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All About (ATEX) Directive 201434 EU Explosion-proof equipment

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All About (ATEX) Directive 2014/34 / EU Explosion-proof equipment


ATEX is the collective name of a number of European Union directives derived from the abbreviation French – Atmosphères Explosibles – “explosive atmospheres”. Explosive atmospheres include mixtures of gases, vapors, fog or dust with atmospheric air, capable of burning as a result of ignition.

Since the operation of equipment used in explosive atmospheres poses an increased danger to humans, property and the environment, such equipment is subject to mandatory compliance with safety requirements in the form of explosion-proof certification for compliance with ATEX directives with further marking with a single European Union CE mark and the mark explosion protection EX.

Legal basis

ATEX currently has three EU directives: the ATEX directive 94/9 / EC  and the new approach directive 2014/34 / EU applicable to explosion-proof equipment and the 1999/92 / EU directive applicable to manufacturing processes.

For the first time, the ATEX directive 94/9 / EC for equipment used in explosive atmospheres appeared in 1994 in the process of harmonization of national technical regulations of the EU countries. In 2014, it was seriously reformed as part of the implementation of the “new approach” and replaced by directive 2014/34 / EU.

The ATEX directives were developed by the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate, together with representatives of European industry and accredited certification authorities.

The directive describes the minimum requirements for equipment and safety systems used in explosive atmospheres.

Starting June 30, 2003, only such equipment and its components, as well as protection systems that comply with ATEX directives, are allowed in explosive atmospheres. Until April 20, 2016, the old ATEX directive 94/9 / EC is applied, after this date the directive of the new approach 2014/34 / EU will be applied exclusively.

The implementation of directives 2014/34 / EU and 1999/92 / UC is mandatory throughout the European Union when using equipment in explosive atmospheres.

ATEX Directive 2014/34 / EU

The ATEX Directive 2014/34 / EU for equipment used in explosive atmospheres defines the procedure for the use in production and market entry of equipment that presents an increased explosion hazard.

Unlike the earlier ATEX directive 94/9 / EC, the ATEX directive 2014/34 / EU also applies to non-electrical equipment.

The main objective of the adoption of this directive is to protect people working in explosive atmospheres, whose life and health may be endangered by the explosion. Thus, the ATEX directive 2014/34 / EU contains the basic requirements for the safety of equipment that must be observed during its manufacture and certified accordingly.

The ATEX Directive 2014/34 / EU applies to the following product categories:

  • equipment and protection      systems used in explosive atmospheres

  • safety, control and      management systems used outside of explosive atmospheres, but affecting      explosion protection;

  • components of the above      equipment.

The ATEX Directive 2014/34 / EU does not apply to the following product categories:

  • medical devices

  • protective equipment and      systems in which explosiveness depends solely on the use of explosives and      chemicals

  • household appliances in      which the occurrence of explosive atmospheres is unlikely

  • personal safety equipment      in accordance with directive 89/686 / EEC

  • ships and wind generators      located at sea

  • vehicles

  • weapons, ammunition,      military materials.

Explosion protection classes ATEX

  • Group I – equipment      intended for underground mining and surface mining and processing

  • Group II – equipment used      in potentially explosive gas atmospheres.

Each of these groups has three explosion protection levels A, B and C, its own field of application – for gas (G) or dusty environments (D), as well as 6 classes of protection against high temperatures.

ATEX Certification Process

Depending on the group and the class of explosion protection of the products, various certification modules can be used for ATEX certification in accordance with the ATEX directive 2014/34 / EU , which include declaring on the basis of own evidence, as well as certification involving a notified laboratory, testing of samples, control of production conditions and quality management systems.

In the event that a notified laboratory takes part in the certification process, then it performs the following tasks:

  • checks technical      documentation

  • tests product samples

  • compiles test reports

  • checks production      conditions and a quality management system.

ATEX Declaration of Conformity

Only if, as a result of the audit, it is established that the product complies with the provisions of the ATEX directive 2014/34 / EU, a declaration can be issued for it, the product itself can be admitted to the EU market and marked with the CE mark and EX sign.

When a CE declaration is issued for the product groups specified in the ATEX 2014/34 / EU directive, the manufacturer, importer or supplier of the goods confirms at their own responsibility that the products comply with all the requirements of the directive. This declaration is an integral part of the technical documentation for the products and must be stored for 10 years. The participation of the notified laboratory in the certification process does not remove or limit the liability of the manufacturer.

The declaration contains information about the manufacturer, his representative in the EU, a list of applied harmonized standards, data of the notified laboratory involved in certification.

ATEX Technical Documentation

The manufacturer, importer, seller or their authorized representative in the EU should be able at any time to confirm on the basis of documents, certificates and test reports that the products comply with the ATEX directive. For this, the manufacturer needs technical documentation for the products. Technical documentation includes:

  • general product      description

  • diagrams and drawings

  • list of applicable EU      directives and standards

  • laboratory test reports

  • certificates of      conformity for applied parts and materials.

Technical documentation is subject to storage for 10 years.

ATEX marking

After declaring products for compliance with ATEX technical regulations, each product sample must be specially marked. The marking should contain:

  • name, trademark and      address of the manufacturer

  • CE mark

  • indication of the type      and series of the device or serial number

  • Year of manufacture

  • special EX sign      indicating the explosion protection group, class and area of      application.

In addition, application notes important for the safe use of the equipment must be additionally provided.

All markings, including the CE mark, must be clear and indelible. In the event that the marking cannot be applied to the product, it is applied to the accompanying documentation or packaging.

In the event that a notified laboratory participated in the certification, its identification number is affixed under the CE mark.

Responsibility for violations of the ATEX Directive

Failure to comply with ATEX directives can lead to very serious consequences, and is often punishable by fines of hundreds of thousands of euros, and in case of gross violations it can lead to criminal liability. Moreover, products that do not meet the standards should be withdrawn from circulation and destroyed at the expense of the manufacturer or importer.

Compliance with the requirements of the ATEX directive is monitored by national supervisory authorities, which have the right to take administrative measures if they find inconsistencies applicable in the declaration.

Authorised representative

A CE certificate and a declaration of conformity with ATEX directives can only be issued by a company that is a resident of the European Union. Enterprises located outside the EU, for example, in Russia or the CIS countries, are not entitled to independently declare their products conform to ATEX directives and label their products with the CE mark or EX sign.

 


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