|1. Technical Innovation- An original new product being used within the hazardous area
|Newson Gale Truck mounted static earth verification system
|The Earth-Rite MGV (Mobile Ground Verification) system is a unique, UK patented technology (US patent applied for) and designed to provide automatic confirmation of a positive electrostatic ground connection for vehicles collecting and transferring combustible products.
Vacuum trucks, including their hoses and hose connections, are susceptible to static charge accumulation during the transfer of combustible material into, or out of, the truck’s containment system. This accumulation of static charge is equivalent to a hidden source of ignition and if discharged as a static spark can lead to the ignition of the product or the atmosphere in which the truck and material handling team is operating.
To eliminate the risk of incendive static spark discharges the API standard 2219: Safe Operation of Vacuum Trucks in Petroleum Service recommends that vacuum truck operators transferring flammable and combustible product in hazardous locations must fully earth the truck prior to any other task in the transfer operation by connecting the truck to a “proven ground source”. The Earth-Rite MGV is designed to enable operators establish safe earthing of their vehicle in accordance with this standard.
Designed to be used by the drivers, the MGV system can be connected to metal objects entering the ground.
If the MGV system confirms that the truck has a verified static earth the green LED indicators will pulse continuously. When the MGV has verified the truck is connected to earth, it will monitor the connection between the verified earthing point and the truck for the duration of the transfer process, ensuring this resistance does not exceed 10 ohms.
The vacuum truck service provider has the option of interlocking a pair of volt free contacts with the vacuuming system so that if the MGV detects a loose or broken connection when a transfer is underway it immediately shuts down material transfer, which in turn, stops the generation and accumulation of static charges on the truck and the overall transfer system.
Ecom Instruments and Pepperl & Fuchs
|2. Contribution Towards Safety- A product or system which has made a significant contribution to safety in the past year
| Schischek actuators used in safety critical applications
|For over 30 years now Schischek has supplied electric explosion proof products to a wide range of industrial sectors including Oil & Gas (Onshore and Offshore), Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Water Treatment and Shipbuilding.
Schischek products are already approved for operation in hazardous areas in accordance with ATEX 94/9/EG, SIL, IEC-Ex, IP66, GOST-Ex, RTN, CSA and UL.
ExMax range of explosion proof, spring return quarter turn rotary electric actuators suitable for operation in ATEX zones 1, 2, 21, 22 (gases, mists, vapours and dust).
Actuators come with IP66 as standard, a self-adaptable power supply meaning that they will operate from 24 V through to 240 VAC/DC supply and with integral heaters. Torque’s start from 5 Nm up to 60 Nm with spring return with a range of adjustable running times.
Control modes include On-Off, 3-Position and modulating 0-10 V, 4-20 mA control and 0-10 V, 4-20 mA feedback. Integral end position limit switches are also available.
Included in the range of accessories is an Amercoat anti-corrosion paint finish option (a stainless steel option is available in the S size actuator), manual overrides, configurable auxiliary switches, Ex-e terminal boxes and adaptations for varying shaft requirements.
CorDEX & Werma
|3. Best User Application– An application story highlighting the benefits of a product being used in a hazardous area
|CorDEX Instruments Weatherford captures the ‘big picture’ in offshore operations
|International oilfield services company Weatherford have been using the CorDEX ToughPIX 2303XP Series since April 2011 to capture images in challenging environments – without the need for a hot permit.
As one of the world’s largest oilfield services companies, Weatherford is only too aware that oilfield operations present unique challenges as the hazardous and remote conditions make it difficult to carry out daily operational tasks.
Weatherford operates in more than 100 locations worldwide, with a product and service portfolio that spans the life cycle of a well – from drilling, evaluation, completions to well intervention. Photography and documenting images for surveys and reports is part and parcel of every day activities offshore.
The ToughPIX 2303XP was well received by Weatherford staff as the next-generation device is ATEX and American CSA certified to take images within Zone 1 IIC T4 and Class 1 Division I B, C, D hazardous areas.
This latest version of the ToughPIX 2303XP camera is more streamlined than its predecessor and includes still and moving images in AVI format of up to 10 mega pixels. Encased in aluminium with an ultra-bright display protected by armoured glass, the revolutionary camera is custom designed for the harshest environments.
Mechanised Systems Engineer Michael Wilson, who is based in Aberdeen and the North Sea regularly uses the ToughPIX 2303XP to capture images to help him carry out his job of ensuring oilfield equipment and work systems are running efficiently and safely.
Michael’s work entails carrying out pre-installation surveys which require high quality photographic coverage to show in-situ working environments and how operations are functioning. He deals with pressure vessels, pumps, control systems, boilers, heat exchangers, piping and all things mechanical required to get his job done to ensure the integrity of company assets.
Michael said: “The ToughPIX has been invaluable over the last few months. It has cut out the requirement for hot permits and reduced time-consuming paper work. Offshore you will simply not be given a permit to use a camera outside of the accommodation module unless it is for a specific work related activity.
