Author

Neus Jorda

Protective headgear is used in all sorts of industrial spaces and applications to prevent workplace accidents and as Personal Protection Equipment, or PPEs. They must comply with strict performance requirements laid down in EEC Directive 89/686/EEC before they can be offered for sale.

The manufacturer must submit an example for EC testing before its performance rating can be displayed on a label affixed to the helmet. The helmet must pass minimum mechanical, electrical and thermal performance standards and a notifying body such as AITEX will issue a certificate showing that the PPE has passed all the requirements contained within the Directive.

Protective headgear

Protective helmets for industrial use are considered to be PPEs and must be evaluated against a range of hazards which the wearer may be subjected to during use, and each of the tests is covered by a different homologated testing procedure and standard.
A helmet is designed to protect the wearer’s head against hazards and the depending on the type of protection required, different standards apply. An operator in their place of work may be exposed to several risks: from a head injury from a foreign object to an injury resulting from use of the PPE itself. Helmets protect the wearer from falling objects, flying objects or hanging loads which may cause a head injury and they are regulated under EN 397:2012+A1:2012; helmets which protect the wearer from head injuries sustained from an impact with solid fixed objects are covered by EN 812:2012; high-performance helmets designed to protect against falling objects, falls from a high place, brain injury, cranial fractures and neck injuries arising from them are covered by EN 14052:2012+A1:2012.

New AITEX facilities to evaluate PPE requirements

 

Statutory requirements

Among the statutory requirements are those relating to physical standards to guarantee optimum ergonomics and mechanical requirements relating to the helmet’s protective performance. There are three main tests which test the performance of the helmet against the risks described previously.
The first is the impact absorbance test, which evaluates the helmet’s ability to protect by dispersing the energy of an impact depending on the type of helmet and degree of protection required.
The test to determine penetration by a sharp object will measure the helmet’s ability to protect the wearer against this type of risk and finally, the chinstrap performance test, evaluates how firmly the helmet sits on the wearer.
The first two tests, impact absorbance and penetration, are performed after several conditioning procedures have been completed to simulate the deterioration suffered over time, high temperature (4 h-24 h at +50º C), low temperature (4 h-24 h at -10 ºC), immersion in water (4 h-24 h), artificial UV ageing (400 h) and mechanical action (a sequence of tests); to guarantee the performance of the helmet throughout its lifetime.

Optional requirements

Optional requirements depend on additional protection that the manufacturer wishes to declare: impact absorption at very high (1 h at +150 ºC) and very low temperature (4h – 24 h at -20/-30/-40 ºC), extremely high impact resistance at very high (1 h at +150 ºC) and very low temperatures (4 h to 24 h at -20/-30/-40 ºC), electrical insulation performance (440 ac), lateral deformity performance and resistance to molten metal splashing.

 

Statutory information for an article which is on sale

AITEX provides a wide-ranging service covering the evaluation of PPEs as well as all the statutory information which must appear on a label when the article is offered for sale: this includes marks, the information leaflet and labels. Our new facility places AITEX at the forefront of public headgear-testing laboratories.

Marks

The mark is the first visible information available to the user and is designed to display the degree of protection offered by the PPE. It may be moulded into or printed onto the helmet and must show the Standard which the helmet conforms to, the manufacturer and the year of manufacture, the model number, size, composition and the KS symbol if the helmet is equipped with a chinstrap (only for helmets covered by EN 14052:2012+A1:2012).

Information leaflet

The helmet must be accompanied by a manufacturer’s information leaflet in the language where the article is sold which must be legible and easily-understood and include the following information: A description of the risks that the helmet protects against, the model designation, the harmonised European law it complies with, size, material of manufacture, etc.

Product labelling

Protective headgear must also be accompanied by a permanent label showing the following advice: the correct mode of use, protection provided, replacement of equipment when it has suffered a severe impact, the risks posed by modifying or removing components or the application of accessories which are not recommended by the manufacturer and the use of paints or solvents which may affect performance, unless recommended in the instructions. Helmets covered by EN 812:2012 also include a warning that they do not comply with EN 397:2012+A1:2012, but offer less protection while helmets covered by EN 14052:2012+A1:2012, in addition to the above also include a warning that use of the helmet does not always prevent death or long-term invalidity, as well as being required to include a chinstrap if indicated on the KS.
AITEX was recently audited and was granted the status of accredited testing laboratory and Notifying Body and can now provide its services to any manufacturer wishing to sell their products under the various harmonised standards.

email: ppe@aitex.es

13 September, 2017 0 comment
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The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for leather and leather articles of all levels of production. Examples of articles that can be certified are: semifinished leather products (e.g. Wet-blue, Wet-white, Crust etc.), finished leather, leather fiber material, ready made articles (garments of all types, accessories, leather gloves, leather handbags, leather covers and much more).

12 September, 2017 0 comment
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ANTECUIR, S.L., in collaboration with AITEX, has developed an R+D project, funded by the CDTI to create a range of next-generation products aimed at improving the performance of upholstery fabrics which comply with the most stringent European standards for intentional burning, slashing and vandalism.

