What is IECEx?
IECEx is a voluntary system which provides an internationally accepted means of proving compliance with IEC standards. IEC standards are used in many national approval schemes and as such, IECEx certification can be used to support national compliance, negating the need in most cases for additional testing.
The Benefits of IECEx
The fact that many countries operate under different standards means that Ex equipment often needs to be re-tested and re-certified to the appropriate standards of that country, adding to the cost of the equipment. The IECEx scheme significantly reduces the need for re-testing and certification by conforming to international IEC standards, and therefore makes international trade easier, quicker and more cost effective.
The objective of the IECEx System is to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres, while maintaining the required level of safety:
reduced testing and certification costs to manufacturer
reduced time to market
international confidence in the product assessment process
one international database listing
maintaining International Confidence in equipment and services covered by IECEx Certification
What is an Ex area?
Ex areas can be known by different names such as “Hazardous Locations”, “Hazardous Areas” “Explosive Atmospheres”, and the like and relate to areas where flammable liquids, vapours, gases or combustible dusts are likely to occur in quantities sufficient to cause a fire or explosion.
The modern day automation of industry has meant an increased need to use equipment in Ex areas. Such equipment is termed “Ex equipment”
Where do you commonly find Ex equipment?
Ex equipment in such areas include:
Automotive refuelling stations or petrol stations
Oil refineries, rigs and processing plants
Chemical processing plants
Printing industries, paper and textiles
Hospital operating theatres
Aircraft refuelling and hangars
Surface coating industries
Sewerage treatment plants
Gas pipelines and distribution centers
Grain handling and storage
Metal surface grinding, especially aluminium dusts and particles
IECEx International Certification System
In addition to the preparation of International Standards, the IEC facilitates the operation of Conformity Assessment Systems. One such System is the IECEx System.
The IECEx System comprises the following:
The IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme
The IECEx Certified Service Facilities Scheme
The IECEx Conformity Mark Licensing System
The IECEx Certification of Personnel Competencies (CoPC)
For more information on becoming IECEX certified visit https://www.iecex.com/
If you are interested in hazardous areas then you may wish to attend the upcoming 7th Hazardous Areas Conference in Melbourne on the 26th & 27th September 2018
This conference has been created for those concerned with the safe use of electrical, mechanical and instrumentation equipment in hazardous, flammable or explosive atmospheres, thus preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace. It will offer you the most up to date information and practical know-how to enable you to participate in hazard studies, and to specify, design, install and maintain the equipment in your plant safely.
The conference features the following topics presented by leading industry professionals:
• Hot Buttons in Adopting IEC Standards for Hazardous Areas
• Explaining the IECEx Certificate of Personal Competency Scheme
• Optical Radiation Awareness in Explosive Atmospheres
• Classification Principals for Dust Atmospheres (A Previous Electrical Regulator’s Perspective)
• How Blocked Gas Detectors Change the Apparent Concentration of Gas
• Understanding & Using IECEx Certificates – Key Elements
• Changes in Ex Standards - The Electric Motor Perspective
• Changes to AS/NZS 4761 and Comparison to the IECEx CoPC Scheme
• Hazardous Areas Classification – Annex ZA / ZB Vs Source of Release by Calculation
• Development of a World-First Ventilation Air Methane Abatement Safety Demonstration Facility
• Lightning: “The Protection Myth”
• Gas Detection and the Single Ended Ruler
• Risk Based Reduction in Hazardous Area Inspections Using Standards
• Identifying Potential Hazardous Risks in the Design of New Research Facilities
• Offshore Oil & Gas Surveying and Inspections - Case Studies
If you are just starting out in the industry perhaps the Introduction to Hazardous Areas Workshop on the 25th September 2018 might be more suited to your needs. This will also be attended by delegates wanting a referesher on all the basic hazardous areas concepts prior to the conference.
This workshop is designed as an introductory understanding for those persons who have not had exposure to, or wish to further their fundamental understanding of hazardous areas. Workshop facilitator Mr Andrew Maunder will discuss the types of hazardous areas, including base information needed to understand classification reports and hazardous area zoning drawings, why these are important and where they might be found, differing approaches to classification, and the application of Australian and International standards.