Across the globe, developers must keep track of myriad and frequently changing codes and regulations when designing, manufacturing, distributing, installing, and inspecting equipment in hazardous locations, also known as explosive atmospheres.
Hazardous locations are those that are at-risk of explosion from arcing and sparking parts or from elevated temperatures occurring where flammable gases, combustible dusts or ignitable fibers are present in the atmosphere. These atmospheres are present in the oil and gas, chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical, offshore and mining industries, and can commonly be found at locations like gas stations and grain silos.
For years, professionals in the industry have leafed through three-ring binders, viewed wall charts in tiny print or relied upon the memory of veteran colleagues to find all of the necessary requirements for each location. Now, UL has developed a mobile app that allows professionals to access this information at their fingertips.
“There are hazardous locations around the corner and across the globe, from your neighborhood gas station to oil rigs in the North Sea.’” said Paul Kelly, principal engineer on UL’s Global Hazardous Locations team. “Industry players need to understand the many different rules and regulations that impact hazardous locations across the globe.”
Among its many features, the app provides a broad range of information including area classification principles, equipment markings, national and regional standards, and definitions for terms used in these hazardous locations industries. The app also provides a list of upcoming workshops and the ability to ask questions or request price quotes for services from UL.
In addition, its “Find Your StandardTM” tool is an interactive feature of the app. First, users input the type of explosive atmosphere (either gas or dust), then the likelihood of its presence, whether the ignition source is electrical or not, the protection technique employed and the installation principles required.
For example, an environment where gas is most likely to be present all the time, with an electrical ignition source that is being protected by intrinsic safety under the NEC Division system, would be required to follow the ANSI/UL 913 standard in the United States. For the same scenario in Canada under the CEC Division system, the standard would be CSA-C22.2 No. 157-92.
The app is especially relevant now, as the industry is undergoing a wave of retirements, which will lead to the potential loss of a vast knowledge base as large numbers of new people enter the industry to replace them. These newcomers, many of whom are at ease with smartphones and tablets, will find great value from this new app.
“Younger professionals are definitely digitally savvy, and so this app is reaching them in the way that intuitively makes sense to them, especially as they are hungry to increase their knowledge of the industry,” Kelly said.
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/HazLocApp.