Manufacturers of a wide range of equipment for use outdoors should
be well aware by now of the implications of the latest EU Noise
Emissions Directive.

D-Day is 3rd January 2002 when Directive 2000/14/EC will become
mandatory for the regulation of The Noise Emission in the Environment
by Equipment for use Outdoors. This regulation applies to a wide range
of product types from lawnmowers and strimmers to construction and
waste management equipment. Failure to comply could result in fines
of up to £5,000 or even three months in prison.

The new directive will unify the present fragmented Directives which
cover 11 types of equipment with 7 existing noise regulations being
withdrawn in the UK. Directive 2000/14/EC will set permissible sound
power levels for 22 of the 63 types of equipment listed, of which 11
will be subject to noise limits for the first time.

Categories of products subject to noise limits will require examination
by an approved body to certify conformity. The remaining product types
will require noise labelling only - a declaration of the guaranteed
maximum sound power level of a particular device.

This regulation is scheduled to come into force on 3rd July 2001
allowing a 6-month transitional period. During this time equipment
may comply with either existing national legislation or the provisions
of Directive 2000/14/EC.

What benefit will this achieve for environmental and consumer protection?
A projected reduction in complaints from construction noise of over 35%
with a general noise reduction progressively over the next 10 years as
equipment is replaced. What does it mean for industry? The free
movement within the EU, improved productivity with one standard
and subsequent cost savings.

Within the UK it is estimated that 250 companies employing 30,000
people manufacture products covered by this regulation. The date of
3rd January 2002 is important for every one of these companies.
This does not just mean manufacturers in the European Union but
anyone supplying equipment in the EU will be affected by this Directive.

Noise and vibration measurement specialist, Bruel & Kjaer, can provide
the wide range of instrumentation required for measuring the sound
power noise levels of the 57 categories of equipment according to
Directive 2000/14/EC. The A-weighted sound power level is derived
from sound pressures according to EN Iso 3744 with 6 or 12 microphone
positions around the equipment being measured. Sound power may
be a steady-state level, such as for lawnmowers, compressors etc.,
or can be over an operating cycle or driving conditions for equipment
such as lift trucks, mobile or tower cranes. For equipment such as waste
containers and glass recycling containers, sound power may be
derived from a single-event sound pressure level.

The choice of measuring instrumentation ranges from the 2260
Investigator sound level meter to the 6 or 12 channel Portable
PULSE analyser. Sound power application software packages, such
as 7680 for the Investigator or 7748 for PULSE, lead the user
step-by-step through set-up, calibration, background noise,
measurement, verification and calculations all according to EN ISO 3744.


For more information contact:-

Bruel & Kjaer
Tel: +44(0) 1438 739000

May 2001

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