ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions has been working closely with testing agencies and fabricators to ensure that completed door assemblies are in line with the upcoming amendments to CE marking, and is part of an action committee concentrating on how these changes will affect its customers.
Here, Andy Stolworthy, Product Manager for ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, shares the knowledge, and breaks down what architects and specifiers will need to understand.
What is CE Marking?
Essentially, CE marking is the manufacturers declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protective legislation.
It is not, however, an indication of performance or quality. CE marking serves as a form of manufacturers guarantee that it meets current market directives, ensuring that as long as it has the relevant characteristics, any EEA government cannot exclude it.
You can identify a CE marked product if it displays the CE mark [see image], affixed by the manufacturer (or its authorised representative in the European Union), according to its legal format visibly, legibly and indelibly, to the product.
Why the change?
Fundamentally, the changes to the CE marking system are occurring as the existing Construction Products Directive (CPD) a legislative act under the European Union is being updated and replaced.
The Construction Products Directive (CPD) was introduced in 1989, to create a common framework for the regulations on buildings and construction works. (n.b. while the process is currently voluntary in the UK, it is possible to CE mark construction products under the existing CPD.)
Under the new Construction Products Regulation which replaced the CPD in 2011, and whose remaining parts to come into force into July 2013 it will become mandatory for manufacturers to apply CE marking to any of their products that are covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) or European Technical Assessment (ETA).
What do I need to know?
The supply and manufacture of CE marked doorsets as a complete package which meets the required standard removes the need to verify the suitability of each individual component of the full door when assembled and in situ. Providing that a doorset has minimal risk (e.g. is non-escape) it can be self-certified by the manufacturer, which makes a Declaration of Performance and affixes the CE marking to its own product.
For door assemblies, i.e. where components come from more than one source, all relevant components covered by a harmonised standard should be CE Marked separately. Some hardware, though, does not need to be CE Marked; pay close attention to Annex ZA of the relevant harmonised standard, which details the intended use of the product and explaining for what use the product is required to be CE marked.
It is important to recognise that while individual components of a door assembly may meet with European or British Standards, when put together they may not all act as intended. This being the case, escape door sets are declared as an assembled product on-site to Attestation Level 1, meaning the door is tested once in situ on site, as a whole, by a certified third party and labeled as compliant.
For more information on the above, or how this translates into day-to-day working practices, you can refer back to your systems house, OEM or knowledgeable supplier.