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Pepperl+Fuchs expands process division with UK acquisition

Author : Paul Gay

19 January 2010

West Midlands based Walsall Ltd has been acquired by German sensor manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH, which intends to expand its own Process Automation Division, a company statement announced. It hopes to include the West Bromwich company’s expertise in the development and manufacture of electromechanical equipment for use in hazardous areas.

Walsall montage
Walsall montage

Walsall specialises in the development, certification and production of electromechanical products for use in hazardous areas. The acquisition was apparently agreed to ensure continued market growth. Walsall said it was delighted to enter into co-operation with Pepperl+Fuchs, which it considers a company with a well-established distribution organisation.

Through the acquisition of Walsall, Pepperl+Fuchs will expand its existing process automation product range and enter the electromechanical explosion protection market. Pepperl+Fuchs described the acquisition as a vertical integration which will allow it to respond to customers’ requirements ‘with more comprehensive components and solutions’.

Walsall’s hundred plus year heritage dates back to the early days of Walsall Conduits, which was established in 1892 to manufacture bangles and metalwork for export markets. The company began designing and manufacturing electrical equipment for hazardous areas with the introduction of electricity networks in the 1920s. In those days the company produced mainly equipment for underground applications, particularly coal mining. The products were designated flameproof for what is now known as Group 1 applications.

Petrochemical and pharmaceutical operations were developed through the second half of the 20th Century, when Walsall designed and manufactured products to suit particularly for above ground applications in the fields of switch gear and motor control.

In 2000 the company was renamed Walsall Ltd and began a new phase of development by widening the product range significantly. Walsall prides itself that its name is synonymous with quality electrical equipment as its products have been applied throughout the hazardous area industry.

The company’s multi-certified product range includes terminal enclosures and junction boxes, local control stations, panels and systems, fluorescence, HID and emergency lighting, complex control systems. There is also a range of installation and thread adaptation accessories and entry devices for use in potentially explosive environments.

All products are certified by the British Notified Bodies, Baseefa and SIRA, while the Walsall manufacturing facility is ISO9001:2000 approved plus ATEX / IECEX notified.

The company’s main products are based around enclosures in the increased safety, intrinsic safety and flameproof protection classes with approvals for the integration of a wide range of electrical apparatus. Enclosures are available in a variety of materials, including stainless and mild steel, fibreglass reinforced plastic, aluminium, and cast alloys.

As a complement to the core products, other ranges include lighting, signalling equipment, emergency shutdown equipment, and installation accessories such as cable glands, thread conversion adaptors, stopping plugs and breather drain devices, which can all be used in hazardous areas.

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