Market access in the United Kingdom: Schmersal Group receives certificate for solenoid interlocks, transition period for British market ends 2022
As a testing body with official recognition by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), TÜV Rheinland has issued the first certificate for the testing of AZ300, AZM300 and AZM300-AS solenoid interlocks made by Schmersal in accordance with UKCA requirements.
UKCA stands for United Kingdom Conformity Assessment. Since the UK’s departure from the European Union (Brexit), this new marking is required for products sold in England, Wales and Scotland. The UKCA marking replaces the CE marking used in the EU single market, although the latter is still accepted for registration on the British market until the end of 2022. “We were consciously aware of the significance of the British market for many of our customers and of the need to be able to offer rapid and reliable support with the new regulatory requirements as an official testing body,” explains Thomas Steffens, head of the testing and certification body ‘Funktionale Sicherheit & Cybersecurity’ at TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH.
Testing for Schmersal for more than 20 years
TÜV Rheinland has been testing safety switchgear devices and systems made by the international Schmersal Group, based in Wuppertal, for more than 20 years. The new UKCA certification involves not inconsiderable outlay for product manufacturers. With the team at Schmersal, TÜV Rheinland was able to undertake the recognition process and conformity assessment for UKCA certification of the AZ300, AZM300 and AZM300-AS solenoid interlocks promptly and successfully.
Following a successful pilot project with the AZM300 solenoid interlock, Schmersal will now have additional products systematically certified to UKCA standards, starting with interlocks in other series, followed by electronic safety switches, safety relay modules and safety light barriers. “Our aim is to have the most common and most frequently requested Schmersal products certified with the UKCA certificate by 1 January 2023 so that our customers can continue to market their machines in the UK in compliance with the rules,” explains Jörg Eisold, head of standards, committees and association works in the Schmersal Group. “Considering the size of our product range, it’s an ambitious timetable. But we hope that we can achieve the goal with support from all third parties involved in the certification process. We had a positive experience with TÜV Rheinland on the AZM300 pilot project, so we’re very optimistic.”
TÜV Rheinland certifying since September 2021
Thomas Steffens of TÜV Rheinland adds, “As a testing body, we know how manufacturers often struggle to develop custom-fit market access solutions that take all conformity requirements into account.” Since September 2021, TÜV Rheinland has been an ‘Approved Body’, including for the ‘Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008’ Directive, and can thus undertake UKCA certification for manufacturers of safety products in accordance with Annex IV of the Machinery Directive, and thus support access to the British market.