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CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

I have a <mechanical assembly> that must be combined with other things (a vessel and electrical controls) in order to perform any useful function. It must be assessed per the Machinery Directive and also in some cases to the ATEX Directive. Per the Machinery Directive, it's a Partly Completed Machine. Per the ATEX directive, a Partly Completed Machine is neither defined or referenced. It falls within the definition of "equipment" in ATEX parlance.

The problem is that Partly Completed Machinery is forbidden to be marked "CE" and is supplied with a Declaration of Incorporation. ATEX equipment is required to have the CE mark and simultaneously comply with all other Directives. Now if an ATEX Directive "Component" was the same exact thing as a Machinery Directive "Partly Completed Machine", this would all make sense, but the definitions are very different. I can find no guidance on this.

What is reasonable to do here?


RE: CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

First of all the ATEX directive superimposes (exceeds) the Machine Directive if both applies. So, you must first of all follow the ATEX directive and if it requires a CE mark for your equipment, you'll mark it. In the declaration of conformity you can state the exeptions from the Machine Directive. But keep in mind that a partially completed machinery acc. to the Machine Directive requires a detailled assembly instruction.

You are right that this procedure is not described in the directives. We had the same problem about 2 years ago and we asked 2 or 3 notified bodies how to handle this. All said that the above mentioned procedure should be o.k. (no guarantee, but it seems reasonable).

RE: CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

Helpful, thank you. Did the notifying bodies advise to change the MD documentation treat the machine as a completed machine supply D of C with exceptions, or keep it as a PCM with D of I?

Reason I'm cautious is because in many cases we are not supplying per ATEX and so in those cases its not there to supercede the MD.


RE: CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

Are there areas of Europe where the Machinery Directive applies but ATEX does not?

RE: CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

We treated it as a complete machine (with this we could avoid the extra assembly instruction).

"Are there areas of Europe where the Machinery Directive applies but ATEX does not?" No, but I guess OP's question was more about partially completed machines without CE mark vs. complete machines with CE mark if ATEX does not apply.

RE: CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

To my knowledge, there are no areas of the EU in which the MD applies and ATEX does not. Our machines are typically all slightly different for each application and always made-to-order. The ATEX design is slightly more expensive. Therefore our company position is to provide ATEX safeguards and certification only where specifically requested, and only to the level stated by the customer for their application. So for non-explosive areas, that leaves CE compliance.

Micalbrch, I'm not sure we can go that route, as the main moving parts of our machine project into a vessel. Proper design and integration of the vessel and mounting surface prevent operator entanglement, eliminate dangerous resonances, and other hazards. In fact the UK HSE website explicitly uses our kind of machine as an example of MD PCM. Writing "instructions" for integration is not a problem as we've provided detailed guidance all along.

I confirmed with Sales that by and large our customers are not very wise about CE compliance, in that their inspectors primarily fuss over and document the little CE marks and hardly notice when we provide the certificates. (Personally, I would be keen to keep all certificates and carefully note all Declarations of Incorporation because there is more work to be done). I could reclassify as a complete machine and give them the marks they want but I believe that mindful integration is crucial and that the Directive makes a lot of sense in the area of Partially Completed Machinery. To move forward I think I need to see where the rest of my industry is, because that sets the customer expectations and the regulations make a case for complying with the state of the art within your industry.

It's a real shame the Directives have this conflict. It's a serious architectural oversight and I'm sure it's been brought up many times over.

RE: CE "Partly Completed Machinery" vs. ATEX "Equipment"

Thanks for your explanation about your machine. In this case I fully agree. If the integration is crucial, special instructions are even more than mandatory. But then back to your origin question. We should perhaps keep in mind that CE marking and the declaration of conformity is not limited to the Machine Directive only. CE covers all directives. So, when your product complies with the ATEX Directive it gets a CE mark and a declaration of conformity with the ATEX Directive because of that. For the compliance with the Machine Directive you only issue the manufacturer declaration (or whatever it is called now). So, in your case the CE mark will be for ATEX.

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