Industrial plants have specific areas known as classified areas to install automation components. These areas are divided into zones and classes like Class 1 div 1 and Class 1 div 2 enclosures.
To ensure safety, the components are installed as per some defined parameters. There are some rules and regulations, as well as design standards that have to be followed to ascertain a safe and secure working environment.
The classified areas are protected using three methods:
- Intrinsic safety
Thoughtful design is put up involving expensive components. The devices are installed properly and timely maintenance has to be done to ensure that these protection systems keep working efficiently.
Explosion-proof approaches are counted amongst the oldest methods of protection. These enclosures protect the automation components present in the hazardous areas in two ways- by offering proper seal and by providing robust structural integrity.
These enclosures don’t allow harmful gas and dust to enter inside the system and hamper automation components. Plus, these enclosures are structurally so strong that they literally contain an explosion keeping the entire classified area safe. They are used in division 1 areas.
Purging is another method that is used to install automation components in classified areas wherein inert gases or compressed air is completely removed from the enclosures. The method keeps dust and hazardous gases from entering the enclosure. It is used in Class 1 div 1, as well as Class 1 div 2 enclosures.
Intrinsic Safe (IS)
This system can be installed in Division 1, as well as Division 2 hazardous areas. Its components, as well as wiring systems, don’t emit adequate energy to ignite dust or gas present in the area.
The design of this system is quite complex as compared to the other systems and is also quite expensive.
As installation and maintenance of all the above-listed methods are expensive, the engineers and industry owners look for components that can be installed and used in Class 1 div 1, as well as class 1 div 2 enclosures. The suppliers have introduced the same to ensure safety and security in hazardous areas.