Machines, plants and electrical devices

What is it about?

Due to the CE marking, uniform safety regulations apply to a wide range of products in Europe.

In most cases, the manufacturer affixes the CE mark by himself. An external certification body only needs to be involved in exceptional cases. 

By the CE-marking in combination with the declaration of conformity, the manufacturer confirms that all CE regulations applicable to the product have been met.

The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC is particularly relevant for manufacturers of machines and systems.

In addition to other directives, manufacturers of electrical devices must deal in particular with the low-voltage directive 2014/35/EU.

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC

Step by step to CE for machines and plants

What do machine and system manufacturers have to do in order to build safe and legally compliant machines? The different activities in the so-called conformity assessment procedure are:

  1. Classification of the product: Is it a "machine" or an "incomplete machine" within the meaning of the Machinery Directive?
  2. What other CE guidelines and regulations apply to the machine?
  3. Are there standards that should be applied?
  4. Carry out a risk assessment. You can find more details here.
  5. Create legally required technical documents - important evidence and discharge documents in the event of an accident or official complaint.
  6. In some special cases: involve notified bodies
  7. Carry out internal production control - do the built machines match the technical documents?
  8. Print and sign the declaration of conformity, affix the CE mark.

Attention: The machinery directive also applies to companies that manufacture machines for their own production ("self-made")!

Low-Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU

CE-Marking in 6 steps

Before the CE marking should be affixed to an electrical device as defined in the Low Voltage Directive, the conformity assessment procedure must have been carried out. This process can be divided into 6 steps:

  • Check, which EU directives apply to your product in addition to the low-voltage directive (e.g. EMC, ...)
  • Research which harmonized european standards you would like to apply voluntarily. 
  • Practical tip: Don't consider standards as annoying regulations, but as valuable sources of knowledge!
  • Implementation and documentation of the risk assessment.
  • Assemble technical documentation.
  • Execution of the internal production control.
  • Sign the declaration of conformity in a legally binding manner.

Which products are affected?

  • Control cabinets (low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies)
  • Household appliances (electrical appliances for household use and similar purposes)
  • Electrical system technology for home and building (ESHG) and on building automation systems
  • Electrical equipment of firing systems
  • Electrically controlled escape door systems
  • Electrical measuring devices
  • Cables and wires
  • Surge protection devices, device protection fuses
  • Rotating electrical machines
  • Audio, video and similar electronic devices
  • electrically operated heat pumps, air conditioners and room air dehumidifiers
  • ...

The list of all harmonized standards published in the Official Journal of the EU gives you an overview of which other products are covered by the Low Voltage Directive.

Information on the current list as well as a download can be found on our technical articles and news page in the "EU Official Journal" section.

With the declaration of conformity, the manufacturer declares that his products (e.g. machines, systems, electrical devices, ...) comply with the relevant legal provisions - i.e. comply with the Machinery Directive or the Low Voltage Directive. Following questions should be asked regarding the declaration of conformity:

  • What are the requirements for the declaration of conformity to be signed?
  • Who signs the declaration of conformity?
  • Is the person (who signed) liable (e.g. in the event of an accident)?

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