Upholstery fabrics used in public spaces, buildings, buses, hotels and trains are exposed to situations which compromise their durability, as well as representing a significant cost for local authorities and private enterprises. They get dirtier and deteriorate more quickly due to intense use and are damaged by vandals.

In order to minimise accumulation of dirt, a few years ago ANTECUIR, S.L.  undertook a research project which resulted in the company’s AQUACLEAN technology. However, damage and tears are problems which have yet to be successfully tackled: current solutions are rigid finishes which are only suitable for specific upholstery fabrics and more flexible treatments are only partially effective. The level of protection afforded the fabric is inversely proportional to the flexibility and comfort of the seating it is applied to.

Existing solutions have sought to find a balance between comfort and safety by employing a three-layer structure:

  • External layer: this is the fabric itself, providing appearance, feel and durability but fades over time.
  • Intermediate layer: normally includes a non-woven fabric or foam which works in two ways; on the one hand by providing fireproofing to the three-layer structure and on the other by preventing the user from detecting the presence of the final layer which is the vandal-proof component. This is normally metal and differences in densities lead to protrusions underneath the fabric, which are unsightly and uncomfortable without the use of an intermediate foam layer.
  • Internal layer: woven metal mesh which provides the vandal-proof element by preventing the sideways movement of a blade, known as rip-stop.

Article published in AITEX review. Read more

4 September, 2017 0 comment
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ECUS SLEEP S.L., with the collaboration of AITEX, has developed a new smart sleep system to improve sleep quality. The system comprises a sensorised mattress cover for infants and adults and a functional pillow, both equipped with a sleep monitoring app.

The objective was to research and develop a sensorised rest system to monitor the sleep patterns of the elderly and infants. Prototype infant and adult mattresses were developed which incorporate a sensorised cover, foam, electronics and app., additionally, a smart pillow was developed with a core, electronics and a control app.

The core goal was divided into milestones:

  • From a scientific perspective, the goal focuses on researching sleep behaviour of the very young and the elderly. The project collates and transmits data on the user to the observer.
  • Technologically, the objective focused on using sensorisation to monitor each of the parameters of interest such as perspiration, temperature, moisture and pressure,
  • From the perspective of health and wellbeing, the goal was to design the system architecture so the unit can notify the user of risks as they arise, optimising the signal received and the data it provides. Data exchange is wireless, eliminating the need for uncomfortable wires and components which may pose a risk to the user.
  • Commercially, work has centred on the creation of an innovative product line of sleep textiles for infants and the elderly, with a series of properties designed to improve sleep quality to allow ECUS to capture a niche market.

Article published in AITEX review, May of 2017. Read more

1 September, 2017 0 comment
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Creativity is the ability to create something new combining information, perceptions and materials to produce something new and useful. In sectors such as footwear and accessories, decoration and interior design the use of manufacturing materials is fundamental. Traditional methods are being replaced by innovative solutions which enable the manufacturer to respond to the needs of the moment and provide a product which is adapted to the market needs.
In addition, there is growing public awareness now of the need to protect the environment and this has led to a search for processes which generate less waste and which have the minimum environmental impact. The textile and leather market is becoming more demanding and competitive as well as going through a tough period because of international competition, and one way in which industry can defend itself is through specialisation in niche products.
This is the context for CREAMATEX, covering the research and development of new textile materials which can be used in the manufacture of sustainable technological solutions in the hyper-sector of creative industries. If creativity can be activated, extracted and converted into a value then a continuous and inexhaustible source of improvements, developments and competitiveness results which can be tapped to supply both traditional and cutting-edge industrial activities with new ideas and products.
Over the last two years of development, the project has worked on developing articles with outstanding functionality and aesthetics for the following markets:
• Architecture, decoration and interior design
• Footwear and leather goods
• Accessories (bags, belts, luggage, etc.)
In order to achieve the goals of the project, the technologies involved in functionalising  thermoplastic and heat-stable matrices have been studied along with textile and leather substrates which have been additivated with compounds which confer special properties on them.
In addition, environmentally-friendly articles were developed from ecological raw materials.
The CREAMATEX project has introduced sustainable functional products with the following properties to the manufacturing processes involved in a range of sectors including footwear, accessories and decoration:
• Functional anti-stain and chromoactive products
• Attractive sustainable laminates and coatings
• Luminescent product

Article published in AITEX review, May 2017. Read more

30 August, 2017 0 comment
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The European Project RESET (2016 – 2021), financed by ERDF funds through the INTERREG EUROPE call and in which AITEX participates has completed its first year and is already showing results.

RESET  aims to create a change in the implementation of the policies and programmes of Structural Funds (in line with what was established in RIS3-CV and ERDF 2014-2020 in the Valencian Region) as they relate to the strengthening of research, technological development and innovation in associated regions. This will be achieved by:

  • Identifying and disseminating best practices in several key areas.
  • Creating principal actor groups (stakeholders) in each area.
  • Exchanging technical and research staff between participating countries.
  • Driving and supporting public-sector capacities (IVACE/ Conselleria), which favour environmental, economic, ethical and social aspects related to textile R+D and production.

