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Topic Title: CE Marking
Topic Summary: Wiring colour codes for compliance with CE marking
Created On: 03 May 2011 10:59 AM
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 03 May 2011 10:59 AM
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cuzbell

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As a manufacturing company we follow the route of wiring our machinery/equipment to comply with the relevant standards of the country/location where the machinery is going to. At the moment we are building a machine which initially is going to be tested and commissioned within the EC and the company has therefore requested that we comply with the relevant European Standards to conform to CE marking. They have also requested that the wiring colours, however should comply to the current Australian National Standards! Surely this would mean that our machinery/equipment would not meet some of the criteria to enable us to CE mark.

Advice and comments would be gratefully received.
 03 May 2011 11:20 AM
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dougflorence

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Wiring colours are covered by EN60204-1:2006+A1:2008 Electrical Equipment of Industrial machines.
The relevant clause is 13. Wiring practices

To comply with the standard, Green/yellow MUST be used for protective earth conductors.
If neutral is identified by colour ALONE light Blue MUST be used and that colour must not be used elsewere.
The other colours in EN60204 are recommendations, so you can use whatever colours you like for other wiring providing they do not conflict with the requirements above and still claim conformity with EN60204.

You are correct to apply CE marking process to cover commissioning whilst still in the EU. When you are testing the equipment in your own factory the technicians can be made aware of any unusual wiring colours.

I am not aware if there are any similar requirements to CE marking for the Australian market.

PM me or call 07788 751 911 if you want to discuss this further.
 04 October 2011 05:18 PM
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pauldp

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If you read the HSE guide buying machinery, it says that you have to comply with the EHSRs of the EU even if making it to other Standards (page 6), and then page 7 says not apply at all if for use outside the EEA.

So it looks as though you can do what you like!
 21 October 2011 04:05 PM
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Wheelermch

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The confusion above is because the EH&SR of the Regulations are law whereas Standards (even BS7671 !) are not. These regulations are only law for the European Economic Area (EEA) outside there is likely (but no always) alternatives you need to follow.

You can not do what you like, you need to follow the Regulations, and the easiest way to do that is to follow the RELEVANT standards.
 21 October 2011 04:15 PM
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dougflorence

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Machinery Directive does not specify wire colours at all so on machinery you don't even have to use green/yellow for earth if you don't want to.
 21 October 2011 04:46 PM
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gkenyon

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Originally posted by: dougflorence

Machinery Directive does not specify wire colours at all so on machinery you don't even have to use green/yellow for earth if you don't want to.
But the Harmonized Standard does as stated above.

In addition, the basic wire/terminal identification standard EN60445 is a HD too as far as I know.

So if you don't follow it, and it is proven someone is injured or worse as a result, then what's the position?

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Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 24 October 2011 01:44 PM
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Wheelermch

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The legal position is that you need to prove that you complied with the EH&SR. The easiest way to do this is to show you followed the relevant harmonised standard. If you didn't then you need a water tight case to show you did something that was as good as or better. I've seen a few examples of inhouse standards (sometime ago) that covered similar issues but (a) the relevant company needs to keep them up to date & (b) relating to green/yellow earth wire, you would have to be far better than I to make a case for a different colour.

On other cable colours, some sites (and many EU Countries) have specific wire colour requirements so a case could be made that it is safer to use the standard in use on that site than the one in the standard.

Does the Republic of Ireland still have its own colour requirements, anyone know?
 25 October 2011 10:21 AM
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gkenyon

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That's the legal position I was trying to get people to think about. Agreed.

All EU countries should be capable of operating with EN60445 by now, I understand. Republic of Ireland included (they updated their "Wiring Regs" a number of years back to align, in fact, before BS7671 was amended for the same).

Yes, it may be prudent to use local variations, but my understanding is that all variations should be compliant with EN60445 by now. If not, why did UK bother changing wiring colours? UK were blamed for it not happening back in the early 70's !

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Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 25 October 2011 10:48 AM
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Wheelermch

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Although generally in agreement with you Graham, as I can't find EN 60445 listed in either the European Journal for the Machinery Directive or the Low Voltage Directive it seems that this standard does not give "presumption of conformity" for any of the Essential Health & Safety Requirements of these CE marking Directives. EN 60204-1 does however.

My own analysis of the standards show that there is broad agreement between EN 60445 (HOWEVER I am assuming it has the same or similar info as the old EN 60446 which is one of the 2 standards the latest version replaces) and BS 7671 and doesn't generally contradict EN 60204-1.

I would be interested if it still says "blue" for neutral rather than "light blue" as EN 60204-1?

It would be far better if all these 3 standards FULLY agreed rather than generally agreed.
 25 October 2011 12:35 PM
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gkenyon

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Originally posted by: Wheelermch

Although generally in agreement with you Graham, as I can't find EN 60445 listed in either the European Journal for the Machinery Directive or the Low Voltage Directive it seems that this standard does not give "presumption of conformity" for any of the Essential Health & Safety Requirements of these CE marking Directives. EN 60204-1 does however.
My mistake - EN60445 is not a HD, but does implement and supersede the former HD324 S1 1977 on colours (as stated in EN60446 previously to this being incorporated in EN60445)



My own analysis of the standards show that there is broad agreement between EN 60445 (HOWEVER I am assuming it has the same or similar info as the old EN 60446 which is one of the 2 standards the latest version replaces) and BS 7671 and doesn't generally contradict EN 60204-1.
I think it's fair to say that BS EN60204-1 is compliant with BS EN60445. BS7671 is, with the exception of specifying the colour "cream" for Telecomms Functional Earth with no protective function (see also my comment on this below).



I would be interested if it still says "blue" for neutral rather than "light blue" as EN 60204-1?
"LIght Blue" is still a recommended description as stated in BS EN60446.



It would be far better if all these 3 standards FULLY agreed rather than generally agreed.
Yes, I concur. No reason for different approaches.

I also don't know why BS7671 still talks about functional earth being "cream", when IEC757 - which is an HD (HD457 S1, implemented in UK as BS7645) talks about "White"."Cream" is not included for "designation by colour" in either BS EN60445 or IEC757 (BS7645) to which BS EN60445 refers (see Note in Clause 6.1).

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Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 25 October 2011 02:03 PM
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dougflorence

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Standards can be very out of date and are not necessarily as correct or sensible as you might hope.
EN 60445:1996 and EN60446:1996 are normative references in EN 60204-1:2006+A1:2009. It is not unusual for normative references in standards to be out of date.
In the latest version of EN 60204-1:2006+A1:2009
13.2.3 Identification of the neutral conductor
Where a circuit includes a neutral conductor that is identified by colour alone, the colour used for this conductor shall be BLUE. In order to avoid confusion with other colours, it is recommended that an unsaturated blue be used, called here "light blue" (see 3.2.2 of IEC 60446). Where the selected colour is the sole identification of the neutral conductor, that colour shall not be used for identifying any other conductor where confusion is possible.

EN 60204-1 covers the wiring inside the machine from the incoming isolator terminals.BS7671 covers the supply to the incoming terminals.
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