Easy installation and maintenance, projects stringent regulations, and pressure for digitization are supporting the growth of the market of intrinsically safe modules (barriers, isolators, converters). Intrinsic safety is a fundamental method of plants protection that is based on the principle of current and voltage limitation in circuits placed in hazardous areas. In other words, intrinsic safety ensures that the energy transferred into a hazardous area is below the threshold required to trigger an explosion. Hazardous areas in plants consist of concentrations of flammable gases, vapors and dusts that can cause explosions, resulting in people injuries and property damages. These hazardous environments are particularly present in oil & gas, energy, chemical and mining industries.
Maximize Market Research (MMR) has estimated the intrinsically safe equipment market $2.9 billion in 2021 and the expectation is that it reaches $4.75 billion by 2029, with an average growth rate around 7% over the period 2022-2029. The need to protect workforce and productivity in process industries is the base of this growth.
Intrinsically safe technology is also considered because it ensures equipment maintenance without interrupting operations, speeds up troubleshooting and alarm reporting, and lastly requires low installation, maintenance and inspection costs for equipment and wiring. Digital technologies have also recently fostered its growth.
As a matter of fact, companies are moving toward digitization and Industry 4.0 model requiring the use of sensors, actuators, valves, controllers, and other devices, capable of working with IoT platforms for energy management and data analysis. Moreover, many companies and organizations use equipment to ensure intrinsic safety in accordance with government regulations and international standards. Organizations and directives such as ATEX, IECEx, NEC/CEC and OSHA play a key role in recommending safety standards, guidelines, and operating regulations.
Intrinsically safe modules market
In the field of instrumentation and plants investment protection, safety plays a key role in maintaining proper power supply to field devices in hazardous areas and to protect - when necessary - a system from failures. Barriers, isolators, and converters are used for this purpose. According to the latest estimates, the market size for intrinsic safety modules, which includes Zener barriers, isolators, and converters will register an incremental growth of 43.77 million dollars with a growth rate of nearly 6% over the 2020-2024 period. Therefore, this can be considered a vital and dynamic segment in the context of intrinsic safety.
Barriers are usually equipped with a fuse, a current limiter, and a Zener diode to limit the breakdown voltage. Barriers are used to limit energy in areas with potential risk of explosion or deflagration due to sparks. Isolators, which are more complex and expensive than barriers, are used to isolate field instruments and eliminate ground loops in analog circuits. Separation of power supplies and signal circuits is a crucial factor in the design of modern equipment to improve the safety of electronic devices and operators. Magnetic, optical, and capacitive isolation methods are used to isolate the field signal from the systems. Global demand for isolators is expected to grow at a rate of about 5.2% over the decade 2022-2032, driven by applications in telecommunications, healthcare, and industry.