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In association with Roxtec, Abtech (global manufacturers of hazardous area enclosures) present an alternative to the traditional gland plate/cable gland combination for the termination of Ex-rated junction boxes. This approach provides weight and space savings whilst also ensuring that a safe and low maintenance installation is achieved.

Cable Transit in an Ex Enclosure

Abtech SX stainless steel enclosures are designed for use in Zone 1 and 21 hazardous locations. They are typically used as control cabinets, junction boxes and enclosures for electrical and instrumentation connections. To manage the multiple and varied sizes of cable connection common to such applications, a popular approach has been to use a gland plate pre-drilled with numerous entries to accommodate various sizes of gland. In order to maintain the IP66/67 rating, correct cable gland installation is also critical. This requires a minimum clearance between glands to ensure they can be tightened sufficiently using the appropriate tools. This minimum clearance can result in a larger than ideal enclosure size in order to accommodate all the connections required.

By using the Roxtec transit devices less real estate is required on the gland plate for cable connections for Ex and non-Ex applications. Transit systems such as this typically have the ability to seal more cables in a smaller area, thus potentially reducing the size and weight of the enclosure. Such reductions are an important design consideration for engineers developing hazardous area electrical systems, both onshore and also in congested Offshore and FPSO environments.

Abtech enclosures are designed to withstand the rigours of offshore hazardous area installation. The SX range is manufactured from 316 (1.404) stainless steel and carries ingress protection to IP66/67 as well as being ERA deluge tested. However, with Ex certified enclosures, correct on-site gland termination is essential to prevent water and dust ingress. The ‘adaptable cable transit’ design features removable layers, allowing transits to be easily adjusted to different cable sizes, helping to ensure an excellent seal and avoiding potential future ingress issues.

Cable transits have been used within the Oil & Gas industry for a number of years and are normally fitted using a specially constructed frame welded to the gland plates of the hazardous area enclosure. Roxtec’s devices simplifies this process with the aid of a unique clamping system on the inside of the gland plate. No welding of the frame is required, just a simple cut out on the plate. If capacity exists in the frame, then additional entries can easily be added without the need for modification of the gland plate, thus greatly reducing installation and maintenance time.

As co-sponsors of the 2016 PCIC Middle East conference, Abtech and Roxtec will be showcasing this combined solution in Abu Dhabi, where the aim is to demonstrate this optimum, advanced and fully ATEX and IECEx certified solution to engineers directly involved with the design and specification of electrical connections.