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Alpha Lifting services and Verlinde’s ATEX, explosion proof products, leave competition for dust

Devon based Alpha Lifting services reports great success within the UK for Verlinde’s ATEX (explosion proof products) cranes and equipment. This latest news comes in the wake of an upsurge in demand for explosion proof products in a wide range of sectors, from the traditional industrial and petrochemical markets, to new manufacturing, engineering and health and safety environments needing to comply with the latest EU industry standards.

ATEX compliance consists of two European directives concerning what equipment is required for use in an explosive atmosphere, and since 2003 all European organisations must protect employees from such atmospheres. Verlinde has been designing products for safe use in such environments for some time now and increasing demand from the UK market needed a supplier and expert ‘on the ground’, which led the French giant to turn to Alpha Lifting Services. Commenting on Alpha’s selection, business development manager for Verlinde, Simon Rothechild, said: "Alpha Lifting Services has over 20 years experience in advising customers on explosion proof products, so it was a simple decision to appoint them as the agent for Verlinde incorporating explosion proof equipment. This is a growing market in the UK and we wish them well with."

Verlinde’s most popular products in this field are the Eurolift, Eurochain and Eurobloc products, which remain identical in performance to the standard cranes of this type but are fully EX (ATEX certified) explosion proof. They are perfect for offshore platforms, but as EX certification is not a standard feature, a UK based agent was required who would understand the needs of those working in these sectors and be able to recommend the appropriate cranes and hoists.

While ATEX products are often perceived as products for the petrochemical industry, the fact is many materials in dust form (if they oxidise) can generate a potentially explosive mix. While coal is the well-known example, other, seemingly more mundane substances can be equally dangerous. These include flour, sugar and even powdered milk – which puts ATEX cranes high on the menu for the food industry too.

"The market for explosion proof products is growing and in some ways doing much better than the market for standard lifting equipment," said Thomas Descamps, managing director of Verlinde. "Verlinde explosion proof products are set apart by the use of spark proof materials (such as bronze) and by having units sealed to protect them from flammable gasses or dusts that may be present in hazardous environments and we welcome having the expertise of a company like Alpha on board with us in this critical area."

Alpha Managing Director, Raymond Marks, commented: "We have been supplying Verlinde products for some time now, but we are seeing increasing demand for our expertise in the field of ATEX products," he explained. "It is nice to have our expertise formally recognised by Verlinde and with all the projects that are going on at the moment, 2012 looks set to be a big year for both companies."

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