Compliance

Only equipment and protective systems complying with Directive 94/9/EC and bearing the CE marking, which must be visibly affixed, may move freely throughout the European Union market.

Once the manufacturer has undertaken the appropriate procedures to assure conformity with the essential requirements of the Directive it is the responsibility of the manufacturer or his authorized representative established in the EU not only to affix the CE marking, but also to draw up a written EC Declaration of Conformity, and keep a copy within the EU for a period of ten years after the last equipment has been manufactured.

According to the Directive, in order to determine the appropriate conformity assessment procedure, the manufacturer must base the decision on the intended use of the product to identify as to which Group and Category it belongs:

Group I includes equipment intended for use in the underground parts of mines, and to those parts of surface installations of such mines, likely to become endangered by firedamp and/or combustible dust;

    • Category M1: Products required to remain functional for safety reasons when an explosive atmosphere is present and characterized by integrated explosion protection measures functioning in such a way that: a) in the event of failure of one integrated measure, at least a second means of protection provides for a sufficient level of safety; or, b) in the event of two faults occurring independently of each other, a sufficient level of safety is ensured.

 

    • Category M2: Products intended to be de-energized in the event of an explosive atmosphere. The protection measures relating to products of this Category provide a sufficient level of safety during normal operation even in the event of more severe operating conditions arising, from rough handling and changing environmental conditions.

Group II includes equipment intended for use in other places likely to become endangered by explosive atmospheres;

 

    • Category 1: products designed to be capable of remaining within its operational parameters, stated by the manufacturer, and ensuring a very high level of protection for its intended use in areas in which explosive atmospheres caused by mixtures of air and gases, vapors, mists or air/dusts mixtures are highly likely to occur and are present continuously, for long periods of time or frequently.
    • Equipment of this Category is characterized by integrated explosion protection measures functioning in such a way that: a) in the event of a failure of one integrated measure, at least a second independent means of protection provides for a sufficient level of safety; or, b) in the event of two faults occurring independently of each other a sufficient level of safety is ensured.

 

    • Category 2 comprises products designed to be capable of remaining within their operational parameters, stated by the manufacturer, and based on a high level of protection for their intended use, in areas in which explosive atmospheres caused by mixtures of air and gases, vapors, mists or air/dust mixtures are likely to occur.
    • The explosion protection relating to this Category must function in such a way as to provide a sufficient level of safety even in the event of equipment with operating faults or in dangerous operating conditions which normally have to be taken into account.

 

    • Category 3 comprises products designed to be capable of keeping within its operational parameters, stated by the manufacturer, and based upon a normal level of protection for its intended use considering areas in which explosive atmospheres caused by mixtures of air and gases, vapors, mists or air/dust mixtures are unlikely to occur and if they do occur, do so infrequently and for a short period of time only.

 

The design of the products of this category must provide a sufficient level of safety during normal operation.

 

After identifying to which Group and Category the product belongs, the appropriate conformity assessment procedure must be adopted:

    • EC Type Examination:
      • Provides a specimen of the envisaged production to a Notified Body which undertakes the necessary evaluation to determine that the “type” meets the essential requirements of Directive 94/9/EC and issues an EC Type Examination Certificate (Annex III);

 

    • Quality Assurance Modules:
      • Production Quality Assurance (Annex IV): Operates a quality system approved by a Notified Body for production, final equipment inspection and testing and is subject to on-going surveillance – applies to Equipment Categories 1 and M1 and to protective systems;
      • Product Quality Assurance (Annex VII): A quality system approved by a Notified Body for the final inspection and testing of equipment subject to on-going surveillance – applies to electrical equipment and internal combustion engines only, in Equipment Categories 2 and M2.

 

    • Verification modules:
      • Product verification (Annex V): Examination and tests by a Notified Body of every product to check the conformity of the equipment, protective system or device with the requirements of Directive 94/9/EC and draw up a certificate of conformity – applies to Equipment Categories 1 and M1 and to the protective systems;
      • Conformity to type (Annex VI): Tests carried out by a manufacturer on each piece of equipment manufactured to check the explosion protection aspects of the design. Carried out under the responsibility of a Notified Body – applies to electrical equipment and internal combustion engines in Equipment Categories 2 and M2;
      • Unit verification (Annex IX): Notified Body examines individual equipment or protective system and carry out tests as defined in the harmonized standards, if they exist, or otherwise in European, international or national standards or conduct equivalent tests to ensure conformity with the relevant requirements of Directive 94/9/EC and draw up a certificate of conformity – may be applied at the option of the manufacturer as an alternative to any other conformity assessment modules.

 

    • Internal control of production (Annex VIII): Product and quality system assessment procedure carried out by the manufacturer and retention of documentation – applies to equipment in Category 2 and M2 which is not electrical equipment nor internal combustion engines and to equipment Category 3.
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