Intrinsically safe I/O subsystem simplifies hazardous area installations

IPS and P+F team to integrate intrinsically safe hardware with control system technology.
By Control Engineering Staff June 3, 2009

Invensys Process Systems (IPS), a technology, software and consulting firm, has teamed with Pepperl+Fuchs (P+F), a supplier of intrinsic safety solutions for process industries, to offer integration of intrinsically safe I/O interface product lines with I/A Series distributed control system (DCS) technology. P+F says that with built-in barriers and field connections, the integrated modules offer a low-cost, small footprint, easy-to-maintain solution for mounting I/O modules in hazardous locations. Such tight integration with the DCS provides users with an interface from which they can set up, configure and maintain intrinsic safety using standard I/A Series tools. The solution is certified for Zone 1 and Zone 2 hazardous environments.

“Our clients are looking for proven, cost-effective ways to prevent disasters in hazardous environments, not simply contain them,” said Betty Naylor-McDevitt, IPS Director of DCS business. “Traditional explosion-proof cabinets are too costly to install and maintain, and our clients need reliable equipment that is easier to maintain and has a smaller footprint.”

The companies point out that integration of IPS and P+F technology has many benefits for users. Because the intrinsically safe modules are hot-swappable without a hot work permit, maintenance is easier and safer. Plus, with built-in redundancy in communication modules, power supplies, and bus interfaces, availability is high. IPS offers the integrated solution on HART capable modules so I/A series system users can manage intrinsically safe operation of any vendor’s HART field devices. Moreover, because integration with I/A Series technology also brings compatibility with IPS’s FDT-based Field Device Manager, users can set up, commission, and maintain smart devices within a common engineering environment.

“We are impressed by how efficiently the IPS and Pepperl+Fuchs teams worked together to integrate our products,” says Karsten Fischer, P+F global account manager for Invensys. “I/A Series system users will experience and appreciate the ease of setting up and configuring the intrinsically safe equipment using standard I/A Series tools. They will incur less capital expense while experiencing the same performance and without jeopardizing safety or needing to invest in expensive explosion-proof cabinets.”

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com
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