The last event of the year organised by EFESME in collaboration with SBS - Small Business Standards was the SBS Lift Webinar, entirely dedicated to the work carried out by SBS and EFESME experts during the current year in the working groups followed within CEN and ISO, but also within the Notified Bodies and some of the working groups of the European Commission.
The event opened with its first institutional part, during which the EFESME President, Mr. Massimo Bezzi, and the SBS representative and technical coordinator for the lift sector, Mr. Andrea Raffaelli, presented the two associations and the work and activities they are carrying out together to ensure that SMEs are duly represented within the European and international standardisation processes, and to make SMEs themselves more and more aware of the role they can play in developing SME-friendly standards, actively participating in standardisation itself.
President Bezzi also highlighted the Federation's work during 2021 despite the many difficulties due to the continuing pandemic situation, while Raffaelli stressed the importance of the continuous cooperation between EFESME and SBS to ensure the best results for the SMEs they represent together, also in parallel and related sectors to the lift industry, such as construction, digital and machinery.
SBS - SMALL BUSINESS STANDARDS & ITS ACTIVITIES
The technical part of the meeting was opened by Mr. Tiziano Caresani, who explained the latest news and updates from CEN TC 10 / WG 13 - Vertical lifting appliance with enclosed carrier and the Commission Expert Group on Machinery.
Mr. Caresani, who has been involved in the front line of these two working groups for EFESME and SBS for many years, went into detail regarding, on the one hand, the ongoing revision of standards EN 81-30, EN 81-31 and EN 81-42, paying particular attention to the work done to respond to the comments submitted by the HAS Consultant in order to develop standards that are understandable and accessible to all. One point of particular interest that Mr. Caresani is focusing on is whether or not to include in the three standards the table of Performance Levels for Electric Safety Devices, which could potentially create difficulties within the lift market.
On the other hand, Mr. Caresani illustrated the work in progress within the Commission Expert Group on Machinery (former Machinery Directive Working Group), which is particularly active at the moment in view of the proposed revision of the Directive 2006/42/EC itself by the European Commission (HERE the EC proposal).
The topic is of crucial importance for the SMEs of the sector, which are the main actor in the field of lifting platforms, thanks to the great possibilities of product customisation. EFESME presented comments to the proposed revision of the Directive (available HERE) and participated in the drafting of the related SBS position paper (HERE) - both documents best exemplify the position of European lift SMEs on this important revision, which must be a tool to boost SME activity and not an obstacle to prevent them from thriving.
UPDATES ON TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES - WG13 & MACHINERY DIRECTIVE
The webinar then continued with a look at CEN-CENELEC's work to revise the EN 81 series of standards, with Mr. Ivan Ferrarini explaining the latest developments in the standardisation process from the perspective of a lift SME and the impact on its daily work. Mr. Ferrarini explained in detail the current status of fundamental standards for the sector, such as EN 81-20, EN13015 and EN ISO 8100-1, and what is the position of the European Commission regarding the positions developed within the specific working groups that have the task to carry out the revision.
Mr. Ferrarini also focused on plant maintenance, market surveillance and inspection for use of lifts, fundamental aspects that involve lift SMEs in the first line of their daily activities. He also explained the current status of the special tools available and how the current legislation has evolved over the last twenty years. Finally, Mr. Ferrarini focused on SIL-related circuits, what they are and what is the state of the art in this field, in order to give a complete overview of some important aspects for SMEs represented by EFESME and SBS in the WGs involved at European and international level.
EVOLUTION IN THE STANDARDISATION PROCESS WITH THE EYES OF A SME
The event concluded with an exhaustive and comprehensive presentation by EFESME Secretary General and SBS expert Luciano Faletto, who pulled the strings of what had been said by his colleagues Caresani and Ferrarini and then gave an overview of several activities followed during 2021, such as:
- The functioning of the various bodies involved in the revision of the EN81 series and how they relate to each other, to explain the complexity of the updating work;
- The activity of the Notified Bodies for Lifts and its Ad Hoc Group Lifts in this 2021, especially regarding the certificates of conformity and their duration, and who is in charge of verifying the conformity with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) - in this respect, a working group has been set up to find a common position, as opinions are now very different between the various stakeholders involved;
- The activity in ISO TC 178, which runs parallel to that of CEN TC 10, and with which it coordinates to develop future international standards based on the European ones; ISO TC 178 has also recognised the relevance for the cybersecurity sector, and has dedicated a specialised WG12 to explore potential and risks;
- The importance of developing digital skills and cybersecurity, two topics that are still not very well known to lift SMEs, but on which EFESME has been pushing for many years, having understood the cruciality of digitalisation for the market.
Thanks to his many years of experience in the sector, Secretary General Faletto was able to identify the most dangerous points for SMEs, which could create the risk of driving them out of the market even partially. EFESME and SBS are focusing on these issues, such as digitisation and cybersecurity, as well as knowledge and awareness of standardisation, to ensure that the SMEs represented have the tools to face the challenges and work in an environment that is as favourable as possible for them.
2021 UPDATES FROM LIFT STANDARDISATION AND WORKING GROUPS
The event as a whole was an important training and information opportunity, which saw all parties involved very satisfied with the content presented and the opportunity given to SMEs to learn more about the key issues in detail and to interact with the experts themselves.
It is the firm intention of EFESME and SBS to continue with the organisation of such events in the years to come, in order to provide SMEs with as much information as possible to keep them informed and aware of how standardisation is progressing, how they can participate and how they are successfully represented where it counts.
EFESME would like to thank the speakers for their hard work and all the guests, and hopes to see you at the next event - organised during the next edition of Interlift (26-29 April 2022)!