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Coatings firm uses protected tugs

06 December 2016

A company that manufactures protective woodcare coatings in Poland has selected two MasterMover electric tugs converted by Pyroban to ensure complete safety when moving vessels within its potentially explosive operation. 

“The flammable vapour from varnishes and woodstains containing highly flammable solvents can be ignited by the heat or sparks found within standard materials handling equipment,” Rob Vesty, sales manager, UK and Ireland, for safety company Pyroban, said. 

Two electric MasterMover tugs are being used at the facility in Poland to push, pull and steer loads on caster wheels in areas where solvents are stored and transported in volume. The tugs help to reduce manual handling.

“These electric tugs presented many possible ignition sources that needed to be addressed,” Rob explained. “Pyroban converted the two tugs to ensure that they are safe for operation in potentially explosive atmospheres and comply with the strict requirements of the ATEX 2014/34/EC Directive.”

The MasterMover MT400 electric tugs concentrate the load weight directly over the drive wheel making it easy for the operator to manoeuvre. Traction is achieved by a hydraulic weight transfer system giving the operator up to 4,000kg capacity for loads on casters. 

The “ATEX” conversion by Pyroban features system6000E which includes the use of restricted breathing enclosures to house many of the components. Surface temperature cooling to T4 (135°C) also ensures the motors, brakes, electrics and other components remain below the auto-ignition temperature of the flammable solvents. The temperatures are also monitored leading to a controlled shut down of the tug if they exceed 135°C.