Glass Industry

CE Marking: From March Mandatory for IG and LG

  From March 1st, all glass products from the second group (insulating glass, laminated glass, and tempered glass submitted to HST) intended for use in the building sector will have to carry a CE mark. GlassOnWeb.com dedicates this week’s focus article to the mandatory CE marking. What is the CE mark and what changes will it bring?

What is the CE mark?

The CE abbreviation stands for Communauté européenne (European Community), and states that the product is in accordance with European Technical Standards, hEN (Harmonised European Norms). These standards were developed by the CEN commission representing all European Community members. An agreement in practice exists among the members on the mandatory characteristics of products circulating in the European territory, introduced for eliminating technical commercial barriers for products manufactured in Europe.

There will be a single regulation for the main groups/types of glass, and these regulations will replace national regulations. Since September 1st, 2006, it has been mandatory for these products to be marked as belonging to the 1st group (see table), and, on March 1st, 2007, it will be mandatory for the ones in the second group.



What is required to meet the standards?

Actually, if you are a manufacturer of one of the products covered within the scope of the harmonised European Norm (hEN), the first action should be to purchase a copy of the hEN from your National Standards Organisation. GEPVP has produced a series of guidelines to the hENs for each particular glass product.

This is because there are substantial differences in standards and regulations. For some countries, the hEN is very different from the previous national standards, and, in others, before the new hENs, there weren’t any standards at all.

The following steps would be to:

1. Look into the hEN for the Annex ZA, so to understand the evaluation of conformity and the requirements

2. Define the intended use (“essential characteristic”)

3. Determine the system of attestation of conformity for the claimed intended uses

4. Determine the assignment of tasks of the notified body and the manufacturer

Requirements

For basic glass products:

4.1 Conformity with the definition of ‘basic glass product’ (Proving that the product is the product)

4.2 Determination of the characteristics’ performances

4.2.1 Characteristics of ‘basic glass product’ (Showing that the product has the requisite product properties)

4.2.2 Determination of the characteristics of ‘basic glass product’ (A means of changing from one production plant to another without re-testing)

4.3 Durability (A statement that says if the product is made correctly then its working life and those of its characteristics are reasonable)

4.4 Characteristics other than those in listed in 4.2 (Only applicable for basic glass products)

4.5 Dangerous substances (Of no interest as the products covered by the ‘glass in building’ standards do not release these types of substances)

For processed glasses (toughened, laminated, IGU, etc.):

4.1 Product description

4.2 Conformity with the definition of ‘processed glass product’ (Proving that the product is the product)

4.3 Determination of the characteristics’ performances

4.3.1 Characteristics of ‘processed glass product’ (Showing that the product has the requisite product properties)

4.3.2 Determination of the characteristics of ‘processed glass product’ (A means of changing from one production plant to another without re-testing)

4.4 Durability (A statement that says if the product is made correctly then its working life and those of its characteristics are reasonable)

4.5 Dangerous substances (Of no interest as the products covered by the ‘glass in building’ standards do not release these types of substances)

The major difference between basic glass products and processed glass products is the need for a product description that shall describe the product and/or product families.

Disclosure of the product description shall be at the discretion of the processed glass product manufacturer or his agent, except in the case of regulatory requirements. The description shall contain at least a normative part, detailed within each product group of the hEN.

Evaluation of conformity

Evaluation of conformity in accordance with this standard shall be a result of Factory Production Control (FPC) and Initial Type Testing (ITT).

1) Factory production control shall include the followings:

a) Inspection of samples taken at the factory in accordance with a prescribed test plan;

b) Initial inspection of the factory and of factory production control;

c) Continuous surveillance and assessment of the factory production control.
Note: An FPC system conforming to the requirements of EN ISO 9001 and made specific to the requirements of this standard is deemed to satisfy the requirements of this standard.

2) Initial Type Testing of the product

Note: There may be a need to involve a third party and It is important NOT to confuse ITT with the need to do actual tests. Values for product characteristics can be obtained in several other ways.

Marking and labelling

The hEN will specify if product marking is required and the content of the mark and care shall be taken to ensure that any voluntary marking and/or labelling does not cause confusion with respect to the mandatory requirements.

The manufacturer shall prepare a “Characteristics/Performance Identification Paper” based on the information collected on the product characteristics and this document shall be part of the manufacturers’ technical file and is the basis for all the accompanying information as required for regulatory purposes.

 

Documentation

The manufacturer’s documentation and procedures shall be relevant to the production and process control of the glass product, and shall be adequately described in a manual including:

- Organizational structure, responsibilities and management with regard to product conformity

- The procedures for specifying and verifying the incoming materials

- Manufacturing, production control and other techniques, processes and systematic actions that will be used

- Inspections to be carried out before production, inspection and tests during and after production and the frequency at which they will be carried out

- Required records of the inspections, tests and assessments

- Records of non-conformity situations requiring corrective actions and the actions taken

- Unless otherwise indicated in national regulations, records must be kept for a minimum of one year after manufacturing the product

What changes will the CE mark bring?

Product information will be clearer and easier to compare for end-users, particularly for products coming from two different countries having different regulations. The quality of the product will also be guaranteed, and in some countries it will be higher than the existing standards because the present regulations don't require all of the controls foreseen by European regulations (EN).

Finally, product testing will be executed by a third, external party.

From the manufacturer/processor's point of view, the most important thing is well-defined responsibility. The manufacturer is responsible for the product, and must demonstrate its compliance in case of objection. If a company puts the CE mark on its own products and makes false claims about the compliance and/or characteristics of the products, it could be punished through confiscation of its products or, in serious cases, a prison sentence!

Reference

CEN - EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDISATION
36 rue de Stassart
B-1050 Brussels (Belgium)
Tel.: + 32 (2) 550 08 11
Fax: + 32 (2) 550 08 19
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Internet address: http://www.cenorm.be

Source: GlassOnWeb