NOTE: if you want to know the aplicable normatives, you would need to consult the ones of your country. Only the european normatives are explained here.


European normative for E.C. mark

What is it's purpouse

The E.C. mark is an european normative that is obligatory to obey for all the manufacturer of windows since 01/02/2010. So it's not only a recomendation.

The ultimate aim of the european comunity with this normative, is to homogenize the documentation that is delivered with the windows, as with one window manufactured in Spain or one manufactured in France, I can know it's features an quality and compare them. Noy only homogenize the documentation, nor the purpouse is that all we have a quality control in the manufacturing of the window. The manufacturer of the profiles can act as a consultant and can give you the tests of the windows, but the only responsible for carrying out the norm is the window manufacturer, and he is the responsible of making the documentation.
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The word normative sound complex, nothing more far away from the reality, this normative is very easy when you are used to it. You only have to make a quality control during the mass-produce process we would explain later, an when the windows are finished you have to print some labels with a predefined format to specify it's features. The normative is based in three axes that are explained next: quality control, tipology tests, and labels.

1. Quality control

Basically you have to appoint one person as responsible for it, who's name would figure in all documments. This person is responsible for make sure that a control is made to he incoming materials used in manufacturing, a control is made to the machinery and tools used, a control is made during the manufacturing process, and a control is made for the finished products complains it's expectatives. It's not neccesary that the responsible examines each bar of profile, nor it's neccesary he unmonunt every machinery. Only is necesary to made 'aleatorious' checks of the material incoming for checking that it has no defects and complains it's specifications, from time to time to check the machinery and tools, from time to time to calibrate the measurement tools, check how is manufactured the windows, and made aleatorious checks to the manufactured windows. The responsible person does not have to made all the work, other persons can do the checks, he is as the word says responsible, and he will appear in all the papers.

We have mentioned documents. Basically they are a historic of incidencies. In this historic, each time occurs a problem it has to be annotated with date and time. Also in this historic is need to annotate other data relevant to the windows manufactured. This data is needed for for the traceability, it means that if a complain is received about a window, you can go back from his label to it's previous manufacturing proccess. So in the documentation it's neccesary some kind of internal identification of the products, for example the work and model of window, etc.

2. Tipology tests

As we will see later in the labeling, the characteristics of the window has to be annotated according to the normatives. But how we demostrate this values ?, there come on the phisical tests. The windows manufacturer is the final responsible, to made a fixed kind of tests in a certified organism, for each kind of window he manufactures, and has to keep this tests as they would be required. Each kind of window refers to not only the tipology, also refers to the size. To reduce the number of tests we can use the worst favorable case, it's means that it's not neccesary to test all the windows of a tipology, we can test only the bigger one, as it's the worst case, and his test is valid for the smaller ones (as they would gave better results).

Don't be scared about the cost of tests, there comes in the profiles manufacturer. The legal responsible of the tests is the window manufacturer, but the normative says that the profile manufacturer can made the tests, and lend them, to ahorrate repeat them. The normative says that the window manufacturer can use the previous tests, if he has a signed contract with the profiles manufacturer lending him to use them. This contract is neccesary to use the tests.

As the test are only valid for windows equal or smaller to the tested one (and with the same tipology), if the window manufacturer want to produce bigger windows, he need to made his own new physical tests, or he need to notate that the windows are not covered and include them in a accordance declaration. The accordance declaration does not include the different values, only says that the windows agrees the E.C. marking.

We can also give two test, for example we can give one test for one measures and one test for other measures, so one test cover one windows and the other test covers the other windows. The use of it, is that the labels can have different values, so the smaller ones have better values in it's labels.

As the tests only are valid for better windows than the tested one, one test with door profiles is not valid for a window with window profiles (they are less ressistant). The opposite is valid, a test with window profiles is valid for windows with door profiles.

3. The labels

When the windows are finished, is obligatory to deliver each one with a label that indicates it's features in a standarized format. This features, in some cases will have some values, and in other cases will have "NPD" (or "PND" in spanish) to indicate an unknow value. It's not obligatory to indicate all the values in the label, but the more values are declared is better. The final architect or local normatives indicates which values are required.

The european EC mark normative does't indicate which is the minimal or maximal value for each feature, and does't indicate which values need to be filled, it only indicates the format of the label. The local normatives or the architect, are the ones that will indicate the minimal or maximal values, or will indicate which values need to be indicated.

Ther are three kind of labels: minimal, intermediate, and full. Theoreticalle the full label is to be delivered at each window, but the common use is to give the smaller label stick at the window (with only the manufacturer and work data), and deliver with the bill each full label (or only one full label indicating the worst window).