When you have purchased an electric ATEX washing machine for parts cleaning of demanding ink types, the unit is prepared during production to handle the strong solvents and thoroughly checked before it is sent to your facilities.
The Parts Washers from Flexo Wash have a Wash & Rinse system with two separate tanks, which offers an automatic two-stage cleaning process, where the first stage is for cleaning and the second stage is for rinsing. The parts are cleaned by various high-pressure nozzles, spraying cleaning and rinse solvent from below and above.
After the washing and rinsing cycle is done the unit needs to stabilize. Depending on the size and the configuration of the machine, it takes approx. 5-10 minutes for the solvents to stabilize inside the machine. After stabilization, the ventilation begins, and it takes approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the LEL (lower explosion level) ventilation settings. A shorter stabilization time means a longer ventilation time and vice versa.
The polluted air from the washing machine will be led to an RTO (Regenerative thermal oxidizer) or alternatively to the open air. After the two processes are over the lid can now be re-opened, and the clean parts can be removed.
One thing is what the unit does itself another thing is what is required from the machine location, the ATEX-room to follow the rules and regulations and to avoid risking explosions or fires.
ATEX certifications and requirements
When cleaning with solvent special precautions must be taken to completely neutralize the risk of explosion or fire in the area. Flexo Wash takes these precautions by delivering washing equipment according to the ATEX directive 2014/34/EU intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
At Flexo Wash we collaborate with notified bodies for approval of the equipment, ensuring that each unit is safe, EEX-proof according to the ATEX standard, and certified by ExVeritas.
ZONE 0 = CATEGORY I:
Explosive atmosphere is continuously present for long periods. Inside the washing unit and tanks the unit will have ATEX zone 0. As zone 0 is inside the machine the responsibility is mainly carried by the cleaning machine manufacturer.
ZONE 1 = CATEGORY II:
Between 10 and 100 hours of explosive atmosphere per year. Around the unit will be ATEX zone 1.
ZONE 2 = CATEGORY III:
Less than 10 hours of explosive atmosphere per year. Zone 2 is often referred to as the remotely hazardous area. Electrical fittings & bulbs placed in zone 0-2 must be thoroughly checked and the customer must on an on-going basic ensure that the electricals present in the area are fully ATEX certified.
Outside of your designated ATEX room there must be a control box for your unit, so you can always operate it while it is running. There should also be a control box next to the ATEX parts washer. When setting up the electrical cabinets you must also be aware of the minimum safety distance to the unit.
Other mechanical equipment such as for instance a trolley must as well be approved for operating in an ATEX environment (zone 2)
Furthermore, the air-conditioning in the room has to live up to clearly defined standards to make sure that the ventilation process is done correctly and effective, so the solvent fumes correctly are led to an RTO or open air.
We provide worldwide service
Building an ATEX room is simple. The rules and regulations are very clear. However, at Flexo Wash we are always ready to provide you with service anywhere in the world, both on site and virtually. Whatever suits your needs.
If an ATEX solution is the one for you, we will of course also provide you with the information you need to complete the room in time for your new machine to arrive at your production facilities.
Do you need more information about how to build an ATEX-room? Get in contact – click here.