Electronics Production | September 13, 2011
Escatec passes audit for ATEX qualification
EMS-provider Escatec has passed the ATEX Production Quality Assurance audit for the production of equipment for use in explosive environments for the fifth year in a row.
Also ESCATEC’s sophisticated component tracking systems covers the ATEX audit process for critical components. “It is unusual for a contract manufacturing company to offer such demanding level of quality assurance,” said Martin Kingdon, ESCATEC’s Business Development Director. “Most contract manufacturers compete on being able to offer the lowest possible price but ESCATEC has always competed on quality and precision. Having our production facility here in Switzerland set up to meet the highly demanding QA standards to pass an ATEX audit means that all our products are made to the same high quality standards whether they need ATEX certification or not.” ATEX certification means that equipment can be used in hazardous environments where there is a possibility of explosions such as chemical works, mining and the petroleum industry. The electronics and any batteries must be designed so that there is no possibility of a spark that could ignite an explosive chemical. At present, the ATEX certification is just for Escatec’s production facility in Heerbrugg, Switzerland as the products that have been made for customers so far have only been in low volume in the thousands of units a year range. “However, should a customer want to ramp up to high volumes, we can achieve certification for our volume production facilities in Asia giving them the benefit of lower costs,” added Martin Kingdon. “This can be done very quickly as we keep our Asian manufacturing facilities very closely in line with our Swiss ones so that production can be transferred without a hitch, right down to the same models of machines so that the instruction software that has been fine tuned in Switzerland runs immediately in Asia.”
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