Delivering on the requirement for ATEX control panels

Designing and building process control panels requires considerable experience and expertise, especially when they are destined for hazardous areas. These potentially explosive atmospheres, or zoned areas, are more common than you'd think, with applications spread across a number of industries from obvious ones like oil & gas to less well recognised areas such as food & drink or rail.

Bürkert is one of the few OEM manufacturers of large hazardous area Ex rated process panels and as such supplies engineering firms and end users as well as other panel builders and system integrators. This puts the company in a good position to define what makes an ATEX rated panel so different from a more standard item.

The primary emphasis for all equipment operating in a zoned area is safety; the identification of different zones categorises the risk and therefore the level of protection required to avoid danger. Any component or system that is to be used in a zoned area must meet the relevant standards and be installed by suitably qualified engineers in order for certification to be valid.

The task of designing process control systems that meet DSEAR, ATEX and other similar standards requires considerable levels of competence in order to deliver a suitably compliant process that meets the demands of the application. The primary concern in such conditions is safety and often this may need to be maintained at the expense of performance.

Designing and implementing efficient and reliable process control systems also requires an excellent understanding of the application. Manufacturers have developed a huge range of products and systems that can be combined and integrated to produce bespoke process control systems. However, when the application involves operating in potentially explosive atmospheres, designers could be forgiven for thinking that the choice of design might be restricted.

Many manufacturers of control components produce an "˜ATEX' range or similar and several system integrators have the required expertise to create control systems for zoned areas. The difficulty lies in creating a design that minimises the number of component suppliers and ensures compatibility between those that are selected.

In terms of the individual components, manufacturers spend considerable amounts of time and effort in producing products that are certified for use in particular applications under specific conditions. In situations where the requirement is simply for a replacement part, it is a relatively easy task to ensure continued compliance with the regulations.

However, when there is a more wide-ranging project, such as modifying an existing control system or building a completely new one, the task of delivering a fully certified installation is more complex.

Centralised or decentralised

Many smaller systems and standalone equipment use a centralised control concept, which is based around a control cabinet that contains all of the necessary components to operate the control valves, including the PLC, network connections, input/output systems and valve islands.

In many cases, especially in larger facilities, working towards a decentralised system of process control can provide a number of benefits compared with the more traditional approach. This concept uses intelligent, pneumatically operated process valves at the field level which can be equipped with all the required automation components such as a pilot valve with manual actuation, electrical feedback units and optical status indication, field bus interfaces and even positioners and process controllers.

To bridge the gap between centralised and decentralised automation concepts, flexible pneumatic valve units and compact automation systems can be used. These units are typically wall-mounted directly inside small cabinets that can be installed close to the process in question. These small, pre-configured and standardised units eliminate the long runs to valves and field devices, and can be maintained easily.

Each and every client will have a unique scenario that requires the manufacturer of the control panel to take a very individual approach to the project. At Bürkert, a network of specialist design and manufacturing facilities, known as a Systemhaus has been in operation for several years. Their purpose is to deliver precise fluid control systems designed to meet very specific process requirements and regulatory standards.

The Menden Systemhaus maintains a very high level of expertise in delivering control cabinets for installations in potentially explosive atmospheres. From initial concept to on-site commissioning, a dedicated team is assigned to each project to ensure continuity and understanding of the project requirements are maintained.

Due to the multiple competencies within each team, it is possible to design compact, integrated systems that often contain both electrical and pneumatic circuits and even fluidic connections as well. In this way it is possible to deliver a single control cabinet, minimising space requirements as well as all the equipment that will deliver the process control itself, which reduces commissioning time and improves final delivery.

Very often the theoretical design of a control cabinet for a zoned area is the simplest task; finding the components that will deliver the design in reality whilst also meeting the required ATEX or IEC-Ex standard can be more difficult. This is especially true for electro-pneumatic automation systems that are designed for installation in Zone 1, a product that is only available from a select number of manufacturers.

This system is particularly suited to decentralised process control tasks concerning fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and oil & gas; it can be used for example to automate the filling of potentially volatile solvents, alcohol or lacquers. In these application areas, it is necessary to have a compact electro-pneumatic automation system allowing integration of EEx ia rated pneumatic valves without additional wiring.

Dedicated project team

Systems such as this can only really deliver the expectations of the client if they are conceived, designed and manufactured by a single, dedicated team with the experience to appreciate the fine detail involved. Ideally, a dedicated team is assigned to each project, from initial concept to on-site commissioning, to ensure continuity and understanding of the project requirements are maintained.

