Latest Case Studies & White Papers

The Disastrous Consequences of Neglecting Health and Safety: Are Food and Drink Factories Designed with Employee Safety in Mind?

When it comes to health and safety in food and drink factories, many tend focus on hygiene within production and the threat of contamination to products, as well as possible risks for consumers.

However, the health and safety risks to employees working in these factories are an equally important issue.

2022 HSE statistics show a 28% year-on-year rise in non-fatal injuries in the workplace, with slips, trips or falls, handling, lifting or carrying and being struck by a moving object being the leading causes.

And with more and more people now returning to factories post-Covid, the potential for the numbers to continue to rise exponentially is increasing.

Staff injuries can be particularly detrimental, and not just for the individual, slowing down operations and leading to a decrease in profits along with potential reputational damage. This means that for business owners, being aware of how to minimise the risks is invaluable.

Ian Hart, business development director of adi Projects, an engineering company delivering a multitude of projects within food and drink factories, comments: “The issue of employee safety is one that deserves as much attention as that of contamination within these environments.

“It is a topic of utmost importance. Staff health and safety risks in factories can be overlooked for a number of reasons, and it is vital that these are correctly identified and dealt with for the benefit of employees and overall operations.”

What are the main hazards within food and drink factories?

There are a number of hazards that are common in food and drink factories and that become difficult to manage if the factors posing a threat are not identified and properly dealt with.

“Food factories are inherently full of hazards such as rotating machinery, hot and cold pipes, chemical substances, electrical lines and much more. Humans can become exposed to chemical substances, be required to utilise tools or equipment that are not fit for use, or be subject to slips or falls from height,” says Ian.

“There is a clear element of danger for staff working within these environments. But this doesn’t mean facility owners can become complacent: there are measures and processes that should be put into place to prevent injuries, which can be highly effective.”

According to the HSE, over 30% of food and drink industry injuries are related to manual handling, such as back injuries, causing around 1700 acute injuries each year.

Manual labour including stacking, moving or pushing heavy objects is one of the main causes of injury, and automation of these risky repetitive tasks such as through mechanical handling systems can be instrumental in reducing risks. Yet each individual hazard requires a tailored solution.

Reflecting on the importance of taking a responsible, holistic approach to risk management, Ian comments: "Hazards such as slips, falls and those stemming from workplace transport, moving objects or machinery hazards can't be eliminated altogether: there are certain processes within factories that can't be eradicated yet. But this doesn’t mean that these hazards can't be controlled to reduce risks.”

Designing factories with safety in mind

“Minimising risks starts with factory design, and has it at its core. There are specific considerations to be taken when designing food factories to maximise safety and increase accessibility.

“Factors include limiting points of contact between hazards and humans, such as having hot or cold pipes in the celling void instead of anywhere near people, or ensuring rotating machinery is adequately guarded, so that risk of injury to those in the factory is minimised,” says Ian.

With slips and trips making up for 35% of major injuries in the food and drink sector, being caused by wet floors, uneven surfaces or other obstructions, design factors become particularly important in this context.

Ensuring safe access with proper facility design is equally vital when it comes to falls from height – the third most common cause of fatal injury in the industry.

“There is often a mentality that dictates that slips, falls and similar accidents are common in these environments, and that there isn’t much that can be done. But this mindset can be incredibly detrimental,” adds Ian.

“When designing facilities, it’s important to give some thought to the overall infrastructure, asking questions such as how do you make the factory as dry as possible? How do you prevent contamination of walkways, or ensure there’s enough grip on the floors?

“Something as simple as building factories with the proper flooring or having suitable lighting inside the facility can significantly reduce certain risks.

“Ultimately, it’s about alleviating all the sources of danger and reducing staff exposure to hazards. If the risks are adequately addressed at the design stage, achieving continued high levels of safety becomes easier in the long-term.”

Maintenance as a priority

Manufacturers in the industry often operate from older facilities with outdated equipment, which can constitute a challenge with regards to health and safety. Regardless of whether certain safety measures were put into place at the design stage when factories were built, it is likely that unless proper maintenance has been carried out, the facility is no longer safe.

“Regular health and safety assessment of the production lines and of the equipment are essential in any facility. Many forget that over time, equipment breaks down, or decide to make significant alterations without carrying out proper risk assessments,” says Ian.

“Equipment could be perfectly safe and compliant when it’s first introduced, but that doesn’t mean it will remain safe after years of continued usage. Maintenance needs to be a continuous priority: in a live factory, things are changing all the time, which means that the reassessment of lines is vital.

"There has to be an adequate awareness as to the risks brought on by a certain type of equipment, what its life span is and what investments are needed to enable this equipment to continue to be safe.

“And overall, it’s down to manufacturers to build this vital awareness in order to protect its staff and ensure the smooth running of operations.”

As a division of multidisciplinary engineering business adi Group, five-time winners of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Health and Safety Awards, being recognised as one of the few businesses from around the world with impeccably high health and safety standards, adi Projects is best positioned to provide expert health and safety advice to manufacturing businesses.

adi Projects has provided innovative solutions for a number of clients dealing with complex facility design and health and safety challenges, solving each problem at hand with a tailored, strategic approach. To learn more about our services, please visit:

WELTEC BIOPOWER is constructing three biogas plants in Greece

Farmers focus on proven stainless steel technology

The Greek agricultural sector has trusted WELTEC BIOPOWER's biogas technologies since 2007 - and this trend is continuing. Most recently, three biogas plants were built, which the German manufacturer designed together with its Greek cooperation partner Tetoros Machinery. Two of these are located in the Epirus region, in northwestern Greece: a 1-megawatt plant in the town of Arta and a 500-kilowatt plant in Ioannina. The third one, a 250-kilowatt biogas plant project, was realized in Serres, in central Macedonia. Here, an upgrade of the CHP plant to 750 kilowatts is also being implemented. The plant in Ioannina will go into production in the fall of 2023.

The region around Epirus is particularly rural. Poultry and cattle production dominate the area. As in many other intensive farming areas, the biomass supply there is higher than the processing capacity of the existing plants. The construction of new biogas plants and the modernization of existing ones are therefore profitable, especially since such projects are supported by subsidies. Thus, not least, the rich substrate supply at the three plant locations was also an important factor for the investment decisions.

At the 1-megawatt plant in Arta, 150 tons of cattle slurry and 50 tons of dry chicken manure are processed daily. At the biogas plant site in Ioannina, the daily input is made up of 100 tons of cattle slurry and 30 tons of dry chicken manure. And in Serres, a substrate mix of 40 tons of cattle manure and 10 tons of energy plants enters the stainless steel digester daily. Here, in addition to his cattle farming, the operator owns land on which corn is grown.

