CE Marking Solvent Coating Machinery Case Study.

Solvent coating machinery is commonly used to print and coat paper and film for labels. packaging and printed electronics.

A customer contacted us asking for help CE marking the solvent printing and drying station of a label printing line.

We identified that the applicable legislation as the Machinery, ATEX and EMC directives apply and that Machinery and ATEX compliance should use the harmonised European standards EN 1010 for coating stand and EN1539 for the hot air dryer.

We used checklists of these standards, general machinery standards and the machinery directive’s essential requirements to assess compliance. We noted areas of non-compliance and recommended solutions. These notes were condensed into a report along with all the other actions to complete the CE marking process.

The manufacturer made the following changes according to our recommendations:

  • The coating station is classified as Zone 1 within 500mm of wet solvent. All the electrical apparatus there was replaced with ATEX certified devices. These included intrinsically safe interlock switches and a contrast sensor and Ex marked drive motors. One motor was not available Ex-marked so it was mounted on a longer shaft to keep it out of the hazardous area.
  • An electric ink pump was replaced with a pneumatic equivalent.
  • The control panel, drying air heater and some pneumatic valves were moved away from the coating area.
  • Friction in moving parts was limited by restricting the relative speed at friction elements to 1m/s
  • Some aluminium rollers were shown to have a low magnesium content and therefore unlikely to produce sparks if struck.
  • all metal parts were earthed to avoid sparks due to static electricity and electrical faults.
  • Clear polycarbonate guard panels were marked with warnings to clean them only with a damp cloth to avoid static charging
  • The airflow through the dryer was shown to be adequate to dilute the maximum amount of solvent deposited by the coater. EN1539’s calculations were performed by a spreadsheet to show the solvent concentration to be below 40%. A reliable exhaust flow rate monitoring circuit was fitted to stop the printing process unless exhaust ventilation flow rate was sufficient.

A rating plate and instruction manual were produced with the information required by the standards and directives.

We produced a draft declaration of conformity for the manufacturer to sign.

We provided a contents list of information to include in the instruction manual and another of information to include in the technical documentation file.

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