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The importance of the certification of an accredited laboratory also for ‘Ex nA’ or ‘Ex nR’ equipment suitable for installation in environments with explosive atmospheres

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 PDF icon The importance of the certification by a laboratory for Ex nA and Ex nR equipment
1. Introduction

The choice of the specific construction design, whether ‘Ex d’, ‘Ex e’ or ‘Ex nA’ or ‘nR’, is in accordance with the hazardous areas classification normed by IEC 60079-10 and EN 60079-10 standard.

Cortem Group, for almost fifty years present on the ex-protected international market, produces various types of equipment and products that meet plant requirements in accordance with international standards such as IEC 60079-0, 60079-1, 60079-7, 60079-15, 60079-31 etc., as well as for similar European EN standards.

Also for the ‘Ex nA’ or ‘Ex nR’ restricted breathing devices, Cortem Group decided to appoint accredited certification bodies aiming to ensure full credibility to the quality of these products instead of using self-certification procedures as many companies are still following today.

The use of LEDs in explosive atmospheres: evolution, foundation and advantage of an ever-changing technology

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 PDF icon The use of LEDs in explosive atmospheres evolutions foundation advantages

1. The "op is" safe optical radiation protection and the photo-biological risk

As already mentioned in previous articles, the LED (Light Emitter Diode) has revolutionized the way of designing and manufacturing lighting equipment suitable for hazardous environments with presence of gas or dust. As consequence, the Ex manufacturers had to completely renew the construction range.

Cortem Group has been designing and manufacturing for several LED lighting equipment and it is constantly pursuing the search for new high performance LEDs, conforming to the new dictates in terms of security and in full respect of regulations specific to explosive atmospheres.

Nofake Project: new holographic authentication label for Cortem Group products

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Since 2012 Cortem Group ensures the quality and authenticity of its products and fights the illegal distribution of imitations and falsifications on the international market with the Nofake Project.

This project consists in the application, on all products, of a tamper-evident security label with a unique product authentication code. After a first visual inspection, it is possible to check on Cortem Group web site the validity of the unique alphanumeric code printed on the label.

The technologies used for making labels make it impossible to reproduce them thanks to the use of the most modern anti-counterfeit materials and the most advanced security protocols for on-line communications.

Another safety element is that the Nofake Project provides for a periodic update of the safety label, both the material and the process technology.

From 2012 up to 2014, an adhesive sticker round shaped, with a security hologram which contained a visible text "TESTED", "ORIGINAL PRODUCT" and an alphanumeric code has been applied on all the products.

Cortem Group certifies its enclosures installed in the “Hook release controller HRC" equipment for modern mooring systems

Friday, 26 May 2017
Cortem Group has certified the ‘Hook Release Controller HRC’ equipment, a release control device consisting of a control unit and from 1 up to 4 actuators housed in the EJB-45 series enclosures made of aluminum or stainless steel. The actuators operate from 1 to 4 push-pull controls.
Quick Release Hooks are the basis for modern mooring systems for FPSO ships: they enable mooring lines to be safely secured, quickly and easily released.
They are designed for commercial ports as an alternative to bollards whilst improving safety and efficiency of mooring operation at reduced cost.



The use of electrical socket outlets in environments with explosive atmosphere

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 PDF icon The use of electrical sockets outlet in Ex Area
The engineering philosophy in general, and in particular the one for explosive environments, besides the normal design for the realization of the production processes, may consider the need for a proper management and maintenance of the plant as a whole: the management and maintenance of the production process and of all the "Utilities" that contribute to the functionality of the production process.
For these reasons, the designer, in addition to the civil, mechanical and process components, studies and analyzes that the equipment operate in continuity and as provided in the processual logic.
One of the many components of industrial plants or hazardous environments are the power sockets.
Normally, in order to ensure the ability to operate in full security and without interfering with operational areas with temporary electrical wires, the designer considers the orographic positioning of the sockets so that the operator can work with cables of lengths which not cause hindrance.
For this reason, more than one power outlet system type is required in the plant, such as:

The evolution of the Ex-proof flame path

Friday, 21 April 2017 PDF icon The evolution of the Ex-proof flame path
As written in previous dissertation, the most critical part of a flameproof enclosure 'Ex d' is the flame path.

