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UL officially opens expanded hazardous locations lab to accelerate manufacturing and supply chain safety

12 June 2019

UL has officially opened its newly expanded hazardous locations (HazLoc) testing and certification laboratory. Located at UL’s global headquarters in Northbrook, Ill., the state-of-the-art, fully-automated HazLoc laboratory offers a streamlined process for equipment testing and certification.

This enables manufacturers with equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres in a wide variety of industries a quicker turnaround time and thereby faster speed-to-market. These industries include oil and gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, mining, energy, and transportation. In addition, UL provides hazardous locations advisory services, audits, validation, technical education and training, and addresses safety science research.

Classified by the likelihood of an ignitable concentration of combustible material being present in the manufacturing process, hazardous locations have a higher risk of explosion or fire hazards due to the presence of flammable gases, flammable or combustible liquid-produced vapours, combustible dusts, and ignitable fibres or flyings. To address these increased risks, UL works with manufacturers to test and certify equipment used in hazardous locations to advance safe working and production conditions.

“The opening of our expanded hazardous locations laboratory continues UL’s more than 104-year HazLoc legacy to advance and meet ever-evolving product safety, performance and interoperability needs,” said Milan Dotlich, Europe and Americas vice president of energy and power technologies at UL. “It’s imperative for manufacturers to have access to the latest testing and certification technologies in order to design and produce safe, reliable, energy efficient and innovative products for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.  Our expanded facility does just that and equips us to better support manufacturers’ needs, facilitate a safe production process and, ultimately, a faster time to market.”

Originally opened in 1974, this hazardous locations laboratory was one of the first and largest of its kind in North America and soon became a significant resource for hazardous locations testing and certification. The expanded facility now includes:

- An explosions area with automated test vessels that can handle samples up to 80 cubic feet

- Vertical test stations with automated electrical testing and featuring a load bank that can simulate loads up to 4500W

- Spark test station with automated spark ignition and intrinsic safety testing that includes gas pressure, spark-on-time and gas flow rates to assist with research and circuit design

- Ingress protection (IP) dust testing with three test points that can run simultaneously in a test chamber that can accommodate larger samples up to five cubic meters

- Nine chambers total; three walk-in climatic chambers that perform thermal endurance testing to heat and cold conditioning with two of the chambers equipped with full-length doors to accommodate larger equipment

UL has also increased its laboratory staff with additional highly-trained technicians versed in all protection methods to help accelerate projects through the testing and certification process.

The newly expanded Northbrook HazLoc laboratory will further fuel UL’s global footprint to advance innovation. Using its global network of hazardous locations technical experts and state-of-the-art facilities, along with longstanding relationships with regulatory authorities, partner laboratories and industry technical leaders, UL has the ability to help manufacturers achieve compliance credentials for global markets with eight U.S.-based signatories to accelerate the final steps in the certification process.  Further simplifying the process, UL offers a single, local contact for global hazardous locations certification needs. 

“Navigating the complex landscape of global hazardous locations certifications is a challenge. UL is actively engaged in the global standards writing process and participates in more than 50 hazardous locations technical committees,” said Dotlich.  “We truly have our finger on the pulse of the global HazLoc industry and want to share our expertise with manufacturers worldwide.”

For more information or to schedule a tour of the new facility, please contact UL at +1.877.ULHELPS or +1.847.272.8800  email: HazLoc@ul.com or website: UL.com/HazLoc


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