The combination of fluid control systems provider Bürkert Fluid Control Systems’ AirLINE Ex 8650 valve islands and multinational engineering company Siemens’ intrinsically safe Simatic ET 200iSP distributed input/output (I/O) system is providing an ideal, safe, compact and modular pneumatic control solution for a global drinks company in Scotland. The equipment has been used in replacement Ex-rated control panels at the company’s bottling plant in Glasgow, Scotland.
The project to replace the old remote Ex-rated I/O panels and pneumatics in the bottling plant was awarded to a joint team comprising a major Siemens distributor and a systems integrator that specialises in installations within the Scotch whisky industry. The objective was to replace the panels in situ, without major disruption to the existing infrastructure.
The hazardous Ex-rated nature of the project meant that a Siemens intrinsically safe Simatic ET 200iSP distributed I/O system had to be specified for the electrical control element. As regards the pneumatic system, the designers opted for Bürkert, primarily because the company’s Atex-rated Type 8650 valve island system has been used successfully with the ET 200iSP on a number of critical applications; recently, for example, on a Zone 1 North Sea project for controlling a sampling and blending system in an oil and gas application.
According to Atex directives, Zone 1 is applied to equipment required to provide a high level of protection when used in areas where an explosive gas atmosphere.
The AirLINE Ex 8650 system provided the ideal solution for the client’s retrofit project. It offers the key benefits of substantial reductions in cabinet space, wiring, documentation and validation, reducing the complexity of the task and reducing costs for the client. The 8650 delivers these benefits by combining EEx ia-classed solenoid valves with modules from the ET 200iSP system and fieldbus communications, providing users with a complete Atex-certified unit for use in Zone 1 and Zone 21, which is the same as Zone 1 but includes explosive dust in the atmosphere.
The key benefits of the integrated Siemens/Bürkert system are all evident in the project as it was conceived and implemented. The combination has produced a neater, more compact and more modular solution; and one that, because of profibus communications, requires far less wiring than the original Ex panels.
The success of this project has resulted in the systems integrator actively considering standardising the AirLINE Ex 8650 system for future hazardous area applications that have a pneumatic actuation function, while the installer is applying the concept of reduced wiring through the use of Profibus to help other clients in the future.
“We are delighted that such a prestigious project has allowed us to demonstrate the benefits that our integrated AirLINE Ex 8560 system can provide in demanding, hazardous applications. The integration with the Siemens system provided a more reliable, maintainable and compact design that saved considerably on labour during the design and building of this system. In many applications of this type, customers go for traditional solutions that require far more pipework and cabling and a larger enclosure and take far longer to build and install. We have demonstrated with this application the real cost saving advantages of adopting new technologies that are fit for purpose,” said Bürkert GM Neil Saunders.
Bürkert’s AirLINE Ex 8650 unit is fully Atex, IEC-Ex-certified; it can, therefore, be used in explosion-hazard areas with gas or dust atmospheres. The system is particularly suited to decentralised process control tasks involving fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and oil and gas; it can be used, for example, to automate the filling of potentially volatile solvents, alcohol or lacquers. In these application areas, the new system is unique, as it is the only compact electropneumatic automation solution allowing integration of EEx ia-rated pneumatic valves without additional wiring.
The AirLINE Ex 8650 units are available from Bürkert UK as separate components or built up into a full Ex cabinet or panel by the in-house panel building and systems team.
Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is one of the leading manufacturers of control and measuring systems for fluids and gases. The products have a wide variety of applications and are used by breweries and laboratories, as well as in medical engineering and space technology. The company employs over 2 500 people and has a comprehensive network of branches in 36 countries worldwide.