This issue covers:
- Updated EC standards list
- Cautious optimism for component market growth
- Clare testers on display at Executive Hire Show
- Changes to UK WEE Regulations
The Commission of the European Union (EU) has published an updated list of standards that can be used to demonstrate conformity with the essential requirements of its directive relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (2006/95/EC).
The Directive defines ‘electrical equipment’ as any device designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current, and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current.
The updated list of standards that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and replaces all previously published standards lists.
A complete list of the standards can be viewed at http://eur-lex.europa.eu.
The UK and Ireland electronic component market is set to return to growth in 2014, according to a recent report.
The forecast was released by the Manufacturers’ Authorised Distributor (afdec) group within the Electronic Components Supply Network (ecsn).
It believes that the market will return to growth in the range 3.5%-to-8.2% with a mid-point of 5.8% in 2014, but cautioned that the recovery is likely to be gradual and in-line with improvements in the macroeconomic environment.
Aubrey Dunford, ecsn market analyst, confirmed that in 2013 the UK / Ireland electronic components markets performed within the range of expectancy expected by the association’s earlier forecast, but that growth in the second half of the year and into the final quarter remained below expectations.
He said: “Our members’ customers forecasts are limited and as a result they continue to place very short term order cover, which the generally good availability of components and low lead-times enables them to do.”
He added, “The lead-times for modest volumes of most electronic components is currently less than four weeks but with many manufacturers reducing their production capacity it will take some time to bring this capacity back on-line as demand increases”.
More details at www.ecsn-uk.org/.
Clare’s range of advanced electrical safety testers for the tool hire, service and repair industries will be on display at the Executive Hire Show to be held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 12th and 13th February.
Visitors to the stand X25 will have the opportunity to see the specialist Clare B255 hire industry tester. This bench top unit features a comprehensive electrical safety testing capability enabling tests to be carried out quickly and effectively, ensuring that power tools and other electrical rental equipment functions correctly with maximum safety. It enables the full suite of electrical safety tests to be undertaken and includes earth/ground bond and hipot/flash testing alongside load, run and leakage testing.
Also featuring will be the SafeCheck 8 - a safety tester for use in workshops in hire outlets, rental stores and tool repair companies to enable all relevant electrical safety tests to be carried out fast In line with the recommendations of the HAE EHA electrical safety code, the SafeCheck 8 carries out all the required electrical safety tests on rental tools and equipment.
Full details at www.clare.co.uk/hire.
The UK is the first EU Member State to have transposed the recast WEEE directive into national law. In an effort to encourage higher levels of recycling of lighting and other electrical and electronic products, the WEEE Regulations 2013 were laid before parliament in December and came into force on the 1st of January 2014.
As part of the new regulations, there are some important changes for the lighting industry: All lighting equipment that uses integrated LED light source is now put in the same category as gas discharge lamps (category 13). This will avoid the risk of an orphan waste stream as gas discharge lamps are replaced by LED lamps, and increasingly by LED luminaires.
More generally, there is change to the way the new WEEE regulations will operate for non-household equipment. The new regulations now correctly implement the directive, making it clear that producers (ie importers, re-branders or manufacturers) may only use “alternative arrangements” where there is a direct agreement between the producer and the business end user. Such alternative arrangements were used to pass responsibility for financing collection and treatment costs onto the business end user.
Under the new regulations, producers cannot pass this duty to business end users if sales go through intermediaries (eg Wholesalers or Contractors). This is of particular significance to the lighting industry, where many sales are through intermediaries.
Small producers (companies placing less than 5 tonnes of equipment on the market) now have a low cost option of registering direct with the Environment Agency for just £30 per annum.
More details at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.
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