Within the framework of the impact study(1) on the revision of the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) which also concerned standardization, 82% of the respondents considered that the participation of industry in the production of the harmonized standards is good or very good.
Some underlined the domination of a small number of large multinational firms which have the necessary time, resources and expertise to devote to this. Others stressed the under-representation, or even the absence of users, regulators or national authorities.
Regarding the time required for the process of production of the harmonized standards, 60% consider it poor, or even very poor. Moreover, around 75% of the respondents consider that the harmonized European standards have shortcomings with regard to often very specific products and topics: automated machines and vehicles, additive manufacturing/3D printing, collaborative robots/systems, assembly machines and systems, interchangeable equipment, partially completed machines, wind turbines, food processing machines, metalworking/bending machines, and risk assessment procedures. Lastly, 90% expressed positive opinions regarding the clarity of the standards. However, several respondents pointed out that it was sometimes hard to find the right standard to apply based merely on the tables of contents available free of charge on the web.
(1) Eurogip has already published an article on the “certification” aspects of this study.