With an ever-increasing focus on safety, efficiency, and quality, industrial automation systems must meet a variety of industry-specific standards and regulations.
These certificates and approvals exist to encourage manufacturers to produce automation with a certain standard of quality, accuracy, or safety. Also, this allows customers to easily recognize if the product they’re about to purchase, meets these requirements.
But in order to utilize these approvals, it is important to understand what they stand for. Bellow we have gathered a list of some of the most used approvals and standards in industrial automation.
The CE mark, short for "Conformité Européenne," is a mandatory conformity marking for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). CE approval promises that a product complies with all relevant European Union directives and standards, ensuring it meets essential safety and performance requirements.
It signifies that the manufacturer has taken the necessary steps to demonstrate compliance, and the product can be legally sold and used within the EEA. The CE mark is a symbol of quality, safety, and conformity to established regulations, offering consumers and businesses confidence that the product meets the necessary standards and won't pose risks to health, safety, or the environment.
ATEX, short for "Atmosphères Explosibles," is a European Union directive that governs equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. ATEX approval is granted to products that comply with strict safety standards to prevent the risk of explosions in such environments.
This certification promises that the approved equipment is designed and manufactured to minimize the possibility of ignition in areas where flammable gases, vapors, mists, or dusts may be present.
DNV, or Det Norske Veritas, is a renowned international classification society and risk management organization. DNV certification promises that a product, system, or service has met rigorous standards for safety, quality, and environmental performance.
DNV's approval is highly regarded in industries such as shipping, energy, and healthcare. It assures stakeholders that the certified entity adheres to industry-specific regulations and best practices, emphasizing reliability and risk mitigation.
SIL2, which stands for Safety Integrity Level 2, is a critical standard in functional safety, particularly in industrial automation and process control systems. SIL2 approval promises that a system or component has been designed and implemented to meet specific safety standards, reducing the risk of hazardous failures.
It signifies that the technology is capable of providing a high level of safety performance, ensuring that potential dangers are controlled effectively. SIL2 certification provides industrial automation users with the assurance that the systems they are employing have undergone rigorous safety assessments and adhere to recognized safety levels, ultimately minimizing the risk of accidents, protecting personnel, and safeguarding critical processes.
The Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) is a set of European regulations governing the design, manufacturing, and conformity assessment of pressure equipment. PED approval promises that pressure equipment, such as boilers, pressure vessels, and pipelines, complies with essential safety and quality standards. It ensures that these items are designed and manufactured to withstand the stresses and pressures they encounter, reducing the risk of accidents and protecting both users and the environment.
PED certification provides a guarantee of product safety, quality, and compliance with European Union regulations, which is particularly crucial in industries where pressure equipment is utilized, such as the energy, chemical, and manufacturing sectors.
IECEx, short for the International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, is a global scheme for the certification of equipment used in potentially explosive environments. IECEx approval promises that a product complies with international standards for safety and performance in explosive atmospheres, ensuring it is suitable for use in hazardous areas where the risk of ignition is a concern.
This certification signifies that the equipment has undergone rigorous testing and assessment, offering confidence to users that it will operate safely and reliably in explosive atmospheres, reducing the potential for accidents and ensuring regulatory compliance.
INMETRO, short for "Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Qualidade e Tecnologia," is the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Quality, and Technology. INMETRO approval promises that products and services meet the specific safety and quality standards established by the Brazilian government. This certification is crucial for ensuring that products are safe and suitable for use in the Brazilian market, covering a wide range of goods, from electronics to industrial equipment.
INMETRO certification assures consumers and businesses that the products they purchase adhere to established regulations, enhancing safety and performance while promoting fair trade practices within Brazil.
NEPSI, the National Supervision and Inspection Center for Explosion Protection and Safety of Instrumentation, is a certification body in China specializing in hazardous location and explosion protection. NEPSI approval promises that products designed for use in potentially explosive atmospheres adhere to Chinese safety standards and regulations, reducing the risk of accidents and explosions in such environments.
This certification provides assurance to users that the equipment has undergone rigorous testing and conforms to the necessary safety criteria, ensuring safety and reliability in areas where flammable gases, vapors, or dusts may be present. It is particularly significant in industries like petrochemicals and mining, where explosion protection is paramount.
CSA, or the Canadian Standards Association, is a respected organization that provides product testing and certification services. CSA approval promises that a product or system complies with the safety and performance standards set by Canadian regulations. It ensures that the certified equipment is designed and manufactured to meet rigorous quality and safety requirements, minimizing risks and potential hazards for users.
CSA certification is especially important in Canada, and often accepted in various international markets, signifying that the approved products are safe, reliable, and suitable for use, while also simplifying regulatory compliance for manufacturers and users alike.
FM Global, or simply FM, is a leading industrial and commercial property insurance company known for its rigorous standards related to fire protection and loss prevention. FM approval promises that a product or system adheres to the stringent safety and performance criteria established by FM Global. This certification signifies that the approved equipment is designed to reduce the risk of fire, explosions, and other hazards, enhancing safety and minimizing property damage.
FM approval is highly regarded in industries like manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing, where fire prevention and protection are critical. It assures stakeholders that the certified equipment can effectively mitigate risks, ensuring the continuity of business operations and protecting assets.