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Eolane, competent for all your ATEX environment projects

Designing electronic products to be used in an explosive atmosphere presents numerous unique specificities, as much for the development process as for the product itself.  With this in mind, Eolane works with its customers in the R&D phase, generally from product specification to certification.  ATEX has to be taken into account throughout the whole product design cycle.

What is the ATEX certification?

The ATEX (ATmospheres EXplosibles) regulations consist of two EU Directives: 2014/34/UE or ATEX 95 for equipment to be used in ATEX zones, and 1999/92/CE or ATEX 137 for employee safety.

They are enforced in France in compliance with labour legislation requirements.

ATEX regulations stipulate that all company heads are to control the risks associated with an explosion in these atmospheres, as well as other professional risks.  To this end, an explosion risk assessment within the company is needed, to identify the areas at risk.  Once the zones are characterized and marked, the decrees impose the use of specific materials to exclude any risk of explosion.

Clear understanding of the norms for more reliability

Eolane draws on in-depth knowledge of harmonized EU standards in the EN 60079 series, in particular:

  • EN 60079-0: General requirements for the constituent material of the product
  • EN 60079-11: Equipment protection by intrinsic safety.

Compliance to the regulations allows certification of the product as set out in Directive 2014/34/UE (which recently repealed Directive 94/9/CE), granting authorization to deploy the product in ATEX classified areas.  The same norms, as long as they are used with certain additional precautions, also enable IECEx certification, giving access to the American market.

In-depth knowledge of ATEX classification is needed: in fact, the acceptable energy level (which is the basis for all normative constraints), varies significantly depending on the concentration and the nature of the gases and dusts that are likely to be encountered in the area where the equipment will be used.

Working alongside our clients during the ATEX certification process

The capabilities to design ATEX materials are currently materialized by us working alongside our clients in three main ways:

  • Design of an inexistent product purposefully made to operate in an ATEX zone;
  • Update (technological and normative) of an existing ATEX product;
  • Conversion of a non-ATEX product for it to be authorized for use in an ATEX zone.In most cases, in a normative or voluntary manner, ATEX certification of a product goes hand in hand with SIL2 (EN 61508 standard) certification to equally guarantee the operational security of the product.  The latter certification is intrinsically taken into account during the Eolane development process, to ensure the smoothest development possible.  The Eolane production units, qualified for manufacturing ATEX products, then take over.Specific provisions are applied to manufacturing, to avoid errors:
  • Awareness of ATEX regulations of all the players in the Supply Chain.
  • Awareness of the strict adherence to AVLs (Agreement Vendor Lists)
  • Awareness of the strict adherence to work instructions and intermediate tests (no in-house derogation)
  • Promotion of the duty to alert.
  • Identification of work instructions with a logo to remind people that the product is destined for an explosive environment.
  • Naming a person responsible for ATEX, who oversees awareness, supervision of workplace practices, and handling alerts.

Olivier Bertrand
Quality Director

Matthieu Rioteau 
Project Manager, Eolane Engineering