Acoustic Testing

AVT Reliability Ltd is a UK Notified Body (UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 0458) authorised to perform noise testing and certification under the following two European Directives, which help to reduce trade barriers within the EU internal market:

  • Determination of Noise Emission in the Environment – Specifically, Noise Testing & Certification to the Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC + Amendment 2005/88/EC
  • Measurement of airborne sound emitted by small Recreational Craft – Specifically, Noise Testing & Certification to the Recreational Craft Directive 2013/53/EU

In addition, the division can carry out the following work:

  • Noise Testing to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC

Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC  

The Directive helps to protect human health and well-being from noise from equipment used outdoors.

The Outdoor Noise Directive requires the manufacturers of 57 different types of outdoor machinery (including lawnmowers, power generators, earthmovers) to measure and report the noise emissions of their equipment. Noise limits apply to 22 of these machines.

Manufacturers (or importers) have to state what the noise output of their machine is and then prove that the machine is below the declared noise levels while the machines are for sale.

The UK Government has appointed the BEIS to police the process within the UK and has appointed various companies to actually perform the noise testing and the certification. AVT Reliability Ltd is one of the UK Notified Bodies and has been authorised to test and certify all 57 types of equipment since 3rd January 2002, which is when the Directive first came into effect.

The basic process for certifying a machine is:

  1. Measure noise levels from several samples (usually three but often one is sufficient and occasionally more need to be tested). The tests are carefully controlled so that they are repeatable.
  2. Calculate the guaranteed sound power level (allowing for the variation in the results gained in step one.
  3. Compile a Noise Technical Construction File which describes the machines, the noise critical components (exhaust, engine, etc.), the measured noise levels and the calculated guaranteed sound power level.
  4. If the machine is one of the 22 types with a noise limit, the technical file is submitted to a notified body for assessment and checks against the Outdoor Noise Directive.
  5. Market machine with appropriate labels and Declaration of Conformity.
  6. Confirm that ongoing production continues to conform to the guaranteed level.

AVT Reliability Ltd can assist with the entire process, especially with the testing and the certification.

We have staff that has been performing noise tests for many years and so the testing can be completed quickly and efficiently. Although the staff members are all noise experts, they started their careers in OEMs and so are familiar with the constraints and conditions placed on manufacturers.

Recreational Craft Directive 2013/53/EU

The Directive helps to ensure safety and performance standards for recreational craft.

Recreational craft are vessels between 2.5m and 24m long and include personal watercraft, partly completed boats and components but do not include racing craft, non-powered craft, historical craft and replicas, hydrofoils, hovercraft, passenger carrying craft or experimental craft.

The essential requirements described in the Directive depend on the likely use of the craft. For example, ocean going craft have different requirements to craft which only operate in sheltered waters.

Most of the limits and requirements which are described in the Recreational Craft Directive can be handled by the manufacturer. However, the noise emissions have to be assessed under the responsibility of a notified body.

Through UKAS the UK Government has appointed several organisations to be the notified bodies for this certification. AVT Reliability Ltd is one of the UK Notified Bodies and has been authorised to test and certify the noise emissions of recreational craft since 1st January 2005, which is when the preceding directive 2003/44/EC first came into effect.

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC

The Machinery Directive includes specific requirements regarding noise from machines and equipment, which must be designed and manufactured in such a way that the risk of a noise hazard is as low as possible.

Secondly the buyer or user must be informed about the risk caused by the noise of the product. Therefore the Machinery Directive requires that noise levels must be determined by measurement and be declared in the manual and sales literature.

The noise level at a workplace of a machine (the emission sound pressure level) has to be mentioned and specified in the user manual if it exceeds 70dB(A). The Sound Power Level has to be determined and declared if the Emission Sound Pressure Level exceeds 80dB(A). These requirements for the manual have to be met for legitimate use of the CE marking. The aim of the Directive is the user and buyer must be able to assess and compare machines on all aspects of health and safety, including noise. The Machinery Directive does not contain any noise limits imposed on products within its scope

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