Product Update: Spartan Approved to op-is
Earlier in 2018, all products in the SPARTAN range were recertified to comply with an update in the ATEX directives (EN 60079-28:2015) referred to as ‘op-is’. But what exactly does this mean, and more importantly, why does it matter?
What is op-is?
Op-is focuses on the ignition risk caused by optical radiation from LEDs.
Light beams may not normally be perceived as dangerous, but as technology develops, LEDs are becoming increasingly powerful and their beams more intense. In certain environments this could present an ignition risk as particles in the atmosphere absorb the energy created by the light beam; otherwise known as optical radiation. In a hazardous area this is a particular concern.
Why is op-is Important?
Simply put, any ignition risk in a hazardous area application means there is a danger of an explosion which could lead to loss of life or catastrophic damage. While the likelihood of an ignition due to optical radiation may be small, using luminaires which do not carry the op-is mark is a risk; the luminaires will not have been tested or certified to ensure that optical radiation does not present a danger. Is it a risk worth taking?
Of course, the inclusion of op-is represents a fairly recent update to the ATEX directive, meaning any luminaires installed prior to this will not carry the op-is mark. Replacing an entire installation of older luminaires in order to comply may be unrealistic, but the new standards should be taken into account for any new luminaires installed.
Is it Mandatory?
Any LED luminaires certified after April 2018 must be certified to include op-is. However, as certification is generally done prior to a product first being launched, the majority of luminaires available on the market today will probably have been certified prior to the introduction of op-is standards. This raises the question, should manufacturers have their products retested to comply with op-is? While this could be considered a grey area (with no obvious legislation forcing manufacturers to do so), in the context of manufacturing products designed for use in dangerous, high risk applications, ensuring those products comply to the latest standards (which include op-is) is an essential process for any reputable manufacturer.
All products in the SPARTAN range comply with op-is standards and updated certificates are live on the website and available for download.