At all three sites, the materials are first sent to a pre-storage tank. Special agitators and pump technology ensures the pretreatment. In the digesters, the proven agitators then mix the substrates for efficient biogas production. The two digesters in Arta each hold 4436 cbm, in Ioannina there is a 3993-cbm digester, and the tank in Serres measures 4905 cbm. "All tanks are made of high-grade stainless steel," specifies the responsible process engineer at WELTEC BIOPOWER, Tobias Peuker. According to him, the fermentation residue from the digester with its high nutrient content can also be used as fertilizer afterwards.

The three biogas projects are an important part of the Greek energy transition. For example, according to a report by DAPEEP S.A., the Greek market operator for renewable energy sources, new biomass, and biogas plants with a total capacity of 7 megawatts came online in the first half of 2022. The Greek Energy and Climate Plan aims to double the share of renewable energy in electricity generation from 30 % in 2021 to 60 % in 2030. WELTEC BIOPOWER has already implemented a total of around 36 biogas plants and projects there since 2007. And the path to decarbonization continues to make progress: In the summer of 2023, Greece's entire one-day energy demand could have been supplied from renewable energy sources for the first time. "This means we are well on our way and will continue to make our contribution to achieving the goal," predicts WELTEC BIOPOWER's Greek sales partner, John Tetoros.

DSEAR Compliance FAQs: Ensuring Safety and Compliance for Your Business

Whether you're seeking guidance on the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR) applicability to your business or information on conducting a risk assessment, we are here to assist you every step of the way. 

As a provider of DSEAR compliance services, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety and compliance of your operations. Our team of experts is well-versed in the intricacies of DSEAR and can provide you with the guidance and expertise you need.

In the following FAQs, we provide answers to your questions about DSEAR, ensuring you have the knowledge you need to make informed decisions and maintain a safe workplace.

What is DSEAR?

DSEAR aims to prevent or limit the harmful effects of fires, explosions, and similar energy-releasing events, as well as corrosion to metals. These regulations specifically focus on controlling and managing the risks associated with dangerous substances in the workplace. By implementing the necessary measures, businesses can ensure the safety of their employees, prevent accidents and mitigate the potential damage caused by such incidents.

What is ATEX?

ATEX is short for "Atmospheres Explosibles" and is the name commonly given to the two European directives for controlling explosive atmospheres: directive 99/92/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX workplace directive’) and directive 94/9/ EC (also known as ‘ATEX 95’ or ‘the ATEX equipment directive’). They aim to improve health and safety in workplaces with explosive atmospheres. In the UK, these directives are implemented through DSEAR.

Is DSEAR compliance a legal requirement?

Yes, compliance with DSEAR is not just a recommendation, but a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASWA). This regulation places responsibilities on employers and the self-employed to ensure the safety of individuals in the workplace and protect the public from any risks arising from work activities. With the potential hazards of dangerous substances, such as fire, explosion, and corrosion of metal, compliance with DSEAR is essential to safeguarding people's safety. DSEAR operates as an enabling act under the HASWA, emphasising the legal obligation for your organisations to adhere to its guidelines and take proactive measures to mitigate risks associated with dangerous substances.

Is a DSEAR risk assessment a legal requirement?

Yes, a DSEAR risk assessment is a legal requirement for most workplaces that deal with hazardous substances. It is important to identify the hazards associated with your work, assess the risks involved, and implement appropriate control measures to ensure the safety of your employees and the public. 

Who enforces non-compliance with DSEAR?

Non-compliance with DSEAR is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Local Authorities, depending on premises allocation under the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998. Further information on non-compliance with DSEAR enforcement can be found here

What are the potential penalties for not completing a DSEAR risk assessment? 

Compliance can sometimes feel like a burden, but it is crucial to emphasise the potential penalties for not completing a DSEAR risk assessment. Non-compliance with DSEAR carries significant consequences, both legally and ethically. The penalties can range from civil to criminal repercussions, underscoring the seriousness of the matter. However, the consequences extend beyond legal implications. Failing to prioritise DSEAR compliance puts people's safety at risk, which can lead to injuries, and in the worst cases, even fatalities. Furthermore, non-compliance can have detrimental effects on the environment, causing lasting damage and impacting the trust and confidence that customers and stakeholders place in your business. 

Can anyone undertake a DSEAR risk assessment?

DSEAR requires employers or self-employed individuals to conduct a risk assessment before starting any new work involving dangerous substances. If your business has five or more employees, you should record the significant findings of the assessment as soon as possible. DSEAR assessors must have suitable knowledge, experience, instruction and training to be considered a 'competent person'.

Does having a CompEx qualification qualify me to undertake a DSEAR risk assessment? 

While the CompEx scheme is beneficial for a DSEAR assessor, it does not measure competence specifically for DSEAR risk assessments. The CompEx scheme has various competency modules and is recognised globally for validating the competency of electrical technicians and engineers in hazardous explosive atmospheres. More recently, CompEx has evolved to include other industry-specific competency assessments. 

What level of competence is required to undertake a DSEAR risk assessment? 

Currently, there is no internationally recognised body that certifies an individual's competence in conducting DSEAR assessments. The concept of a competent person does not have a fixed definition or a specific licensing requirement. However, it is crucial to ensure that these assessments are conducted by qualified professionals who possess the necessary expertise and specialist knowledge of the regulations. 

Assessing competence in this area is challenging, as it involves a combination of knowledge and experience. An ideal DSEAR assessor would have a well-rounded background, encompassing experience from various industries and commercial sectors. They should possess the ability to identify hazards and risks associated with the handling, storage and use of potentially flammable or explosive materials. Furthermore, they need to be proficient in recommending and documenting suitable and sufficient solutions to effectively reduce risks to a responsible and practical level.

While quantifying competence in this field is difficult, it is important that you engage a competent person for DSEAR assessments to ensure accurate and thorough evaluations of the risks associated with dangerous substances. By relying on experienced and knowledgeable individuals, businesses can confidently fulfil their obligations and maintain a safe working environment.

How frequently should a DSEAR risk assessment be reviewed?

