the enclosure becomes paramount for a successful installation. When we think about marine environments in the process […]

If you want to deploy wireless devices into hazardous areas, you have two options: Option one: Buy a wireless device that has been fully certified by the manufacturer to relevant Ex standards Option two: Buy a pre-certified Ex wireless enclosure solution to house your preferred hardware The likelihood is that your chosen wireless device does not hold the required hazardous area certification. This is typically because it is a specialised market and new technology is not often made available as a hazardous area version when it is first introduced to the market. Furthermore, technology companies rarely develop a hazardous area version of their devices because the market size is too small for their business model. The most likely option for end users is to use an Ex certified enclosure system. Without this solution you will […]

Often when we talk about wireless technology in the process industries, it is said in the context of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or industry 4.0. As the digital transformation of process industries has evolved, the number of wireless devices being added has increased and forced companies to rethink their wireless network strategy. There are several wireless technologies used for a whole variety of use cases associated with hazardous and harsh industrial environments typically seen throughout the process industries. The fact is, deploying wireless in an industrial setting is not nearly as simple as deploying it in an office or factory environment. Heavy industrial environments pose unique challenges and conditions, including dense metallic infrastructure and hazardous environments such as potentially explosive atmospheres Source: Market Research Report, 2020 – Markets and Markets This article looks […]