Classified-area control panels

4 basic design concepts that could help avoid costly errors or worse.

11/26/2013


Designing a control panel rated for a classified area can be a daunting task for individuals with limited or no prior experience. These four basic steps should get you started in the right direction:

1. Determine applicable codes for your geographic region—Before embarking on the design and laying out components, determine which governing agencies and applicable codes will come into play. That includes being cognizant of where the system will be built in addition to where it will be installed. If installed in another country you may have additional regulations to consider.

2. Obtain official documentation that declares the area classification—Note the emphasis on official, getting verification of the declared rating with tangible documentation. This is not an area in which “back of napkin,” or “word of mouth,” will suffice. A misstated classification requirement jotted down during a conference call could result in very serious if not deadly consequences.

3. Identify design constraints that may limit viable options—Knowing what capabilities can’t be supported can avoid going down dead ends. For example, don’t suggest a pressurized cabinet if instrument air isn’t available.

4. Don’t sacrifice functionality and safety as you weigh the pros and cons of viable solutions—Don’t forget that control panels in classified areas are typically very costly to produce and must be de-energized for maintenance, which results in downtime. The best solution is to move the system to a non-classified area and utilize intrinsic safety barriers. If relocation is not an option, then you must sift through the pros and cons of a pressurized (aka purged) enclosure versus an XP (explosion proof) enclosure to determine a path forward.

Although cost of ownership is always part of the equation, here I believe functionality will dictate much of the direction as it rightfully should. As an overview, XP enclosures are limited in size, are self-contained, and are capable of meeting some of the more difficult classifications. In contrast, pressurized systems can be fairly large, require additional support systems such as instrument air, and can only meet certain classifications. Less critical criterion to consider for both options are installation cost, installation methods, and accessibility.

This post was written by Andy Crossman. Andy is a senior control system specialist at MAVERICK Technologies, a leading automation solutions provider offering industrial automation, strategic manufacturing, and enterprise integration services for the process industries. MAVERICK delivers expertise and consulting in a wide variety of areas including industrial automation controls, distributed control systems, manufacturing execution systems, operational strategy, business process optimization and more. 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.