While there is no specific timeframe mandated for conducting a DSEAR assessment, it is recommended by the Fire Protection Association (FPA) that you complete a review at intervals not exceeding three years. However, it's important to consider that the frequency of review may vary depending on different factors and the specific circumstances of your workplace. Regular reviews are crucial, especially when there are changes in your work environment. If your facility deals with hazardous substances or if there are outstanding recommendations from a previous DSEAR assessment, it is advisable to conduct more frequent reviews, such as annually. Additionally, any significant changes in your business operations should trigger a review of your DSEAR risk assessment.

The primary goal is to ensure that your assessment remains up-to-date and relevant to effectively manage risks related to dangerous substances in your workplace.

How do I know if my DSEAR risk assessment is suitable and sufficient?

If you employ five or more people, it is essential to maintain a written record of the significant findings. This record can be kept separately or integrated into the overall assessment under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The HSE's Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) 138, specifically Sections 5 (2) and 5 (3), provides valuable information on what considerations should be included in a suitable assessment.

By following these guidelines and documenting the key findings, you can ensure that your DSEAR risk assessment meets the necessary requirements and covers the important aspects to effectively manage the risks associated with dangerous substances in your workplace.

How do I know if DSEAR applies to my business? 

Dangerous substances are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion or corrosion of metal.

These substances can be found in almost all workplaces, including solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases like liquid petroleum gas (LPG), dust from machining and sanding operations, dust from foodstuffs, pressurised gases, and substances corrosive to metal. It's important to consider other energetic events like runaway exothermic reactions involving chemicals or decomposition of unstable substances, which are also covered by DSEAR. 

Whether it's a factory, construction site, railway, or any other workplace, it's essential to comply with the relevant DSEAR requirements to ensure the safety of individuals and minimise risks associated with dangerous substances.

As an employer, you have a responsibility to implement control measures to eliminate or reduce risks associated with dangerous substances to the extent reasonably practicable. Where it is not possible to eliminate the risk completely, you must take measures to control risks and mitigate the effects of any harmful event.  

The EU CLP Regulation has also introduced changes, classifying more substances as flammable due to increased flashpoint thresholds. This is partly because the upper flashpoint for classification as a flammable liquid has been increased from 55 °C to 60 °C. The changes mean that for example, diesel, gas oil and light heating oils are now classified as flammable liquids.

What are the important factors to consider for ensuring compliance with DSEAR and maintaining workplace safety?

When considering DSEAR, there are several common factors to consider to ensure safety and compliance these are outlined below:

  • Assess whether a flammable atmosphere can exist in your workplace, as this can pose significant risks
  • Identify potential ignition sources that could ignite the flammable atmosphere
  • Review existing control measures in place to prevent or minimise the risks associated with dangerous substances
  • Consider area classification requirements to properly define hazardous zones and implement appropriate safety measures
  • Conduct a risk rating to help evaluate the severity of potential hazards and prioritise necessary actions
  • Carefully review recommendations provided by experts or regulatory guidelines to ensure the implementation of suitable control measures.

By considering these factors, you can proactively address the risks associated with dangerous substances and promote a safe working environment.

Should area/zonal drawings be prepared for explosive environments?

ATEX hazardous areas, as defined in DSEAR, refer to "any place in which an explosive atmosphere may occur in quantities such as to require special precautions to protect the safety of workers". Area classification is a method used to analyse and classify environments where explosive gas atmospheres can potentially occur. Its main purpose is to ensure the proper selection and installation of equipment that can be safely used in such environments, considering the properties of flammable materials present. 

Having drawings can be highly beneficial in identifying these zones, documenting and maintaining equipment and promoting awareness among individuals interacting with these areas. Ideally, copies of the drawings should be readily available, even posted at the entry points to hazardous areas, along with appropriate signage to reinforce the understanding of the area classifications.

Can a DSEAR risk assessment for installing new equipment on-site be conducted without visiting the site?

If you're installing new equipment on-site, you might wonder if a DSEAR risk assessment can be completed as a desktop exercise without visiting the site. It is highly recommended that organisations seeking assistance with areas or equipment covered by DSEAR engage as early as possible. While pre-installation project reports and advice can provide valuable support in terms of planning and purchasing new equipment, it is important to note that these are complementary to the risk assessment process. Conducting a thorough DSEAR risk assessment always requires a site visit to properly evaluate the specific conditions and hazards present on-site.

Can a DSEAR risk assessment for changing a process on-site be completed without visiting the site?

Engaging with a competent consultant at the earliest opportunity can potentially result in significant savings. However, it is important to understand that a suitable and sufficient DSEAR assessment cannot be conducted without a site visit. The on-site visit is crucial to assess the specific changes to the process and evaluate the associated risks in order to ensure compliance and safety.

Should a new DSEAR risk assessment be completed when changing a process on-site?

Any significant changes to equipment or processes require a revised DSEAR risk assessment to ensure ongoing compliance and safety.

Is it acceptable to have multiple companies complete DSEAR risk assessments for different equipment/processes?

While DSEAR assessments can be conducted on different equipment in isolation, it is important to have an overall assessment of combined risks. Your business should consider the impact of activities or machinery/plant on each other and have a comprehensive DSEAR assessment.

What are some common misconceptions about DSEAR?

There are several common misconceptions regarding DSEAR:

  • Many people are unaware of the regulation and believe it does not apply to the majority of workplaces
  • It is mistakenly believed that high-risk activities or equipment must involve large volumes of hazardous materials, which is not the case
  • Some assume that DSEAR only covers large facilities, but in fact, it includes risk assessments for staff handling even the smallest quantities of flammable liquids
  • There is a misconception that DSEAR does not cover natural gas installations, pipe networks, and boiler rooms, whereas it does
  • Some are unaware that DSEAR also covers the risks associated with fire and explosion of all batteries on-site
  • It is wrongly assumed that it is solely the employer's responsibility to ensure their contractors are competent in DSEAR if applicable
  • Having a DSEAR assessment does not automatically imply compliance with DSEAR. Compliance entails taking action on the recommendations provided in the assessment report.

What information is required to carry out a DSEAR risk assessment?

To conduct a DSEAR risk assessment, the assessor will typically need the following information:

  • The nature of your business and any site-specific hazards or personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements
  • The size of the site and the number of buildings within it
  • Access to previous DSEAR and Fire Risk Assessment reports
  • Access to process diagrams and Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (PIDs)
  • The layout of the site, including the arrangement of processes and services
  • Access to employee training records related to DSEAR, as well as risk assessments, Safe Systems of Work (SSOW), and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Access to all areas of the site, including plant rooms and boiler houses
  • A knowledgeable site contact and guide who is familiar with the site's health and safety arrangements (ideally the site health and safety manager)
  • A knowledgeable site contact and guide who has information about the site's assets and maintenance arrangements (ideally the site maintenance or engineering manager)
  • A knowledgeable site contact and guide who understands the site's processes (ideally the site process engineer and/or production manager)
  • A list of the quantities of each flammable material stored on-site, a location map of the materials, and any segregation requirements, as well as Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the materials.

