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Robinson Brothers puts Safety First with Pyroban explosion protection

Chemical manufacturing company, Robinson Brothers, has selected three new Cat® forklift trucks featuring Pyroban explosion protection to help maximise safety at its plant in West Bromwich, UK.

"We manufacture chemicals that go into agricultural, photographic, hair care, veterinary and rubber products, among others," says Bob Stevenson, Head of Procurement and Logistics at Robinson Brothers. "As many of these chemicals are flammable, safety is our number one priority."

Robinson Brothers has been at the West Bromwich site since 1869 which now operates seven days a week, 363 days a year.

"We have Zone 2 hazardous areas throughout the site where forklifts are expected to operate, so it is important that the forklift trucks are explosion protected," he says. The trucks are handling many different chemicals such as Toluene in drums and IBCs so a flammable atmosphere is not expected unless by accidental release such as a spillage.

The three Cat DP25N forklift trucks, supplied by Impact Handling, have been converted by explosion protection company Pyroban so that they can operate safely without being a potential source of ignition and comply with the ATEX 94/9/EC Directive in line with EN 1755:2000+A2:2013.

"I remember having Pyroban protected trucks back in the 1980s, so these three new trucks follow a long history of Pyroban safety on this site," explains Bob. "We’ve been pleased with the Pyroban technology and the safety it has brought to our site and staff over the years."

A number of ignition sources can be present on a forklift truck such as heat from the engine, sparks from the forks, the electrics and even static. The three new trucks feature Pyroban’s Zone 2 solution, system6000, which prevents explosions by combining gas detection with various explosion protection methods such as restricted breathing enclosures, stainless steel cladding of forks and surface temperature cooling to ensure the engine, motors, brakes, electrics and other components remain below the auto-ignition temperatures of flammable materials.

Rob Vesty, Sales Manager UK & Ireland for Pyroban explains the technology. "The gas sensing system used on the site is pellistor based, which detects a wide range of hazards and is therefore well suited to chemical sites, in contrast to the infrared based system we offer." system6000 auto-calibrates and self-tests the gas head at start up to ensure it is working correctly, eliminating the need for periodic and costly site visits by engineers having to recalibrate the gas detection system.

“The service received from Impact Handling and Pyroban has been very good," confirms Bob Stevenson. "We also had a requirement for a low utilisation forth truck in the Zone 2 effluent area where we mainly handle waste solvents in drums. Impact and Pyroban helped refurbish one of our previous Nissan trucks that had the older system5000."

In the safe areas adjacent to the Zone 2 hazardous areas Robinson Brothers also wanted to enhance safety even further by adding an added safety system to two standard forklift trucks. Pyroban Gascheka, a gas detection and shutdown control solution, was added to the trucks.

"Robinson Brothers has a strong culture of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and the company places great importance on employee safety as well as protecting the surrounding local community," says Bob. In 2014 Robinson Brothers won the Chemical Industries Association Company of the Year Award, and Chemical Industries Association Innovation Award for the launch of Robac SRM102.

Pyroban is a global business with headquarters in Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex, UK and other factories and facilities throughout the world. Pyroban Ltd is a wholly owned division of Caterpillar Inc.

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