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Pumping iron


Working in partnership with a leading fire pump control manufacturer to develop a Zone 2 certified solution from an existing safe area system.

Project Brief

Over many years, this company has come to Expo for one-off hazardous area solutions. However, having developed a new range of safe area systems, it was decided to create a parallel solution for hazardous area use that would become a new standard unit. While some systems in the past had used Ex nR as the protection concept, for this project, Ex p was by far the best solution.


  • Thermal management - while the safe area system comprised one large enclosure containing both high voltage switchgear and control systems, the hazardous area system would need to be split into two separate enclosures to better manage heat loads. 
  • Components - the internal design and components needed to stay as close as possible to the original safe area solution.  
  • Ease of use - the customer required a user-friendly system including minimal operator interactions and maintenance


  • As the project developed, what started as a straightforward conversion rapidly changed into a fully bespoke build of two - HV and control - panels, that would be joined as one unit when in use. The HV cell switchgear was heavy and bulky, so Expo's design team needed to give additional consideration to mounting points and supporting metalwork, while maintaining ease of access for installation and maintenance. 
  • In relation to the control panel, this section required an 8000BTU/hr (2.3kW) hazardous area certified air conditioning (AC) unit to be integrated to the rear of the enclosure with cold air being directed up and over the chassis plate. This enclosure was designed in conjunction with Iceqube, a US based cooling system manufacturer, who both recommended the best system and give guidance on how best to install.
  • In addition, the customer required a certified Allen Bradley HMI to the front of the enclosure.  However, this came with special conditions requiring mechanical and UV protection when not in use.  We designed and produced a non-pressurised door allowing operators to easily access the panel. 
  • Finally, both units were finished in ‘Cardinal Red’ 


Expo Products and Services
  • Fully-custom enclosure design and build
  • Type-X purge
  • Iceqube Zone 2 AC unit
  • Inspection & certification services

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