In potentially explosive atmospheres, the amount of energy contained in spark discharges from plant equipment, and even people, may be sufficient to ignite a wide variety of processed material during handling operations, such as fine dusts, powder granules, liquids and vapours. The extent of damage where static is the source of ignition, ranging from small scale unreported occurrences right through to devastating explosions, can cause injuries or fatalities, lost production through plant downtime and business losses.
In pharmaceutical operations, equipment like powder conveying systems, micronizers, blenders and sieve stacks all make up multiple component assemblies that can accumulate high levels of electrostatic charge should any of the components be isolated from a true earth. Specifying a static grounding system is the most effective way of ensuring complex equipment used in flammable or combustible atmospheres cannot accumulate static electricity. Installing a dedicated static grounding solution that is capable of monitoring the ground connection to components at risk of isolation, controls the flow of product and one that can also alert personnel to a potential hazard is the most secure solution.