Some facilities contain hazardous areas that pose an explosion risk. In these areas, any electrical or electronic equipment used must be compliant under the EU Directive 94/9/EC – this is more commonly known as the ATEX directive.
A hazardous work environment is one where flammable substances are produced, transported, stored, or used. These environments are most commonly found in the chemical, pharmaceutical, oil, and gas industries. Such facilities require a solid base of ATEX products in order to function.
VisionID works with leading manufacturers ecom and Bartec to bring you high-quality, intrinsically safe products for use within your facility. Your company provides us with information regarding the Zones within your facility, after which we can supply you with products and infrastructure optimised for those environments.
If your workers have to operate machinery and oversee complex product sequences, the ability to carry around their computer in a pocket – or clip it to a belt – is invaluable. Handheld devices and mobile computers provide the situation-specific solution for those employees who need internet access and PC-level strength combined with smartphone-size mobility.
Ecom’s CN70E ATEX-compliant handheld computer runs Windows® Embedded Handheld 6.5 Professional Operating System, meaning it’s capable of complex procedures and it won’t shut down or freeze in the middle of crucial data entry or amendment.
It also features flexible radio technology for optimal network coverage – in areas where telephone signal is limited - having a wide radio frequency band capable device makes communication much simpler. Additionally, the CN70E houses advanced barcode imaging technology, complete with motion tolerance for scanning on the move, and white illumination with laser aiming to guarantee high read rates.
Devices such as this one improves worker productivity by giving them an all-purpose tool, so they don’t have to switch it for another halfway through a job. It’s portable, light, and most importantly – safe.
Our intrinsically safe smartphones are developed to allow phone calls, image capture, and information checks to take place in hazardous environments. In noisy and dangerous areas, phone calls are necessary to make sure other areas of the facility are operating on time, and to warn for potential hazards.
The ecom Smart-Ex® 01 ATEX-compliant smartphone is an example of the high-quality products VisionID can supply to improve mobile worker collaboration. It runs on Android operating system, is housed in extra-rugged casing, and is LTE, Wi-Fi, and Mobile Network capable.
In ATEX-zoned environments, worker safety must be taken extremely seriously. That’s why the Smart-Ex® 01 offers a loud speaker, noise cancellation, a powerful battery, and drop resistance. These features make it reliable and perfect for communicating in hazardous environments, or in the event of a dangerous situation.
They’re part of our drive towards protecting lone workers, by fusing modern technology and personal emergency response devices, to create a device which provides the utmost levels of safety and functionality.
Hazardous areas are divided into two categories – those which feature flammable gas, and those which feature flammable dust.
The European and IECEX method places them in ‘Zones’, while the North American system places them in ‘Classes and Divisions’. See the table below for definitions and classifications.
|European & IECEX classification||Definition of zone/division||North American classification|
|Zone 0 (gases)||Area in which explosive atmosphere featuring a mixture of air and flammable substances is present, either constantly, or in the long term.||Class | Division 1 (gases)|
|Zone 20 (dusts)||Class || Division (dusts)|
|Zone 1 (gases)||Area in which it must be assumed that an explosive atmosphere featuring a mixture of air and flammable substances arises during normal operation.||Class I Division 1 (gases)|
|Zone 21 (dusts)||Class II Division 1 (dusts)|
|Zone 2 (gases)||Area in which it must not be assumed that an explosive atmosphere featuring a mixture of air and flammable substances arises during normal operation, and if so, then only rarely and for a short period.||Class I Division 2 (gases)|
|Zone 22 (dusts)||Class II Division 2 (dusts)|
As you can see, choosing the right equipment and hardware for use in your facility depends on the zones the hazardous areas have been attributed. When you inform us, which zones are present in your facility, we are able to deliver an infrastructure and product base best suited to those environments.
ATEX with VisionID
Technology like ecom’s hazardous area tablet computer Tab-Ex® is a solution which has forced a paradigm shift onto the manufacturing industries, whereby workers can be increasingly mobile whilst still interacting and communicating effectively with each other.
Popularising technology such as this is the way forward. Being able to work in a safe environment is a right attributed to all workers, but the ATEX directive should not then impact productivity. VisionID supplies intrinsically safe technology that will keep your employees safe, and also increase operational efficiency.