Are ATEX costs justified?
The new European Atex directives, which became mandatory on 1st July have added significantly to equipment manufacturers' costs, states a special report published by the Institute of Measurement & Control. Boris Sedacca presents the argument
The Institute of Measurement & Control (IMC) has published a report which states that the additional costs of Atex to equipment manufacturers are “difficult to justify in a market which generally accounts for only one third of the UK’s total output”.
The Report comprises a series of papers by industry experts. From the UK manufacturers’ perspective, the added administration costs of Atex compliance in what they see as an already well-regulated European
market is disproportionate to its value on the global scale.
Chris Towle of Measurement Technology points out that UK manufacturers of hazardous area equipment generally operate in three major sectors - Europe, the Americas and the Asiatic countries, with other parts of the world providing a smaller but significant market. Europe, he states, generally accounted for about a
third of the total output - “a factor which tends not to be recognised when ‘Brussels’ is deciding what is ‘good’ for manufacturers.”
lan Clasper from Gambica adds that the additional cost to manufacturers “is difficult to justify when the world market can be more important” with some specialist manufacturers of hazardous area equipment exporting up to 80% of their production outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
However; the cost of regulatory compliance outside the EEA was also high and, with the need for multiple certification, “it is ultimately the customer who pays in unnecessarily high equipment costs.”
Little wonder then, that suppliers to those manufacturers are falling over themselves to offer Atex products. One major player is Weidmuller, which has extended its newly relaunched range of competitively priced POK enclosures with a new Atexcertified model in black.
Featuring graphite filled body material, Weidmuller claims the standard grey glass fibre reinforced polyester POK enclosures are widely used in safe area applications, offering excellent corrosion, impact and surface resistance, and rated to IP66 for environmental protection. The Atex-approved Black POK maintains the
features but allows use in hazardous area.
WEG Electric Motors UK’s EEx n, EEx e, EEx p and EEx d rated motors meet all the zonal requirements within the Atex directive concerning surface industries and provide all the equipment safeguarding categories for use in the widest variety of dust laden or gaseous atmospheres.
The four flameproof classifications included in the WEG range: EEx n, (non sparking) EEx e (increased safety), EEx p (pressurised) and EEx de (explosion proof) offer flexibility in both application specification and cost.
ABB has launched a CD-Rom containing information associated with the forthcoming Atex Directive, on the marking and uses of motors and generators in hazardous areas. An A3 poster, with simple explanations of the markings and their variations, accompanies the CD-Rom.
The CD-Rom features a presentation that emphasises the important aspects of the directive, such as the motor categories for different applications, including dust ignition proof, non-sparking, increased safety and
The presentation shows how users can determine if a motor is Atexcertified and gives samples of the motor rating plates. Other details in the presentation include the certification procedure and the relationship between Atex 95 and Atex137.
Clifford and Snell’s Yodalex unit comprises a single sounder, a single strobe and a combination sounder/strobe for applications in the oil/gas industry, petrochemical environments and most Hazardous Area zones.
The Yodalex range features an explosion-proof enclosure made from LM6 aluminium alloy and a borosilicate glass dome to provide a rugged, secure housing for the strobe. Its main features include an omni-directional high output sound of 110dB at 1m, minimal installation costs, low current consumption, dual in and out cable entry, and 32 user selectable tones.