Please note that the information required to carry out a DSEAR risk assessment will vary from site to site and the information above is a general guideline. 

Get in touch 

If you have any questions about DSEAR and its applicability to your organisation, SOCOTEC UK is here to assist you.

Get it touch

This article can also be found in the issue below.


Vertical Farming: Overcoming the Engineering Challenges to Maximise the Benefits

The need to streamline production and more effectively use resources is at the heart of the rise in popularity of vertical farming, an industry that has been growing at a staggering pace in recent years, and that is widely regarded as the future of sustainable food production.

The increase in demand for organic, fresh, locally grown produce, coupled with the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint, has driven more and more businesses to explore vertical farming, an innovative way to grow crops that requires less land and reduces our reliance on natural resources.

The use of technology in a controlled indoor environment has the ability to significantly optimise growth, allowing farmers to grow produce in every season regardless of weather conditions, increasing reliability as well as profits.

In spite of its numerous advantages, the practice of vertical farming presents specific challenges, which businesses need to be adequately prepared for in order to better exploit its benefits and maximise their success.

Here, Ian Hart, business development director at adi Projects, a division of leading engineering firm adi Group, gives expert advice on the engineering solutions businesses need to adopt in order to successfully navigate the vertical farming field.

What makes vertical farming more future-proof than traditional and greenhouse farming?

It is a well-known fact intensive traditional farming techniques and the use of pesticides can significantly damage ecosystems and affect the growth of crops, and with rising temperatures increasingly threatening the extinction of a large number of edible crops, change is nothing short of necessary.

When compared to other sectors’ total emissions, agricultural greenhouse gas emissions alone accounted for 11% of total emissions in the UK in 2020, and environmentally friendly farming practices such as vertical farming offer a clear course of action to help bring this figure down.

With more and more businesses focussing on operating sustainably, and consequentially, on the way they make use of precious natural resources such as water, the role of vertical farming becomes even more prominent.

Vertical faming allows manufacturers to produce crops with 70-95% less water than is required in traditional farming, making it a vital resource in our battle to safeguard our natural environments.

And with monitoring land usage being another crucial factor in increasing our sustainability efforts, being able to harvest 80% more produce per area unit while taking up 90% less land is a particularly valuable achievement.

Greenhouse farming – sometimes confused with vertical farming – harnesses the advantages of a semi-controlled environment, also giving farmers the ability to grow fresh, pesticide-free crops year-round.

However, vertical farming uses less water when compared to greenhouse farming, too, with this usually being fed down the stacked towers from the top. This means nutrients in the water can be recycled, and less compost and fertiliser are needed.

Ultimately, vertical farming allows for much higher crop yield than any other farming methods – just one acre of a vertical farm can grow roughly the same amount of product as 10 to 20 soil-based acres.

These complex indoor environments also allow for more control over the quality of produce, with a larger number of controllable factors such as temperature, humidity and lighting, ultimately making them significantly more future-proof.

Controlling vertical farming environments effectively

Though vertical farming is the answer to a number of concerns surrounding traditional farming practices, not being equipped with the right knowledge and systems can result in a significant waste of money and resources.

When it comes to vertical farming, improved quality is an added benefit, meaning plants can be grown in accordance with strict manufacturing standards.

The purified air present within these environments allows crops to grow without being contaminated by pests, spores and yeast. However, these delicate indoor environments need to satisfy particular conditions, requiring specialist watering and de-watering systems, and the right knowledge to operate them.

As they grow, plants themselves release large quantities of water, and controlling that water within a closed loop air change system inside the room can often be difficult.

Air should be treated first to remove the contaminants that are present in the air stream, with the added challenge that the air itself becomes wet due to the water evaporating from the plants.

Maintaining the purity of these environments and avoiding contamination means this air can’t simply be let out through a window. Reducing waste and the added costs of cleaning air to a high standard more times than what is strictly necessary requires technology that can de-water the clean air and feed it back into the overall system.

The most cost-effective and efficient solution long-term is relying on systems that can exploit the air’s dew points and allow the water to condense back out again, as well as effectively deal with pressurisation and temperature.

Ultimately, there are multiple process elements that come into this, but getting the overall design correct is crucial.

However, controlling vertical farming environments comes with individual challenges depending on the type of facility and the type of crops being grown, meaning that businesses would get the most benefit from investing in bespoke engineering solutions.

What about pharmaceutical crops?

Though the majority of vertical farming facilities are dedicated to cultivating food crops, the practice of producing pharmaceutical grade plants such as cannabis in vertical farms is becoming increasingly popular.

Being able to produce pharmaceutical grade plants in a controlled environment similarly reduces the risk of any contamination, theoretically producing a better and safer product.

And growing products of a consistently high standard is particularly important in the context of medicinal plants.

When it comes to the pharmaceutical and medical industry, higher standards need to be upheld in order to comply with FDA, MHRA and EMA regulations, with product quality being a factor of utmost importance for industrial buyers.

This is where design factors become even more relevant, as even minor miscalculations can cause producers to fail quality standards and be unable to sell their product. Suitable control procedures also minimise the risk of bio-crops being released into the environment.

Overcoming the engineering challenges

Removing risk during the planning and construction stages and for the duration of a vertical farming facility’s lifecycle requires being mindful from the onset, to ensure continuity throughout and prevent waste of energy and product.

Vertical farming provides a substantial opportunity to help brands forge solid reputations as innovators and help create circular economies. However, there are obstacles to overcome if vertical farming is to fulfil its potential, and relying on first-class, bespoke engineering systems and solutions holds the key.

With years of experience in developing tailor-made solutions for clients to help them cater to emerging marketplaces, adi Group takes a 360 approach to engineering projects, addressing clients’ needs and integrating quality every step of the way.

For more information on vertical farming solutions and how adi can help, please visit:

This article can also be found in the issue below.


What Is a Gas Detection Wearable? Frequently Asked Questions About Connected Safety Technology

The number of workplace injuries remains nearly unchanged year-over-year, with more than 2 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by provide industry employees in 2019.[i] And up to 90% of workplace injuries can be attributed to human error.

