Explosives protection certified RFID-/NFC-transponders for the ATEX zones
Explosion-protected industry transponders
Where do we need explosion protection?
There´s a vast amount of work environments where there is a threat that explosions occur. This includes the chemical industry, oil extraction and natural gas production as well as many other industry branches where flammables may escape during manufacture, transport or storage. We are talking about explosive air mixtures that can build up at any place where flammable fluids and gases are being processed.
The same threat is present also in places where fine dusts can get into an enclosed room filled with air, which refers to e.g. mining or to milling processes in grain mills. If gases, vapors or dusts accumulate in enclosed rooms and mix with atmospheric oxygen, an explosive environment might occur. Already a tiny spark resulting from a static electricity charge can be enough to trigger a devastating detonation.
Workers have to be protected by comprehensive active measures in these environments. Apart from respiration protection technology aspects, this especially refers to electrical protective measures which serve to prevent by 100 % the occurrence of any spark. This in turn requires numerous technical preconditions.
Special requirements regarding industrial transponders
There are special requirements for RFID labelling regarding RFID transponders that are used in explosive environments. Basically, there are two potential threat sources that are to be assessed and excluded. On the one hand, that´s the body material´s electrostatic characteristic (discharge of a spark following a static charge caused by friction) and on the other hand, the way the chip behaves under normal conditions as well as when a malfunction occurs due to too high field energies. In environments, where excessive energy is being absorbed and where the chip including the body is heated up, the critical ignition temperature is reached.
The RFID-Transponders, certified for explosives protection environments can be used at any place where flammable dust- or dust-air mixtures or gases occur temporarily or as part of the regular operation mode. smart-TEC industrial transponders can be developed, designed and manufactured according to the customer´s needs as far as color, forms or attachment options are concerned. Additionally, any industrial transponder can receive an individualized printing. This imprint is then covered by a PU-layer to be protected against mechanic and environmental impacts. In line with the ATEX directive, each RFID transponder is assigned a clearly retractable label.
smart-TEC industrial transponder
Thanks to different product variations using various product structures and also due to different frequencies, smart-TEC is able to respond to the client´s needs within the ATEX branch. This provides for covering numerous objects to be labelled and gives the opportunity for various applications, including the attachment to metallic surfaces.
Apart from static, pre-printed contents such as a logo, the label can be truly and individually personalized, e.g. via the UID / EPC in the shape of capital letters, through a one-dimensional barcode or a 2-D barcode such as a data matrix or a QR-code. The label is molded transparently into the transponder. This provides for an optimum and robust protection against humidity, dirt and friction. Thanks to the attachment options, the RFID transponder can be designed in a very individualized manner. Attaching by gluing, screwing, by cable-ties, wire ropes, any options providing for a permanent labelling of the goods and places.
The very special characteristic of transponders designed to be used in an explosives protection environment is that both the RFID data carriers as well as the readers that are being used do have to undergo a special certification, to become certified for explosive work conditions. During this Ex-certification, the body material and the RFID inlay are being assessed independently. The Directive 94/9/EC regulates the testing of electric devices and the2014/34/EU Directive additionally regulates the testing of non-electric devices within Class II (industry), or in Class I (mining) regulating the approvals as well. The application of this directive is frequently being indicated by using a normed logo.
It requires significant effort to carry out this ATEX Zone 1 certification in a German test lab, yet this provides for the highest possible safety in real-life application and in complying with legally binding requirements. Each and every RFID data carrier is provided with a counterfeit test label so that the user can be sure in the end that the RFID data carrier that is to be used really complies with the regulations. Furthermore, all transponders are IEC Ex-certified.
Thus, if such a technology is being developed and produced in a climate neutral manner, one can clearly speak of a life-preserving or rather life-saving technology.
How can we provide you with support in the area of explosion protection?