MID-approved meters: New changes

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The water and heat measurement sector is strictly regulated by national legislation, Directives and Standards. Specifically, recommendations, standards and Directives must be adopted into law by the States that want to implement such regulations.

The MID Directive on meters (Measuring Instruments Directive 2014/32/EU) defines shared and common technical rules, which allow the free trade of measuring instruments throughout the Community.

The European Metrological Directive was first published in the Italian Official Gazette in 2004, and implemented in Italy by Legislative Decree 22/2007. In May 2016, Legislative Decree 22/2007 was updated to finally incorporate the changes introduced by Directive 2014/32/EU.

The Decree consists of four parts: Text and annexes setting out the definitions and notification request procedures, declarations of conformity and types of equipment that fall under MID regulations. Art. 1.2 indicates the 10 types of instruments that fall under MID when used for measurement functions justified by public interest, public health, public safety, public order, environmental protection, consumer protection, payment of taxes and duties, and fairness of commercial transactions. These include water meters (MI-001) and thermal energy meters (MI-004).

Looking in detail at the specific provisions covering meters, we can see that the Directive allows manufacturers to design and produce measuring instruments, based on different modules, depending not only on the complexity of the instrument, but also on the possibility of direct control by the manufacturer.

More specifically, the conformity assessment stage of the product, and therefore its design, always requires the intervention of a Notified Body who is tasked with verifying the compliance of the design with the requirements of the Directive. However, at the production stage, the Manufacturer itself is permitted to self-certify the correspondence of the manufactured product to the design approved by the Notified Body at the design stage, as long as the Manufacturer possesses an adequate quality management system. In this latter case, the Notified Body assesses the quality management system of the Manufacturer by means of periodic audits, rather than checking the actual product itself.

Water meters and thermal energy meters are subject to conformity assessments B + F or B + D, where procedure B covers product certification while procedures F and D verify the conformity of the manufacturing.

Module B “EU-Type Examination” is the conformity assessment procedure whereby a Notified Body examines the technical design of a measuring instrument and confirms and certifies that its design meets the provisions of the Directive. Module D “Conformity to type based on quality assurance of the production process” is the procedure whereby the manufacturer or their authorised representative fulfils the obligations laid down in the MID Directive on measuring instruments, and ensures and declares the conformity of the measuring instruments concerned. The numbers of the certificates must be marked on the product.

Finally, the measuring instrument must comply with the essential requirements of the Directive as detailed in the relevant annexes. The MID Directive indicates the requirements, but not the way forward to verify them:  it therefore leaves freedom in the design and production phases, while providing for the so-called presumption of compliance. For water meters, the Harmonised Standard according to the new issue of the Directive is no longer European Standard EN 15454 but rather ISO 4064. For heat, the Harmonised Standard is ISO 1434.

Maddalena Spa was one of the first European manufacturers to comply with the MID Directive on measuring instruments, obtaining the first certifications as early as 2008; to date all the instruments produced by Maddalena Spa comply with the Directive. In addition to this, the entire production structure consisting of 8 production lines with a total of 30 test benches for the metrological verification of the meters produced is included in the conformity assessment Module D.

Finally, Maddalena also possesses a test laboratory accredited according to the ISO 17025 Standard.

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