The EU Machinery Directive and the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations

European Directive 2006/42/EC  cover various aspects of Machinery Safety including noise and vibration. With few exceptions, machinery made or sold in the European Union must now:

The manufacturer must also prepare a technical file relating to the machinery.

In the UK the Directive is implemented in the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 (Statutory Instrument 2008 No.1597). But the same rules apply throughout the EU and machinery complying with the requirements and tested in one country may be sold anywhere in the EU.

The noise requirements

Machinery must be so designed and constructed that risks resulting from the emission of airborne noise are reduced to the lowest level, taking account of technical progress and of the availability of means to control noise, particularly at source.

Instructions which must accompany all machinery and sales literature must include the following information on airborne noise emission:

The sound levels must be measured using the most appropriate method for the particular machinery. Test methods and operating conditions must be clearly stated. Test codes are being developed to define standard methods of test and operating conditions for various categories or types of machine.

Where necessary the instructions must specify any particular requirements for installation and assembly for reducing noise and/or vibration (eg the use of dampers, the type and mass of foundation blocks, etc).

The vibration requirements

Machinery must be so designed and constructed that risks resulting from vibrations produced by the machinery are reduced to the lowest level, taking account of technical progress and of the availability of means to reducing vibrations, particularly at source.

If the machinery or equipment is hand-held or hand-guided, vibration measurements must be made in accordance with the appropriate test code, or under stated conditions if no standard test code is available. In the machine's instructions the manufacturer must specify

Testing

Some of the test codes require the use of specialist test facilities such as anechoic, semi-anechoic or reverberation chambers. ISVR Consulting can provide such facilities as well as the specialist noise and vibration instrumentation and technical expertise required to measure the sound power, sound pressure and vibration levels required for the manufacturer's technical file. ISVR Consulting can also advise on practical means of reducing machinery noise and vibration at source.