Operator panel in Ex enviroment


Thread Starter

Pavel Horak

I need to find some operator panel (something like Siemens OP) suitable to work in Ex enviroment. We are using OPs from Siemens (OP27, OP37). These panels aren't intended to work in Ex enviroments and so we blow the air into the distribution board the OP is installed in it to reach certain small overpressure. We had tested TP27 too but without success. I need panel respecting the conditions mentioned above. The panel has to be able to communicate with Siemens PLC S7 (300 / 400 family) by MPI and/or Profibus DP.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

James Thomas

Try the ISIS600 intrinsically safe OIT suitable for use in Zone 0 (Class 1 Div 1). It has an EEx'ia' IIC T4 rating or if you're in the States FM Class 1 Div 1 Groups ABCD. We use this on our Delta V network.
Take a look at the Uticor product line at [http://www.uticor.com] to see if these are what you are looking for (good product, poor web site). We use their panels in Class 1 and Class 2 (both Div II) area with modbus plus, though they have drivers to S7.
All of the Siemens OPs will work for this application. The TPs will work also however you need to purchase along with that a plastic adapter that will go over the TP screen. The problem with most touch screens is that they are resistive, hence the possibility of static discharge. Siemens is working on a plastic cover that will mount over the screen. This will avoid
the problem of static. The OPs since they are keypad do not have this problem, thus allowing them to be used in an ex environment in a purged
panel. While doing you research you will probably find that this is the case for most of the TPs on the market. By sticking with the Siemens operator panel you maintain the Totally Integrated Application (TIA) approach. Call your local Siemens rep to find out more about the adapter kit for the TPs.

Ron Powers
Senior Product Specialist-HMI
Validation Center
Strategic Machinery Division
Siemens Energy & Automation

Ruben Boelinger

Try the Exicom series from SAE-STAHL (www.sae-stahl.com. SAE-STAHL offers complet solutions for hazardous area with the product range of R.STAHL SCHALTGERAETE GMBH.Therefor the terminals are in a housing with heating for zone 1 or zone 2


Estellito R. Jr


If you need an operator panel to be used in an Ex environment, you will need an FM or UL approved one.
Even if you provide an ordinary industrial panel with a (designed by yourself) "small overpressurized" system, this does not guarantee that your "new panel" is really safe to use in Ex environment. Take care, because there are some requirements stated by standards. Try to ask Siemens if they can provide the required approval for their panels. If this is not possible, I suggest you find another option.