Five rea­sons to spec­ify an ATEX and IECEx ap­proved crane in haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - DUST & FUMES -

Cranes and hoists of­ten op­er­ate in haz­ardous, dan­ger­ous and po­ten­tially ex­plo­sive ar­eas, where a sin­gle in­ci­dent can cause sig­nif­i­cant, per­sonal in­jury, dam­age, down­time and loss of in­come or pro­duc­tion.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing in­dis­pens­able to man­u­fac­tur­ing, pro­cess­ing and distri­bu­tion oper­a­tions – where of­ten, if the cranes stop, busi­ness stops – cranes and hoists are also reg­u­larly lift­ing valu­able pieces of equip­ment, or are next to or above valu­able ma­chin­ery and plant.

An ex­plo­sion or fail­ure of a crane can cause even greater col­lat­eral dam­age to these, com­pound­ing the prob­lem for a host of in­dus­tries en­coun­ter­ing or us­ing flammable sub­stances, chem­i­cals, vapours, gases from liq­uids, volatile sub­stances and dust.

In­dus­tries com­monly af­fected, in­clude bulk han­dling and distri­bu­tion, trans­port, in­clud­ing road and rail lo­gis­tics and ports, chem­i­cal pro­cess­ing, en­ergy, food and bev­er­age, man­u­fac­tur­ing, lo­gis­tics, min­ing and min­eral pro­cess­ing, oil and gas, ma­te­ri­als han­dling; me­chan­i­cal, pro­duc­tion and process en­gi­neer­ing, in­dus­trial lo­gis­tics; wa­ter, waste wa­ter and biomass re­cy­cling.

In these en­vi­ron­ments, safety is paramount. As a lead­ing global crane man­u­fac­turer and the world’s largest crane ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tion – with more than 450,000 pieces of lift­ing equip­ment of all brands un­der ser­vice agree­ment world­wide – Konecranes has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in ex­plo­sion-proof and ATEX and IECEx com­pli­ant cranes.

Konecranes man­u­fac­tures its EX ranges to the glob­ally re­spected ATEX and IECEx com­pli­ance stan­dards aimed im­prov­ing the health and safety pro­tec­tion of work­ers po­ten­tially at risk from ex­plo­sive at­mos­pheres.

Konecranes ex­pert David Wil­son, In­dus­trial Crane Sales Man­ager, be­lieves there are five ma­jor rea­sons why com­pa­nies should al­ways spec­ify an ATEX and IECEx ap­proved crane in haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments:

1. Safety. The sin­gle most im­por­tant rea­son to spec­ify an ATEX and IECEx ap­proved crane is safety. With­out the proper cool­ing sys­tems in place, a crane’s en­gine may reach very high tem­per­a­tures and cause mi­nor sparks that are harm­less in other sit­u­a­tions, but deadly in ex­plo­sive en­vi­ron­ments, where vapours, mist, dust and other con­tam­i­nants can re­act with a sin­gle spark with dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences. In dusty en­vi­ron­ments, it’s also es­sen­tial to have mo­tors and en­gines com­pletely cov­ered, to avoid flammable dust par­ti­cles com­ing into con­tact with a heated area. Non-ATEX and IECEx ap­proved lift­ing equip­ment may have these safety fea­tures, but ATEX and IECEx ap­proved equip­ment con­firms it.

2. Com­pli­ance. ATEX and IECEx are liv­ing things – they are con­stantly be­ing ex­panded and im­proved, so com­pa­nies need to learn the lat­est re­quire­ments and to in­cor­po­rate them into their duty of care. In many re­gards, this can be a spe­cialised and ex­pert process which many com­pa­nies choose to ascribe to ex­perts such as Konecranes. The ATEX di­rec­tive also gives strict rules for con­stant pro­duc­tion and prod­uct qual­ity fol­low- up. For Konecranes, having that cer­tifi­cate is our as­sur­ance to our cus­tomers that we are do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pro­vide them with the high­est lev­els of safety and com­pli­ance. We even have mul­ti­ple cer­ti­fi­ca­tions to sub­stan­ti­ate the qual­ity of our prod­ucts: IECEx for the world, ATEX for Europe, CSA US for the United States and INMETRO for Brazil.

3. It makes good busi­ness sense to do so. The small ini­tial sav­ing you might make up-front buy­ing a non-ATEX and IECEx cer­ti­fied crane will be dwarfed by the costs and down­time if an ex­plo­sion or in­ci­dent oc­curs, where you could be look­ing at re­plac­ing the crane, re­plac­ing other ma­chin­ery, loss of in­ven­tory and sig­nif­i­cant down­time. And even more im­por­tant than this, a worker may have been in­jured in the in­ci­dent. Konecranes un­der­stands that staff are any

com­pany’s most valu­able as­set and it de­signs cranes to the high­est lev­els of safety to min­imise any risk to hu­man life.

4. It avoids ad­di­tional risk. In ad­di­tion to the safety risks out­lined in point one, there may be li­a­bil­ity is­sues for crane op­er­a­tors and own­ers if they were aware they were work­ing in a po­ten­tially high ex­plo­sive en­vi­ron­ment in in­dus­tries such as petro-chem­i­cal, power and gas, steel, min­ing, ports and in­fra­struc­ture, pulp and pa­per, gen­eral man­u­fac­tur­ing or au­to­mo­tive and didn’t se­lect a crane with ATEX and IECEx cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. If a per­son is in­jured and finds out that an ATEX and IECEx cer­ti­fied crane was needed for that en­vi­ron­ment, there may be le­gal con­se­quences for the owner/op­er­a­tor.

