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Topic Title: ATEX Certification
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Created On: 26 October 2007 04:59 PM
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 26 October 2007 04:59 PM
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norma

Posts: 13
Joined: 10 October 2007

I am very comfortable with the electrical and instrumentation equipment I have installed in Zones 0, 1 and 2. However, I am uncomfortable with the mechanical equipment and equipment is dust areas.

The reason I am uncomfortable is the apparently inability of suppliers to read the specifications.
All my specifications state that the equipment must come with an ATEX certificate suitable for use in the area and I always give the Gas / Dust group, Temperatures, etc.

Suppliers of pumps seem to ignore and although their quote states I will be supplied with an ATEX certificate, when it comes down to it, I am supplied with a CE (Certificate of conformity) stating it complies with xxxxxxx. I have always dug my heels in and rejected the equipment as it did not meet my spec.

Recently we have been installing instruments in Zone 21 and Zone 22 areas and the instrument manufacturers are supplying goods without an ATEX certificate, but with a CE complying with xxxxxx. I had always understood that the actual equipment must be marked with the Dust Group ie 1D, 2D and the temperature class, but some suppliers insist this is not the case.

I am keen to understand more about the acceptability of the CE against and ATEX certificate. Can this be used, where can it be used? It would certainly open up more suppliers.

In the mean time, if it doesn't meet my spec.......

So can anyone help clarify?
 31 October 2007 01:26 PM
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mstaple

Posts: 324
Joined: 23 July 2004

If you have specified the area classification requirements for the equipment and the manufacturer cannot provide certification to this, the equipment is useless.

You would be best talking to either EEMUA (Engineers Equipment and Materials Assocciation) www.eemua.co.uk, or someone from DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations)or BASEEFA about this problem. They are the certification bodies in this country.

I don't have much experience in dusts but this and the inclusion of mechanical parts was introduced as part of ATEX a few years ago (The theory being that a rotating piece of equipment can produce enough frictional heat to ignite a vapour, dust cloud or settled dust). All of our new pumps on site have ATEX ratings stamped on them.

I would suggest that you need to approach vendors who have experience working in hazardous areas as your current vendors don't seem to have experience.

The CE (Certificate of Conformity) is not worth much as it means the equipment meets the European standards (as interpreted by the country of origin) so the equipment can be sold throughout Europe. The European Standards normally used are Machinery Directive, Low Voltage Directive and EMC Directive. The Certificate of Conformity means the goods can be moved throughout Europe but doesn't mean they meet the local requirements i.e. British Standards. A classic example is guarding of machinery is less stringent in some countries on the continent than UK, yet the machine will have CE stamped on it.

Hope this helps a little
 02 November 2007 11:57 AM
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mstaple

Posts: 324
Joined: 23 July 2004

Thought this might help

http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/explosive.htm

Mentioning HSE always gets people attention!
 02 November 2007 08:48 PM
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phow

Posts: 69
Joined: 14 April 2002

Norma
I am the responsible elect eng /Dsear competent person on a Dsear Site.
I'm afrain that once again this area is a bit of nightmare.
If you want something fairy standard [pump or motor] used in the petrochem industry and it can be bought in the Uk you are probably going to be OK.
The minute is is something unusual [vacuum cleaner, shaker] bought from elsewhere in EU you will probably have issues.
These suppliers don't seem to understand Atex or the Equipment and Protective Systems for use in potentiaally explosive atmospheres Regs.
Often I have to go back to the Co and say your CE certiicate does not reference the correct BSEN Atex harmonised standards. I have to tell them what they should quote. They then reissue a certificate or the equipment has to be sent back.
Most salesmen /purchasing / orders depts do not understand the difference between gas and dust zoning (Z2 and Z22)protection standards so will often sell or send the wrong equipment.
Do use the Europe Atex Harmonised standards web site for up to date info
it is buyer beware and hard work.
Good luck Peter
 17 October 2012 10:07 PM
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Nev81

Posts: 1
Joined: 17 October 2012

Hello

Can anyone help?

We have an instrument which is made up of small PCB at intervals of 30cm to 50cm and connected by a few cables, housed in a stainless steel tube, and two layers of heat shrink and stainless steel braiding, it is not ATEX certified. It is powered by a 12 battery located in a safe area.

But we have found an ATEX IIC certified flameproof flexible conduit that is perfect for the instrument, which needs to be installed into a Zone 1 gas area.

What exactly do we need to do with the instrument (in terms of testing) to allow it to be used with the conduit? A DSEAR manager for the infrastructure claims that the conduit is only certified for cables but the manufacturers spec does not state this and neither does the ATEX cert.

thanks

Gary
 18 October 2012 02:13 PM
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phow

Posts: 69
Joined: 14 April 2002

Gary. Unfortunatly it is not the voltage (12v) that counts, it is the energy of a spark generated by a fault or the surface temperature generated by localised overheating that can cause ignition of a flammable atmosphere. Therefore you must seek professional advice {Baseefa or Trac or others} for advice. In terms of what you can "put" in a flexible Atex conduit, you must read the words of the Certificate of Conformity in detail, not what a salesman says! Another way is to ask if your instrument can be constructed to work in an "Instrument pocket" with the exterior part in a Zone 2 or Safe area, in which you have a lot more flexibility as to what you can allow. i.e. The instrument is not in the Zone 1. OR Can the PCB be run through a simple galvanic isolator type 'IS' protection? Try reading the MTL instrumants web site.
Others wil have more conformity with EPS regs /BSEN, knowledge than I. Regards Peter
 19 October 2012 11:23 AM
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Avatar for MAXMIRA.
MAXMIRA

Posts: 78
Joined: 25 January 2011

Originally posted by: Nev81

Hello



Can anyone help?



We have an instrument which is made up of small PCB at intervals of 30cm to 50cm and connected by a few cables, housed in a stainless steel tube, and two layers of heat shrink and stainless steel braiding, it is not ATEX certified. It is powered by a 12 battery located in a safe area.



But we have found an ATEX IIC certified flameproof flexible conduit that is perfect for the instrument, which needs to be installed into a Zone 1 gas area.



What exactly do we need to do with the instrument (in terms of testing) to allow it to be used with the conduit? A DSEAR manager for the infrastructure claims that the conduit is only certified for cables but the manufacturers spec does not state this and neither does the ATEX cert.



thanks



Gary


The instrument itself must be suitable for use within a hazardous area i.e. have its own ATEX certificate unless it is housed within a certified explosion proof housing.

The cable transfer method is irrelevant.

I think you should consult a specialist consultant as this is an area with strict regulations and none compliance may lead to catastrophic accidents.

Try BSEN 60079 for more information on compliance.

Drop me a message if you require specialist information.
 20 January 2013 10:30 PM
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pbutts

Posts: 7
Joined: 20 January 2006

Working in this area mechanical equipment does come under atex..if the temperature of the external equipment bearings air regulators rises to the flash point of the zone or gas group you are working in is exceeded then you will have a problem. I know of mechanical equipment that doesfall under atex roots blowers for example. Stick with reputable companies to ensure safety...i have seen many pieces of kit incorectly installedwhen it is atex equipment
 20 January 2013 10:33 PM
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pbutts

Posts: 7
Joined: 20 January 2006

As already mentioned look at intrinicly safe circuitsyour equipment may fall under being called a simple device.however it will still need to be safe ina hazardous area
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