While PPE has not traditionally had the technological capabilities to help prevent worker injury due to human error, the latest safety innovations, such as gas detection wearables, can help provide the visibility and data-driven insights to help your organization create an adaptable, proactive safety program and establish a culture of behaviour-based safety. Connected, wearable technology is leading the way for gas detection programs to evolve and enhance both their approach to worker safety and their approach to record-keeping, compliance, and fleet management.

But transforming your organisation to a connected program does not happen overnight. The first step is understanding the benefits of wearable technology and how a connected program can work for your organisation.

To start, what is a gas detection wearable? What are the benefits of connected safety technology? Here are answers to those top questions:

  1. What is a gas detection wearable?

A gas detection wearable is designed to be worn by each individual worker, on his/her person, while on the jobsite. With a wearable detector that can simply clip directly on to apparel or other PPE, such as a fall harness, lone workers can be monitored in real-time to help provide critical data points about on-site workers to off-site safety managers, including emergency monitoring.

A wearable device can be a useful way to monitor workers’ safety, location, and behaviors; however, it may not always be enough to help build a proactive, adaptable gas detection safety program over time.

But a wearable gas detector that comes with automatic connectivity can be much more impactful in terms of driving transformation, efficiency, and reaching long-term safety and productivity goals of a gas detection program.

  1. What does the term “connected” mean for gas detection hardware?

The term “connected” not only means a connected device – one that comes with out-of-the-box, cutting-edge cellular connectivity through leading national networks – but also a comprehensive solution inclusive of hardware software. It’s not necessarily enough to simply have cellular connectivity; hardware should also be connected to software, so that connectivity can provide the real-time data and insights to help drive adaptable, proactive safety programs.

This connectivity transforms hardware from traditional PPE to a technology-based, future-forward solution.  Successful integration of this advanced technology requires that not only are devices smarter and capable of providing visibility and insights to help curb risk, boost productivity, and simplify compliance, but also that they continue to perform with the durability and functionality to maintain their first and foremost mission of helping to protect the worker. As a wearable device, the detector should maintain the IP-rating, sensor technology, and battery life expected of today’s most durable portable gas detectors.

A wearable device that comes with automatic connectivity right out-of-the-box allows for quick and seamless implementation, no IT required.

  1. How can wearable, connected technology help improve worker safety?

The most common industries for lone workers include oil and gas, telecommunications, utilities, construction, and industrial contractors. With wearable devices, safety managers can help ensure these lone workers are not completely alone. By digitally assigning a wearable device to individual workers at the start of each shift, safety managers can gain insight into key individual worker data including:

  • Compliance of device use and faulty safety behaviours, including turning off an instrument or changing settings
  • Workers’ locations, gas readings, and alarms
  • Safety behaviours in the field, and whether new training specific to individuals is needed

A connected work program for gas detection can provide the visibility that is needed to manage large teams of workers and help establish a behaviour-based culture of safety. With real-time visibility of lone workers, safety managers can help make sure those workers are protected, with instant alerts. And  connected hardware and software solutions can provide real-time data such as worker location and how the detector is being used by each worker – which can all help inform safety training to both drive worker safety day-to-day and enhance an organisation’s safety culture over time.

  1. How can wearable technology improve worksite safety?


It can be difficult to difficult to manage assets across different worksites and keep remote teams safe and productive. Connecting worksites with wearable, connected technology gives safety managers visibility into:

  • Teams and assets, including worker position and activities and which devices require maintenance
  • External and environmental factors, such as temperature or humidity
  • Equipment status, maintenance, and asset management information across all worksite locations
  • Centralized reports and data logs for automated compliance
  • Intelligent mapping and zone segmentation, automated digital follow-ups, alarm sharing, and heatmapping to help drive operation-wide safety

With notifications available on both desktop and mobile devices, safety managers can get alerts when alarm exposure or SOS event occurs. Other details such as GPS location, gas readings, and compliance data are readily available within these immediate notifications provides safety managers with the visibility needed to manage safety and productivity across multiple worksites at once, all from remote, off-site locations.


  1. How can wearable technology improve compliance and accountability across an organization?

Since a non-compliant detector can lead to potentially disastrous outcomes, it’s essential to ensure that every device is optimised. In other words, every device operates and protects the worker as it should. Technology not only makes this possible, it also makes it seamless. Advanced features that wearable technologies for gas detection should include are:

  • Automatic bump tests and calibration when devices need it
  • Visual indicators with green, yellow, and red lights representing “compliant,” “non-compliant,” and “in alarm,” respectively
  • Device lock out to ensure that non-compliant devices are not inadvertently used
  • Real-time historical data into specific workers
  1. Can wearable devices help improve compliance and overall workflows?

Connected wearable devices allow you to connect workflows across your organization by providing insight into compliance and productivity issues. This information, coupled with connected cloud-based software, can allow you to:

  • Automate compliance and help to reduce false alarms, remove asset-related risks, and lower the cost of downtime
  • Determine if instruments have been configured correctly and are compliant in testing and while in use
  • Create comprehensive reports in an industry standard format
  1. What type of investment should an organization anticipate for implementing new wearable and connected technology across their workers and worksites?


With the latest technology, often comes newer business models to help drive your organizations’ transformation to a connected safety program. Subscription models that include both detector hardware and software options can help enable faster implementation, along with increased warranty coverage and ongoing software and firmware upgrades.

The right partner can help support your organisation’s connected safety journey with the right solution to fit your needs, from the number of wearables to various software options and features capabilities, giving you flexibility.

A seamlessly integrated solution of connected wearables and cloud-based software can provide visibility of your workers, worksite, and workflows that can make all the difference and help organizations drive a proactive safety culture over time.

Find out more about the latest innovations in connected gas detection wearables here.



What Role Does Polymeric Technology Play in Burgeoning Wind Industry?

There has been considerable growth in the wind power industry over the past few years. However, further exponential growth of the industry is required in order to ensure that the net-zero by 2050 pathway (outlined in the Paris Agreement) is successfully reached.


Figure 1 - Maintaining the integrity of wind turbines with polymeric technology

In order to support this seismic growth, polymeric repair and protection technology has an important part to play. Designed to safeguard the integrity of wind turbine blade leading edges for the long term, this technology plays a critical role in supporting this burgeoning industry.

Wind Electricity Generation Needs to Grow Fourfold by 2030

According to the International Energy Association’s (IEA) Wind Electricity Tracking Report

(September 2022): “In 2021 wind electricity generation increased by a record 273 TWh (up 17%). This was 55% higher growth than that achieved in 2020 and was the highest among all renewable power technologies.”

