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As time goes by, the safety in classified areas at risk of explosion in electrical plants highly depends on maintenance; especially, depending on how often and how accurate it is performed. Maintenance costs affect significantly plant operating costs. The application of electronic devices in the process control, and the use of solid state lighting, instead of common electromechanical equipment and traditional lamps, may reduce maintenance operations or even, in some cases, avoid them for the whole equipment life time. We carried out a case-study, an empirical inquiry to investigate the phenomenon within its real-life context (i.e. in plants) and came to the conclusion that such devices may extend ordinary maintenance interventions and even reduce maintenance significantly. As a result, plant operating costs are reduced and higher safety levels achieved, less human intervention means less human maintenance errors. This paper is meant to identify which equipment can be replaced by solid state equipment and LED, to calculate the costs reduction and to define the consequent achievable safety level, all analyzed through FMECA (failure modes effect and criticality analysis).
PCIC Europe, 2009. PCIC EUROPE '09. Conference Record
Date of Conference: 26-28 May 2009