ATEX certification is an European Union directive from the European Committee for Standardization that covers “equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.” An atmosphere can be explosive for several reasons, but when it comes to Filling Machines it is referred usually to flammable liquids (including those that generate flammable gases, mists or vapors) and liquids close to their flash point in hot filling, like:
• Hydroalcoholic Gels
• Deodorants (alcohol based products)
• Eau de cologne
Certified equipment is marked with the symbol shown below.
All equipment and protective systems intended for this type of use in the EU must meet ATEX health and safety requirements. In this way, the ATEX certification as an EU directive finds its US equivalent under the HazLoc standard. This standard given by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines and classifies hazardous locations such as explosive atmospheres.
Manufacturers of the ATEX Filling Machine whose products are intended to be used in Europe are responsible for making sure their equipment complies with ATEX standards. This process involves:
• Risk analysis (risk of explosion) of the equipment including both electrical and non-electrical elements.
• Conformity assessment procedures.
• ‘Technical file’ describing the ATEX execution complying with the legal regulations of ATEX rated equipment will be certified and deposited in a UE ‘Notified Body’.
In general, in Filling Machines and Packaging Lines manufacturers can self-certify their equipment.
Example of Risk Assessment document covering some of the hazardous situations, causes and protective measures according to HazLoc or ATEX standards included with the Filler.