While the industry has undoubtedly experienced impressive levels of growth in these years, according to the IEA, wind electricity generation needs to reach four times the record levels set in 2020 by 2030. The Report said: “Our pathway calls for scaling up solar and wind rapidly this decade, reaching annual additions of […] 390 GW of wind by 2030”.


Figure 2- Wind electricity generation needs to grow fourfold by 2030 (IEA. License: CC BY 4.0)

How is the Scale-Up of the Wind Industry Being Financed?

According to the IEA’s Report: “Policy support remains the principal driver of wind deployment in the majority of the world.” Indeed, over the past few years, several policies have been launched that are designed to drive forward the roll-out of renewables.

For example, in August 2022, the US brought in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which includes $369 billion (US dollars) of investment, in the European Commission’s Green Deal Industrial Plan, $270 billion (US dollars) was pledged, and since the UK government’s Ten Point Plan was launched in November 2020, over £26 billion of government capital investment has been mobilised.

Safeguarding Expanding Fleets of Wind Turbines with Polymeric Technology

Given the critical role wind power plays in the transition to a net-zero future, as well as the significant amount of capital being invested into the renewables industry, the wind power sector is poised to experience considerable exponential growth in the upcoming decades. In order to support this growth, polymeric technology plays a significant role when it comes to maintaining the operational efficiency of the rapidly expanding fleets of wind turbines.

Polymeric systems such as the rebuild, blade filler material, Belzona 5711 and the cartridge-applied leading edge protection coating, Belzona 5721, are specially designed to repair damaged leading edges and protect them against rain erosion and impact damage for the long term.

In addition to the performance capabilities of these systems, maintenance engineers are investing in this technology due to the simple, in-situ application method and fast cure times the cold-curing systems facilitate. In turn, this helps to keep downtime to a minimum, and allows the turbine to be returned to service in the same day.

Belzona 5711 can be directly overcoated with Belzona 5721 in as little as 30 minutes at 20°C/68°F without the need for any additional surface preparation. At the same temperature, Belzona 5721 will be fully cured within five hours.

Below is a case study featuring the repair and protection of a wind turbine leading edge with Belzona 5711 and Belzona 5721.

Wind Turbine Blade Repaired and Protected

Belzona, a global designer and manufacturer of industrial protective coatings and repair composites, successfully addressed the wind turbine blade damage issue at Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s (EGAT) Khao Yai Thiang Windfarm in Thailand.


Figure 3 - Leading edge damaged by erosion

Leading Edge Erosion Damage

The windfarm features wind turbines with 40-metre-long (131.2 ft) blades. During routine inspections, evidence of damage measuring 300 cm x 14 cm x 2 mm (118 in x 5 in x 0.08 in) on the leading edge of one of the blades was discovered.

System Selection

Representatives from the 35-year-old Belzona Authorised Distributorship, Pan Mechanic Engineering, recommended the solvent-free, two-part repair paste, Belzona 5711, to reconstruct the damaged area on the blades, followed by the high-performance coating, Belzona 5721, to overcoat the area.

Application Procedure

The application procedure involved surface preparation using an orbital sander, followed by the direct application of approximately 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs) of Belzona 5711 from a self-mixing cartridge onto the blade. The repair area was contoured using a piece of Belzona mixing board.


Figure 4 - Surface preparation using an orbital sander


Figure 5 - Self-mixing Belzona 5711 cartridge

After a two-hour curing period, a visual inspection was conducted to ensure the application's readiness for overcoating with approximately 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) of Belzona 5721. Using a short-bristled brush, this system was then applied to the leading edge and left to cure. The blade was back in service 24 hours later.


Figure 6 – Application of repair paste, Belzona 5711


Figure 7 – Application of high-performance coating, Belzona 5721

EGAT's technicians were trained at the Belzona Asia Pacific facility to perform the application, with two representatives from Belzona's Technical Service Department present on site to observe and provide guidance.


Figure 8 – Completed repair and protection of leading edge


Figure 9 – Successful application of Belzona polymeric systems

Commenting on the application, an EGAT representative said: "We are extremely satisfied with

the results achieved by Belzona's leading edge repair and protection system. The application procedure was very simple, and could be carried out quickly, which ensured that downtime was kept to a minimum. We plan to place an order for more Belzona 5711 and Belzona 5721 .”

Supporting a Net-Zero Future

In order to support the seismic growth of the wind power sector, polymeric technology, such as Belzona 5711 and Belzona 5721, plays a critical role. By safeguarding the integrity of wind turbine blades, this helps to keep windfarms functioning at their optimum efficiency, which in turn, supports a net-zero by 2050 pathway for the planet.

More information about Belzona’s solutions for the wind industry can be found at:


The ins and outs of thermal fluid analysis

How do you know when a kitchen sink is about to clog and overflow? Most residential pipes are hidden, so food waste and product build-up can go unnoticed until it leads to damage. In manufacturing, leaving pipework unmonitored can lead to unexpected downtime and safety issues, particularly when working with thermal fluids, so proactive monitoring is the best way to prevent these problems. Here Clive Jones, managing director of thermal fluid supplier and condition management expert, Global Heat Transfer, outlines the steps of thermal fluid analysis for proactive fluid monitoring and how businesses can use the results to increase fluid lifespan.


Thermal fluids are designed to operate effectively for many years, but over time, operating at and maintaining high temperatures means that the oil will naturally degrade. Thermal fluid analysis provides a deep dive into the condition of the oil and allows businesses to gain expert advice about how to effectively maintain the fluid and the system. Analysis also ensures health and safety compliance with The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) of 2002 and UKEX (formally the Explosive Atmosphere Directive ATEX 137 in the UK).

To comply with relevant safety regulations, such as DSEAR in the UK, manufacturers must take proactive steps to reduce the risk of fire or explosion caused by working with dangerous substances. If this fluid is left unattended, for example, fluid degradation — where thermal oils can be broken down into carbon molecules that stick to the pipes — can occur, reducing heat transfer efficiency. If not monitored effectively, degradation may go unnoticed until it causes significant production issues and system failure, leading to costly downtime and risk to health and safety.

Instead of reacting to issues, regular thermal fluid sampling and analysis enables businesses to proactively monitor fluid condition and intervene before issues impact production, extending thermal oil lifespan and reducing maintenance costs.


Analysing a sample

Effectively monitoring heat transfer oil condition requires engineers to regularly take samples of the oil and send it to a specialist for analysis. Historically, thermal fluid experts conducted seven tests, however, in our experience conducting eleven tests provides results that best reflect the reality of what’s happening inside the system.

