In a global print market that is becoming more competitive by the minute, compliance to internationally recognized standards that certify performance has become a necessity. “We have been building machines that are ATEX compliant for more than 10 years, so we can comment from a position of authority,” said Anders Kongstad, technical director at Flexo Wash. An acronym for ‘Atmospheric Explosion’, ATEX is a reminder of how potentially dangerous the solvents and flammable liquids that are used in the printing process can be.
Kongstad said, “At Flexo Wash, we aim to de-mystify ATEX compliance—it is not as complex and difficult, and by working with qualified partners, converters can be assured of a system that meets current as well as future legislative requirements. It’s all about customer support.”
So, what constitutes an ATEX compliant room? It is all about risk control and safety. The room generally comprises a washing machine, distiller, LEL control, light, house installations and a ventilation system. Contrary to popular belief, it does not need to be fully enclosed on all four sides, as long as measures are in place to contain any potential explosive situation. All the equipment in the room has to be designed and suitable to be placed in the potentially hazardous environment, in order to make the room safe.