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Explosion-proof enclosures simplify maintenance of fire and gas detection systems

14 May 2009

PDC Systems, a leading supplier of hazardous area electrical instrumentation, is using explosion-proof enclosures from Cooper Crouse-Hinds (CEAG) to protect fire and gas monitoring and control systems that it supplies to a wide range of hazardous gas applications. The enclosures provide high reliability and easier access for the end user to carry out maintenance work on internal controls.

Explosion-proof enclosures simplify maintenance of fire and gas detection systems
Explosion-proof enclosures simplify maintenance of fire and gas detection systems

Located on a half-acre site in Kintore, Aberdeenshire, PDC Systems is a provider of hazardous area electrical instru-mentation and control systems to the global petrochemicals industry. Established in 1993, PDC Systems designs, manufactures, installs and commissions monitoring and control panels for use in oil and gas, petrochemicals, nuclear, chemicals and other applications where explosive gas or dust is a risk. The firm currently employs 15 staff and has an annual turnover of £2 million.

The CPFG (combined pressure fire & gas) range of panels from PDC Systems is installed in numerous applications around the world. These pressurised panels incorporate a range of different control and instrumentation systems – typically PLCs, contactors, power supplies, and so on – that monitor fire and gas levels in hazardous environments. The CPFG panels are renowned for their reliability and ease of maintenance.

As Richard Cowling, Director and joint owner of PDC Systems commented: “We began using the CEAG EJB 241-M1 enclosure in 1999, following discussions with Ross Cook, Senior Sales Engineer at Cooper Crouse-Hinds UK, on certification, service, product quality and reliability.”

“As well as being very pleasing aesthetically, the EJB enclosures have proven to be extremely reliable for us over the last eight years or so. We haven’t had a single reliability issue, which is very important to our customers. The enclosures are also much easier to access for maintenance than most competing products. There is adequate depth both from the front and back in order to carry out maintenance work, without having to blind guess where you are putting your fin-gers. For our customers, downtime is money and so a reliable, easily accessible enclosure is critical,” Cowling continued.

This ATEX-certified aluminium enclosure has cast iron front panels and is protected to EEx d IIB T6 – T4 (IP65). The enclosure measures 680mm by 474mm by 295mm, and is rated to 690V, 1200A.
PDC Systems asked Ross Cook to provide a viewing window in the enclosure, which would enable the end user to view LED displays on the PLCs at all times. As Cowling explained: “Cooper Crouse-Hinds incorporated a viewing window in the enclosure, which means that we can sit in our offices in Aberdeen and discuss any maintenance or installation issue with an on site engineer. As long as the engineer can tell us which LEDs are flashing, we can usually diagnose the problem and guide them through a step-by-step solution over the telephone, all done remotely without PDC having to send a service engineer to site. It also means the customer’s engineer doesn’t have to open the enclosure, which would require a hot work permit. The viewing window and overall reliability of the enclosure and control system minimises downtime for the customer.”

“We are experiencing particular demand in export markets and around 60 per cent of our control systems are now exported to the USA, The Middle East and Far East. Over the past two years, the business has grown by around 30 per cent. As a company, PDC Systems has always placed great emphasis on maintaining its quality standards and building good relationships with clients. It is these qualities, along with a focus on trust and integrity, that I believe will be key to business success in the difficult market conditions over the next year,” explained Cowling.

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

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