The AEMT’s (Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades) training course, Repair, Overhaul and Reclamation of Ex Equipment has had another successful group pass their assessments in Loughborough, with all delegates saying what they learned was invaluable for their working lives.
The course looks at how to handle and work upon flameproof (Ex d), non-sparking (Ex e), and other Ex-rated explosion proof equipment, such as motors, and pumps used in ATEX hazardous area zones.
The course is presented in two modules. The first reviews the theory behind Ex safety, protection concepts (such as Ex d, Ex e and Ex nA), and standards (such as IEC 60079-1 for flameproof equipment), ATEX directives, practices and procedures, risk assessments as well as health and safety measures. The second gets hands-on with equipment. Delegates experience the techniques, and learn the importance of maintaining the safety aspects, and integrity of the original equipment design.
The AEMT also offers a third module, a refresher course for engineers and technicians who are required, by standard, to sit a refresher course every three years.
Managers, supervisors and technicians who have attended a course and been successfully assessed are awarded a certificate by the AEMT, which is valid for three years before a refresher course has to be completed.
All modules are based on IEC and BS EN 60079-19 (Explosive Atmospheres: Equipment repair, overhaul, and reclamation); the widely-adopted standard for service centres working on Ex equipment. The standard is used within the industry as a benchmark for the repair of equipment from hazardous area zones, where an ignition point such as a spark can have catastrophic affects. Ex equipment is used by many industries, including; oil and gas refining, chemical production, utilities, pharmaceuticals, coal handling, flour, sugar and paper production, wood and metal processing.
The course can also act as a gateway for companies wanting to register on the AEMT Ex Register, a list of AEMT members that have met the stringent requirements to be considered to have the expertise and ability to repair Hazardous Area Ex Equipment. Criteria for registration include having at least two employees, and a responsible person within management that have successfully completed AEMT training, ISO 9001 certification, working to BS EN 60079-19 or IEC 60079-19 standard.
AEMT lecturers are highly qualified engineers, including the AEMT’s lead lecturer, Dr Martin Killeen. Previously Head of Advanced Manufacturing and Technology at Loughborough College, Dr Killeen started his career with an apprenticeship at Brush Electrical Machines, where he rose to senior design engineer before moving into education. He has been involved with the AEMT Hazardous Area courses for 20 years and is recognised as a leading expert in IEC Ex standards and hazardous area engineering.
He explains that working on Ex equipment needs specialist expertise and that engineers used to working with standard electrical and mechanical equipment must fully appreciate the extra requirements for hazardous area theory and practice.
He said: “Ex equipment has been designed to go into dangerous environments where a mere spark could lead to serious consequences. Under ATEX, it is the responsibility of any company or individual handling this equipment to understand the design principles and legal requirements.
“The AEMT courses ensure personnel have a good understanding of the subject and are also well versed in the practical aspects.”
The AEMT have just released two video clips, filmed at the recent Loughborough training course. They demonstrate what companies can expect from sending delegates on the course, and give an overview of the contents of both module 1 and 2, plus who should be attending the courses.