There are areas of application where the self-certification of the safety of electronic equipment is considered insufficient to guarantee safe operation. This is the case when the electronics are to be used in explosive atmospheres (gaseous or dust-laden) where the ATEX 95 equipment directive applies (within the EU). This directive requires a Notified Body to:
- Certify the design of the equipment (a process of testing and design evaluation).
- Confirm the manufacturer has a quality system with processes that ensure the certified design is faithfully replicated during production.
That is, BOTH the design of the equipment AND the manufacturer’s QMS must be acceptable. Furthermore, there will be on-going audits by the Notified Body to ensure standards of production are maintained. Note that a manufacturer’s QMS is certified on a product-by-product basis and not for the manufacture of all ATEX-related equipment.
Outside the EU other standards apply and each country’s standards must be considered before the export of product (in some countries there may even be local standards applying to products). IECEx standards are being published for use on a more global basis and are gaining acceptance in a number of countries.
Datalink has developed a number of electronic products that have required ATEX and IECEx certification. During this process, Datalink has liaised with the Notified Body (e.g. SIRA, BASEEFA, TRaC, Intertek, KEMA) on our customer’s behalf to ensure the relevant design standards have been considered before the design is submitted for certification. Additionally, Datalink manufactures a number of certified products, and we have worked with our customers to ensure that processes are in place to demonstrate the consistent manufacture of these products.