BVC ATEX Industrial Vacuum Cleaners – Choosing the Right Machine

BVC Industrial Vacuum Cleaners are now manufactured by Quirepace Ltd in Fareham, Hampshire but the Company has direct roots back to the original British Vacuum Cleaner Company formed by Hubert Cecil Booth in 1902 to exploit his patented innovation, the first mechanically-powered vacuum cleaner.

Today Quirepace specialise in manufacturing heavy duty vacuum cleaners under the BVC brand designed to meet the rigours and harsh environments found in Industry.

Of particular importance, and even more so now where there is increasing focus on fire and explosion risk, is the range of BVC machines designed for ATEX environments. Most of the ATEX rated units in the BVC range are “category 3” products; that is, they are designed to operate in areas where an explosive atmosphere is not likely to occur but if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

It is the employers and/or owners’ responsibility to determine the risks within their establishment. DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) places responsibility with EMPLOYERS and the self-employed to carry out a Risk Assessment of their workplace to identify the risks from fires or explosions and to take preventive measures.

One of the preventative measures is to ensure that any vacuum cleaners used for cleaning are appropriately rated for the area they are to be used in. When thinking about Vacuum Cleaners people think about dust, particularly with reference to ATEX zones where dust in the air can under some circumstances become explosive.

Potentially explosive dusts include dusts of organic compounds such as sugar, flour, wood, plastics and also metal dusts such as aluminium and magnesium. It is extremely important, in the context of choosing an Industrial Vacuum Cleaner for an ATEX zone to understand that the ATEX rating of the machine relates solely to the area the machine is to be used in but does not imply any confirmation that the product is suitable to be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. For example, some very fine metal dusts have a very low Minimum Ignition Energy and are unsuitable for vacuuming because of the ease with which they will catch fire, even if the ATEX zone has a lower rating.

It is always the employers and/or owners’ responsibility to do their own risk assessments on their products.

Potentially explosive atmospheres are not only created by dusts but also by gases. If a particular operation has ATEX zones that refer to both Gas and Dust hazards, then it is essential that any Industrial Vacuum Cleaner is likewise appropriately rated for both environments.

Whilst ATEX Dust Zone 22 and ATEX Gas Zone 2 both require a category 3 rated machine, the actual specifications of a machine may differ slightly for use in each environment. For example, an ATEX rated vacuum cleaner for Dust Zone 22 may not automatically be suitable for Gas Zone 2. This is because components such as motors and motor starters may require different levels of protection for Gas Zones.

BVC ATEX rated Industrial Vacuum Cleaners are available in various specifications. For example, the popular IV60 1-2kW unit is available rated either for dust only, or in a slightly different configuration for both dust and gas rated ATEX environments. The rating plates and documentation for the machines confirms the specification of each individual unit.

Choosing the correct ATEX rated vacuum cleaner can be a fairly complex decision and Quirepace’s experienced sales team are able to advise the correct machine to supply to meet the ATEX zone requirements that have been determined by the employer and/or owner of the operation.

Quirepace Ltd

023 9260 3700

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This article can alos be found in the issue below.


Pin It