Most manufacturers have geared up for the arrival of mandatory CE Marking in July this year, but members of EPIC, the industry voice for insulated panel manufacturers, are leading the way in adopting an innovative approach to this latest EU regulatory requirement in the shape of Electronic CE Marking. CE Marking is available for products like Insulated Panels (Sandwich Panels) for which a European harmonised Standard has been developed and provides users with a secure set of uniform performance characteristics to a standard test programme.
Under the 1989 Construction Products Directive (CPD) CE Marking was a voluntary exercise for manufacturers in the UK market. However, when the CPD was replaced by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) in 2011, this aspect of European harmonisation became a legal requirement. Manufacturers have had until now to prepare for the change, and already channels are being sought to make the process less onerous and more effective down the line.
As part of the CE marking process, manufacturers are obliged to supply a Declaration of Performance (DoP). The UK has taken the lead over the rest of Europe in developing an Electronic CE Marking system that allows the DoP to be made available via a dedicated webpage, greatly reducing paperwork, particularly for more complex products such as insulated panel systems, and ensuring that the characteristics of those products can be easily accessed without the risk of papers getting lost or mixed up. A Unique Identification Code (UIC) on an abbreviated physical CE Mark label makes each product simple to trace.
All EPIC manufacturing members have embraced the scheme, and once the systems are in place their products will feature the approved abbreviated CE Mark label with a direct link to the relevant DoP, simplifying the whole process, removing the necessity for contractors and building owners to maintain excessive paperwork, and at the same time providing ready-made documentation for the CDM File.