ATEX is a certificate for devices and machines that allows their use in an explosive environment. The abbreviation ATEX is derived from the French term for potentially explosive environments (Atmosphères Explosibles). The ATEX regulations are set out in EU Directive 2014/34 / EU, which has been in force since 2016.
An environment is at risk of explosion if a potentially explosive gas mixture can form in the atmosphere. This is the case wherever vapors escape and come into contact with the ambient air, for example in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, fragrances and food. Dust mixtures are also included.
A distinction is made between three ATEX zones, the zones
• 0 (permanent risk of explosion),
• 1 (occasional risk of explosion) and
• 2 (theoretically possible risk of explosion).
The concrete definition of the zones can look like this:
Example: Components of a complete agitator
Zone 0: Vessel with contents to be stirred and impeller.
Zone 1: Drive, e.g. ATEX radial piston motor from PTM.
Zone 2: Room, closer environment in which the agitator is located.
An ATEX certificate consists of up to nine parameters. Relevant information is, for example, the temperature, the distinction between gas and dust, between electrical and non-electrical devices, etc. The individual digits and letters of a certificate result in a key that defines the exact permitted working environment. So there are different certificates for different conditions. The testing institutes, such as TÜV Süd, offer detailed information on this. These organizations test systems for their explosion protection and issue the appropriate ATEX certificate.
A renewed certification of the entire apparatus is also necessary when combining different components that are already individually ATEX-certified. Exceptions are ATEX-certified complete systems, for example the agitators of the eco-Series from PTM. In this case, there is no need for recertification.
In addition to ISO 9001:2015, quality management at PTM mechatronics is also certified according to RL2014 / 34 / EU Annex IV with the requirements of DIN EN ISO / IEC 80079-34. This makes it possible to develop ATEX-certified series products in ATEX zone 0 and, after a type test by TÜV Süd, to manufacture and sell them in series independently without further TÜV conformity assessments.
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