Laidler Associates has assisted Minima Eco in identifying which European Directives are applicable to a novel type of machine, and then provided consultancy services to enable the machine to be CE marked.
Full compliance with EU requirements was essential for the success of a novel can and plastic bottle compactor developed by Minima Eco for use in offices, but the requirements for achieving compliance were far from clear. However, Laidler Associates provided Minima Eco with a complete, efficient and cost-effective machinery safety consultancy service.
The Minima Office, developed by Minima Eco, is an attractive, easy-to-operate, electrically-powered machine that individually compacts steel and aluminium cans, plastic bottles and Tetrapak containers to approximately 20 per cent of their original volume. This minimises the amount of storage space that these items occupy pending recycling and also cuts handling and transportation costs.
To ensure that this innovative product could be sold throughout the EU, Minima Eco knew that it would have to confirm that it complied fully with all relevant EU Directives so that the CE mark could be applied. For help in achieving this, the company approached Laidler Associates.
Which Directives apply?
An initial assessment quickly showed, however, that it was by no means certain which Directives were applicable. Although the Minima Office is undeniably a machine, Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC explicitly excludes 'ordinary office machinery,' so the question arose as to whether the new Minima Office would fall within this definition.
To obtain a definitive answer to this question, Laidler Associates used its established list of contacts which includes the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department for Business Industry and Skills (BIS) who ultimately decided that the machine was not an ordinary office machine and, therefore, that compliance with the Machinery Directive was needed.
With this issue clarified, Laidler Associates carried out all of the work necessary to demonstrate compliance of the Minima Office, not only with the Machinery Directive, but also with the Low Voltage and EMC Directives. This work included compiling the relevant technical files and drawing up the Declaration of Conformity.
Robert Hall, Managing Director of Minima Eco, comments: "Working with Laidler Associates has taken all of the concerns and complexity out of achieving compliance. The company has supported us and provided invaluable advice at every stage of the product development process, from the original prototype right through to the certification of the production models. In a nutshell, Laidler Associates has saved us a lot of time, money and stress!"