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Industrial Networking in Hazardous Areas

Hazardous areas are classified environments where there is a possibility that under normal or adverse operating conditions an explosive gas or dust may be present. Using electrical apparatus in hazardous areas requires special considerations to ensure that ignition of the potentially explosive environment cannot occur.  This must be the case for equipment operating either under normal or fault conditions.

Industrial communications equipment used in hazardous areas is subject to the same criteria and considerations as all other electrical apparatus. As such, when using industrial communications apparatus in a hazardous area, an appropriate and accepted explosion protection technique must be adopted.

The appropriate explosion protection technique must take into account both the actual gas / dust hazard (Group) and area classification (Zoning) of the location. The most common explosion protection techniques used for industrial communications equipment are ExN (Increased Safety), ExD (Flameproof) and Exia (Intrinsic Safety).

Madison Technologies have hazardous area protection solutions available for a wide range of Industrial Communications and networking applications.  These applications range from Serial, Ethernet, Wireless and Cellular communications in hazardous areas.

Hazardous area classifications

Hazardous areas are classified into 3 Zones based upon the frequency of the occurrence and duration of an explosive gas and dust atmosphere: 

Zone Classifications

Gas & Vapour
Dust

 

Zone 0
Zone 20 
Area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.
 
Zone 1
Zone 21
Area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is in which an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to occur in normal likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
 
Zone 2
Zone 22
Area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist will persist for a short period only.
 
Safe Area
A non-hazardous area in which an explosive atmosphere is not expected to be present.


NB: The IEC system does not refer to Classes, so that classification system is no longer used in Australia.

Gas Groups

Group
Representative Gases
I*
All underground coal mining, firedamp (methane)
     
IIA
Industrial methane, propane, petrol and the majority of industrial Gases
IIB
Ethylene, coke oven gas and other industrial gases
IIC
Hydrogen, acetylene, carbon disulphide


* Gp I (underground mining) has additional considerations

IEC-Ex International approval

Local Australian regulations requires all equipment installed in hazardous areas to have IECEx Certification for acceptance in Australian installations. QLD Mines is a local exception which stipulates that the IEC Certificate must have been issued by an Australian Test Authority.

Madison’s hazardous area range meets IEC-EX International approvals. 

Industries that use hazardous area technology 

Hazardous areas are places where an explosive atmosphere is present, or expected to be present, in quantities sufficient to produce explosions due to flammable gases, vapours, dusts or ignitable fibres. Industrial industries that have hazardous areas or explosive environments include:

  • Oil and gas production and processing
  • Petroleum storage and distribution
  • Water and wastewater
  • Mining – coal
  • Pharmaceutical production
  • Chemical production
  • Explosives manufacturing
  • Grain production and processing
  • Powdered milk product production
  • Power – gas turbines
  • Ship vessel manufacture
  • Beverage production
  • Printing industries, paper and textiles
  • Sugar refineries


Product categories

Madison's hazardous location range includes flameproof (ExD) and intrinsically safe (Exia) products, for use in Serial, Ethernet, Wireless and Cellular communications networks in hazardous areas.

Madison’s hazardous area range meets IEC-EX International approvals. 

  • Industrial Networking: Industrial Networking: Zone 1 - Industrial Ethernet couplers with intrinsically safe barrier circuitry and Explosion-proof body which screws into Exd gland entry. Zone 2 – EX approved Ethernet extenders, SHDSL extender, redundant ring, serial support; managed Ethernet switches and unmanaged Switches, point to point fibre and Ethernet media converters, serial device servers.
     
  • Industrial Wireless: Zone 1 - Antennas, explosion proof antenna couplers, hazardous area enclosures or housings, and explosion proof cellular router with wi-fi access point.

Hazardous area brands

 

 

 

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