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Application of the ATEX Directives to Power Drive Systems (PDS)

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Application of the ATEX Directives to Power Drive Systems (PDS)

ATEX is the French acronym for “Atmosphères Explosibles” which translates to Explosive Atmospheres in English.

ATEX is a set of two European Directives.

The objective of Equipment Directive ATEX 95 (officially known as Directive 94/9/EC) is to ensure that equipment and protective systems function safely when used in potentially explosive atmospheres. It applies to both mechanical and electrical equipment capable of causing an explosion through their own potential sources of ignition, and protective systems intended to halt/limit incipient explosions.

Worker Protection< (officially known as Directive 1999/92/EC) on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers operating in potentially explosive atmospheres defines the various zones for gases, vapours and dusts.

The purpose of this document is to:

- outline the Equipment Directive (known as ATEX 95 or 94/9/EC) that covers the design of motors, selection of the equipment category, certification of equipment, and the qualification of the manufacturing process;
- present the main principles of the Worker Protection Directive (known as ATEX 137 or 1999/92/EC), especially the risk analysis, new zone designations, and minimum safety requirements;
- clarify the role of third parties such as repair shops and address documentation / manufacturers instructions for installation, maintenance and repair;
- define fields of responsibility;
- identify appropriate standards and solutions relating to motors fed from a converter supply.


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