LOCK Inspection Systems’ Vertical Fall metal detector has recently been awarded ATEX (Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) approval following a comprehensive testing and auditing process.
Represented in Australia by Autopac Systems Pty Ltd , Lock is the first UK metal detection manufacturer to comply with the new Directive 94/9/EC on explosion protection.
Food and pharmaceutical manufacturers facing mounting pressure to comply with the regulations can now turn to Lock for inspection solutions for incoming bulk raw materials in granular and fine powder form.
The Directive, adopted by the European Union (EU), covers equipment that may be used in potentially explosive atmospheres created by the presence of dusts or gases.
Risk areas are defined as Zones 22 (minimal risk of explosion) and 21 (occasional risk). Self-certification was awarded to Lock for Zone 22 and a notified testing panel reviewed the detector over the course of eight weeks for Zone 21 approval.
Potentially explosive conditions are common in many areas of the food industry, especially bakeries and snack production plants where airbourne dust from materials such as flour, cocoa, rice and grains can create environments that could become explosive.
The same can apply in the pharmaceutical industry where powders and granules can develop a similar environment.
"Compliance with international performance and safety standards is a priority at Lock,” said technical director of Lock Inspection Systems, Hitesh Hirani.
“More and more manufacturers are required to conform to ATEX regulations to demonstrate due diligence and to secure themselves against explosion risks. By investing significant funds and resources into this certification, we can ensure we meet the standards specified by our cutomers."