The project is financed through ERDF through the Call INTERREG EUROPE “Sharing solutions to improve regional policies”.
More information: http://www.interregeurope.eu/reset/

Article published in AITEX review, May 2017. Read more

21 August, 2017 0 comment
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Industry is at the doors of a new revolution known as Industry 4.0. The virtual and real worlds are combining to transform the traditional industrial processes and improve productivity and turning manufacturing companies into highly-competitive smart work places.

While Industry 4.0 is a well-known moniker within the manufacturing community, less well-understood is what it actually means, nor the technologies involved or their application and benefits, etc. WHAT IS INDUSTRY 4.0?

INDUSTRY 4.0

Previous industrial revolutions have been made possible by a series of tools and technological advances; the first was the steam engine, the second was globalisation and mass production and the third was brought about by computers, electronics and renewable energy. Today, new technological concepts we call “digital enablers” such as big data*, robotics, smart sensors and the Internet of Things are revolutionising industry.
Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution which is incorporating new digital technologies into industrial processes: the digital transformation.

AITEX’s “Industria 4.0 Textil” initiative was created out of the need to reduce the effect of these obstacles to digital transformation.  The aim is to create the most favourable environment possible for the adoption of digital technology by Valencian textile companies.

The project’s overall goal is to identify, assess, support and initiate a series of initiatives for companies in the Communidad de Valencia aimed at making digitalisation for Industry 4.0 more specific and tailored to the needs of the textile sector.
The ability to maintain a competitive edge depends on the capacity for adaptation to this evolutionary step. It depends on the ability to transform digitally.

Article published in AITEX review, May 2017

15 August, 2017 0 comment
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AITEX is a partner in the SmartLife project, a European project funded by the EC through the H2020 Programme within topic ICT-24-2016.

 

The project began last January and ill last 24 months. The partners are drawn from companies and institutions from different fields, from gaming to textiles including ICT and Big Data and the consortium is formed by KnowledgeBiz Consulting (project coordinator), the University of Ghent, Nurogames and AITEX.

The goal of the project is to promote healthy lifestyles and behaviour among the young through an exergame (a game involving physical exercise). The exergame is connected to a smart garment equipped with wearable sensors which track movement variables such as lower body movement and send the data to the user’s Smartphone and the game will adapt to the wearer’s physical condition to promote healthy lifestyle and prevent sedentary behaviour among the young to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
AITEX participates in the project as leader of the development of the smart garment which will be equipped with wearable sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetographs and heart beat and breathing sensors.
The SmartLife exergame will be a mobile-supported game which requires the player to move the lower body while connected to the smart fabric which will provide real time feedback to ensure the movements are performed to the right degree of intensity and adapted to the needs of the users. The data is processed using BDA and will be made more attractive by the use of a contextual narrative. The project includes an extensive battery of functional tests and widespread dissemination of results.
A study has been completed of the most important factors in young people’s surroundings which are necessary to promote the change in lifestyle and encourage physical activity to reduce sedentary lifestyles. The study analysed the determining factors which can be modified in young people’s lifestyles and how they can be transferred to a gaming context. The functional requirements are also being defined for each component of the project, the game, the wearable electronics, clothing, graphic environment and data analysis which will serve as the basis for future development.
The SmartLife project represents a technological innovation by integrating exergames and smart textiles to extract the maximum potential from the exergaming market and achieve the successful outcome of its more serious objective of promoting young people’s health.
The first consortium meeting took place last January in Ghent (Belgium) at the University of Ghent, and was attended by all consortium members. A route map and action plan were drawn up to ensure the project’s successful outcome.
The project is co-financed by Horizon 2020 of the European Commission under Grant Agreement Nr. 732348.
The information and views represented in this website only reflect the views of the authors and not the views of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.
More information: www.smartlifeproject.eu

Article published in AITEX review, May 2017

14 August, 2017 0 comment
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AITEX organizes the kick-off meeting of the H2020 BBI-JU BIOSEA project, in its facilities in Alcoy, 21-22/06/2017, which is aimed at validating and scaling-up a complete production process of active ingredients obtention from algal biomass.

AITEX coordinates the BIOSEA project consortium and participates in the technical work package of evaluation of active principles and new products formulation, through different encapsulation processes, as: Spray Drying, Coacervation, Co-extrusion/gelling, Interfacial polymerization, Liposomes and High pressure supercritical CO2.

 

 

 

¨This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 745622¨.
Info and opinions in this website reflect only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
11 July, 2017 0 comment
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AITEX organizes the first WORKSHOP of the Creativewear Project “CREATIVITY LABORATORY FOR TECHNICAL AND FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES” in the room Àgora (Alcoy, Alicante).

The seminar revealed examples of creativity applied to the business sector and explained the 2 initiatives in which AITEX participates to promote collaboration between creative and textile-clothing companies (CREATIVEWEAR and WORTH projects). About 20 entities and professionals from different textile and creative fields (product design, graphic design, painters, artists, etc. …), as well as representatives from the University of Valencia and Alcoy Municipality, were invited to evaluate and participate in such initiatives.

creativewear

Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The author is liable for this publication. The Managing Authority is not responsible for any use that could be made of information contained in this publication.

3 July, 2017 0 comment
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