Getting ready for the new ATEX Directive

On April 20, 2016 ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU relating to equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres comes to force.

One of the projects I’ve been working on recently is to make sure we’re ready for the new ATEX Directive. It comes into force on April 20, and the old Directive will be withdrawn at the same time.

In fact, the arrival of the new Directive (2014/34/EU) doesn’t really mean any big changes for manufacturers like ABB. The Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) are the same as in the old Directive (94/9/EC), so there aren’t any technical differences as far as products are concerned. Areas where there will be changes include the CE marking process, the names of the associated documents, and product traceability.

The new Directive is part of a package of measures known as the “New Legislative Framework”, which aims to improve both market surveillance and the quality of conformity assessments. The main impact will be in the area of certification, with a more harmonized set of requirements for organizations seeking to be appointed as Notified Bodies.

What does the new Directive mean for Ex motor users? The most important thing to bear in mind is that after April 19, equipment for explosive atmospheres placed on the market for the first time must have an EU declaration of conformity that refers to the new Directive. If you are involved in sourcing Ex equipment you should take steps to ensure that your supplier – and all the equipment you receive after April 19 – will be in compliance with the new Directive.

For more information about the new ATEX Directive take a look at our fact sheet

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About the author

Tom Eklof

I'm the Product Manager for ABB low voltage motors for explosive atmospheres, or "Ex motors" as we usually call them. Since my start at ABB, soon 20 years ago, I have I been involved in Ex motor activities in a variety of different ways. The motors for explosive atmospheres are very important part of our global product portfolio, here our knowledge and expertise are very strong. The world around us is, however, changing all the time with new requirements popping up every day. To stay in the lead in times of change is vital. We need to react on the changes, adapt and shear our knowledge and ideas to support each other.
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