While many control panel manufacturers can develop designs, source components and assemble complete systems, getting these tested and certified with all the necessary documentation can be a more difficult task. Some suppliers may need to develop additional partnerships in order to possess all the required skills to deliver a complete project, and this could lead to an extended project duration.

Clearly the overriding concept for process control within zoned areas is that of safety, but in today's market it is still possible to design and deliver efficient and compact systems that provide all of the control and precision required. The key is to understand the application and be able to deliver a control system that will conform to the current standards.

Combining the technical knowledge of a component manufacturer, which has a wide range of products for use in zoned areas, with the expertise of a system designer allows a fully integrated and compatible system to be delivered.

For further information about process control panels for hazardous areas can be found at www.burkert.co.uk.

Burkert Fluid Control Systems

Fluid Control Centre
1 Bridge End
Cirencester
GL7 1QY
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1285 648720

sales.uk@burkert.com

www.burkert.co.uk

More from Burkert Fluid Control Systems

Unifying the process control network

Posted 1 week ago

Bürkert valves ensure latest standards prevail

Posted 4 weeks ago

Sweet success for process control reliability

Posted 1 month ago

Full steam ahead for training

Posted 1 month ago

Process valve island increases dosing accuracy

Posted 2 months ago

Carbon capture technology on the rise

Posted 3 months ago

Water treatment improvements for power station hit full flow

Posted 3 months ago

Network integration – search for value and simplicity

Posted 4 months ago

ATEX certification for new pneumatic valve island

Posted 4 months ago

Ironing out the doubt: iron measurement in water quality analysis

Posted 5 months ago

Flowmeter range expands

Posted 6 months ago

Pure water: quality monitoring is a vital asset

Posted 6 months ago

New flow controller for low volumes

Posted 7 months ago

Delivering high precision for time-pressure microlitre dosing

Posted 8 months ago

Monitoring reverse osmosis systems

Posted 1 year ago

Online water analysis module continuously measures iron content

Posted 1 year ago

Movie of the month

Posted 1 year ago

Time-pressure controller for high-precision microlitre dosing

Posted 1 year ago

How to simplify industrial process automation using IO-Link

Posted 1 year ago

Multi-parameter flow meter cuts waste by identifying fluids

Posted 1 year ago

Burkert invests in fully automated multi-medium testing facility

Posted 1 year ago

Burkert UK now supplying customisable micro precision pumps

Posted 1 year ago

Bürkert appoints new Account Manager for the South West

Posted 1 year ago

Smart valve positioner features IO-Link connectivity

Posted 1 year ago

Bürkert delivers savings for new life science facility

Posted 1 year ago

How to choose the right process control valves

Posted 1 year ago

Controller achieves micro-precision for time-pressure dosing

Posted 1 year ago

Intelligent valve islands for process automation applications

Posted 1 year ago

Retrofitted control heads extend life of 200 process valves

Posted 1 year ago

Enhanced radar level measurement for hygienic applications

Posted 1 year ago

Bürkert microfluidics expertise improves antibody discovery

Posted 1 year ago

Bürkert launches compact Type 6164 cartridge valve

Posted 1 year ago

Continuous monitoring and analysis of water quality

Posted 1 year ago

What is needed to improve fuel cell technology?

