Restricting the blaze

Thorsten Arnhold becomes IECEx Chairman

By Aliyah Esmail

Ex (explosive) areas are places where flammable liquids, vapours, gases or combustible dusts are likely to cause a fire or explosion. The modern day automation of industry has increased the need to use equipment in Ex areas. IECEx, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, is globally recognized as helping companies control Ex areas.

Equipment in mines are covered by IECEx

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Arnhold

The new IECEx Chairman, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Arnhold, Vice President of Technology at R. STAHL has been actively involved in IECEx for nearly 10 years. He has seen the System grow and expand and has participated actively in its development and management. Arnhold joined R. STAHL in 1992 and six years later became Head of the company’s Design and Marketing Department. He was subsequently promoted to Vice President of Product Management and Marketing and more recently to his current position.

R. STAHL is a company that designs and produces explosion-protected switches, automation products, light fittings and complete systems for applications in hazardous areas. It works with the gas and oil, chemical and pharmaceuticals industries as well as the food industry, the shipbuilding sector and the biofuel industry.

Change sweeps IECEx

Arnhold has worked with IECEx for more than 10 years on the German Mirror Committee. He has also spent more than seven years on the IECEx Management Committee and with different IECEx Working Groups.

During the 10 years that Arnhold has worked with IECEx, he has seen the System grow and expand. Some of the changes he has found to be most positive include that today IECEx provides a single international forum for industry and other stakeholders to come together to develop an International System of Conformity Assessment with rules and procedures that are established by industry. It offers a single qualification process to assess, qualify and monitor IECEx appointed Certification Bodies and Test Laboratories, thereby providing confidence to all stakeholders. IECEx now offers a single way of conducting tests and certification procedures. The online certificate system houses in one easily accessible place all certificates issued by IECEx.

Teamwork is the key

The support of a dedicated technical secretariat for carrying out committee work and supporting the operators and industry with technical and administrative enquiries has positioned IECEx as the world’s leading certification operation dedicated to the highly specialized field of explosion protection.

Nomination for new position

Arnhold was nominated for the position of IECEx Chairman at the IECEx General Meeting at Fortaleza, Brazil in September 2013. He will hold the role from 1 January 2014 for a three-year term. Formal approval for this decision was given by the Conformity Assessment Board in October 2013 at the IEC General Meeting in New Delhi.

miner Equipment in mines are covered by IECEx
oil_rig Ex atmospheres are not restricted to oil refineries, offshore oil rigs, gas plants or mines
Foto The new IECEx Chairman Prof Dr Thorsten Arnhold