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Explosion proof enclosures

29 March 2010

A range of explosion-proof enclosures from Cooper Crouse-Hinds (CEAG) are being used by MCI Electrotechnics Ltd, a leading supplier of electrical instrumentation and control panels, to protect a variety of electrical equipment destined for offshore and onshore oil, gas and petrochemical applications.

Explosion proof enclosures for oil, gas and petrochemical applications
Explosion proof enclosures for oil, gas and petrochemical applications

Established in 1995, MCI manufactures, and if required, installs and commissions custom control panels and electrical equipment for both hazardous and non-hazardous environments around the world, including the North Sea, Middle East and Far East. The business has an annual turnover of around £4 million and employs 32 staff. The company’s manufac-turing plant is based in Dyce near Aberdeen and covers approximately 6,500 square feet.

MCI supplies a diverse range of electrical control systems, including motor control centres (MCCs), junction boxes, motor starters, control panels, distribution boards and CPFG (combined pressure fire & gas) panels. On the hazardous area side of the business, MCI offers customers two main types of explosion-proof enclosure for its products: a moulded plastic (GRP) EEx de version, as well as a range of metal (aluminium / cast iron) Ex d enclosures. All of these enclosures are supplied by Cooper Crouse-Hinds.

Using the CEAG moulded plastic Ex de enclosure, MCI assembles and mounts a variety of flameproof-encapsulated components, such as fuses, contactors, lamps, MCBs, switches and meters. These impact-resistant GRP enclosures provide increased safety protection for the components. Built up units include Ex distribution boards, control stations and motor starters, all supplied to European standards EN 50014 and EN 50018. The systems are ATEX-certified for use in Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 21 and Zone 22.

MCI also uses aluminium / cast iron CEAG explosion-proof enclosures for use with control panels, starters, junction boxes, MCCs, distribution boards and CPFG panels. MCI offers three versions of CFPG panels for A60 class modules, battery isolators and temporary power units. These ATEX-certified systems are suitable for use in Gas Group IIB instal-lations, Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas, fulfilling the requirements of EN 50014 and EN 50018.

As Ian McIntosh, managing director of MCI commented: “We began using CEAG explosion-proof enclosures around 10 years ago. In that time, the enclosures have proved very reliable. We’ve probably only had to reject one or two units in the last 10 years, which is pretty impressive. For MCI and its customers, it is absolutely critical that the enclosures are reliable because we need to guarantee the safety of our products and help to minimise any downtime for the customer caused by faulty, unsafe equipment.”

“CEAG enclosures are designed and manufactured to a high quality and the service and technical back up is also very reliable,” added McIntosh. “Even our customers sometimes specify that we use CEAG enclosures. They understand that CEAG is a respected, globally-recognised product in the oil and gas sector and they appreciate the quality of the enclo-sures.”

In late 2009, MCI supplied a motor control centre for a drilling system to be delivered to an oil and gas exploration platform in the North Sea. The 10-metre long MCC panel was built in three sections, which in total use 52 separate explosion-proof enclosures. All of the enclosures were Ex d certified and interconnected by using ‘barrier assemblies’. The entire unit has ATEX assembly certification. The remainder of the project was the build of Ex de moulded plastic lighting distribution boards. All units were EEx d certified for Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas.

As McIntosh explained: “We won the contract by offering the customer a very competitive price and delivery time for the MCC. We couldn’t have done this without the support of CEAG, who was able to respond to our customer’s re-quirements in terms of the enclosures. We believe that our delivery time of 16 weeks was almost twice as fast as any competitor could offer for this project. But without CEAG’s support, we couldn’t have met this timeframe.”

In addition to supplying explosion-proof 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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