“When using a camera you have to do a risk assessment to identify the hazards and severity by using it. With traditional digital cameras the battery is a source of ignition in a zone 1 or 2 area and the flash can set off the UV flame detectors which could lead to fire & gas system activation so a gas monitor must be carried at all times and the flash taped over. The ToughPIX 2303XP is ATEX certified which cuts out all of this and makes my job so much easier.”
Michael’s job as is like putting together a puzzle, making sure that all offshore and onshore operational systems are working together to perform a desired function. As a systems engineer he is concerned with the ‘big picture’ of a project, and in addition to technical aspects he must consider details like manufacturing, scheduling, testing, installation associated with engineering and scheduled maintenance projects.
Michael uses ToughPIX 2303XP to provide visual documentation to support his work. He explained: “It is necessary to back up surveys and reports with photographic evidence to show machinery working in complex systems and running smoothly. The camera has proved very reliable and has helped in allowing critical decisions to be made, when systems are not working or problems occur. With its onboard 8GB memory, it has allowed me to store hundreds of images which can be easy downloaded to any PC.”
“The LCD screen lets you view pictures in the field and the inbuilt safety flash is ideal when photographing in low-lighted areas. It is simple to use with large easy to press buttons and robust and sturdy enough to survive a few bumps and knocks.”
CAMS allows users to exclusively organise and manage information and images taken in the field with the ToughPIX 2300XP Series. It can generate reports and quickly manipulate images downloaded onto the system. Users can simply download images, edit then instantly annotate to produce reports.
Hima-Sella & Severn Unival
|4. Environmental Contribution to Industry–A company which has used energy efficient processes or products within potentially explosive atmospheres
|Crown Oil Surplus oil removal service
|In a carefully synchronised operation, Crown Oil has removed 6.4 million litres of surplus gas oil at Derwent Power Station in Derby releasing a substantial sum for the generator in the process. The programme began on site in June, concluded in October and required 200 tanker movements.
The gas oil was surplus to the power station requirements. “Following gas tariff changes, there are many power stations and industrial operations throughout the country facing similar problems with bulk back-up fuel that is no longer needed. This fuel will only deteriorate with time and would become a potential environmental threat. Fortunately, we can recover this material to release working capital for our client’s business,” explained Crown Oil’s general manager, Mark Andrews.
As a major fuel oil distributor, with its own environmental services operation, Crown Oil is one of a small number of companies in the UK with the technical, commercial and distribution resources to undertake this work. Care is taken to analyse and assess fuel recovered from industrial sources, re-blending and re-grading if necessary before it is sold on to the market.
Crown Oil won the Derwent contract in a competitive tender. They were able to offer a better return to the client and demonstrate a capability to do the work without environmental impact. Experience was also a factor, since the company successfully completed a similar project to recover 25 million litres of fuel at Medway Power Station in Kent last year.
Fuel removal has now been completed and Crown Oil is preparing for the final environmental work. This will involve the removal and safe disposal of final fuel residues, draining of pipework, cleaning of tanks and degassing so that they are safe and ready to be re-used at any time in the future should the need arise.
Crown Oil can offer this recovery service to any power station or industrial site anywhere in the UK. As an oil distributor, with in-depth technical resources and market knowledge the company is uniquely placed to offer an integrated and competitive service.
Cooper Crouse-Hinds & Ex-Mo from Cable Systems
|5. Lifetime Contribution to the Industry- This award category celebrates an individuals contribution to improving health and safety in hazardous areas
| 5. Lifetime Contribution to safety in the hazardous areas industry
|The 2012 winner is Chris Agius IECEx Executive Secretary
This is a special category awarded by HazardEx and it's readers, that has previously been awarded to Chris Towle of MTL & last year to Ron Sinclair MBE of Baseefa - intended to recognise an individual for their personal contribution to the industry.
By a large margin of nominations, Chris was the unanimous choice to receive the award this year. Thanks to his enthusiasm and drive the IECEx system has become the global standard in conformity assessment. Additionally, this year as a result of his continuous effort, the ‘UN’ via UNECE has published a regulatory framework that allows countries to gradually align differing national regulations on explosive environments with internationally harmonised best practice.
Until now, the lack of harmonised legislation for equipment for use in hazardous areas has meant that countries that don’t represent a sufficient market opportunity are de-facto denied access to state-of- the- art Ex equipment. Because differing legislation often doesn’t allow countries to accept the testing and certification done in another country, manufacturers generally had to have devices re-tested and re-certified whenever they wanted to enter a new market.
Ultimately this results in a sub-optimal level of safety both for local industry and the populations that live around the sites that harbour potential explosion risks.
Countries that lack Ex regulation may now use this IECEx framework as a blueprint for their legislation. This allows significant improvement in accessibility to high-level Ex equipment.