Explosion protection (ATEX)

Industrial Controls for applications in hazardous areas

In many industries the production, processing, transport and storage of combustible substances are accompanied by escaping gases, vapor or spray which find their way into the environment. Other processes result in combustible dust. Together with the oxygen in the air, the result can be an explosive atmosphere which will explode if ignited.

Serious injury to persons and damage to property can result particularly in the chemical and petrochemical industry, mineral oil and natural gas production, mining, mills (e. g. grain, solid materials) and many other sectors. To guarantee the maximum possible safety in these areas, the legislators of most countries have drawn up requirements in the form of laws, regulations and standards. In the course of globalization, great progress has been made with regard to uniform directives for explosion protection.

With Directive 94/9/EC, the European Union laid the foundations for complete harmonization by requiring that all new devices as from 1st July 2003 have to be approved in accordance with this directive.

Many products associated with industrial controls, such as overload relays and motor protection switches, are intended for switching and controlling equipment in explosive atmospheres while the switchgear itself is located outside the hazardous area. This equipment is marked with the category of the electrical equipment to be protected but the category is set within round brackets, for example: Ex II (2) GD

In our documentation, special attention is drawn to devices which comply with the ATEX Directive. However, it does not replace intensive study of the relevant fundamentals and directives when planning and installing electrical systems.

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