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Planetary gearbox Apex Dynamics meets ATEX Directive

If you are dealing with hazardous areas, the ATEX directive should sound familiar. This European Directive creates a harmonized safety standard for this kind of environments in all European countries. Convenient, but our daily practice shows that often questions arise about placing or integrating products in an application or machine, in our case a planetary or spiral bevel gearbox, in a hazardous environment. With this article we clarify this uncertainty and we give you a definitive answer to the question: Can I use an Apex Dynamics gearbox in a production line or machine that operates in an environment that is subject to the ATEX regulations?

What do ATEX regulations mean?

But first we will explain what exactly an ATEX (ATmosphères EXplosibles) environment is. These are environments with an explosive, flammable atmosphere where for example; gases, vapours or dust are present. Examples of such environments are printing companies, food production, wood or other organic processing, automotive painting shops and not at least, of course, the petrochemical industry. The two ATEX directives ATEX 95 (94/9/EC) and ATEX 137 (99/92/EC), respectively describe the equipment which is used and the user safety.
The latest version of this Directive (ATEX 2014/34/EU) is published in March last year by the European Parliament and will be mandatory per April 20, 2016 across the EU.

Apex Dynamics runs faster, even when it comes to giving clarity about the use
of an Apex Dynamics planetary gearbox in an ATEX environment.

petrochemical-plantSIRA approves Apex Dynamics products  for use in ATEX environments

Apex Dynamics recently asked SIRA (part of CSA Group) to investigate and evaluate the use of an Apex Dynamics inline and right angled gearbox in an ATEX environment. We got a positive and unequivocal answer: The products of Apex Dynamics can be applied safely and without exception in an ATEX environment.

Classification of the ATEX Directive and the position of the Apex Dynamics gearboxes

The ATEX directive divides products and equipment in areas and categories. The mechanical gearboxes of Apex Dynamics are classified as non-electrical equipment in “Groups I and II, and may be used from categories 2 and M2” and lower. Therefore “internal control of production” is required, as well as maintaining and filing of Technical Documentation at a “notified body” is obligated. The table below shows the classification.

Groep II Groep I
Zone Category Category Non-electrical equipment
 Gas Dust 
0 20 1 M1 EC-Type Examination Certificate and
ATEX Quality Assurance Notification
1 21 2 M2 Internal control of production.
Submit Technical Documentation to a Notified Body
2 22 3 Internal control of production and
Maintain Technical Documentation

source: SIRA ATEX Certificatie

Apex Dynamics has adapted all its procedures and processes in accordance to the ATEX directive and all necessary technical documentation is provided to SIRA.

ATEX_Declaration-of-ConformIn return Apex Dynamics received a “Declaration of Conformity” with the SIRA reference 14XT329 which declares that all design, manufacturing and inspection of its products as described in the statement comply with the conditions Annex VIII (EHSRs) of the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC.

Planetary gearbox of Apex Dynamics used according the ATEX Directive

We assume that with the article it has become clear why you can apply a planetary or spiral bevel gearbox of Apex Dynamics in your machine or line that operates in an ATEX environment. Of course we can tell you personally about some situations where gearboxes of Apex Dynamics are used in an ATEX environments, please contact us.

Press release, Helmond, January 14, 2015