The recent 2012 annual series of IECEx meetings held in Calgary, Canada, and hosted by QPS, was also a milestone for the System, with the highest ever number of registered delegates in attendance.
Demand for CoPC is high
All three Schemes – Certified Equipment Scheme, Certified Service Facilities Scheme and CoPC (Certification of Personnel Competence) Scheme – have reported increases in the number of certificates issued. The most impressive growth comes from the CoPC which in 2012 is expected to issue at least double the number of certificates that it issued in 2011. The long-running IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme (the first and original scheme of the IECEx) still continues to see impressive annual growth.
IECEx has recently set up the ExPCC (IECEx Personnel Certification Committee) to oversee the operation of the CoPC Scheme and meet the demands of the Ex industry sector. The new committee, under the leadership of Ralph Wigg (Australia), as Chairman and John Allen (UK), as Deputy Chairman, with experts across all stakeholder groups, met for the first time in Paris, France, in June.
International presence and influence
For many years, IECEx Officers and experts have been promoting the System internationally, participating in conferences, seminars and workshops and making targeted presentations to the Ex industry sector. In 2012 IECEx was present at a greater number of events than ever before.
Launch of IECEx in the Gulf
The first ever IECEx International Conference on Equipment and Services in Explosive Atmospheres was held in Dubai, UAE (United Arab Emirates) in March, marking the launch of the IECEx in the Gulf. The conference was organized by ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology) in collaboration with IECEx and UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).
The purpose of the event was twofold: to bring together world experts in the many industry sectors that deal with Ex Equipment, installation, servicing and competence of personnel; and to introduce the Gulf Region to the increasingly successful international schemes run by IECEx. It was a great success on both counts (see articles in e-tech, April and May 2012)
IECEx Chairman Kerry McManama and Marty Cole, an expert from IEC TC (Technical Committee) 31: Equipment for explosive atmospheres, wrote and presented a joint paper on IECEx Personnel Certification at the PCIC (Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee) North America Conference.
Chris Agius and Lorenza Jachia, who is Head of Unit, Regulatory Cooperation, UNECE, also co-authored a joint paper, entitled IECEx System – Evolution and role of the United Nations, UNECE.This provided an in-depth analysis of the IECEx System and the rationale behind its endorsement by the United Nations, via UNECE, as the internationally recognized certification system for promoting the safety of equipment, services and personnel associated with explosive areas (see article in e-tech, June 2012).
Three IECEx Officers made presentations at the 2012 HazardEx Conference, which took place in Harrogate, UK in February. During the conference, IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius received the HazardEx Lifetime Contribution to the Industry Award. It was only the third such Award ever bestowed by HazardEx. The two previous recipients were Chris Towle of MTL(Measurement Technology Ltd.) and Ron Sinclair MBE, of Baseefa. Both have been members of IEC TC 31 for many years and Sinclair is also a member of the IECEx Management Committee (see article in e-tech, March 2012).
Reaching out to industry…
The IECEx Secretariat, together with IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre), organized a series of industry presentations in four Asian countries, namely Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, to raise awareness of and to promote the IECEx System and its Schemes to local and regional industry representatives.
Throughout the year, IECEx Officers and experts promoted the System in many local and regional events.
…and to the IEC community
Reaching out to developing countries is very important to IECEx. Ex environments are not limited to the oil and gas industries. A wide range of activities can be potentially hazardous: grain handling and storage, mills, mines, petrol stations, aircraft refuelling, to name but a few.
IECEx speakers will make presentations at the IEC Affiliate Forum held during the IEC General Meeting in Oslo, Norway. Later in the year, a joint IECEx-AFSEC (African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission) seminar is planned in Abidjan, Côte d’ivoire (see article in this issue of e-tech).
IECEx is a major supporter of the IEC (YP) Young Professionals Programme and has been an active participant in each of the annual YP workshops and was proud to welcome one of the Young Professionals at its recent 2012 annual meetings in Calgary. IECEx will also participate in the 2012 IEC Young Professionals workshop in Oslo.
In response to requests from IECEx System users to be able to access to IECEx Certificates easily, especially when working in the field, the IEC and IECEx will be launching the IECEx mobile application. This is a first for both parties.
The application, for iOS and Android tablets and smart phones, will offer both online and offline modes for accessing IECEx Certificates. The offline mode is an important feature, particularly for people working in explosive atmospheres. Search criteria will be similar to those available on the IECEx website, i.e. offering the ability to search by certificate number, applicant, IEC International Standard, type of protection, certification body and apparatus.
For more information on the IECEx System and its Schemes, visit: www.iecex.com