Once the sample arrives to an impartial lab for testing, an analytical chemist will look at its appearance, looking at the colour and for any particulates in the fluid. Fluid colour can range from clear and bright, which is common to newer fluids, to hazy, which can be a sign of high-water levels, to dark, which shows there is a high level of carbon build up in the system. These initial observations are confirmed in later steps to ensure the thermal fluid specialist provides the best recommendations.

Testing the water content of the oil is vital to regulatory compliance. Any water in the system and oil will convert to steam and expand, increasing the pressure in the system. By analysing water content, analysts and heat transfer fluid specialists can advise on how best to reduce the risks associated with high pressure.

The next step is to test viscosity and assess the impact the fluid has on the system pumps. If a fluid is too thick, flow rate will reduce, increasing the pressure on the pumps. This reduced flow rate can create hot spots in the system, leading to inconsistent heating or cooling of products that results in waste products, increased damage to the system and rising maintenance costs.

Measuring the level of carbon in the system is key to understanding the degree of system fouling. If the thermal fluid expert detects high levels of carbon deposits, it suggests that there is more carbon in the system, which can harden in the pipes, acting as an insulator. As a result, the entire system heat transfer efficiency will reduce and more energy is required to heat up the system. Manufacturers should consider how they can prevent carbon build-up as it can create hot spots that accelerate wear on the pipes and increase the risk of leaks.

Analytical chemists will then test the total acid number (TAN). If there is a high level of acid in the fluid, it can lead to increased corrosion of the system and accelerated carbon creation. By measuring this parameter, manufacturers can understand how the fluid impacts the pipes of the system, ensuring that they can slow down degradation and reduce the frequency of scheduled maintenance needed to replace corroded parts.

Particulate quantity and iron tests highlight the degradation of components of the heat transfer system. Both tests can show signs that there is wear in the system that needs addressing so that manufacturers can intervene before the wear turns into a dangerous leak.

Manufacturers should also look at the results of the Pensky-Martens Closed Cup flash point, Cleveland Open Cup flash point and fire point tests to reduce health and safety risks. The industry standard suggests that closed flash point of the fluid cannot be below 100 degrees Celsius, because it means the fluid could ignite at lower temperatures, so these tests are vital to understanding if the fluid is safe for use.


Once analysis is complete, the thermal fluid expert delivers a report to the plant manager, organising points into cautions, actions, or serious findings. At this point engineers can take the recommendations and plan interventions based on the priorities in the report. Making a record of each result will also help plant managers in the long term. By monitoring thermal fluid condition over time and looking for trends, helping them to anticipate when the system will require maintenance before downtime occurs.

Maintaining an efficient heat transfer system is integral to productivity, so unlike domestic pipes where a blockage may cause a minor overflow, manufacturers should consider how they can effectively monitor fluid inside the system. Thermal fluid testing can be complex, so manufacturers can work with thermal fluid experts, like Global Heat Transfer, to ensure they complete the process effectively and get an accurate representation of what’s happening inside the system. For example, by including Global Heat Transfer’s Thermocare® as part of a preventative maintenance programme that aligns with the ATEX triangle, experts can offer both on-site and remote technical support to help manufacturers rapidly sample and analyse fluid. From this, manufacturers can track fluid condition, anticipate and resolve issues quickly and implement preventative measures to extend fluid lifespan, reduce downtime and the facility’s environmental impact, and ensure system compliance.

To learn more about the thermal fluid testing and tailored solutions available, visit the Global Heat Transfer website

This artilce can also be found in the issue below.


Cyber security of HMI systems

Horst Friedrich, Director Product Management and Documentation, R. STAHL HMI Systems GmbH

HMI systems are the staff's main window to processes. However, certain ground rules are necessary to prevent them from becoming an open invitation to hackers. The choice of systems is key to success: state-of-the-art technology as is used for R. STAHL's new ORCA HMI device platform can exclude a great many sources of human error right at the start.  

You can always depend on human error, both in environments such as company IT as well as in OT (operational technology), which includes automation systems. A careless click of the mouse on a link or file accompanying what seems like a mail sent by a colleague or business partners can create havoc in integrated company IT systems. Operational systems such as control or process control systems also increasingly come under attack by hackers. A recent study by Trend Micro – a company specialising in network security – showed that in 2021, 90% of German companies in electricity, oil and gas supply as well as in the manufacturing sector were the target of cyber-attacks. On average, a successful attack resulted in damage to the tune of 2.9 million Euros. 

Automation systems are increasingly becoming the primary target of such attacks. After all, whilst office IT becomes ever more secure, there are still a lot of companies with gaping holes in their OT security. When machines that used to be operated in isolation are being integrated into the company networks during a digitalisation drive or as part of IoT projects, these security gaps become the entry point for hackers. Latest at this point operators should check whether there is unprotected maintenance access to the machines, whether the security of all control systems is up to date, whether USB interfaces are deactivated, and, last but certainly not least, whether the default password of an operator station or a SCADA system has ever been changed. If the answer to any of these questions is "no", the door to the system is wide open for anyone to enter – as a simple internet search for "scada system passwords" will show.

Recent legislation has also recognised the importance of this subject, in the European Union for example by defining key requirements for operators of critical infrastructure in the DIRECTIVE (EU) 2022/2557 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL by numbering chemical companies amongst critical infrastructure, in addition to assets essential for the functioning of society and economy. Such companies have to go to great lengths to meet the statutory requirements for IT security and cyber resilience, and non-compliance could lead to fines of up to 2 million Euros. 

Authentication as the most common blind spot

Efforts to ensure cyber security have always suffered from moving goalposts: although staff awareness of cyber risks is on the increase, cyber criminals are constantly upping their game. Social engineering and phishing attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated. But the good old USB trick also still works: plausibly labelled USB sticks left lying around are connected by unsuspecting staff to operator stations and control stations. Private mobile phones are also often connected to company systems. Then there are easy to guess passwords or passwords written down on pieces of paper stuck to the screen, a notice board or a whiteboard for any visitor or video conference member to see. A post-it note under the keyboard is also not a safe hiding-place for passwords. A Trend Micro study from 2018 showed just how important safe authentication is: according to the study, almost half of the successful cyber-attacks on HMI systems were down to unsafe passwords and insufficient access authority management. 

Often it is a question of ergonomics that leads to laughably easy passwords being used: which operator using several stations within a plant takes the time to enter a complex, 16-digit password via the screen keyboard every single time? Also, the software and hardware used in the process industry has often been in place for many years and has been developed at a time when integration, digitalisation and the Internet of Things were neither relevant terms nor development targets. Many operators simply have no idea exactly which devices and software systems are running in their plants.

