For obvious reasons, product safety is increasingly subject to legal provisions. As the industry’s first manufacturer to do so, Parker-Prädifa is now implementing the requirements of the German Product Safety Act, which is based on EU law, for seals and other polymer products, thus playing a pioneering role.
According to the Product Safety Act (ProdSG), which has been in effect in Germany since the end of 2011, manufacturers have to provide their products with appropriate user instructions if, for the protection of health and safety, specific requirements (such as warnings) have to be complied with during usage, maintenance and repair of the products. These instructions must be available in local language and visible to the end user on the product.
Two “Tricky” Challenges
legal requirements entail two tricky challenges. As our products, for one, are sold around the world, this raises the question about the appropriate language to be used. For the other, the size of our products does not provide a sufficiently large surface for such information. Added to this is the demand that the instructions must be visibly available to the user of the products. Hence a reference to a website printed on the packaging label is not an option. A case in point would be the repair of an agricultural machine in the middle of a forest where it can be assumed that the user has no internet access.
A Practical Solution
Even though to date the relevant national organizations and bodies have not reached any agreement on how to precisely implement the Act with regard to seals, an internal team has now developed an effective and feasible solution for Parker-Prädifa’s products. To satisfy the requirement of providing information in the relevant languages, the team selected appropriate pictograms with pictorial pointers regarding misuse or mishandling. The pictograms (largely according to DIN ISO 7000) refer to the typical criteria for suitability in the application and the required appropriate storage. In the interest of our end customers and in line with our obligations under applicable law, a responsible and practical solution has thus been found.
The following pictograms will be found on all product labels of the Parker Engineered Materials Group Europe, starting in January 2016:
Article contributed by
Marketing und Engineering Manager,
Engineered Materials Group,
Packing Division Europa