It’s almost impossible at the moment to open a trade magazine or look online without seeing some reference to CE marking. There has been almost blanket coverage for so many months that you would think it would be impossible not to know your FPCs from your DoPs by now – or to be unaware that the actual deadline is 1 July.
However, I’m becoming increasingly concerned that the vast majority of the industry has simply tried to avert its eyes from the looming spectre of CE marking and is either planning to take action at the very last minute or, worse still, to ignore the requirements altogether.
If I tell you that, of our 1,117 customers who are involved in manufacturing, we have so far been contacted by less than 10 enquiring about making the necessary adjustments to their software, then you will see why I think there might be a problem.
As well as formalising Factory Process Control systems, I know that fabricators need to wait for ITT and DoP information from their profile, hardware and glazing suppliers before they can start producing labels, which could explain some of the delay; but I am worried that those who haven’t acted yet either underestimate what is involved or are confident that there won’t be robust policing of the scheme.
There are several tools already available from various suppliers designed to make the route to CE marking simple and certainly many of the ones I have seen do offer clear step by step guides. But, what they don’t do, is integrate the production of a CE label with the rest of the manufacturing software and, for most fabricators, that is what will probably be required.
We launched our own CE marking module for users of our EvoNET business management software at the FIT show and all those customers who saw a demo really loved it and were impressed with how simple it was.
I’m not trying to scaremonger – even if you’re not using EvoNET, the process of adapting the format of an existing product label to accommodate CE marking information is quite straightforward but it does take time. The relevant information needs to be sourced and added to the system and it is likely that new, larger labels will need to be purchased and set up.
The fact is that, if 1,110 of our customers called us tomorrow, it would be very difficult for them all to be set up and ready to start CE marking their products by the 1 July. If they waited and called us on 30 June, then it would make a bad situation even worse!