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Alignment of the PED to the New Legislative Framework

What’s the issue?

The Pressure Equipment Directive (PED, Directive 97/23/EC) and its associated regulations apply to new equipment and equipment being placed in the market for the first time. The PED covers pressure equipment with a maximum allowable pressure over 0.5 bar and applies to new equipment and equipment being placed in the market for the first time. In March 2014, the European Union published in its official journal (ref: L 96, 29 March 2014) eight New Legislative Framework (NLF) alignment directives, aimed at bringing existing directives, including the PED in line with the overall framework for marketing products in the EU’s internal market. The NLF does not revise sector-specific elements of existing Directives and no changes have been made to their scope or essential requirements. Member States have two years to transpose the new directives. An update on the European Commission's view of the pressure equipment sector was presented at EEMUA's Collaborate 2015 event

Why is it important?

There will be clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and distributors selling products. Traceability will be improved allowing the tracking down of defective or unsafe products. And improved surveillance will better equip authorities to stop dangerous products imported from third countries. The proposed alignment also aims to provide legal clarity for manufacturers and users without requiring any technological changes in the design or manufacturing of the equipment.

What are the developments?

The Committee of Permanent Representatives of the European Union endorsed an agreement between the Presidency of the European Council and the European Parliament (EP) on a draft of the revised Pressure Equipment Directive (PED). In April 2014, at its plenary session, the EP voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal to align the PED and NLF. The proposal was then returned to the European Council, which, in May 2014, agreed to the alignment of the directives.

How is EEMUA engaged?

Through its long standing representation on the European Commission’s PED Working Parties on Guidelines (WPG) and Pressure (WGP) EEMUA is able to monitor and comment upon developments concerning the PED. The Association is also represented on the Working Party Materials (WPM) which examines proposals submitted for ‘European Approval for Materials (EAM)’ (Article 11 of the PED) before their adoption by the WGP. In addition, EEMUA is a contributing member of the European Pressure Equipment Research Council (EPERC).  

Can EEMUA help with guidance on applying the PED?

Yes. We help members to comply with the PED’s (and the associated UK regulations’) requirements in two ways.

First, EEMUA’s Engineering Manager, Andrew Pearson, is regularly in Brussels, putting EEMUA members’ points to European working parties. Recently he’s made important input to develop new guidelines on new harmonised welding standards, cases where there are several maximum allowable pressures for one system, and materials, such as titanium, that can be used for equipment fabricated to comply with the PED.

Second, EEMUA publishes its own guidance in areas closely related to the PED. It recently released Edition 2 of EEMUA Publication 211. This updated guidance deals with the specification of pressure vessels for a variety of different circumstances that are not addressed in design codes. It brings together the practical lessons learnt about design, manufacturing and testing of pressure vessels based on users’ experience. The guidance examines the circumstances under which repeat post-weld heat treatment may be waived; describes methods for assessing both existing and new pressure vessels for exceptional internal pressures; and covers improvements in the specification and reliability of nozzles. Additionally, Edition 2 includes a new chapter on creep.

For further information contact Andrew.Pearson@eemua.org


Wireless Networking

Background

Wireless networking technology is a relatively new phenomenon in the field of industrial process automation. Although many EEMUA members consider themselves potential users of this new technology they are reluctant to do so because of the lack of a single internationally recognised standard. A similar situation during the development of standards for Fieldbus technology led to a delay in its introduction; it is only now that it is being slowly being adopted, some ten years later. EEMUA members do not want to see their options for implementing wireless networking technologies similarly delayed.

Basic issues

Currently there are three competing wireless networking technologies: WirelessHART, WIA-PA and ISA100.11. Each of these is being proposed as a potential standard. Preliminary work on a single international standard has been undertaken by interested parties, including the manufacturers of the systems and some users groups.

The German organization NAMUR has summarized end user requirements for wireless automation in its document NE133 - Wireless Sensor Networks: Requirements for the Convergence of existing Standards. This document has been adopted as a core document in the development process for a single standard.  EEMUA believes this to be a good summary of the requirements for a single standard and that it is also a good reflection of the EEMUA standpoint.

EEMUA Position

EEMUA believes the development of a single standard must be pursued swiftly if a repeat of the problems experienced when introducing Fieldbus technology is to be avoided. However, EEMUA believes that convergence of the current options is being hampered by the lack of enthusiasm for compromise from the different competing technologies.

EEMUA will therefore be encouraging the development of a single standard, through liaison with the manufacturers of the wireless systems and the relevant standards bodies. It will liaise with NAMUR and support its activities towards achieving the same end.

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