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Getting Started with Ex Repairs

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

The knowledge and skills required to service Ex equipment such as motors, pumps, fans, compressors, gearboxes and other mechanical equipment, rests on two different categories of person, as highlighted in the IEC 60079-19 standard: the “Responsible Person” and “Operatives”. 

An Ex Service Centre should have at least one “Responsible Person”, normally the manager or supervisor in charge of the workshop where servicing of Ex or Hazardous Area Equipment is carried out. 

It is important that the “Responsible Persons” have been trained to fully understand the protection concepts of the equipment, what can and cannot be repaired, and what repair procedures may be used, so that they can fully support the workshop staff and verify any work carried out. The Responsible Person should be able to ensure that the correct records are kept, and that quality control systems are in place for the Ex repairs. They should also be able to ensure that the company has the right tools for the equipment being repaired and the relevant standards and certificates. 

“Operatives” are all the engineers and technicians that carry out the service and repair of hazardous area equipment. They should have attended the AEMT Ex Theory and Hands-on courses so that they fully understand the protection concepts of the equipment they are repairing, and, as above, what can and cannot be repaired, and what repair procedures may be used.

For a company to be on The AEMT Ex-Register, they should have an ISO 9001 quality control system or equivalent; the calibrated tools suitable for the work seen and the required certificates and standards; a minimum of one trained and competent operative, as well as a minimum of one responsible person to sign off and supervise Ex repair work completed by workshop technicians.

Both Responsible persons and Operatives must be able to provide sufficient evidence that they are up to date with the theory, skills and understanding of the Ex work they are involved with. Their staff should attend regular refreshers every three years on the repair and overhaul aspects of Ex equipment through the AEMT. This means that Ex Registered companies remain up to date on the practical aspects of repair and any changes in updated standards and ATEX.

Knowing the volume of an Ex d machine helps determine the flamepath length.

Competencies are applicable to each of the explosion-protection techniques for which a company or person is involved. For example: it is possible for a person to be competent in the field of repair and overhaul of Ex d motors only and not be fully competent in repair of Ex d switchgear or Ex e motors. In such cases, the repair facility management should define this in their documentation system.

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