Process Automation and Explosion Protection Discover One-Stop Turnkey Solutions for Process Automation and Explosion Protection

Author / Editor: Thomas Kasten, Ilona Bode / Dr. Jörg Kempf

Since many decades, automation, process technology and explosion protection form a very close interrelation. All three fields experienced tremendous technological progress and by now have reached a level of complexity which could only be handled by high-qualified experts.

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Expert’s key to success: the one-stop turnkey solutions for process automation and explosion protection form Pepperl+Fuchs
Expert’s key to success: the one-stop turnkey solutions for process automation and explosion protection form Pepperl+Fuchs
(Source: © denisismagilov/, Pepperl+Fuchs; [M]-GötzelHorn)

Proximity switches and transistor amplifiers with intrinsically safe circuits, more than 60 years ago these technical innovations formed the foundation from which a nowadays leading manufacturer of industrial sensors as well as components and technologies for explosion protection has developed. Since these early days, innovations made by Pepperl+Fuchs had a major share in shaping explosion protection in process automation.

For instance, the company has been the first to pave the way of fieldbus into hazardous areas by means of Field Barriers and the high-power trunk concept which, for the first time, offered sufficient power for efficient operation of fieldbus field devices. Likewise, with Remote I/O Systems, WirelessHART and HMI solutions Pepperl+Fuchs continuously launch technological advancements into the market. Even with well-established and time-tested products such as analog IS isolators the company recently introduced “The Barrier”, the first truly universal barrier for various types of signals. These developments give an impression of the immense know-how the automation specialists gained in those fields of expertise. It covers all aspects, from product design all through to certification according to every corresponding standard.

Pepperl+Fuchs offers this knowledge not only by means of components but also as comprehensive complete solutions. “A solution for us means an explosion protected apparatus, composed from various components based on application-specific requirements,” explains Rainer Naegle, head of product group “Electrical Explosion Protection Equipment”. “In ordinary cases configurations from a pre-defined modular kit are sufficient, more complex requirements demand for sophisticated engineering.”

For both aspects, within Pepperl+Fuchs so-called Solution Engineering Centers (SEC) are responsible. These centers focus on project management and explosion protection. Their tailor-made systems integrate indigenous explosion protection modules with components from third-party providers, according to the customer’s specification. The SEC completely manage selection and procurement.

The chosen type of explosion protection depends on the requirements of the specific application. Naegle names increased safety Ex e, intrinsic safety Ex i, flameproof Ex d and pressurization Ex p as the four major variants. “We counsel our customers, choose the fitting components and deliver the control panel fully tested and certified. Thus it can be integrated immediately into the plant and commissioned. As a basic principle we participate from the application expertise of the plant operator — every solution is the result of close cooperation.”