From physics lessons everyone knows the impressive effects a single ignition spark has when it causes finely pulverised flour to explode in a vessel. Stephan Treml, S+S Product Manager for Magnet Systems: "Just imagine the devastating destruction a reaction that is many thousand times stronger might cause in an industrial plant. And explosions may not only be caused by flour dust or by highly flammable gases, under certain circumstances even products such as metal powder, sugar, herbs, wood chips, and pharmaceutical ingredients may show a very strong reaction. Even plastic powder, which generally has no reputation of being highly flammable, according to information of German property insurance companies causes 14 percent of dust explosions."
Since 1 July 2003 equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres must therefore comply with directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 95). One of the most essential changes of this directive was the separate consideration of hazards caused by mechanical ignition sources. This means that it is no longer exclusively electrical sources that must be considered as a cause of ignition sparks, but also e.g. sparks that are caused by impacts or friction. According to data established by property insurance companies 30 percent of dust explosions in Germany are caused by mechanical sparks.
Already in the year 2005 S+S Separation and Sorting Technology GmbH provided the world's first fully-automated magnet system complying with the highest ATEX classification for zone 20/21. Since the middle of 2006 all the magnet separators that can be used in potentially explosive atmospheres have been type-approved by a notified body.
Helmuth Frisch, Technical Manager of S+S, explains: "S+S is able to provide magnet separators for almost all applications in areas subject to dust or gas explosion hazards. We have the know-how for assessing the conformity of the equipment according to the specification of ATEX product directive 94/9/EC before the equipment is delivered. With many years of experience in a large variety of different applications, and with the competent support of our customers, S+S is a strong partner in this most sensitive application area."
S+S Separation and Sorting Technology GmbH of Schönberg, Bavaria, manufactures machines and systems for the detection/separation of contaminants, for product inspection, and for the sorting of material flows. Product sales primarily focus on the food, plastics, chemical, pharmaceutical, wood, textile, and recycling industries. S+S (sesotec.com) is one of the world’s leading suppliers with subsidiaries in Great Britain, France, China, Singapore, and in the USA, a representative office in India, and more than 40 agencies all over the world. The main factory in Schönberg presently employs 230 people.
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