Posted 1 year ago

Flow measurement in the food and beverage sector

Posted 1 year ago

Bürkert virtual exhibition stand offers web and VR experience

Posted 1 year ago

Integrated water quality monitoring for water treatment service

Posted 2 years ago

Movie of the month

Posted 2 years ago

Flexible water analysis system saves time and money

Posted 2 years ago

Bürkert UK expands stock of standard process valves

Posted 2 years ago

Hygienic flowmeter specified for pharmaceutical cleaning system

Posted 2 years ago

Process control expertise at the ISPE Europe Annual Conference

Posted 2 years ago

Flowmeter gains the ability to detect different fluids

Posted 2 years ago

Finding the right partner for hygienic process control projects

Posted 2 years ago

Burkert UK expands product range and increases stockholding

Posted 2 years ago

Brewery upgrade improves reliability

Posted 2 years ago

multiCELL controller supports Champagne production

Posted 2 years ago

Support for system integrators

Posted 2 years ago

Burkert contributes to more efficient fluid control system

Posted 2 years ago

Burkert to exhibit hygienic products at EHEDG Conference 2018

Posted 2 years ago

Patties still a firm favourite thanks to 10-year-lasting valves

Posted 2 years ago

Multifunction controller features Ethernet connectivity

Posted 2 years ago

Solenoid control in potentially explosive atmospheres

Posted 2 years ago

New monitoring system simplifies micro-filtration of water

Posted 2 years ago

Micro-dosing technology and process integration

Posted 2 years ago

Using automation to improve process water quality

Posted 2 years ago

Movie of the month

Posted 3 years ago

Optimising repeatability and efficiency through automation

Posted 3 years ago

New flowmeters to look out for in 2018

Posted 3 years ago

Simplified process control for reverse osmosis plant

Posted 3 years ago

Comparing flowmeters: Coriolis vs. Surface Acoustic Wave

Posted 3 years ago

Precision control for CIP processes

Posted 3 years ago

Pneumatic valve island improves flexibility and diagnostics

Posted 3 years ago

Bürkert's new valve control heads provide networking options

Posted 3 years ago

Using Industry 4.0 to optimise process control

Posted 3 years ago

Re-engineering diaphragm valves

Posted 3 years ago

Taking pneumatic process control to a new level

Posted 3 years ago

Precise flow control for efficient, accurate pneumatic conveying

Posted 3 years ago

High-temperature control for exhaust analysis

Posted 3 years ago

Burkert: managing a culture of innovation

Posted 3 years ago

More function modules for Burkert compact water analysis system

Posted 3 years ago

Bürkert Pneumatic Control Valve Island interfaces with ET 200SP

Posted 3 years ago

Wave of success for new flowmeters"¦

Posted 3 years ago

Bürkert UK extends customisation and assembly service

Posted 3 years ago

Optimum level and flow control for food industry processes

Posted 3 years ago

Minimising waste in hygienic control valve applications

Posted 3 years ago

Seal of approval for Bürkert solenoid valves

Posted 4 years ago

How to choose a surface coating technology

Posted 4 years ago

Bürkert increases stock levels to support maintenance market

Posted 4 years ago

Do Food & Beverage SMEs need more process automation?

