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Hazardous area equipment protects workers from dust

26 August 2008

A range of hazardous area equipment, including fluorescent emergency lighting units, stop-start pushbuttons, connectors and terminal boxes manufactured by Cooper Crouse-Hinds, is being used on dust containment booths destined for the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and biotech markets.

Hazardous area equipment protects workers from dust
Hazardous area equipment protects workers from dust

Based in Huddersfield, Extract Technology designs and manufactures a range of ‘Downflow Containment Booths’, which are used extensively in the pharmaceuticals industry. The booths safeguard operators against harmful dusts that are generated during manual powder handling operations. Clean air from the ceiling plenum is distributed evenly across the whole of the work area, pushing any respirable dust downwards, away from the operator’s breathing zone.

As the dust moves down to a low level, the high velocity exhaust grilles direct the dust into the filters. This on-board filtration system then removes the dust before returning the clean air into the ceiling plenum. A small amount of air is exhausted after the filters, thereby creating a slight negative environment. Inward air movement into the booth at low level ensures containment.

Extract Technology also supplies a range of glass containment booths, powder handling benches, rigid and flexible isolators for containing potent compounds and aseptic processing. Julian Naylor, Controls Department Team Leader at Extract Technology commented: “For more than 25 years, Extract Technology has specialised in the design and manufacture of dust containment booths. These high quality systems demand high quality components to be sourced from our suppliers. We regularly buy hazardous area equipment, including lighting, control equipment and terminal boxes from Cooper Crouse-Hinds because we are confident the equipment will do the job and meet our customers’ stringent quality standards.”

On its Downflow Containment Booths, Extract Technology uses a range of hazardous area, explosion-proof equipment from Cooper Crouse-Hinds. This includes the eLLK 92 range of explosion-proof light fittings, as well as stop-start pushbuttons, terminal boxes and connectors. “The safety of the person working in the booth is paramount and so we use the best hazardous area products on the market, since we cannot afford to cut corners here,” explained Naylor.

“For a typical, 1.5 metre-wide Downflow Containment Booth, between two or three lighting units are required. For a larger, 6 metre-wide booth, around 10 to12 lighting units will be used. The number of power sockets, terminal boxes and connectors depends on the customer’s individual requirements. These days, the end user will normally specify what type of hazardous area equipment it requires on the booth, whereas for smaller customers, we tend to decide what products best meet the specification. We work with all the big pharmaceuticals and chemical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Novartis.” Naylor continued.
Cooper Crouse-Hinds’ eLLK 92 range of fluorescent lighting units are available for ATEX Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 21 and Zone 22 hazardous areas. The lighting units come in 2, 4 or 5 feet lengths, with twin lights. The 2 and 4 feet versions can be supplied as emergency lighting. These versions have an ‘intelligent’ NIB battery fitted, which monitors the lighting, providing onboard maintenance with LED indication for ‘capacity’ and ‘faults’.

The eLLK 92 fluorescent lighting units are designed with a glass fibre-reinforced plastic enclosure and a poly-carbonate protective bowl. The units are protected to IP66 (EN 60529). Permissible ambient temperatures are from –20°C up to +50°C.

In addition to supplying systems and components certified for ATEX environments, Cooper Crouse-Hinds also offers hazardous area equipment to IEC and NEC standards, as well as other international approvals for Eastern Europe, China and North America.

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