Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products meet certain quality standards. However, quality does not just apply to the final product; it should be at the heart of operations — from order receipt right through to delivering a finished, quality-assured product.

With electronics manufacturing services, quality is especially important given the demands of some of the final product applications. To ensure quality at every stage, continual review of manufacturing processes and governance of all facilities through a quality management system (QMS) are essential.

Optimal performance in harsh conditions

In explosive atmospheres and high-risk or high-pressure environments such as industrial sites, oil and gas platforms or certain buildings, it is essential that equipment and systems are intrinsically safe. To enable optimum performance and, more importantly, safety, the components and sub-assemblies used within these systems must also be intrinsically safe.

The oil, gas and water sector, in particular, is one of the most demanding industries in the world. In this field, parts are exposed to extreme pressure, temperatures, shock and ingress. Even a short amount of downtime can be costly — especially if components and sub-assemblies are embedded within critical infrastructure and utilities — and a product failure could be catastrophic. Control, consistency and product reliability are, therefore, paramount.

As a result, manufacturing products for demanding sectors such as oil, gas and water, industrial and building controls requires strong technical and logistics support capabilities. Products must also comply with rigorous safety legislations to ensure they are robust and reliable enough to function optimally and endure under the harshest conditions.

The ATEX Directive

The key applicable legislation here is ATEX, a European directive designed to ensure the use of electronic or electrical equipment of any type is certified for use in hazardous environments. ATEX was introduced in 1996; however, compliance did not become a legal requirement across all European Union member states until 2003.

The directive applies to any facilities where there is a possibility that an explosion could occur due to the use of and presence of combustible materials in the air. ATEX is also applicable to companies that design, manufacture or sell any equipment intended for use in potentially explosive environments. Under the directive, an explosive atmosphere is one that has ‘high concentrations of dust, gas, mist or vapour in the air, at levels that can cause a fire or explosion’. The directive also accounts for electrical and mechanical sources of ignition.

Within the EU, compliance with the ATEX Directive (2014/34/EU) is required. In other markets, the IECEx Equipment Certification Scheme applies.

Quality is our priority

 For nearly four decades, EC Electronics’ reputation has been built on exceeding our customers’ expectations — and we maintain this through investing in our people, our infrastructure, our technical competence and our quality processes.

Our Quality Management System is certified to EN ISO/IEC 80079-34:2018 in line with IECEx and the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, ensuring our products and manufacturing processes meet the requirements for products certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Are you looking for an electronics contract manufacturer for your next project? From PCB and cable assemblies to electronics box builds, find out more about our electronics manufacturing services by contacting us today.