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Explosion protection for mechanical engineering

Current information about explosion protecton for mechanical engineering

With our current technical information, we want to keep you up to date – compact and clear. Benefit from the know-how gained from decades of experience in different application areas of explosion protection.


Ex-products for market entry in the United Kingdom

August 2022

With the execution of Brexit on 31st of December 2020 the United Kingdom (UK) has left the EU Internal Market. Since then, UK-specific product rules of conformity have applied to market entry. After some postponements, from 01st of January 2023 only Ex equipment will be accepted that have a UK Type examination certificate from a UK approved body (UKEX Approved Body, British equivalent of an ATEX notified body). ATEX certificates (EU) are no longer accepted in the UK. Ex equipment must have a UKCA marking (mandatory), CE marking is no longer acknowledged. For future product developments for the EU market and for the UK, the manufacturer should consider that the evidence of conformity must be kept separately for each guideline (EU/UK).

ATEX Richtlinien

 

Comparison of the systems

The UKEX system is structured similarly to the ATEX system. The technical requirements of the UKEX system are nearly identical to those of the ATEX directive. The longstanding exchange between the certification bodies and surveillance authority in Europe in the sector of explosion protection has certainly also contributed to this. The knowledge gained by experts in the EU and UK is now also used in the practical implementation of the UKEX system. In both directives, the conformity process and thus the assignment of an authorized certification body or manufacturer's declaration is dependent on the required product category (1, 2 or 3). The following overview with the essential differences and similarities should help with the implementation.

 

CE/ATEX (valid in EU)

UKCA/UKEX (valid in UK)

Directive

ATEX - Directive 2014/34/EU

SI 2016 No. 1107 (amended in SI 2019 No. 696)

Standard basis

Harmonized standards (EN)

Designated Standards (EN, BSI)

Certification bodies

Notified Body

Approved Body

Conformity process

by equipment assembly and category

by equipment assembly and category

Third party certification (Certification bodies)

EU Type examination certificate
Group II, Cat. 1,2 electrical
Group II, Cat. 1 non-electrical

UK Type examination certificate
Group II, Cat. 1,2 electrical
Group II, Cat. 1 other (non-electrical)

Self-declaration (manufacturer)

Group II, Cat. 3 electrical
Group II, Cat. 2,3 non-electrical

Group II, Cat. 3 electrical
Group II, Cat. 2,3 other (non-electrical)

Quality Assessment Report

QAN

UK QAN

Manufacturer's declaration

EU Declaration of Conformity

Declaration of Conformity

Marking

CE Marking (Ex mark)

UKCA Marking

 

Transcription of existing certificates

The requirements of the UKCA conformity process (SI 2016 No. 1107 amended to SI 2019 No. 696) must be implemented by the manufacturer. Certification bodies holding EU and UK accreditations will be able to support the transcription of ATEX equipment. Ex-assessments (ATEX) and EU Type examination certificates can be used as a basis to issue corresponding UKEX certificates (UK Type examination certificates) for the British market. In the case of equipment combinations or integrated components from third-party suppliers, all parts must have a UK Type examination certificate from a British approved body.

 

Direct and useful links

Designated standards: equipment for explosive atmospheres

SI 2019 No. 696

 

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Overall assessment of the ex-machine

February 2022

Explosion protection is a comprehensive task that requires special know-how in all project phases: from sales and engineering to purchasing and production. It is important to consider the product as a whole.
Manufacturers of machines and assemblies are responsible for the function, the economic success of a project, but above all for the safety of the complete Ex machine. For equipment and machines for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, harmonized safety requirements have been applied in the EU with the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU and EN standards. Outside Europe, explosion protection regulations are based primarily on IEC/ISO standards and corresponding IECEx certificates or national regulations or certificates.
The two ContExt brochures (only available in German) summarize the most important information on ATEX/IECEx marking of electrical and non-electrical explosion-proof equipment. They form a unit and serve as a compact guide for manufacturers of machinery:

 

 

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Equipment, Equipment Assemblies, Installations in Ex-areas

November 2021

In terms of explosion protection (ATEX, IECEx), machines are regarded as equipment or as a combination of different equipment (Equipment Assemblies). The interconnection/installation of electrical Ex-equipment (sensors, controllers, actuators, motors), on the contrary, is seen as an installation.

