Like the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) in the United States, Europe has a trade association. The 33-year-old Committee of Industrial Furnace and Heating Equipment Associations (CECOF), headquartered in Frankfurt, consists of European associations that are themselves made up of manufacturers. In the mid-1990s, after a multi-year effort, the group released the final draft of what became EN746 Part 2, which provides standards for burners and fuel-handling equipment for manufacturers. Before EN746, there had been no European standard on ovens, furnaces and other combustion and fuel-handling equipment. In Europe, EN746 is called a C standard, which means it contains requirements for a particular group of products.
In February of 1997, the document was ratified by the European Union's member states and published in the official journal of the European communities. Then, in 2002, just five years later, the word came for an update of Part 2.
There were good reasons for that update.
- There were newer technologies that were not available when CECOF was preparing the original text. A few examples: PLC control was used very often and, of course, the safety conditions of that usage had to be codified; oxy-firing had become a common way of reducing NOX in the flue products; and specifics for this mode of combustion also had to be outlined.
- New directives were released or updated, and they had to be taken into account, such as the pressure equipment directive and the explosive atmosphere directive.
- Some of the existing text was subject to misinterpretation. One typical case was the issue of the number of safety shutoff valves. The 1997 standard required two of them to shut off the fuel supply in case of a failure lockout. For a single burner, this was fairly straightforward. But for multiple burners, the text was ambiguous because it allowed the manifold valve to be one of the two, with the second being the local valve. This ambiguity lead to companies using either three valves (two in the fuel manifold and one at each individual burner) or four valves (two in the manifold and two at each burner). For installations with 100 burners or more, this represented an enormous difference of cost.
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