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Intrinsically safe Ethernet gives access to hazardous areas

31 July 2008

MTL Instruments, a part of Cooper Crouse-Hinds, has released an intrinsically safe (IS) Ethernet product with its own power supply, which incorporates patented Fast Switch technology. The 9400 IS Ethernet range of hardware devices can deliver Intrinsically Safe (IS) Ethernet into Zone 1 and Zone 0 hazardous areas.

The deployment of Ethernet into Process Automation has long been hindered by the hazardous area classification in which the end device is often installed. Consequently the majority of Industrial Ethernet installations have been in the Factory Automation environment. Additionally, in Process Automation it is preferred to use a single cable providing power and communications to the end device. The 9400 Series delivers Intrinsically Safe power over Ethernet allowing live connection and disconnection of the end device in Zone 0 and Zone 1 hazardous areas typically reducing the cost of installing the LAN in hazardous areas by 40%.

The series comprises a wireless LAN access point, managed Ethernet switch, copper to fibre media converter and serial gateway that are certified to be mounted in a Zone 1 hazardous area with connectivity into Zone 0. Additionally, zone 2 mounting IS Ethernet isolator and associated IS power supply complete the product range. The 9491-IS power supply uses MTL’s patented Fast-Switch technology to allow live power connection/disconnection without the need for a gas clearance certificate.

The IS Wireless LAN product is a multifunctional module that can be used as an 802.11a/b/g/h access point, wireless bridge or wireless repeater. This provides hazardous area infrastructure for the mobile operator using intrinsically safe PDA’s anywhere on the process plant.

The technology has been proven in use in many mining applications, and with the new ATEX and IECEx certification the 9400 series delivers the same benefits for all process industries.

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