Faced with operating a forklift truck or other mobile equipment within a potentially explosive environment, how should a company select which explosion proof solution is right for their needs?
“Assuming you have correctly established that you have a ‘Zone 2’ area, where an explosive atmosphere is possible but not likely during normal operation, you must assess which type of explosion protection technology is right for your specific environment,” says Darren Boiling, Group After Sales Manager at Pyroban.
“Forklifts, cranes, access platforms and sweepers are regularly needed in Zone 2 warehouses and productions areas all over the world. These can be either diesel or electric.”
Pyroban’s most popular solution for mobile equipment in Zone 2 environments is system6000, incorporating gas detection that continuously monitors the direct environment around protected equipment and automatically shuts it down where necessary, eliminating the risk of an explosion. This unique system is available with either a pellistor or infrared based gas detection system.
Why Choose a Pellistor Based System?
Those with a working area or warehouse at risk due to handling a wide range of different potentially flammable products such as companies handling chemicals or those in the paints/coatings industry, should usually select a pellistor based detection system. This is because the system6000 pellistor option detects 95 per cent of hydrocarbons so is a more versatile choice for these environments. Although, pellistor based systems may not be suitable if silicones are present in the environment.
Why Choose a System with an Infrared Sensor?
Operations with single or far fewer hazard types tend to find infrared technology is most suitable. Many distilleries, cosmetics producers and warehouses handling aerosols are already successfully using system6000 with the infrared option. LPG cylinder filling operations or LPG distribution centres would also be better suited to an infrared detection system.
What if Your Needs Change?
If you have interchangeable needs and may switch between handling different types of materials, system6000 allows users to select and interchange the technology that is best suited to their application. This means your gas detection system can be altered by a trained engineer but there is no need to change the whole of your Zone 2 protection system.
Pyroban’s system6000 combines gas detection with various explosion protection methods such as restricted breathing enclosures, stainless steel cladding of forks and surface temperature cooling to ensure the engine, motors, brakes, electrics and other components remain below the auto-ignition temperatures of flammable materials.
To ensure that the operator is instantly informed when gas is detected, the control module for the system is located within easy reach and view of the operator. The system also helpfully offers an auto-calibration function which removes the need for periodic and costly site visits by engineers having to recalibrate the gas detection. It also removes the risk that the gas detection system could be operating out of calibration for significant periods of time.
system6000 can be used with diesel or electric materials handling equipment, including turbo charged engines and complex control systems, and enables businesses to work with their usual forklift supplier with very minimal impact to the operating performance. It has also been specifically developed to work with other mobile equipment, such as cranes, access platforms and scrubber driers.
“If the wrong gas detection technology is used, it impacts the effectiveness of the complete safety system. A truck user can be rendered ‘blind’ to the presence of a flammable atmosphere, jeopardising the safety of the site and putting themselves and their colleagues at risk – that is why it is so important to seek expert advice when specifying gas detection and safety equipment,” concludes Darren Boiling.