Although the Standards are divided into National standards (CEI EN 60079- ...), Community standards (EN 60079- ...) and international standards (IEC 60079- ...), which in fact are the same, we will quote below only the reference 60079- ...

The reference standard, 60079-1 "Explosive atmospheres Part 1: Equipment protected by explosion proof enclosures ‘d’, has been updated so that in this discussion we will analyse the changes relating to the use of the flame path.

This is the oldest method of protection that exists, the first used and still one of the safest because it is based on a very simple technology and, therefore, hardly fallible.

Updating on the dimensional criteria for the design of ‘Ex d’, ‘Ex de’ enclosures for Panel Boards

Thursday, 16 March 2017 PDF icon The new standard of cable entry in Ex d and Ex de junction boxes for Panel Boards
The new standard of cable entry


April 2017: enter into force the third phase of the EC Regulation n. 245/2009 for the elimination of obsolete and/or inefficient light sources

Wednesday, 15 March 2017
To reduce the environmental impact resulting from the use of energy-inefficient solutions, the European Union member States have adopted, since the year 2005, the progressive ban of less efficient lighting products.
Currently on the plants with risk of explosion are installed lighting fixtures with lamps of different types such as filament lamps (incandescent), fluorescent and discharge lamps, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, metal halide lamps that do not meet the mandatory requirements of this Directive.
The EuP Directive 2005/32/EC, implemented in Italy in 2007 and later repealed and replaced by the EuP Directive 2009/125/EC, implemented in Italy on 16.2.2011 with DL No. 15 and the Regulation (EC) No.

The use of the grounding system in Ex environments

Monday, 20 February 2017 PDF icon The use of GRD4200 grounding equipment
It happened at least once to all to receive an electrostatic shock getting off the car and touching the door handle to close it. If we are not insulated from the ground (bringing rubber shoes), the static energy accumulated while standing on an insulated car discharges to earth through our body, coming into contact with the ground. 
To prevent this phenomenon, it's possible to add to the car a conductive strip that, being always in contact with the ground, allows to instantly discharged the stored energy, thus avoiding the use of our body as the conduction element.
In potentially explosive atmospheres these phenomena occur during loading and/or unloading operations of vehicles that carry inflammable and explosives products, such as tank trucks for transport by road or LNG carriers for transport by sea.
However, it’s not enough to use a ground connection between the tanker and the ground network system, but it’s necessary to adopt security measures that connect the two systems safely, ensuring the safety of people and the protection of the property.

The use of the sealing fittings in explosion-proof electrical equipment (Ex d IIB, Ex d IIB + H2 and Ex d IIC)

Friday, 20 January 2017 PDF icon The use of sealing fittings in Ex equipment

In electrical equipment in which it’s necessary to have a physical separation for the limitation of the flame passage, such as petrochemical, oil and gas, chemical industrial plants and, generally, in places with a potentially explosive atmosphere and the possible presence of gas and dust, must be used specific limitation devices such as sealed cable glands or sealing fittings.

During the inspection operations of facilities, the sealing fittings have been found too many times not installed as indicated by the manufacturer or not filled with the specific sealant material provided with the sealing fittings or even missing between two adjacent boxes. This is due to the superficiality of the operators in charge of assembly operations, safety supervision and testing.

This carelessness and failure to comply with the manufacturer's requirements will invalidate every product guarantee (and this would be the lesser of evils), involving a huge risk to the safety and functionality of the system, with possible health risks and damage to operators.  Furthermore, it can cause economic damage for the loss of production in case of functional failure and out of order of the equipment.