New wireless position switches

Paul Boughton

With its Wireless Ex, the Steute business division Extreme has developed a technology making the installation and operation of switchgear in explosive environments easier. Switching devices are no longer connected to the evaluation units in the control cabinet by ex-compliant cables, but via a wireless protocol developed by Steute. 

This variant of the company's sWave wireless technology is certified in accordance with both ATEX and IECEx – and is available for an increasing number of switching devices. New products just added to the Wireless Ex range include the Ex RF 96 wireless position switches in a slim rectangular design, and the Ex RF 96 ST wireless inductive sensor with M12 connector for Ex RF IS M 12, M 18 and M 30 wireless inductive sensors.

In both series the energy required to transmit the wireless protocol is provided by longlife batteries. This means that the switches need no cables at all and can be installed flexibly in machines and plants in Ex zones, even on components that are moving or difficult to access. The special Ex-protected lithium battery can be changed inside Ex zones 1 and 21, making battery changes much simpler and faster. 

The electromechanical Ex position switches, Ex sensors and lithium battery are all ATEX and IECEx approved for operation in Ex zones 1 and 21. The wireless signal is so low in energy that it poses no risk of explosion, thus providing extra flexibility in the construction of explosion-protected plants. Typical applications for these new switching devices could be in machines and plants, but also in handling units and conveying systems located in explosive areas.