The following overview shows definitions and correlations to the terms from the ATEX Directive and the relevant standards.
Valuable information on the implementation of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU can be found in its Guidelines.

ATEX Richtlinien

 

  ATEX
(only EU)
Standards
(DIN, EN, IEC)
Equipment As defined in the ATEX Directive as well as in the standards, Equipment means machines, apparatus, fixed or mobile devices, control components and instrumentation thereof and detection or prevention systems which, separately or jointly, are intended for the generation, transfer, storage, measurement, control and conversion of energy and/or the processing of material and which are capable of causing an explosion through their own potential sources of ignition.
 
  Falls within the scope of application of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.



The ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU defines equipment categories(1G, 2G, 3G or 1D, 2D, 3D) for use in the zone (0, 1, 2 or 20, 21, 22).
DIN EN IEC 60079-0 defines electrical equipment that is used to apply electrical energy. DIN EN ISO 80079-36 defines non-electrical equipment with mechanical function.

The DIN EN IEC or ISO standards define levels of protection (Ga, Gb, Gc or Da, Db, Dc) for use in the zone (0, 1, 2 or 20, 21, 22).

According to DIN EN IEC 60079-14, a distinction is also made:
Fixed equipment:
Equipment that is attached to a fixture or otherwise secured in a fixed location when energized.

Transportable equipment:
Equipment that is not intended to be carried by a person, but is also not intended to be permanently installed and can be moved while energized.

Portable equipment:
Equipment intended to be carried by one person and which can be moved while energized.

Personal equipment:
Equiment intended to be worn on a person's body when used as directed.
Equipment Assembly Designates both in the directive and in the standard a product, formed by combining two or more pieces of equipment together with components of necessary and together with other parts as necessary that are electrically and mechanically interconnected to create a complete functional assembly.
 
  Falls within the scope of application of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU. The handling and application are defined in the DIN EN IEC 60079-46 standard.
Installation Installation is an entity which is made from parts previously considered separately but which are only put together at the point of application.

Installing such equipment at the end-user premises or under his responsibility will generally be subject to legal requirements either from the workplace directives or the domestic legislation of the Member States.
It does not fall within the scope of application of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.
It is defined in the Guidelines to the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.
The DIN EN IEC 60079-14 standard does not provide a definition for an "installation" as an entity, but is a technical guide for the installer.


It defines that an installed system complies with the equipment documents (certificates and instructions for safe installation) as well as the installation requirements (DIN EN IEC 60079-14) and all other requirements (rele-vant to the system). Verification documents must be prepared for the overall result and kept in an accessible place.

 

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ATEX and IECEx certification: a useful combination for mechanical engineering

August 2021

The consequent standardization of technology in the field of explosion protection for electrical equipment, which began over 100 years ago, is now based on mature IEC standard (EN IEC 60079-0 ff). The introduction of international ISO standards (EN ISO 80079-36, -37) for explosion protection of non-electrical equipment supplements the electrical standards. The visible identification for non-electrical equipment is the protection type Ex h and the equipment protection level (EPL). The proven principle of graduation of explosion protection measures with equipment protection levels for use in Ex zones is now also applied to non-electrical equipment.

Basically, a holistic view of the machine or system according to state-of-the-art technology (standards) is required both within and outside of Europe. The important task for the manufacturer of machines is the risk assessment of ignition sources, construction, the definition of ignition protection measures, testing, certification, and the conformity assessment. According to both ATEX and IECEx, inspection bodies must be involved.

