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October 2018

Egea, the biannual assembly sets the guidelines for the future

Massimo Brunamonti

The European Garage Equipment Association met last October 11 in Brussels to discuss some of the hottest topics for the sector and elect the new board members. Here is what emerged from the meeting.
A great deal of activities for Egea, the European Garage Equipment Association; this is what emerged during the biannual general meeting held in Brussels on October 11, during which several working groups reported about the issues confronting them. Working Group 1 (vehicle lifts) kicked off the proceedings and Fausto Manganelli of AICA, the group’s coordinator, informed the assembly about on current ISO and CEN safety standards. Additional initiatives were carried out with the European Commission demanding  greater market control on product conformity to the Machinery Directive in order to protect quality of products and fair competition.

Similarly, also Working Group 2 (diagnosis and emissions) did not waste any time. As far as emissions are concerned, as the group leader Georges Petelet of Gieg explained, the association is active in developing new methods of measuring particulate matter and NOx emissions in some European countries such as Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. Initiatives of this type are important and urgent if we want to protect the environment given the ongoing technological development; the other side of the coin, however, is the fact that every national authority is acting on its own account with the danger of adopting, as in the past, different equipment, procedures and approvals in each different member state, which is decidedly anachronistic and unnecessarily expensive. Egea is committed to supporting the definition of an equal European standard combined,  through different experiences, in a single protocol for the whole EU.

The diagnostics team has also been in the thick of things, as the group leader Elvis Colla of Aica explained. The satisfaction for the approval of a new single European type-approval standard for motor vehicles, created following specific EGEA requests, will cause further activities on several tables. The on-going issues around vehicle data access, rather than going towards a shared solution, is being exacerbated due to the obstinate stance of several car manufacturers. EGEA is determined to demonstrate at an institutional level, whether in Brussels, Rome, Berlin, etc. that solutions such as the Extended Vehicle protocol cannot represent a real solution; a regulatory framework, designed to protect free competition, is necessary. On the other hand, the FCA group has recently been blocking access to the Obd port of its vehicles, a dangerous practice that might soon be followed by other manufacturers. In relation to this, Egea asked for a legal opinion from Osborne & Clarke, a leading European legal advisor, which clearly demonstrated that blocking access to the Obd port on some Fiat and Chrysler models constitutes a clear non-compliance with Regulation 715/2007 / EC (also known as Euro 5). By virtue of this opinion, Egea has established ongoing contacts with the European Commission as well as national approval authorities in order to revoke the approval of these vehicles.

Looking at Roadworthiness inspections, according to the group leader of the 6th Working Grou Jordi Brunet of Afiba, the drafting of the technical specifications for the new suspension test has been completed, based on the "Phase-Shift" method; this constitutes Egea’s proposal for inspection authorities wishing to add suspensions tests to their inspection procedures. It is worth mentioning that the new Egea standard, although recent, is based on a proven method that has been in use for years in Belgium on millions of vehicles. Still on the subject of safety, the process of defining a Cen safety standard for tire changers is still in progress and expected to reach its completion by 2019. Noteworthy is the association’s intention to collaborate with Germany’s Wdk for Uhp and run-flat tire changing equipment. As if current activities were not enough, a new working group was recently formed to deal with headlight testers. The problem lies in the fact that throughout the continent, the standards in use are largely obsolete when compared to new lighting technologies. Therefore, the goal of the new working group is to define an updated European standard to be used on future inspections. Among the many other activities, issuing the "EGEA label" for air-conditioning stations with gas R1234yf certainly stands out. Among the first certified models we find prestigious names such as Bosch, Mahle / Brain Bee, Snap-on and Waeco. Others have announced to be ready to join the ranks in the future.

End it doesn’t end here; other works related, for example, to connected equipment, access to technical data, participation in Iso, Cen, Cita, Uneceed workgroups have marked the past semester of the association. Proof of this is the decidedly large number of associations and representatives constantly engaged in meetings, teleconferences, data processing and so on. The Assembly was also the perfect occasion to form the new governing board of Egea, as per the association’s charter, which turned out to be very simple since the assembly decided to confirm all the outgoing officers. The new board will, in accordance with the statute, appoint the new officers at the next meeting, including the new president. The fact that our sector calls for many activities and constant commitment, was demonstrated by the initiative taken by the President of AICA, Mauro Severi, taking advantage of the next Autopromotec event scheduled in 2019 to invite the Presidents of the leading European associations to a meeting at the Iam conference, with the aim of discussing and identifying issues of common interest that need concerted actions. The meeting closed with next year’s appointments and the hope that most of the work will, at least partially, bring the results we all wish for.

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