What Is Atex Certification

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You must become familiar with the relevant standards before designing and producing your items since this will enable you to avoid any problems during testing later on. However, the addition of another acronym to the already crowded field of OSHA, NFPA, NEC, and other acronyms has caused considerable misunderstanding. Continue reading to learn more about ATEX certification and its significance in the United States. All equipment with a possible ignition source (electrical or mechanical), including protective systems, must comply with ATEX criteria for the health and safety of people working in hazardous environment facilities in the European Union. Workplaces with flammable gases, mists, or vapors, as well as combustible clouds of dust, are examples of such situations. Continue reading to learn more about ATEX certification and its significance globally.

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What Is ATEX Certification

Symbol for Atex certified product
Source: https://news.nilfiskcfm.com

ATEX Certification is a product regulation that protects the safety of equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres in the European Union. ATEX certification serves to improve the safety and health of workers who may be exposed to explosive situations, such as those found in the petrochemical industry, underground mining, or food processing.

All enterprises who make electrical equipment that is utilized in hazardous settings and is intended to be sold in the European Union must obtain ATEX certification. The directive is akin to an OSHA or NEC norm in the United States in this regard. Conformity assessment processes and certification by a third party known as a “Notified Body” are involved in this process. The symbol shown above is used to identify certified equipment.

The ATEX directive is designed to ensure the free movement of goods across the European Union by harmonizing procedures. Manufacturers who use the Ex designation can sell their products everywhere in the EU without having to meet any additional risk-related requirements.

What is the Difference Between IECEx and ATEX

Hazardous area product with Atex and IECEx certification
Source: Pinterest

IECEx certification is a worldwide scheme that facilitates international trade by requiring compliance with IEC standards, whereas ATEX certification is a statutory scheme that requires compliance with specific requirements inside the EU.

Element’s ATEX and IECEx testing and certification experts can advise you on whether items need to be ATEX or IECEx certified, as well as satisfy any other applicable standards.

Relation Between ATEX, OSHA, and NFPA

Worker with safety equipment
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This is where things start to get a little tangled. While many of the ATEX certification standards overlap with the NFPA vacuum design requirements, which are frequently used during OSHA inspections, the ATEX directive isn’t applicable in the United States.

OSHA, on the other hand, demands that equipment be certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). It’s worth noting that NRTL certifications and marks are based on electrical code and standard testing. Currently, there are no standards or NRTL certifications for pneumatic vacuum equipment.

An ATEX-approved stainless steel enclosure has been built, tested, and certified – although by an EU-recognized body– as satisfying particular requirements for lowering the danger of creating an explosion in a hazardous environment. If the buyer’s pneumatic vacuum options include both ATEX and non-ATEX stainless steel enclosure, a decision should be taken, bearing OSHA in mind.

Protection Concepts and ATEX Zones

Machinery health analyzer for ATEX and IECEx zones
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ATEX Zones are hazardous regions used to differentiate between situations with varying degrees of danger. Manufacturers use specific methods and processes as part of their special measures to decrease the likelihood of ignition to an acceptable level.

Protective concepts and ATEX Zones for testing your items are either specified by you or dictated by the market.

Do All Materials in ATEX Zones Need to be Certified

ATEX geared motors
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The requirements for ATEX certification vary based on the type of equipment and the zones in which it will be used.

ATEX testing is performed on materials that are heading into an ATEX Zone and can potentially develop and store a static charge, such as air propelled drills or turbine assembly. These assessments ensure that you are comfortable with the materials and your mental pace. The goods, however, cannot be ATEX approved because they do not constitute a genuine ignition risk.

ATEX Certification Standards and Requirements

Thermal Imager
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There are four primary areas of compliance to achieve ATEX certification:

Before being sold in the EU, products must bear the Distinctive Community Mark (‘Ex’ in hexagon) and CE marking to comply with the ATEX Directive. For the IEC/EN 60079 and ISO/IEC/EN 80079 family of explosive atmosphere standards, many organizations are entrusted with testing and certifying items for the ‘Ex’ and CE marks.

A Unit Verification can assist you in launching a bespoke piece of equipment suited for use in a potentially explosive environment onto the European market at a low cost.

To comply with the ATEX Directive’s standards, a unique quality assurance method and procedure following ISO/IEC/EN 80079-34 must be followed. For Zones 0 and 1 equipment (Ga & Gb), a Notified Body examination is necessary, which includes an EU Type Certificate with a test report and a Quality Audit (QAN).

Bundled certification refers to combining ETL, ATEX, and IECEx certifications, you may swiftly and efficiently acquire access to North America, Europe, and 30 additional potential markets. A thorough understanding of the differences between the various schemes and can assist you in obtaining several certifications, allowing you to access worldwide markets.

Conclusion

If you have any questions or would want to discuss your ATEX and IECEx requirements further, please contact us. Our Engaged Experts are standing by to help you navigate our ATEX-certified items.

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