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Process Automation Intrinsic Safety – Pepperl+Fuchs Unveils Initial DART Applications

| Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

DART (Dynamic Arc Recognition and Termination) was without doubt the most widely used acronym at last year’s industry events. That is hardly surprising, as the technology has the potential to become the next revolution in process automation.

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DART is well on its way to becoming a recognized standard technology in the process industry, for example to protect an intrinsically safe high-power trunk and to protect the customer’s investment in existing fieldbus instrumentation which can be connected to the output of a DART Segment Protector. (Illustrations: Pepperl+Fuchs, Fotolia; [M]-Rau)
DART is well on its way to becoming a recognized standard technology in the process industry, for example to protect an intrinsically safe high-power trunk and to protect the customer’s investment in existing fieldbus instrumentation which can be connected to the output of a DART Segment Protector. (Illustrations: Pepperl+Fuchs, Fotolia; [M]-Rau)

Dart represents a completely new approach to intrinsically safe circuits. This advanced technology eliminates most of the limitations which system engineers face when they need to install high-power actuators and sensors in explosion hazard zones. Dart not only keeps power at safe levels, it also uses intelligent circuitry to monitor the entire current path. As soon as the monitoring circuit detects the formation of a dangerous spark, power input is cut within microseconds before the spark can reach the ignition temperature.

Protecting your investment

Dart is the intelligent solution for fieldbus systems. It fits seamless into any existing trunk & spur topology, and it is compatible with any existing Entity field device. Trunk & spur has become the standard topology in the industry, and it is currently used in most fieldbus-based process automation infrastructure. It offers the advantage of logical system design combined with maximum scalability and adaptability.

FISCO and Entity have become the primary explosion protection solutions in recent years. Both have become de-facto standards, and they are generally regarded as reliable solutions in the process automation world. However, they have some significant drawbacks such as cable length restrictions, limitations on the number of field devices and limitations on the usable power which is available to the field devices. These restrictions are the natural consequence of the underlying engineering concept. The basic idea is to limit the power level. The voltage and current are never allowed to reach levels where sparking could generate ignition temperatures.

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