Thin Clients reduce on-site cyber risks

During the development of the ORCA HMI series, launched in the summer of 2022, R. STAHL has addressed many aspects of cyber security. The Thin Client approach forms the basis: unlike independent on-site computers such as the ones used in Client/Server environments, the actual logic processes and data back-up for Thin Clients take place on a centrally administrated server. This means that many IT risks are immaterial for the on-site operator station. The operator's IT specialists can focus on security measures for the server. The ORCA HMI operator devices are closed systems with industrial-grade security. They have neither hard disk nor drives where malware could attack. To prevent manipulations at the level of the operating system, the UEFI-BIOS with the "secure boot" function is used: Windows is only booted up once it has been ascertained that parts of the firmware such as the boot loader have not been manipulated by unauthorised access. Also, the configuration supports customised security concepts.

R. STAHL is using the Remote HMI firmware for its Thin Clients. This has been designed as a closed system and is based on the Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC operating system. LTSC stands for "Long Term Servicing Channel", an update channel through which the company guarantees a 10-year long support with security updates. The firmware is used to configure, establish and secure remote connections to application servers, or, in the simplest case, to a workstation. This allows remote access from one operating station to one or more workstations within a network. This is not only the case for the new ORCA devices, but also for the manufacturer's earlier device platforms.

Ergonomics relevant to security

Easy handling in day-to-day work is a precondition for maintaining a high level of security:security solutions that hinder staff in their daily routines provoke workarounds. For example, when passwords are constantly requested at different workstations users tend to choose a simple, short password, or they simply do not log off when leaving the work area. With the ORCA devices, users can log on by means of contactless RFID authentication. This ergonomic solution allows staff to easily log onto a workstation without even taking their gloves off, ensuring a high level of access protection. 

The RFID readers support the particularly user-friendly LogOnPlus software from i.p.a.s-systeme. This is a modular server-client application that manages log-on control for production applications. Users are, for example, identified through their RFID ID card, authenticated vis-a-vis the company's active directory and then logged on to a target application such as a distributed control system by LogOnPlus via an application-specific connector. 

But it isn't just the question of usability where R. STAHL is looking after the operators' interests. The hardware was designed such that the devices can be used for a long time: Thin Client and display box can be easily disconnected, with no cables involved, making replacements that might be needed for a more powerful system easy and simple. R. STAHL guarantees a service life of at least 15 years for the modular ORCA design. This enables us to achieve the balancing act between short IT innovation cycles and long-term plant operation– without having to compromise on cyber security.



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During the development of the ORCA HMI series, cyber security was given utmost priority

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The new ORCA device platform design, specifically developed for long availability.

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With the launch of the new, modular ORCA HMI platform we are introducing the new, cordless EasyConnect click-fit system.

This artilce can be also found in the issue below.






The Hydropower Industry and Epoxy Coatings


Hydropower is a renewable energy source that has been harnessed for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the most important sources of electricity in the world, and its use is only expected to grow in the future. One of the key components of the hydropower industry is the use of epoxy coatings, which are used to protect the machinery and infrastructure used in hydropower operations. In this blog post, we will explore the role that epoxy coatings play in the hydropower industry and the benefits they provide.

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Figure 1 Grand Coulee Dam in the United States

The Benefits of Epoxy Coatings in Hydropower Operations

Epoxy coatings are a popular choice for use in the hydropower industry because of the many benefits they provide. One of the primary benefits of epoxy coatings is their ability to protect machinery and infrastructure from corrosion. Corrosion is a major problem in hydropower operations because the equipment used is often exposed to water and other corrosive substances. Epoxy coatings provide a protective barrier that prevents corrosion from occurring, which helps to extend the life of the equipment and reduce maintenance costs.

Another benefit of epoxy coatings in hydropower operations is their ability to provide a smooth surface for water to flow over. This is particularly important in turbines, where a smooth surface is essential for optimal operation. The use of epoxy coatings can help to reduce friction and improve the efficiency of the turbine, which can lead to increased power generation and lower operating costs.

Finally, epoxy coatings are also resistant to high temperatures and can withstand exposure to UV radiation. This makes them an ideal choice for use in the harsh environments found in hydropower operations, where machinery and infrastructure are often exposed to extreme temperatures and intense sunlight.

Hydropower Industry Case Study

Belzona had the opportunity to improve the condition of a 60-year-old Kaplan hydropower unit that was showing signs of wear and was due for a full mechanical overhaul.

Operators at the Hydropower Plant grit blasted and cleansed the unit with solvent. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was used to smooth over the wear and cavitation in a full skim coat. Once cured, the Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was sanded down to the required profile, and frost blasted. Two full coats of Belzona 1341 (Super Metal Glide) were applied. The coating can provide increased efficiency on new and refurbished equipment while also providing full corrosion and erosion protection while immersed.

Surviving 60 years with minimal wear is impressive. However, by using Belzona 1341 (Super Metal Glide), the unit can continue to operate for many more years, providing reliable service and cost savings over the long term. The use of this product can improve the unit's resistance to wear and tear and can also provide an additional layer of protection against environmental factors such as moisture and chemicals.

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Figure 2 Hydropower unit during surface preparation for Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) application

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The Future of Epoxy Coatings in the Hydropower Industry

As the demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow, so too does the necessity for hydropower. This is expected to drive an increase in the use of epoxy coatings in the hydropower industry, as more and more equipment is needed to meet the growing demand for electricity. In addition, advances in epoxy coating technology are likely to make them even more effective at protecting machinery and infrastructure from corrosion and other forms of damage.

One area of particular interest is the development of epoxy coatings that are more environmentally friendly. As the world becomes increasingly concerned about the impact of industrial processes on the environment, there is a growing demand for coatings that are engineered with plant-derived ingredients. The Belzona Research and Development Team are currently in the process of formulating products made from bio-based materials that are produced from sustainable plant-based feedstocks, rather than the traditional fossil-fuel based ingredients.


Epoxy coatings play a critical role in the hydropower industry, providing protection against corrosion, improving efficiency, and withstanding the harsh environments found in hydropower operations. As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, the use of epoxy coatings in the hydropower industry is expected to increase, and advances in technology are likely to make them even more effective. By working together, the hydropower industry and coating manufacturers can help to develop coatings that are both effective and environmentally conscious, ensuring a sustainable future for the industry and for the planet.

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