5 Nov 2020

Operators must bear these in mind when CE marking older machinery

The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC lays down the requirements for placing machinery on the market within the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Turkey Norway and Iceland. Particularly with old machinery, it is essential to examine precisely the conditions under which these may be used. We've prepared a concise summary of three frequently asked questions about the safe operation of older machinery.

The Machinery Directive is currently under revision. What will change in the future?

There won’t be any fundamental changes or a complete recast of the Machinery Directive. It's more a case of a logical extension of the Machinery Directive. Particular attention is to be paid to “ergonomic aspects of engineering” and “IT security” for example.

What needs to be considered when transforming old machinery?

The Machinery Directive has been binding for manufacturers of plant and machinery since 01.01.1995. This states that the EU conformity assessment procedure, so-called CE marking, must be completed by the time the machine is first placed on the market. Operators wishing to convert or modernise older machinery without a CE mark should be guided by the state of the art of comparable machinery that is already on the market and by the applicable harmonised standards.

Important: When converting or retrofitting old machinery it is important to check whether it has significantly changed. If this is the case, the operator becomes the manufacturer and must carry out a new EU conformity assessment procedure. The converted old machine is then classed as a new machine. Compliance with the Machinery Directive and therefore CE marking is then required.

Can on older machine, built in 1999 for example, be given a retrospective CE mark?

For CE marking it’s not the year it was built that’s significant but when the machine was first placed on the market. The Machinery Directive clearly states that CE marking must be completed by the time it is first placed on the market. So retrospective/retroactive CE marking is not possible.

Still have questions?

Our experts will be happy to help you apply and implement the specifications of the Machinery Directive.

Pilz services for automation, plant and machinery safety
Further information on the Machinery Directive and its application

Machinery safety
Head office

Pilz Australia Safe Automation
Unit 1, 12-14 Miles Street
Mulgrave, Melbourne, Victoria 3170

Telephone: +61 3 9560 0621 / 1300 723 334
E-Mail: safety@pilz.com.au

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