ATEX Mechanical Equipment Requirements
ATEX Compliance of Non-electrical Equipment
In most cases, compliance is demonstrated via a self-declaration route, and by creating a technical file of relevant information on the product to support this declaration. For example Ignition Hazard and clause by clause assessments against the applicable harmonised standards for Europe or dedicated standards for UK
We Are Here to Help!
From the very early days of ATEX up to the present day, I personally have helped hundreds of manufacturers of mechanical equipment ensure compliance of thousands of products. The below references provide an overview of the relevant conformity routes that your product may fall under.
In most cases, there is no legal requirement for a Notified Body to check or review compliance as the responsibility to ensure compliance falls solely on the manufacturer. We can however, as an independent compliance body, support you in this process, by producing an ignition hazard assessment and conducting the review against the applicable standards and packaging the information in one detailed compliance report so you can store the document with the other technical file information giving you piece of mind that your documentation is correct. We even supply a Declaration of Conformity for you to sign or we can review the technical file once it’s complete, and give advice on any discrepancies before you store the technical file (see technical documentation contents below)
The Standards Used
The list of harmonised standards for ATEX defines the EN ISO 80079 series. Examples of non-electrical equipment are: couplings, pumps, gearboxes, brakes, hydraulic and pneumatic motors and any combination of devices to realise a machine, fan, engine, compressor, assemblies, etc.
Although many but not all of such machines use an explosion protected electric motor for motive power the measures needed to reduce the risk of ignition in mechanical equipment as part of the machine may be different to those applied to electrical equipment.
Whereas electrical equipment working within design parameters often contains effective ignition sources such as sparking parts, this is not necessarily true for mechanical equipment which is designed to operate without break-down between predetermined maintenance operations.
Generally there are two mechanical ignition scenarios that need to be considered. These are, ignition resulting from a failure in the machine such as a bearing over-heating or ignition created by the normal functioning of the machine such as a hot brake surface.
Experience has shown that it is essential to perform a comprehensive ignition hazard assessment on the complete mechanical equipment to identify all potential ignition sources and determine if they can become effective ignition sources during the expected lifetime of the mechanical equipment. Once these ignition risks are understood and documented it is then possible to assign protective measures, depending on the required Equipment Protection Level (EPL), to minimise the probability that these ignition sources will become effective.
EN ISO 80079-36:2016 This part of ISO/IEC 80079 specifies the basic method and requirements for design, construction, testing and marking of non-electrical Ex equipment, Ex Components, protective systems, devices and assemblies of these products that have their own potential ignition sources and are intended for use in explosive atmospheres.
EN ISO 80079-37:2016 – This of ISO/IEC 80079 specifies the requirements for the design and construction of nonelectrical equipment, intended for use in explosive atmospheres, protected by the types of protection constructional safety “c”, control of ignition source “b” and liquid immersion “k”.
The Technical File contents
The technical documentation should comprise of:
A general description of the product
Conceptual design and manufacturing drawings
Descriptions and explanations necessary to understand the drawings and operation of the equipment
A list of standards applied in full or in part and descriptions of solutions adopted where the standards have not been applied
Results of design calculations and examinations carried out
ATEX Certificates of all the electrical components fitted
An Ignition Hazard Assessment of the product, against the relevant standards
Declaration of conformity
Technical File Services
As there is no legal requirement for a Notified Body to check or review the technical file, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that the equipment is fully compliant, and that they have compiled the technical file accurately and completely.
We understand however that you may not have the time, resource or compliance knowledge to compile a file on your own, so we can work with you to ensure your product achieves compliance. This can be by an initial assessment session, training and/or reviewing your technical file and risk assessment for completeness.
Please contact us for more information on these services.
Routes to Conformity
Category 1 Non-electrical Equipment
If the equipment is to be used in a Zone 0/20 environment, the manufacturer must gain an ATEX EU-Type Examination certificate from a Notified Body, and Quality Assurance issues apply.
Category 2 Non-electrical Equipment
For category 2 non-electrical equipment (for use in Zones 1/21), the completed technical file needs to be stored with a Notified Body (for at least 10 years after the last piece of equipment is manufactured). Please note that a Notified Body will not review the file, they will just store it, meaning that full responsibility for compliance lies with the manufacturer.
Category 3 Non-electrical Equipment
If the equipment is only to be used in a Zone 2/22 environment, the manufacturer can declare compliance (on completion of the technical file) and label the product accordingly. There is no legal requirement for the technical file to be stored with a Notified Body in this case.