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Trac’s IECEx-qualified test house is enabling manufacturers of equipment designed for operation in hazardous areas and explosive atmospheres to simplify their international product marketing.

IECEx is an internationally recognised conformity assessment system that runs under the auspices of the IEC.

It deals with equipment that operates in any environment where there is a risk of explosion due to the materials used within it.

Under a designation currently accepted in 31 countries, all such locations are known as Ex Areas and products tested and found to be safe for use in those areas as Ex Equipment.

Using an electronic certification scheme, equipment that has passed all the required tests is listed on a single database and is accepted as the basis for national approval in any of the participating countries.

Trac now offers IECEx services, including the capability to test and certify equipment, enabling it to be sold in any IECEx-participating countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Russia, China, Brazil and India.

IECEx operates alongside existing certification schemes such as the European Atex product directive for hazardous location equipment.

While there are detailed differences between certification regimes, Trac – as a facility qualified in both Atex and IECEx systems – can construct a single test programme that accommodates any additional testing.

In addition to the obvious hazardous-areas such as oil refineries, fuel stations and sugar-processing facilities, Ex Areas include paint spray booths, due to the presence of flammable solvents, and wood and metal workshops, where there can be highly flammable dust residues.

By adding the IECEx qualification to its range of services, Trac now offers a solution to a potential bottleneck in the process of bringing a range of Ex equipment to market.

Trac can now offer a comprehensive service comprising all of the elements an Ex Equipment manufacturer needs to take a product into global markets.

For equipment designers and manufacturers new to the IECEx system, Trac has produced a white paper, entitled ‘Guide to Ex certification’, which explains the process in detail for project managers and test engineers.

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