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Drum handling in a potentially explosive atmosphere

16 May 2019

St Clare Engineering has been manufacturing fork lift truck attachments under the Grab-O-Matic trade name for 60 years to handle drums and other containers of all shapes and sizes. It was recently asked for an ATEX version.

The company has developed drum handling equipment that can do most jobs in most environments – from the Arctic Circle to the Arabian Gulf.

Recently it was asked by a client to manufacture a Grab-O-Matic model DH-1 single drum handler for use within an ATEX zone. This is a workspace deemed to have a potentially explosive atmosphere.

The DH-1 is suitable for steel drums only with pronounced rolling rims. The drums are automatically grabbed around the waist and released when set onto a surface and the truck reversed away.

The company's range of fork attachment drum handling equipment is usually made from high quality British steel, with frames and pillars made from 6-12mm steel to ISO 9001:2015 standard and issued with test certificates to guarantee safe operation.

However, in this case, it had to use stainless steel in the manufacture of the DH-1 because it was going to be used in either ATEX spark proof areas, clean rooms, or both.

Stainless steel eliminates the possibility of sparking when the drum grab hits the steel drum. It can be certified for use in ATEX Zones including 0, 1 or 2 and also gas and dust zones.

Most of the Grab-O-Matic drum handler range can also be manufactured from stainless steel for use in ATEX areas including the 1 and 2-DLR Rim Grippers, SC10 Drum Rotator and 1-DLR-BG Base Gripper.