Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Ex Proof Junction Box for Your Business
Choosing the best ex proof junction box for your business can be a tedious process especially if it is your first time doing so. As there are no tell-tale signs that can indicate the quality of an explosion proof junction box just by looking at it, it can be confusing for new buyers such as yourself, to recognise the best ex proof junction box immediately.
Fret not, we are here to make your lives easier with the following guide. Here are 8 guidelines to follow that will help you streamline your entire buying process.
Understand Your Business Well
First and foremost, having a clear understanding of your business will help you to narrow down your search. Knowing which zone your business operates under will allow you to direct your search focus towards the appropriate ex proof junction boxes. This makes your selection process easier as you do not have to consider ex proof junction boxes that are not relevant to your business.
For example, if your business operates in zones 0 and 1, then you should most likely purchase ex proof junction boxes that are Ex ‘d’ certified. On the other hand, if your business mainly operates under zone 2 conditions, then junction boxes that are Ex ‘e’ certified would suffice. This will be explained further in detail below.
There is a total of 3 zones used to classify each type of hazardous area. Zone 0 is used to describe an area that is under the constant exposure of combustible gas. Whereas zone 1 refers to an area that might get exposed to explosive gas under normal operations while zone 2 is classified as an area that is highly unlikely to contain any explosive gas. Therefore, understanding your business and its operations well can lead to an accelerated search process, saving valuable time for both you and your company.
Ensure that the Ex Proof Junction Box has the Appropriate Level of Protection
Ex d junction boxes are also known as flameproof junction boxes. Ex d or flameproof means that the junction box has to be constructed according to the ‘flameproof’ standard. Flameproof junction boxes have the ability to contain any explosions from within its enclosure while any escaping sparks or flames will be cooled by the ‘flame path’, which mitigates any risk of causing the explosive gas atmosphere in the area to ignite further.
On the other hand, Ex e junction boxes are constructed according to the ‘increased safety’ standard. This means that Ex e junction boxes are built to never produce any current flow, sparks or temperatures that have the potential to ignite the explosive atmosphere around the junction box. Thus, Ex e junction boxes are considered explosion proof but are not certified as flameproof.
Ex d junction boxes are usually constructed from die cast iron or steel and can operate in places that are exposed to high temperatures such as underground coal mines. Alternatively, Ex e junction boxes are normally made from engineered plastic and generally more suited for surface applications and places with lower temperatures.
Both Ex d and Ex e junction boxes can operate in zone 1 and 2 areas. However, only Ex d junction boxes can withstand and contain internal explosions. Therefore, it is fair to say that Ex d junction boxes offer a greater level of protection compared to Ex e junction boxes.
We understand that customers can get confused regarding the different levels of protection that an ex proof junction box may offer. Therefore, all of Supermec’s ex proof junction boxes on our ecommerce platform are labelled clearly. Customers using our ecommerce platform will be able to identify the level of protection for each ex proof junction box easily.
Check that the Junction Box is Actually Certified as Ex Proof
To be certified as ex proof, the junction box has to be accompanied with an ATEX or IECEX certificate. This certification shows that the junction box has undergone many rounds of stringent checks in order to finally be certified as explosion proof. A junction box without an ATEX or IECEX certificate can put your entire business in danger if an explosion were to occur in the workplace. Therefore, it is of extremely high precedence for you to ensure that the junction box has been officially as explosion proof.
Plan Your Budget Beforehand
As ex ‘d’ junction boxes offer greater protection, they are more expensive in general as compared to ex ‘e’ junction boxes. This is because the materials used to construct ex ‘d’ junction boxes often have to be die casted, which can be a rather costly process. Therefore, if you are on a tighter budget, then perhaps buying ex ‘e’ junction boxes would be a more feasible option for your business.
Planning your budget in advance also allows you to be in a better position to make bulk purchases, which can often lead to a small discount from the manufacturer or supplier.
Check where the parts of the Ex Proof Junction Box have been imported from
You would be surprised at how the source material can affect the end quality of the product. Research has shown that product parts made in Europe are of a higher quality than parts that come from China. Therefore, the end product made from parts of higher quality would definitely be of higher performance standards as well.
As such, you should always take into consideration the source of the materials used to build the junction box. If the components that are used to construct the junction box come from Europe, you can trust that the manufacturer prioritises quality and safety of its junction boxes. Supermec imports all our product parts from Europe while the assembly of the junction boxes is carried out in Singapore where our headquarters is located.
Avoid Any Legal Issues with the Law
You can get into trouble with the law should you purchase a junction box that doesn’t come with the necessary certifications. You should always ensure that the product that you are using has been certified for proper use within your area of operation.
Get in Touch with the Sales Team
Contacting the sales team or production team of the manufacturer directly is a fast and efficient way for you to clarify your doubts. By speaking directly to the employees, you will be able to judge their expertise and knowledge in junction boxes for yourself. Doing this makes it easier to sieve out manufacturers and suppliers with an inexperienced or unprofessional sales team.
Just reach out to us at email@example.com and our professional and customer focused sales team will address your concerns immediately.
Do a Background Check on the Manufacturer or Supplier
Last but not least, you should conduct a quick background check or audit on the company that you are buying the explosion proof junction box from. Here are some things to look out for during the check:
What certifications does the company possess?
As mentioned above, ATEX and IECEx certificates are required for all ex proof products. Therefore, you should check that the company has the necessary certifications shown on their website or alongside their product listings.
How many years has the company been in the industry?
Companies that have been in the industry for a longer period of time tend to have more experience. Therefore, they are also more likely to provide better quality ex proof junction boxes thanks to their accumulated knowledge on the industry norms and standards over the years.
Clientele/partner list of the company
When a company has an extensive clientele base, it is a sign of its professionalism and competence. It is more advisable to engage a company that has worked with a large network of clients and partners as it shows that its services and products have been approved by others before.
Awards won by the company
Lastly, awards are the most obvious signs of how established a company is. Therefore, a company that has won various awards and accolades would most likely meet your business needs as compared to a company that has not won any awards. You can view the various awards that Supermec has won from our press releases.
Ultimately, the responsibility of buying the best ex proof junction box for their business lies with you to do the necessary research before reaching a final decision. However, it is always a plus when the manufacturer simplifies the buying process by making information easily accessible for you.
As the leading manufacturer of explosion proof junction boxes in Singapore, Supermec wants to help our customers save time and money by making the buying process as simple as possible. We hope that after reading this guide, you will learn what to look out for in buying the best explosion proof junction box for your business.