Fixed-price service to CE mark used machines

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Laidler Associates' sister company Safety Systems Technology is now providing Nikon Precision with a fixed-price service to CE mark used machines from anywhere in the world so that they can be sold in the European market.

Until recently, Nikon Precision, one of the world's leading manufacturers of lithography systems for use in semiconductor fabrication, was limited in its ability to satisfy the demand in Europe for second-hand equipment, as many of the available machines were not certified as meeting European regulatory requirements. Laidler Associates, working in conjunction with its sister company Safety Systems Technology (both part of the Laidler Group), is now providing an effective and efficient solution to this problem.

Because of their durability and performance, second-hand machines from Nikon Precision are always in great demand, and the company is happy to offer and support them under its Certified Used Equipment programme. Many machines, however, have only been used outside Europe and do not have the certification that would allow them to carry the CE mark and be offered for sale in the European Union.

For some years, Laidler Associates has been assisting Nikon Precision by carrying out risk assessments on second-user machines destined for the European market. On the basis of the assessment, Laidler Associates supplies Nikon Precision with a list of remedial actions needed to allow the CE certification to be issued.

This did not, however, offer a complete solution; because the machines are sourced from many different countries around the world, Nikon Precision still needed to find local contractors in each country that would carry out the necessary work. Furthermore, Nikon also had to be sure that the work was carried out correctly, and to a uniformly high standard.

Full upgrade service

Laidler Associates' sister company, Safety Systems Technology, has now solved this problem by providing a full upgrade service for Nikon Precision machines wherever they are located. Safety Systems Technology not only supplies any necessary safety products, but also installs them and provides a project management service that looks after the machine through every stage of the compliance procedure. All of the work is carried out on a fixed-price basis, with the price being formulated according to the remedial actions needed.

As Laidler Group companies, Laidler Associates and Safety Systems ensure that the remedial work is always exactly as specified, and that the whole compliance process proceeds swiftly and easily.

William McCafferty, Safety & Quality Manager for Nikon Precision Europe, comments: "The 'one-stop shop' service provided by the Laidler Group is an enormous benefit for us; it makes the process of achieving compliance very smooth and straightforward. In addition, we know in advance exactly how much the work on each machine is going to cost, and we know that all of the machines will be upgraded to the same high level of quality, using the same products and methods, irrespective of where they are in the world.

"The real benefit is, however, for our customers, who are now able to stretch their budgets further by buying certified used equipment from us that is warranted to meet all relevant safety standards and also to meet original performance specifications. This budget-stretching option is proving particularly attractive currently."

The Laidler Group has already handled the compliance process for Nikon Precision machines located in countries as far apart as Switzerland and Japan, ensuring that, prior to their entry into Europe, the machines are issued with an appropriate Declaration of Conformity, and that they have the CE mark affixed.

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