In Europe, explosion-proof “apparatus” fall under the ATEX Directive. Several protection concepts are available in the toolkit of the engineer. The ex-d principle for example, requires enclosures around the electronics that must be able to withstand an explosion from the inside.
To make an explosion-proof product, one can choose from a total of 12 protection concepts. Such as Ex-m, that involves potting to reduce spot temperatures. Or Ex-i, which ensures that the electronics are intrinsically safe. For Canada and the US, FM and CSA have issued similar, but not identical standards that allow for market introduction. By combining these in a clever way, valuable development lead time reduction can be achieved.
As oil and gas are often found in the remote and extreme locations, the product must be extremely robust, i.e. being able to withstand high impacts, corrosive environments and provide a very high ingress protection for heavy rains and hose-downs. A test to the Nema standards ensures this.
…Also other extreme conditions must be taken into account such as very low and high temperatures…
The technical part is challenging enough but the real added value comes in designing a product that is all that and on top of that a platform that can reduce SKU’s, empowers users by paying extra attention to UX/UI, has serviceability as a starting point and does great at fairs because it tells the story and simply looks good.
This results in a cost effective and robust product that can be safely installed by third parties, used on a daily basis by operators, and easily maintained by your service engineers.