Dual Certification: ATEX and IECEx IWOCS Equipment

High Capacity Electric Reelers

HCS Control Systems are a certified OEM manufacturer for topsides IWOCS and related systems to both the CE ATEX Directives and the IECEx International Standards. HCS are one of the very few global companies able to design, manufacture and certify IWOCS and related systems as such, and it is a specific area of expertise we have.

IECEx is a certification based on the IEC 60079 series standards covering the electrical components within the system. ATEX compliance means the equipment is additionally designed and manufactured by a qualified CE-Approved manufacturer to the 94/9/EC Directive, now being updated to the 2014/34/EU Directive.

It is imperative to understand that manufacturing to the ATEX Directive additionally covers the mechanical aspects of the system (IECEx only covers the individual electrical components), hence the combined dual certification standard is a more comprehensive specification. Mechanical sources of ignition covered under ATEX include for example the motor, gearbox and braking system of an umbilical reeler, all of which are potential sources of ignition in a hazardous area application (heat from friction, sparks from rotating equipment, etc). Considering practical aspects such as this, it is understandable that authorities such as the BSEE in the USA see the benefit of dual certification, and it is expected the rest of the oilfield world will quickly follow suit.

HCS Control Systems are already fully qualified to produce equipment to these standards and Directives, and the systems we manufacture can as such be physically badged with the relevant CE, ATEX and IECEx logos. Where other additional local requirements apply (for example Australia, Canada and North American NEC standards), HCS can accommodate those as well and have extensive experience in doing so. We have excellent working relationships with all Independent Certifying Authorities and can ensure our clients requirements are fully met.

HCS therefore strongly recommend that our clients embrace both certifications in the design and manufacture of the systems. Where specified up front, the requirement for dual certification does not necessarily mean it will add expense, our experience is our dual certified equipment is cost competitive with non-compliant systems from elsewhere. Where the equipment is for a global rental fleet (for example), it is now common that all clients require dual certification, otherwise they end up with equipment that cannot be readily used around the world.