Straight to the point: Smart Safety functions for field deployment

HIMA Paul Hildebrandt has developed the decentralized HIJunctionBox to expand the Smart Safety Platform concept directly into the field. Thanks to its suitability for Ex Zone 2 explosion hazard areas, the HIJunctionBox can also be used under harsh environmental conditions. Pre-configuration and modular I/O enable fast and easy integration of the HIJunctionBox into existing installations.

The HIJunctionBox enables plant operators to implement decentralized control and safety solutions extremely flexibly. The uniform hardware and software design allows any necessary additional modules to be retrofitted easily and implemented locally. As a result, the system architecture of an installation can always be flexibly adapted to altered requirements. In the event of loss of communication with the central system, the robust junction box continues to operate independently in the field, contributing to higher system availability.

High flexibility

Depending on the complexity of the application, the system is based on the HIMatrix or HIMax safety controller. It can be structured as a redundant system or as a mono system. High flexibility with I/O modules and the option of using the Reload function to transfer programming settings enable quick system expansion during live operation, even in the subsequent engineering process. A wide variety of functions can be implemented through modular I/O integration, from system control and monitoring to detailed diagnostics such as HART. The HIJunctionBox is supplied pre-configured and tested. The pretested basic structure allows factory acceptance tests (FAT) and site acceptance tests (SAT) to be shortened, resulting in faster overall commissioning.

Robust design for harsh environments

The “Control in the Field” feature of the HIJunctionBox additionally enables the plant operator to perform sophisticated control tasks on site, even under demanding environmental conditions. The HIJunctionBox is designed and built to meet the requirements of IP 66/NEMA 4X protection ratings in accordance with IEC 60529 and has a lockable 316L stainless steel enclosure with a wall thickness of 2 mm. It is certified for deployment in ATEX Zone 2 explosion hazard areas and can be used over the temperature range of –20°C to +55°C.

Lower infrastructure costs and simplified Engineering

The HIJunctionBox can be deployed within the HIMA Smart Safety Platform or as an extension to existing control systems. The modular and standardized design of the HIJunctionBox offer plant operators additional benefits in cost effectiveness and installation planning. For example, the number of marshalling cabinets, cable trays and master cables from the control center to the field can be strongly reduced and a standardized concept with distributed HIJunctionBoxes at the process level can be implemented. This reduces space requirements in the central rooms, some of which have costly air conditioning, and considerably simplifies cabling – both of which contribute to lower capital expenditures and optimal operating costs. Elimination of marshalling panels between the central control room and the field signals also enables cost savings. The ability to use fiber optics for communication with existing systems further reduces capital expenditures.

“The HIJunctionBox is an important field expansion of our Smart Safety Platform,” says Dr. Alexander Horch, Vice President Research, Development & Product Management at HIMA. “Plant operators can now benefit from the advantages of our platform directly at the plant. These include lower plant complexity and compliance with security requirements. The uniform hardware and software concept reduces operating and life cycle costs, and the modular approach offers plant operators maximum flexibility and a future-proof solution."

The HIJunctionBox with HIMax components brings I/O channels to the field, even under demanding environmental conditions. Images © HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH

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