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Is this the UK`s first ATEX motor repair service?

01 December, 2003

Is this the UK`s first ATEX motor repair service?

ABB claims that, together with its service partners, it will be the first UK motor company to repair and rewind hazardous area motors to the ATEX Directive.

Under ATEX 137, end-users are personally responsible for the safety of motors in hazardous areas. But if the motor is approved to ATEX 95, the manufacturer is responsible for the safety of the motor, provided that it is used correctly.

ABB aims to be the first UK motor supplier to take the same responsibility for repaired and rewound motors as it does for new motors, ensuring that the motor remains approved to ATEX 95, even after a repair. This will apply to ATEX-approved motors made by ABB and repaired by a member of its Motor Service Partner network. ABB will audit the partners` workshops and train their personnel to ensure that the repair meets the same safety standards as when the motor was manufactured.

The ATEX-approved repairs will be carried out initially at six workshops around the UK, although customers will be able to access these services through any of the 15 partners in the network. The service will be rolled out during the spring of 2004.

Users have two options for repairing ATEX-approved motors. They can either be repaired under the manufacturer`s supervision, keeping them approved to ATEX 95, or the user can have them repaired by an independent repairer. In the latter case however, the motor falls under ATEX 137 and the end-user becomes accountable for the repair job.

"Repairing hazardous area motors requires precise attention to detail - not only to the physical repair itself, but also to the associated documentation," says Steve Ruddell, ABB`s general manager for LV motors. "By taking responsibility for the repair of ABB motors, we remove this responsibility from the end-user."

If a motor is approved to ATEX 95, any investigation following an accident will go back to the manufacturer. Existing motors in hazardous areas are subject to ATEX 137 and are the end-user`s responsibility. To mitigate the risk posed by these motors, the user can:

• replace the motor with one that is approved to ATEX 95 so that, in the event of an accident, the investigation will go back to the manufacturer;

• create a logbook, providing an audit trail so that, in the event of an accident, he will be able to prove that he has done what he could to prevent the accident; or

• do neither of the above but just accept that the motor should be safe. In the event of the accident, the user will be personally responsible for any damage or injuries.

The ATEX directive has two parts, ATEX 95, known as the "product directive", and ATEX 137, known as the "worker protection directive". Under ATEX 95, manufacturers can only sell motors manufactured to specified standards for use in hazardous areas. ATEX 137 obliges end-users to run their workplace safely, ensuring that no part of the plant poses a risk of explosion.

If a motor is ATEX-approved, the manufacturer is responsible for the way it works; otherwise, the end-user is. Under UK law, both ATEX 95 and ATEX 137 are incorporated into DSEAR - the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations.

ABB`s ATEX repair and rewind service applies to: EExd, flameproof motors; EExe, increased safety motors; EExnA, non-sparking motors; EExp, pressurised motors; and DIP, dust-ignition-proof motors. These motors are designed to prevent the ignition of combustible gas or dust in the atmosphere. Providing the motors are used correctly, it is the manufacturer`s responsibility to ensure that their safety features give adequate protection.




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