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Markings explained

Author : Chris Thomas, Electrical Engineer, Intertek

30 October 2019

Despite their common appearance on almost everything purchased for industrial, commercial or personal use, equipment markings are one of the least understood and most error filled items when going through the compliance and certification process.

The markings and nameplate of a particular device or piece of equipment are meant to be a short description of the equipment enabling the end user to procure the correct equipment for the application and install it correctly.

However, when markings are incorrect or confusing it can lead to wasted time being spent on interpreting and clarifying what the original manufacturer intended to tell the end user about the equipment, including where and how it may be installed. Unclear markings may lead to the incorrect piece of equipment being purchased for the application.

The level of markings is largely based on the standard being applied during the certification of the equipment being manufactured. The importance of markings is often downplayed and is quite often an after-thought during the certification process. In reality, they should be one of the first things considered when developing a product as they can often lead to differing evaluation criteria and design considerations for the equipment.

If equipment is manufactured with confusing or incorrect markings, it may lead the manufacturer having a product which may not meet the criteria of what they originally intended to produce and may result in missing the target client or consumers of the equipment.

This presentation will seek to inform equipment manufacturers and end users about what the various markings typically placed on equipment mean and why certification bodies require certain markings to be shown. We will focus on hazardous locations markings for International markets (via the IECEx), Europe (ATEX) and North America and will include explanations on what and why certain markings are required.

Chris Thomas, Electrical Engineer

Chris Thomas, Electrical Engineer, Intertek
Chris Thomas, Electrical Engineer, Intertek

Chris Thomas is an Electrical Engineer with extensive experience in hazardous areas and explosive atmospheres. He has worked in the industry for over 20 years and has particular expertise in Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Power Generation & Distribution systems and also Fuel station environments. Chris has worked with a variety of Certification and Notified Bodies, as well as writing and developing training courses and assessments which comply with ISO/IEC 17024.

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