13 Dec 2019

What to Know About IEC/TS 60079-46

Equipment assemblies and skid packages used in explosive atmospheres must receive IECEx certification for electrical and mechanical features. The current policy used for certification, IECEx DS 2015/001A, will be withdrawn in 2020. In its place, IEC/TS 60079-46:2017 specifies requirements for the design, construction, assembly, testing, inspection, marking, and documentation of individual items that comprise the assembly; these individual items are then integrated as part of the equipment assembly.

IEC/TS 60079-46 is applicable to assemblies of certified components that have already been certified to the IEC 60079 and/or ISO 80079 series of standards. The range of equipment includes a system integrating two pieces of equipment, up to and including large facilities made up of multiple assemblies and packages. The scope of IEC/TS 60079-46 does not include:

  • Equipment covered, in its entirety, by one or more IEC 60079 and ISO 80079 equipment types of protection
  • Pressurized rooms, in accordance with IEC 60079-13, artificial ventilation for the protection of analyzer(s) houses in accordance with IEC TR 60079-16, and other standards addressing specific Ex assemblies
  • Installation at the end-user site under the scope of IEC 60079-14
  • Classification of the hazardous area
  • Equipment assemblies for mines susceptible to firedamp (Group I applications)
  • Inherently explosive situations and dust from explosives or pyrophoric substances (for example explosives manufacturing and processing)
  • Rooms used for medical purposes; electrical installations in areas where the hazard is due to flammable mist

The key requirements of the technical specification are:

  • Illustrating competency; examples include, but are not limited to: CompEx training and certification
  • Item lists with a description of each component, the manufacturer, identification number, certificate number (including issue number), type of protection, ambient range, and ingress protection
  • Performing and documenting an assessment of all ignition hazards that might have been caused by the combination of Ex Equipment in accordance with ISO 80079-36 for both electrical and non- electrical risks; a risk assessment methodology specified by the end-user may also be performed
  • Calculations as part of the assessment in the documentation; for example, Intrinsically Safe associated apparatus to Intrinsically Safe device calculations.
  • The certificate for the equipment assembly must address several other items, where applicable, such as, specific clauses of IEC 60079-14 that have been satisfied and the level of inspection completed on the equipment assembly
  • Final documentation package is to include, but is not limited to: competencies associated with the related manufacturing process personnel or verifying party as applicable; details regarding any  sources of release; explosion protection specifications related to the installation of the equipment assembly by the end-user; drawings of the equipment assembly; mechanical layout drawings of the equipment assembly; and information regarding each wiring method, including termination means, used as part of the equipment assembly. 

Assemblies should also be evaluated to relevant parts of IEC 60079-0, ISO 80079-36 and IEC 60079-14. It is important that laboratories performing these evaluations have these standards within their IECEx TL scopes. It is also important that manufacturers become familiar with the completion and assembly of integrated assemblies.

More information on this technical specification, including the scope, key technical requirements, associated CompEx training, and recommended next steps for manufacturers can be found on our IECEx Equipment Certification web page.


Wesley Van Hill,
Global Technical Manager, HazLoc


Wesley Van Hill is the Global Technical Manager for Intertek's Hazardous Locations team and is responsible for multiple locations worldwide. His responsibilities include ATEX and IECEx technical qualifications and consistent technical decision making for all Hazardous Locations related activities. He has been involved in the evaluation of equipment for hazardous locations almost 15 years and has been a part of multiple technical committees and panels.

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