- Materials Handling
- SC Management
- T&L Services
- Transport Equipment
Flameproofing of electrically powered equipment is mandatory for operation within hazardous areas, where a risk of explosion or fire ignition exists due to the presence of dangerous gases in the air. In Australia, these areas are defined in standards AS60079.10 and AS61241.10.
Hazardous sites are evaluated according to the type and volume of hazardous materials, the area in which the materials are handled, and the ventilation conditions (see list of industry types that may contain sites considered to be hazardous).
Nichiyu Forklifts, Japan’s largest dedicated manufacturer of battery-electric forklifts, is one of the few forklift suppliers that builds flameproof forklifts that have been fully certified to Australian Standards for use in the most hazardous of areas where powered materials handling equipment may be used, those that are classified as being Class 1, Zone 1*. Accordingly, Nichiyu flameproof forklifts meet the requirements of all insurance underwriters for hazardous area operation.
Nichiyu Forklifts General Manager, John Ackland, said: “The issue of flameproofing materials handling equipment for use in hazardous areas requires specialised knowledge.
“Nichiyu Forklifts has been designing and building flameproof forklifts for over 40 years, and our experience in the area is such that other forklift suppliers often contact us for advice.”
Key areas on Nichiyu Forklifts battery-electric forklifts that are modified to make them flameproof include:
• Electric motors
• The battery tray, battery and connectors
• Electrical switch box
• Main traction control panel
• Illuminated operator display panels
• Interlocked safety circuits
• Accessories such as flashing lights, reversing beepers etc
• Copper-plated forklift tines
• Conductive tyres and static discharge strips.
All electronic equipment, such as the control system and motors, is installed in completely airtight enclosures designed to withstand the force of an explosion.
Where existing equipment requires flameproofing, Nichiyu Forklifts also modifies forklifts locally, working in conjunction with one of Australia’s leading suppliers of flameproofing services, Sydney-based Chess Flameproofing, a division of Chess Engineering.
Both diesel and battery-electric powered forklifts can be flameproofed, however, spark ignition engines such as those powered by LPG and petrol are prohibited in hazardous areas.
Battery-electric vehicles can be modified to make them suitable for use in Zone 1, 2, 21 or 22 areas.
For extreme applications where a certificate of compliance is not satisfactory, full certification to Australian Standards from one of Australia’s independent, accredited testing/certifying authorities is available.
Potentially Hazardous Sites
The following list identifies some of the industries and manufacturing sectors that may contain sites that are considered to be hazardous:
• Ammonium sulphate
• Electric furnace
• Compressed & liquid gas
• Coal tar products
• Dye & intermediate products
• Fermentation/ethylene methanol derivatives
• Synthetic resins & plastics
• Chemical fibres
• Vegetable fats & oils
• Fatty acids, oils & glycerin
• Distillation & brewing
• Paint & solvents
• Insecticides & pesticides
• Cosmetics & perfume
• Oil refining
• Rubber products
• Processed paper & fabrics
• Dry cleaning
* Class O is the highest classification for hazardous areas and no powered materials handling equipment may be used in such environments.
Further information: Nichiyu Forklifts Australia Pty Limited, 25 Liberty Road, Huntingwood, NSW 2148. Tel: (02) 9672 7430 Fax: (02) 9672 7423. Web: www.nichiyu.com.au