ATEX is a legal system (Directive 2014/34/EU) of the EU and regulates the market access for products to be used in Ex areas. IEC is an international standardization organization also for equipment to be used in Ex areas. The IECEx system serves for certification of conformity with the IEC standards and is voluntary in Europe.

The following table provides a comparison of the two systems and contains further links.

 

Comparison of the ATEX- and IECEx-Certification

  ATEX IECEx
Validity Required by law in the EU Voluntary in the EU
Different acceptance worldwide
Directives and standards RL 2014/34/EU
EN IEC 60079-0 ff
EN ISO 80079-36 and -37
IEC 60079-0 ff
ISO 80079-36 and -37
Conformity for electrical equipment Cat. 1 und 2:
Quality Assessment Report
EU Type examination certificate
EU Declaration of conformity
CE Marking
Cat. 3:
Internal production control
EU Declaration of conformity
CE Marking
EPL a, b, c:
Quality Assessment Report (QAR)
Test Report (ExTR)
Certificate of Conformity (CoC)
Marking
Conformity for non-electrical equipment Cat. 1:
Quality Assessment Report
EU Type examination certificate
EU Declaration of conformity
CE Marking
Cat. 2* und 3:
Intrernal production control
EU Declaration of conformity
CE Marking
 
*Technical documentation at notified body (deposit)
EPL a, b, c:
Quality Assessment Report (QAR)
Test Report (ExTR)
Certificate of Conformity (CoC)
Marking
Used similar to electrical equipment (for all EPLs the same)
Access to certificates EU type examination certificate (manufacturer, online)
EU declaration of conformity (manufacturer)
IEC Online Database with IEC CoCs

 

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Engineering and installation of electrical Ex-equipment

June 2021

Standardized electrical equipment is often individually planned and installed on the basis of specific customer requirements. While engineering the Ex-solution, it is crucial to carefully examine all relevant Ex aspects at an early stage.

Electrical explosion protection for mecanical egineering

The specifications in the context of explosion protection must be carefully coordinated with the customer, i. e. the Ex-parameters, e. g. zone classification/equipment categories as well as Ex parameters for flammable substances (gases, vapors and dusts). Based on this the suitable suppliers for electrical equipment are selected.

The engineering, installation and initial testing of the electrical Ex equipment and systems should be implemented professionally. For this mix of tasks, planners and electricians can find comprehensive information in DIN EN IEC 60079-14 for the selection and installation of electrical devices in Ex areas.

For electrical Ex devices, their marking provides all the essential information. (PDF)

Electrical equipment for switching, controlling, regulating, mobile or stationary, naturally find their way into safe Ex-applications today. The development of internationally uniform protection concepts and standards (EN IEC 60079-0 ff) in electrical engineering have made a decisive contribution to this. If necessary, Ex technologies (types of protection) must be implemented internally using the relevant standards.

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Construction and certification of mechanical Ex-equipment

April 2021

Non-electrical equipment is often implemented individually on the basis of specific customer requirements. The specification in the context of explosion protection (zones/equipment categories, Ex parameters: temperature class,

Mechanical explosion protection for mechanical engineering

Ex group) is decisive for the construction of the Ex-machines. This must be coordinated with the customer carefully and at an early stage.

In the EU, the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU has always provided a legal basis for the testing and certification of mechanical equipment and assemblies for use in Ex areas. The IECEx system has been offering a similar certification framework for mechanical equipment and combinations outside the EU for about 2 years.

The systematic ignition source assessment is the starting point for the definition and implementation of individual ignition protection measures and the application of suitable types of protection (Ex h). The international standards for non-electrical Ex devices (EN ISO 80079-36, -37) provide the technical basis and support for this. They complement the IEC standards and thus expand the Ex-requirements for process machines.

The new Ex marking for non-electrical devices (PDF) with the Ex h type of protection and the device protection values Ga, Gb, Gc (gases) or Da, Db, Dc (dust) gives information for safe use in Ex zones and are a clear identifier for the implementation of the new standards.

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