Posted 4 years ago

New light-weight precision flow meter suits process skids

Posted 4 years ago

Developing an alternative to Coriolis

Posted 4 years ago

Improving flow control in pneumatic conveying systems

Posted 4 years ago

Bürkert maintains price freeze for 2017

Posted 4 years ago

Bürkert offers fast delivery on full-bore mag flowmeters

Posted 4 years ago

Bürkert appoints new account manager for Ireland

Posted 4 years ago

Steam control valves: getting the most from this vital component

Posted 4 years ago

New networkable hygienic valve actuators from Bürkert

Posted 4 years ago

Pneumatic valves for SIL1 or SIL2 safety control systems

Posted 4 years ago

Bespoke process control systems for the food & beverage industry

Posted 4 years ago

Electromotive process valves deliver precision alternative

Posted 4 years ago

Clinical diagnosis benefits from design collaboration

Posted 4 years ago

Keeping control valves clean, inside and out

Posted 4 years ago

Hygienic 2-way bellows control valve for small flow rates

Posted 4 years ago

Upgrading process safety with compact control valves

Posted 4 years ago

Top 10 level-sensing technologies

Posted 4 years ago

Fast, reliable switching without pneumatics

Posted 4 years ago

Retrofit safety using innovative control valves

Posted 4 years ago

Bürkert launches Virtual Water Treatment Works

Posted 4 years ago

Building selective catalytic reduction systems

Posted 5 years ago

Emerging food preservation technology requires precision control

Posted 5 years ago

Precision gas control for experimental combustion rig

Posted 5 years ago

Electromotive process valves make compressed air obsolete

Posted 5 years ago

Meeting the demand for more complex process control systems

Posted 5 years ago

Bürkert cartridge valve is suitable for custom manifold designs

Posted 5 years ago

Developing new fluid management systems for in-vitro diagnostics

Posted 5 years ago

Bürkert launches hydroformed hygienic diaphragm valve

Posted 5 years ago

Bürkert improves functionality of ELEMENT controllers

Posted 5 years ago

Gas control for metal surface treatments

Posted 5 years ago

Measuring pH in a food-safe environment

Posted 5 years ago

Process control design - don't let ATEX restrict your plans

Posted 5 years ago

Bürkert application segmentation delivers across industries

Posted 5 years ago

Desktop autoclaves achieve reliability with Bürkert steam valves

Posted 5 years ago

Designs for controlling hot processes - it's all material

Posted 5 years ago

Controlling CIP / SIP in food processing applications

Posted 5 years ago

Energy saving with process valves

Posted 5 years ago

Solenoid valves - one for every occasion

Posted 5 years ago

Bürkert valve expertise delivers a premium shower experience

Posted 5 years ago

Control of water treatment with Bürkert multiCELL

Posted 5 years ago

Solenoid valves - some are more equal than others

Posted 5 years ago

Design & maintenance crucial to avoiding water hammer

Posted 5 years ago

Bürkert hazardous area-rated pneumatics in whisky bottling plant

Posted 6 years ago

Under Pressure - sensors in the spotlight

Posted 6 years ago

All new Bürkert website: cool tools, easy navigation and eShop

Posted 6 years ago

Bürkert helps to improve efficiency at UK car engine plant

Posted 6 years ago

Autoclave uses compact Bürkert process valves to meet targets

Posted 6 years ago

Free solenoid valve selection chart offered by Bürkert

Posted 6 years ago

Solenoid valves - an enduring design refined over time

Posted 6 years ago

Intelligent control for food processors

Posted 6 years ago

Bürkert's fluid control expertise now available direct to OEMs

Posted 6 years ago

Bürkert's multiCELL provides localised sensor signal management

Posted 6 years ago

Water control and analysis system with plug-in Sensor Cubes

Posted 6 years ago

Making the grade - achieving compliance with food standards

Posted 6 years ago

Bürkert releases new flowmeters for high-volume gases

Posted 6 years ago

Sensors 101: understanding sensors within a fluid control system

Posted 6 years ago

Modular valve body reduces energy needs and improves system flow

Posted 6 years ago

Sizing of pipework for steam applications for reliable operation

Posted 6 years ago

New valve body concept simplifies complex pipe interfaces

Posted 7 years ago

Design and components for pneumatic control automation systems

Posted 7 years ago

Improved functionality for batch controller and flow transmitter

Posted 7 years ago

Efficient bespoke effluent monitoring and batch control systems

Posted 7 years ago

Intelligent valve reduces pipework by switching multiple flows

Posted 7 years ago

Control signals - which option is best?

Posted 7 years ago

Steam expertise reduces costs in pet food production

Posted 7 years ago

Bürkert Technical Training to provide local options for 2014

Posted 7 years ago

Local development process delivers micro-fluidic valve systems

Posted 7 years ago

Electrically actuated quarter-turn valves for a range of options

Posted 7 years ago

Steam: how to manage it safely & efficiently

Posted 7 years ago

Free guide matches valves with chemical resistance properties

Posted 7 years ago

Fruit syrup production benefits from smart valve control

Posted 7 years ago

Tried and tested valve design nears 50 years of reliable service

Posted 7 years ago

Does your valve have the correct chemical resistance properties?

Posted 7 years ago

Microfluidics - micro dosing pump is precise and reliable

Posted 7 years ago

Integrated modular systems are key to precise gas handling

Posted 7 years ago

Bürkert improves control of water oxygenation

Posted 7 years ago

What's next in process control for the water treatment industry?

Posted 7 years ago

Retrofit control head enables automation of most process valves

Posted 7 years ago

Bürkert unveils new intelligent valve positioner

Posted 7 years ago

Bürkert reports excellent results from Total expo

Posted 7 years ago

Valves - when to repair or replace?

