Pyroban is a specialist engineering company that converts standard forklift trucks and similar mobile equipment so that they cannot cause a fire or explosion when used within industries that process, store and distribute flammable materials. Ex conversion requirements vary, but the most common need is to protect equipment for operation within Zone 2 classified areas where flammable liquids, bottled gases and aerosols are present.
On the opening day of the recent IMHX exhibition, Pyroban officially launched its new solution for Zone 2 classified hazardous areas, System 6000. System 6000 is suitable for all types of diesel and electric mobile equipment, and incorporates intelligent gas detection to continuously monitor the direct environment around the protected equipment and to automatically shut down the equipment whenever necessary.
"System 6000 has been developed for the growing Zone 2 market which is present in a wide range of manufacturing and logistics operations worldwide" explains Malcolm Davis of Pyroban Ltd. "It supersedes our award winning system 5000 with new software, new hardware and most importantly with infrared and pellistor gas sensing options, so that virtually all material handling applications where there could be a gas or vapour hazard can be managed with the most appropriate Zone 2 technology. The System 6000 gas detection system will also be offered with IECEx certification to IEC 60079 standards".
System 6000 Zone 2 protection combines gas detection with various explosion protection methods such as restricted breathing enclosures, stainless steel cladding of forks and surface temperature cooling to ensure the engine, motors, brakes, electrics and other components remain below the auto-ignition temperatures of flammable materials.
"Forklift technology has become increasingly complex with a focus on energy consumption and ergonomics" Malcolm explains. "System 6000 compliments the latest technologies seen in engine and battery electric truck design particularly VNA, pallet, picking and reach truck designs. It was also developed to work with other types of mobile equipment such as cleaning machines, cranes and access platforms".
Detecting flammable gas and vapours
When a mixture of flammable gas or vapour in air is detected, System 6000 gives an audible and visual warning at 10% Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) propane in air and at 25% LEL it shuts down the protected equipment automatically eliminating the risk of an explosion.
"System 6000 is a unique gas detection system as it can now be selected with either pellistor or infrared gas sensing technology" he adds. Previously Ex trucks could be offered with either pellistor based or infrared gas sensing systems but neither system suited all Zone 2 applications.
Application specific technology
System 6000 gives users the option of selecting the gas sensing system best suited to their specific needs. For example, pellistor based systems may not be suitable if silicones are present in the environment. However, the pellistor system would detect 95% of hydrocarbons and is therefore the most versatile system when users in the chemicals and paints/coating industries are handling a wide range of products.
Infrared technology is particularly suited to operation in distilleries and handling of aerosols. "We know that many industries may benefit through the use of Zone 2 systems with infrared technology but used in the wrong application the truck user could be "blind" to the presence of a flammable atmosphere and therefore at considerable risk.
System 6000 allows users to select and interchange the technology that is best suited to their application and without having to change the whole Zone 2 protection system". Pyroban experts can help and support users in their understanding of which type of gas detection technology best meets their needs rather than leaving such decisions in the hands of sometimes inexperienced salesmen selling to sometimes poorly informed buyers".
Auto-calibration and self-test
System 6000 is ATEX 94/9/EC* compliant in line with EN 1755:2000+A1:2009. The system auto-calibrates and self-tests the gas head at start up to ensure it is working correctly, an essential safety requirement when complying with the harmonised European standard for the explosion protection of industrial trucks. The auto-calibration function obviates the need for periodic and costly site visits by engineers having to recalibrate the gas detection system as required by other systems on the market. It also removes the risk that the gas detection system could be operating out of calibration for significant periods of operation.
Certifying the System 6000 gas detection system to IECEx and with a new ambient limit of 50C enables the system to be specified by international companies as part of their corporate safety standard.
"We have worked with the global forklift brands to ensure System 6000 can retain almost all the original performance characteristics of their trucks" Malcolm adds, explaining that one of the biggest challenges over the last few years has been ensuring Pyroban systems can operate with trucks fitted with turbo charged engines and increasingly complex electronic truck management and control systems.
System 6000 with infrared sensing is already operating in numerous field trials with great success, particularly in the whisky and aerosols industries.
*ATEX - The legal framework for controlling explosive atmospheres and standards of equipment and protective systems used in them