Global and mobile

Growth and success for IECEx

By Claire Marchand

IECEx, the IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, has had yet another very good year. An increase in the number of certificates issued by all its Schemes, participation in events at international, regional and national levels, new market openings, and the introduction of an IECEx application for mobile devices are all elements that have contributed to the growing success of the System.

Energy-efficient motor (Photo: Siemens press picture) Safety of workers in Ex environments is crucial

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-techApril and May 2012)

Joining forces

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-techJune 2012).

This paper was presented at the PCIC Europe conference in June. A presentation at the PCIC Middle East conference is also planned for November.

HazardEx Award

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-techMarch 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.

Going mobile

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:

Energy-efficient motor (Photo: Siemens press picture) Safety of workers in Ex environments is crucial
From left: Chris Agius, Lorenza Jachia, Mohammed Saleh Badri, Director General of ESMA, Kerry McManama, and Hiromichi Fujisawa, IEC Vice President, at the IECEx International Conference in Dubai From left: Chris Agius, Lorenza Jachia, Mohammed Saleh Badri, Director General of ESMA, Kerry McManama, and Hiromichi Fujisawa, IEC Vice President, at the IECEx International Conference in Dubai