Did I make a Machine or a Partly-Completed Machinery?


There is often confusion among the Manufacturers if their products belong to the category “machinery” or “partly-completed machinery”

A common question is:

“Usually, we declare machinery also units without electrical cabinet since they have a specific application, and when they will be connected on site with the local electrical supply will carry out their tasks (apart from the maximal efficiency that will be guaranteed only with our electrical cabinet).”

In such cases, a question arising concerns the responsibility of possible damages or injuries as consequence of wrong installation, use and maintenance of the electrical cabinet and/or the control panel installed later.

First of all, it is necessary clarify the definition of machinery. The first two points of article 2, paragraph a) of Directive 2006/42/EC state:

  • an assembly, fitted with or intended to be fitted with a drive system other than directly applied human or animal effort, consisting of linked parts or components, at least one of which moves, and which are joined together for a specific application;
  • an assembly referred to in the first indent, missing only the components to connect it on site or to sources of energy and motion;

Therefore, the machineries without an electrical cabinet do not comply with the definition of “machinery”. The condition of the “specific application” shall also guarantee that this will be carried out thanks to a control system with a degree of reliability defined as function of the risk assessment.

The Machinery Directive allows some freedom as user’s competence the installation of the connection on site or to the source of energy (see second point above).

The responsibility theme so beloved to the Manufacturer and User is in function of the certification scheme adopted:

  • Annex II part 1.B: Declaration of incorporation of a Partly-Completed Machinery
    The product cannot be used by the user as delivered since it must be completed in a new assembly, this will be marked EC ad declared in compliance with the Directive 2006/42/EC through the Annex II part 1.A.
  • Annex II part 1.A: EC Declaration of Conformity of the Machinery
    The product can be used by the user since is completed and ready to use.

In the borderline situations where the manufacturer realises a product without the electrical cabinet (since the latter will be installed and completed on site), it is possible to adopt on of the following options if more than one Manufacturer are involved:

  1. The Manufacturer XYZ sells a machinery declaring it compliant to the requirements of a machinery (annex I of Directive 2006/42/EC); however, in a first step, only the main unit is provided. This will be completed on site in a second step, installing the electrical cabinet and/or the control panel. In terms of compliance and responsibility, it is necessary to provide in the first step the instruction of use and maintenance and the declaration of conformity linked to the “putting into service” action by means of a footnote stating:

This EC declaration of conformity will be effective after that the Manufacturer (Manufacturer XYZ) or its delegate will notify by means of a declaration of “putting into service” and the drafting of a final report of compliance of the duties of the Manufacturer, as indicated in Article 2 paragraphs h and k and Article 5 of Directive 2006/42/EC.

Once the machinery has been completed on site with the electrical cabinet of control panel by the Manufacturer XYZ, and after testing (if required), the EC declaration of conformity becomes effective in all parts and the machinery can be used by the User.

  1. The Manufacturer XYZ sells a product to a third part who is in charge to complete it on site, providing the electrical cabinet and/or the control panel.

The Manufacturer XYZ, in this case, will provide a Partly-Completed Machinery without a EC marking, the related declaration of incorporation and the assembly instruction to the third part that will complete the installation later.

The third part, namely “the integrator”, shall complete the new assembly with its own risk assessment related to the interfaces between the Partly-Completed Machinery and other parts of the installation, like electrical cabinet (including the reliability of the control systems).

After that the integrator emits the EC Declaration of conformity of the completed new assembly with its own EC marking plate.

If a situation like this is familiar and you face frequently similar cases, we, as Advolo, can offer you a team of experts in the sector of machinery certification, happy to support you from the project design to the compliance with relevant standard, until the legal compliance to the applicable Directives.


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