5. You get the most out of your crane. De­sign life for ATEX and IECEx com­pli­ant cranes is as good, or bet­ter be­cause main­te­nance of these cranes has to be sub­jected to ad­di­tion­ally close scru­tiny. In or­der to main­tain com­pli­ance with ATEX and IECEx reg­u­la­tions, these cranes have to be reg­u­larly in­spected, ser­viced and qual­ity con­trol checked, which means there is a high level of trace­abil­ity and a lower chance of prob­lems oc­cur­ring that would re­duce de­sign life.

Konecranes per­forms Crane Re­li­a­bil­ity Stud­ies, in­spec­tions, ser­vice and main­te­nance on all makes and mod­els of crane. Konecranes tech­ni­cians are well versed in all as­pects of com­pli­ance, and are con­stantly up­dat­ing their knowl­edge of ATEX, IECEx and other im­por­tant stan­dards, states the com­pany.

For haz­ardous and ex­plo­sive en­vi­ron­ments, Konecranes be­lieves spec­i­fy­ing an ATEX and IECEx ap­proved crane is es­sen­tial. It op­er­ates un­der the slo­gan ‘hooked on safety’ and ev­ery prod­uct it pro­duces or ser­vices has safety as a core fo­cus, prom­ises the com­pany. If you see a Konecranes’ prod­uct with EX in front of it, you know that it has been cer­ti­fied for use in ex­plo­sive en­vi­ron­ments, of­ten with mul­ti­ple cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

These prod­ucts have the same fea­tures and ad­van­tages as the reg­u­lar ranges, but with ad­di­tional safety fea­tures to safe­guard them in ex­plo­sive en­vi­ron­ments. These ad­di­tional fea­tures in­clude spe­cial con­tin­u­ous tem­per­a­ture con­trol; ther­mal pro­tec­tion; sparkproof, flame­proof and dust­proof cov­ers; en­closed parts; elec­tri­cal en­clo­sures; over­load switches; push­but­tons and limit switches.


The Konecranes EXCXT elec­tric hoist with wire rope brings a new ap­proach to lif ting in haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments. A spe­cial ver­sion of its pop­u­lar CXT hoist, unique me­chan­ics re­duce ig­ni­tion risks un­der stan­dard op­er­at­ing con­di­tions. Con­stantly up­dated with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, the EXCXT has cre­ated a new in­dus­try bench­mark that’s hard to beat.

In­ter­na­tional EX cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, namely ATEX, CSA US, IECEX and INMETRO for gas and dust is one im­por­tant fac­tor to prove that safety is al­ways the high­est pri­or­ity for Konecranes. Class F in­su­la­tion, IP65 pro­tec­tion for elec­tri­cal en­clo­sures and IP66 for mo­tors comes stan­dard. The elec­tri­cal com­po­nents and mo­tor are de­signed and built to EX reg­u­la­tions, and are care­fully shielded in­side en­clo­sures with de- pro­tec­tion.


The Konecranes EXN elec­tric chain hoist crane of­fers a level of safety and ver­sa­til­ity the com­pany is proud of in small load lif ting. Us­ing a sturdy steel struc­ture and a full set of com­po­nents de­signed specif­i­cally for use in cranes in haz­ardous ar­eas, Konecranes says you can rely on the EXN crane to lif t up to five met­ric tons in most haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments.

Full EX cer­ti­fi­ca­tion shows Konecranes’ equip­ment is de­signed to max­imise crane safety in haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments. A unique me­chan­i­cal con­fig­u­ra­tion re­duces the like­li­hood of sparks and other ig­ni­tion risks un­der nor­mal op­er­at­ing con­di­tions.


The Konecranes EXN elec­tric chain hoist of­fers the high level of safety and re­li­a­bil­ity needed in a haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ment, says the crane man­u­fac­turer. High- per­for­mance mo­tors, re­li­able 48V con­tac­tor con­trols and easy main­te­nance con­trib­ute to keep­ing your hoists run­ning with a min­i­mal amount of down time.

EX cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, namely ATEX, CSA Canada, IECEX and INMETRO in­di­cates de­sign for safety in haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments. A spe­cial me­chan­i­cal con­fig­u­ra­tion min­imises the chance of sparks un­der nor­mal op­er­at­ing con­di­tions. Flame­proof­ing, EX en­clo­sures and epoxy paint give physical sur­faces strong pro­tec­tion.


Konecranes EX work­sta­tion cranes give pro­duc­tiv­ity a boost when you in­stall them in your fa­cil­ity, the com­pany states. With ATEX and IECEX cer­ti­fied electrics and a strong metal struc­ture, a 2000kg ca­pac­ity and an op­ti­mised work­ing area be­low, they fit ‘per­fectly’ into most haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ment.

Ma­chined wheels and qual­ity bear­ings en­sure smooth trav­el­ling and re­duce noise. Avail­able in both steel and alu­minium, the weld-free mo­du­lar sys­tem makes the cranes safer and eas­ier to in­stall, main­tain and mod­ify.


Konecranes EKM2 man­ual chain hoists and EKPT man­ual trol­leys don’t need elec­tri­cal power. That means you can lif t in places where elec­tric­ity is not avail­able or dif­fi­cult to con­nect. They are a cost- ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion when you don’t need them to lif t ev­ery day.

Safety is al­ways cru­cial at Konecranes, the com­pany em­pha­sises. The me­chan­ics of the EKM2 and the EKPT have been de­signed to re­duce the risk of sparks un­der nor­mal op­er­at­ing con­di­tions, earn­ing them an ATEX cer­tifi­cate. No elec­tron­ics means no risk of a short cir­cuit in a haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ment.


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