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Many countries around the world are working towards producing more power from and increasing the amount of renewables to be integrated into national energy supplies.
Explosive (Ex) atmospheres – also termed hazardous areas/locations – which can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts, are by no means restricted to the oil, gas and petrochemical industry sectors.
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Renewables Market Report series for 2017, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, thanks to a strong solar PV market. The Report forecasts that though coal will still be the largest source of electricity generation, renewables are expected to halve the gap down to 17% by 2022.
In just six years, the IECEx international conferences have made their mark and have become must-attend events on the annual conference circuit for the Ex industry sector. After Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2014, Gdańsk, Poland, in 2015 and Shanghai, China, in 2017, the city of Split, in Croatia, will host the fifth IECEx International Conference on 23 April 2018, so make sure to save the date in your calendar!
Each year sees an increase not only in the number of countries participating in the IEC Affiliate Country Programme but also in the number of International Standards adopted as national ones, national electrotechnical committees (NECs) established and Affiliate Plus status granted. In the past 12 months, the Affiliate Secretariat has been extremely busy supporting participants in the Programme through workshops, seminars, webinars and training sessions, to name but a few of the support activities organized to raise awareness and know-how in developing countries.
Year in, year out, the list of incidents happening in hazardous areas doesn’t seem to be diminishing. The oil and gas sector has had its share of fires and explosions, obviously, that have been widely reported both in the general media and in specialized trade publications. But it’s not alone. Mining is another sector where risks are high for a number of reasons, including leaks of poisonous gases, dust explosions, collapsing of mine stopes, flooding, or improper use/malfunction of mining equipment, e.g. safety lamps or electrical equipment. Not to mention sugar refineries and food processing plants, and any industry that operates, even partially, in potentially explosive atmospheres.
IECEx, the IEC System for Certification for Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, chose to hold the 2017 IECEx International Conference in Shanghai, China, on 11-12 April 2017.
Automotive giants and telecoms outfits must work together to make way for the connected car but they have opposing views of how it should come about. One of the friction points is cyber security. The IEC is working with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on standards addressing this issue.
In the next decade, cars will be well on the way to, or have reached the goal of becoming fully self-driving. As the industry continues to develop new levels of autonomous vehicles, the whole notion of personal transport is being turned on its head.
The oil and gas industry sector has faced many challenges in recent years. The severe drop in oil prices has affected companies and economies throughout the world. In parallel, the need to for developed and developing countries to tackle climate change, introduce cleaner energy sources – renewables such as solar and wind, hydro – into the mix and become more energy efficient has seen some significant results when the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016.
Traditionally, women have not been encouraged to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As a result, a low number has made it into this field. Standards are meant to improve the safety and quality of products and services used by everyone. However, to achieve this, they must include the significant physiological differences between men and women and their potential impact in daily situations.
One aim of the Council Open Session, held on the Friday afternoon during the IEC General Meeting in Frankfurt, was to summarize and conclude the week-long activities and presentations in the Reinvention Laboratory.
What is conformity assessment (CA)? Why is it important? Why is it inevitably linked to standards? Does it really add value to products and systems? Does it have a role in fighting counterfeit goods? Does it facilitate access to markets and trade? Those are just a few of the many questions that were raised during the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) Workshop on Conformity Assessment that took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1-2 December 2015.
A conference entitled ‘Using and referencing International Standards to support public policy’, was organized by IEC, ISO and UNECE at the United Nations, Geneva, in November. The attending 175 participants heard how International Standards help to support public policy and enable resilient world trade, policymaking, electrical energy efficiency, safety in the food and medical devices industries, as well as contribute significantly towards disaster risk reduction and sustainable development goals. Here are some of the highlights.
The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.
Want to learn about conformity assessment (CA)? Get personalized and practical insights on topics of interest to you? Exchange views and network with experts and peers? Don’t look further, the WSC Workshop on Conformity Assessment will help you get answers and meet people that matter in the CA field.
Taipei in June, Bosley in July and Tianjin in August: colour powders blown in the air and allegedly ignited by the heat emanating from the spotlights during a colour festival in Taiwan, a building collapsing at a flour mill site in the UK and warehouses storing hazardous chemicals totally devastated in China. These three cities made headline news for dramatic reasons, i.e. massive explosions that killed many, seriously injured many more and caused significant damage.
IECEx, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, and UNECE, the United Nations Economic Commission, were invited to present a joint paper at the 2012 PCIC (Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee) Europe Conference, which takes place in Prague, Czech Republic, on 19-21 June.
In January 2011 the United Nations, via UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), recommended the IEC and IECEx, one of the three IEC Conformity Assessment Systems, as the world’s best practice model for the verification of conformity to International Standards.