Short for International Electrotechnical Commission. This is the all-important, internationally recognized authority that maintains International Standards related to electronics.
Countries around the world participate in the arduous task of creating unified standards for a very wide range of industries, including those for Explosive Atmospheres.
Although the standards are unified, interpretation may vary from market to market. Local Ex authorities make their own interpretations, which can lead to confusion for both manufacturers and buyers of Ex equipment. In such cases, organizations – manufacturers, notified bodies, etc. – may make recommendations to change IEC standards to help eliminate conflicting interpretations.
Get ready, this one is a mouthful: IECEx stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres.
In a nutshell, this is the international body that oversees the requirements for Explosion Hazardous Areas as defined by IEC standards. These standards cover both equipment and the manufacturing processes used to create it. The standards are also used for certifying Ex professionals.
The IECEx commission focuses on the framework for how IEC standards for Explosion Hazardous areas are interpreted and applied in practice. Markets such as Australia may not have their own dedicated authority, in which case they look to the IECEx for direction.
However, local authorities in all markets make the actual laws and requirements, such as how ATEX defines commercial rules for Ex products in the EU. IECEx is in that sense not a legal body that can dictate rules.
Short for Brazilian Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality. This is Brazil’s approval agency looking after Ex products. INMETRO follows IEC standards but have additional rules for the Brazilian market much like ATEX in the EU.
Governed by the international standard IECEx 60079-11, intrinsic safety is one method for making Ex products safe to use in hazardous areas. It means the product is safe by its very nature. For example, the energy used by the product is so low that it cannot possibly ignite anything.