editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Yet Another Safety Standard

We’ve spent some time with hardware and software standards intended for so-called “safety-critical” applications, the poster child for which is the airplane. Adding variety to this scene, a recent release by Escatec, a Swiss manufacturer, indicated compliance with ATEX.

ATEX represents yet another peril: work that must be done in a potentially explosive environment. Think coal mine. Or, for those of you with a more pastoral bent, grain silos. It’s a European directive, modeled after a French directive titled, Appareils destinés à être utilisés en Atmosphères Explosives.

There are two groups of equipment: one for mining operations and one for surface operations. Within mining, there are two further subgroups, M1 for equipment that has to keep running when things turn nasty, and M2 for things you wouldn’t operate in that situation. For Group 2, equipment is ranked by risk into three categories, and further according to whether the risk is vapor or dust.

Equipment that falls under this directive must have its own ignition source, operate under normal atmospheric conditions, and be likely to find itself in an explosive environment. Certification is required to mark the equipment with the usual CE and a further EX indicating that it passes muster and can be sold anywhere in the EU.

So it makes sense for a piece of equipment to be certified; why then is a manufacturer like Escatec being certified? Turns out that this element of certification looks into the supply chain and manufacturing process for approval. Any manufacturer, inside or out of Europe, must be certified for sale in Europe. Which is why Escatec also says that they’ll be able to certify their Asian plants easily when they ramp because those follow in close lockstep with their Swiss plant.

Equipment made there still requires design certification, so it’s not a free ride to use a certified manufacturer, but it’s part of the problem solved.

More info on Escatec in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Sep 21, 2020
Technology is changing the strategies we use to do things - oh so fast that 2010 seems like a distant past- within many spaces -- including the way we do our current topic of interest - Timing... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site. ]]...
Sep 21, 2020
Semicon, the world’s largest semiconductor conference and exhibition, is September 23-25 in Taiwan. Like most shows of its size and caliber, Semicon boasts a long and illustrious list of exhibitors (500+), and countless forums, symposiums, and workshops. Of course Semic...
Sep 18, 2020
[From the last episode: We put the various pieces of a memory together to show the whole thing.] Before we finally turn our memory discussion into an AI discussion, let'€™s take on one annoying little detail that I'€™ve referred to a few times, but have kept putting off. ...
Sep 16, 2020
In addition to the Great Highland (Scottish) bagpipes, the Uilleann (Irish) bagpipes, and the Northumbrian (English) bagpipes, there are myriad other offerings spanning the globe....

Featured Video

Product Update: Family of DesignWare Ethernet IP for Time-Sensitive Networking

Sponsored by Synopsys

Hear John Swanson, our product expert, give an update on Synopsys’ DesignWare® Ethernet IP for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), which is compliant with IEEE standards and enables predictable guaranteed latency in automotive ADAS and industrial automation SoCs.

Click here for more information about DesignWare Ethernet Quality-of-Service Controller IP

Featured Paper

4 audio trends transforming the automotive industry

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

The automotive industry is focused on creating a comfortable driving experience – but without compromising fuel efficiency or manufacturing costs. The adoption of these new audio technologies in cars – while requiring major architecture changes – promise to bring a richer driving and in-car communication experience. Discover techniques using microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers and advanced digital signal processing that help enable the newest trends in automotive audio applications.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Embedded Display Applications Innovation

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Texas Instruments

DLP technology can add a whole new dimension to your embedded design. If you considered DLP in the past, but were put off by the cost, you need to watch this episode of Chalk Talk where Amelia Dalton chats with Philippe Dollo of Texas Instruments about the DLP LightCrafter 2000 EVM. This new kit makes DLP more accessible and less expensive to design in, and could have a dramatic impact on your next embedded design.

Click here for more information about Texas Instruments DLP2000 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD)