Enclosure system provides convenience, arc-flash safety

To jointly address National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) compliance and protect workers against the dangers of arc flash explosions, Hoffman introduced the Arc Flash Safety System, with Intersafe Data Interface Ports, window kits, folding shelves, the Concept Keyboard Box, and external data pockets.

By Control Engineering Staff May 4, 2006
Hoffman Arc Flash Safety System isolates workers from energized equipment within the enclosure while meeting NFPA 70E standards for safety.

To jointly address National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) compliance and protect workers against the dangers of arc flash explosions, Hoffman introduced the Arc Flash Safety System, with Intersafe Data Interface Ports, window kits, folding shelves, the Concept Keyboard Box, and external data pockets. The system provides safe, convenient, and affordable exterior access to controls.

Arc flash events may happen when an electrical fault occurs within the confined space of an enclosure. Often triggered by opening doors to access controls, the resulting explosion can cause devastating personal injury and extensive equipment damage. Conventional compliance with safety standards specifies that only highly trained personnel with fire-retardant, protective gear, and non-conductive wands may breach enclosures within a “flash protection boundary” established by NFPA 70E. Methods are potentially hazardous, entail considerable compliance costs, and may require a production shutdown to monitor controls or initiate a simple programming change, Hoffman says.

Intersafe Data Interface Ports, programming ports designed to provide data access without opening enclosure doors, are the focus of the Hoffman system; 21 NEMA Type 4/12 mild steel and 51 NEMA Type 4X stainless steel and polycarbonate standard models feature connectors that interface with all major data and industrial communication protocols, and either a breaker-protected GFCI or standard duplex outlet. Ports are available for new enclosures or retrofit applications. Modified and custom panels can meet specifications. Accessories include steel and stainless steel window kits for exterior visual monitoring of controls, folding shelves to hold laptops and test equipment, plus external keyboard and documentation storage. Hoffman, based in Anoka, MN, is a part of the Pentair Technical Products Group.

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering,
MHoske@cfemedia.com