Ex ic – Intrinsic Safety’s New Protection

The following is a press release which is actually from MTL Instruments, about a new Whitepaper describing Ex ic. So it is worth reading: don’t be put off by the corporate speak of the first paragraph!

Power management company Eaton has released a new whitepaper, Ex ic – Intrinsic Safety’s New Protection Level, that helps users and manufacturers understand more about Ex ic, the new intrinsic safety protection level for electrical apparatus in flammable environments. The paper is authored by Phil Saward, training and technical consultant, within Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds Division. Phil Saward has 25 years’ experience in hazardous area products and applications and has served time on various Foundation fieldbus.

The paper is available to download directly from http://www.mtl-inst.com/white-papers.

“The concept of a third level of protection for intrinsic safety has existed for several decades,” said Phil Saward. “Only in recent years has it been formally adopted into the major standards systems in common use worldwide. Meanwhile, other methods of protection have filled the gap. In particular, Ex nL has provided a workable, but somewhat loosely defined alternative until its recent withdrawal from international standards. The paper therefore covers the essential differences between Ex ic and Ex nL, and discusses the pros and cons of the two.

The whitepaper deals primarily with the impact on countries that follow IEC and ATEX practice – but there are parallels with the ‘non-incendive’ technique that is adopted in North America. The paper is aimed at those who are familiar with the principles of explosion protection for electrical apparatus, but will also appeal to readers who are responsible for compliance to the ATEX Directive and relevant IEC standards.

Topics covered include: What is Ex ic?; The position of Ex ic in the Intrinsic Safety family; Changes to the IEC standards; Why things are changing now; Background and links to the ATEX directive.

One of the most helpful elements of the whitepaper is the inclusion of a case study which demonstrates how the new Ex ic standard can fundamentally change the design of a Foundation fieldbus network, compared with implementations that were based on the Ex n standards. This practical illustration will help readers understand the potential impact in terms of network design and hardware selection.

Advertisements

Fanuc increases robot capacity

FANUC today announced the purchase of 695,000 square meters of land in Japan to increase production capacities for the installation of new CNCs, servo motors and servo amplifiers, as Europe’s demand for robots grows. Under the purchase agreement FANUC is purchasing land from the “Mibu-hanyuda Industrial Park,” with the first phase beginning in September 2015.

FANUC will also expand its laboratories situated in the Headquarters site including the construction of four new factories. With this expansion, testing equipment will be introduced to complement FANUC‘s expert knowledge, to continue to create new and innovative products.

Chris Sumner, vice president, FANUC Europe said: “One of the major reasons behind the increase in our production capacity at FANUC, is the high demand we’ve seen from European manufacturers. As factories look to implement more automation technologies within their manufacturing processes, many have realised the cost-saving potential and increased rate of production that this brings to their businesses. We’ve seen this reflected in our orders over the last twelve months, in the UK in particular we have seen orders increase across the board by over 50 per cent.”

Yokogawa and Cisco Deliver Cybersecurity Solutions for Shell

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced a collaboration with Cisco Systems Inc to deliver the Shell SecurePlant initiative for Shell worldwide. SecurePlant is a comprehensive security management solution for plant control systems that was jointly developed as an initiative between Cisco, a leader in the IT industry, Yokogawa, a leader in mission-critical plant automation systems, and Shell. The three companies have agreed to proceed over the next three years with the implementation of SecurePlant at around fifty Shell plants globally.
Industrial producers around the world face a wide range of operational challenges in areas such as cybersecurity that pose a pervasive threat to safety and availability. Most companies with global operations, however, still take a relatively simplistic plant-by-plant approach, such as implementing operating system security patches and anti-virus pattern file updates. As a result, security levels tend to vary at each plant.
In the general practice of control system security management, individual control system vendors extensively validate security patches and anti-virus pattern files to confirm that they do not interfere with system operation, and then report the results to their customers for implementation. Since plants tend to use a variety of control systems and equipment from different vendors, occasionally with multi-generation platforms from a single vendor, this process is often complicated. For this reason, plants increasingly have a need for plant-wide integrated services that take a more holistic and efficient approach to the management of system security. With the aim of standardizing security practices at Shell plants around the world and minimizing control system vulnerability, Yokogawa and Cisco collaborated on the design of the SecurePlant service and will jointly provide deployment and operational services.
The SecurePlant solution is designed as a standard solution that consists of the delivery of OS patches and anti-virus pattern files for control systems and the provision of real time and proactive monitoring of solution delivery, as well as a help desk operation to manage this solution.
Supplier-certified Windows security patches and virus signature files are distributed from a SecureCenter to the SecureSite at each plant via Shell’s existing global network. The real time and proactive monitoring capabilities enable the centralized management of plant security. A customer help desk operated jointly by Yokogawa and Cisco is available 24/7/365 to manage solution related incidents.
Moving forward, Yokogawa and Cisco will continue to offer comprehensive security solutions involving the deployment, operation, and monitoring of control system environments. These services are applicable to plants of all sizes in a wide variety of industries, including facilities spread out over a large geographic area. In addition, both companies will leverage their technologies and experience to develop deep industrial automation (IA) solutions such as remote system maintenance, remote plant asset management and Big Data on the top of a secure remote access platform to help companies in making faster decisions, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO), and achieving operational excellence.
This press announcement was made at the ARC Forum in the USA on 10 February 2015: this year sees the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yokogawa.