Posted 7 years ago

Bürkert launches new range of intelligent valve control heads

Posted 8 years ago

Seminar on valve innovation in the pharmaceutical sector

Posted 8 years ago

Free ATEX selection poster demystifies explosion criteria

Posted 8 years ago

Bürkert at Total Process & Packaging Exhibition 2013

Posted 8 years ago

New training brochure now available from Bürkert

Posted 8 years ago

Bürkert valves help TV science show with 360 degree swing

Posted 8 years ago

Direct-acting solenoid valves for fluids, gases, vacuum & steam

Posted 8 years ago

Free booklet for products and systems for producing clean steam

Posted 8 years ago

AS-I communication bus-equipped Element diaphragm valves

Posted 8 years ago

Bürkert UK officially opens the doors to its new UK headquarters

Posted 8 years ago

Fuel-cell race car relies on Bürkert valve technology

Posted 8 years ago

Bürkert Technical Training Schedule released for 2013

Posted 8 years ago

Burkert launches new butterfly valves

Posted 8 years ago

Burkert UK moves to new UK headquarters in Cirencester

Posted 8 years ago

Process valves that can "˜think' for themselves

Posted 8 years ago

AirLINE Quick valve island pneumatic system for process controls

Posted 8 years ago

Modern alternative to conventional variable area flow meters

Posted 8 years ago

Free Steam Site Guide aims to make steam systems safer

Posted 8 years ago

Design & Manufacture service for packaged batch controls

Posted 8 years ago

New multiCELL universal transmitter and sensor controller

Posted 8 years ago

Miniature valves for medical equipment reduce energy consumption

Posted 8 years ago

Three-tier approach for automation of hygienic processes

Posted 8 years ago

Free Select Catalogue provides faster fluid control deliveries

Posted 8 years ago

Multi-port valve interfaces meet life science plant requirements

Posted 8 years ago

Universal control head for hygienic processing industries

Posted 9 years ago

Flow transmitter and pulse divider combined in a single device

Posted 9 years ago

Express delivery for Namur interface valves from Burkert

Posted 9 years ago

Problem of contaminant ingress into diaphragm valves solved

Posted 9 years ago

Process automation quadruples brewery production

Posted 9 years ago

AirLINE Quick simplifies assembly of pneumatic control panels

Posted 9 years ago

Free training courses in Hygienic Processing

Posted 9 years ago

See Element process control products at Sensors + Systems

Posted 9 years ago

Digital flow transmitters are designed to be future-proof

Posted 9 years ago

Fountain control saves space, energy and money

Posted 9 years ago

Burkert extends Element range of process control components

Posted 9 years ago

Automated CIP saves pharmaceutical manufacturer £120,000 pa

Posted 9 years ago

PFA-lined stainless steel diaphragm valves resist corrosion

Posted 9 years ago

Type 2080 2/2-way valve with PTFE bellows for hygienic processes

Posted 9 years ago

Drinks manufacturer installs intelligent process valves

Posted 9 years ago

Multi-functional valve block for steam sterilisation systems

Posted 9 years ago

8175 ultrasonic level transmitter in IP65 or IP67 housings

Posted 10 years ago

Free courses: steam engineering and condensate management

Posted 10 years ago

Single controller for both process and proportional valves

Posted 10 years ago

Miniature solenoid valves specified for dosing machine

Posted 10 years ago

Element Neutrino analytical transmitters are more versatile

Posted 10 years ago

SideControl units achieve intelligent valve positioning

Posted 10 years ago

Customised ball valves used in fuel tank protection system

Posted 10 years ago

Burkert registers on Achilles Utilities Vendor Database

Posted 10 years ago

Ex-proof AirLINE Ex 8650 system chosen for North Sea project

Posted 10 years ago

Enamel-coated pH sensors offer advantages over glass types

Posted 10 years ago

Online monitoring of the reverse-osmosis systems

Posted 10 years ago

Control system replaces manual manufacturing process

Posted 10 years ago

Burkert appoints Fluid Controls as SE England distributor

Posted 10 years ago

How to save energy in hazardous area control systems

Posted 10 years ago

Miniature 3/2 isolation valve 'sets new benchmark'

Posted 11 years ago

Integrated liquid flow controller incorporates valve and sensor

Posted 11 years ago

Positioners/process controllers can mount on valve actuators

Posted 11 years ago

Spot welder 'tip off' detection using intelligent cooling system

Posted 11 years ago

Clever design halves the number of valves required

Posted 11 years ago

Compact flipper isolation valve delivers improved performance

Posted 11 years ago

Featured photo

Posted 11 years ago

Engine test rig benefits from globe valves and positioners

Posted 11 years ago

Valve and positioner provide test rig coolant control

Posted 11 years ago

Robolux valves eliminate deadlegs and save costs

Posted 11 years ago

Microfluidics offer benefits for automation and miniaturisation

Posted 11 years ago

Burkert and BBS-Systems partner for hygienic processing

Posted 11 years ago

New version of mxControl multi-parameter controller

Posted 11 years ago

New fluid control systems catalogue from Burkert

Posted 11 years ago

Bio-diesel processor developed with help from Burkert

Posted 11 years ago

Electrical and pneumatic systems in hazardous areas

Posted 11 years ago

Ultrasonic flow transmitter delivers long-term stability

Posted 11 years ago

Posted 12 years ago

Free Brewery Process Control brochure from Burkert

Posted 12 years ago

Burkert launches Element modular process control products

Posted 12 years ago

MicroFluidics catalogue of standard and bespoke systems

Posted 12 years ago

Pick-and-mix modular general-purpose solenoid valves

Posted 13 years ago

446-page catalogue covers all fluid control needs

Posted 13 years ago

More technical articles