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Everything You Need to Know About ATEX and IECEx Certification

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

 Explosion-proof equipment Singapore

In industries where hazardous environments are a concern, ensuring the safety of personnel and equipment is of utmost importance. To address and prevent potential explosion risks, it is mandatory that ex-proof equipment be installed in these facilities.

Furthermore, regulatory bodies have established stringent quality standards and certifications specifically for these ex-proof equipment, of which ATEX and IECEx (International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive) are two of the widely recognised benchmarks set for ex-proof equipment internationally. The explosion-proof equipment in Singapore also complies with these international standards.

While they both serve a common purpose, there are some notable differences between the two. Whether you are looking for a reputed ex-proof cable gland supplier in Singapore or looking to purchase explosion-proof lighting for your facility, having a thorough understanding of these certifications can help you make a sound decision. In this article, we will take a closer look at what these certifications have in common and how they differ, and how paying attention to these international certifications can help you purchase a quality product that ensures the safety of your employees and facility.

What is ATEX Certification?

The acronym ATEX stands for the French word ‘ATmosphère EXplosibles’, referring to electrical equipment designed for explosive atmospheres. ATEX certification is a mandatory requirement within the European Union (EU). This certification covers all stages from manufacturing and installation to the use of equipment and user safety. It mainly consists of three directives:

ATEX ‘User’ Directive 99/92/EC: applicable to the safety of workers operating in hazardous environments. This directive also details the correct selection of equipment, installation process, inspection, and maintenance of ex-proof equipment. The following essentials are highlighted under this directive:

  • Full assessment of explosion risks and associated characteristics

  • Classification of the areas with an explosive atmosphere into ‘Zones’ with the marking of entry points

  • Ensuring safe working conditions

  • Coordination of visitors and subcontractors

  • Selection of appropriate equipment and protection methods

ATEX 'Equipment Directive 1999/92/EC: applicable for trade, primarily focusing on manufacturing and sales regulations. This certification also covers electrical and non-electrical equipment with a potential ignition source.

ATEX 2014/34/EU Directive: a “New Approach” directive that lays down essential health and safety requirements that need to be followed.

ATEX Certified equipment is marked with an "EX" symbol together with additional details such as protection method and temperature classification.

What is IECEx Certification?

IECEx stands for International Electrotechnical Commission system for Certification of equipment for use in Explosive atmospheres, and these quality assessment specifications rely on the standards issued by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

All equipment is assessed by qualified experts at a designated IECEx testing laboratory and is issued an "IECEx Certificate of conformity" upon meeting the stringent quality standards. The IECEx Certificate demonstrates that a product complies with international standards and can be produced in support of any local certification requirements.

More about ATEX and IECEx

How Does the Certification Process Work?

Both ATEX and IECEx certifications involve a rigorous evaluation process to ensure that all ex-proof equipment produced is in compliance with accepted safety standards. The certification process will generally involve the below assessments, amongst others, specified by each awarding body:

  • assessment of design documentation

  • examination of equipment

  • assessment of manufacturing quality control systems

  • Coverage: International Vs EU

While both ATEX and IECEx certifications offer quality validation, many experts believe that IECEx certification offers a broader global scope when it comes to product exports. This makes IECEx certification particularly advantageous for manufacturers aiming to export their products to multiple markets worldwide. Even though ATEX is a regional certification confined to the EU, if your explosion-proof equipment in Singapore carries the ATEX certification, it is still a valid attestation that your ex-proof equipment has gone through stringent quality regulations.

  • Continuous Compliance

Both ATEX and IECEx certifications require manufacturers to maintain ongoing compliance with the standards. This includes periodic audits, quality control checks, and ensuring that any changes to the equipment do not compromise its safety features. Regular inspections and assessments are conducted to ensure that the certified equipment continues to meet the necessary requirements.

Lumenex Asia – for All Your Explosion Proof Equipment in Singapore

As a leading supplier of explosion-proof equipment in Singapore, Lumenex has always been at the forefront when it comes to ATEX and IECEx-certified equipment. With a wide range of ex-proof lighting fixtures and enclosures to choose from, we are also a reliable ex-proof cable gland supplier in Singapore.

If you are looking for explosion-proof electrical equipment for Zone 1, 2, 21, 22 and other hazardous environments, speak to our ex-proof equipment experts today! They will ensure you find the best solutions for your hazardous environment to safeguard your facilities and employees.

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