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EU 2019/1781 implications for motors and drives efficiency

Oct 06, 2023

What the second stage of EU 2019/1781 means for machine builders. Comment from industrial drives specialist Technidrive.

By now, engineers and machine builders will be all-too familiar with the updated European regulations for eco-design which, since July 2021, have set out new efficiency standards for motors and variable speed drives (VSDs). From July 2023, the EU is expanding the legislation to ensure electric motors stand up against the latest efficiency standards, making motors — Europe’s biggest single consumer of electrical power — a little greener. Here, David Strain of Industrial drives specialist Technidrive, explains how the regulatory change impacts machine builders.

When introduced in July 2021, EU 2019/1781 repealed and replaced the existing regulation on eco-design for electric motors (EC) No 640/2009. The old regulation was an expansion on existing regulation, and covered single-speed, three-phase 50 Hz or 60/60 Hz induction motors with two with two to six poles, a rated output of 0.75 to 375 kW and a rated voltage of up to 1,000 V. The standard also set out efficiency requirements for smaller motors of 0.12 to 0.75kW, larger motors of 375kW to 1000kW, 60Hz motors and eight-pole motors.

So, what can we expect to happen in July this year? The next big change will be efficiency rules also applying to single-phase motors rated 0.12 kW and above, which will need to meet IE2 levels. Meanwhile, new motors being sold in the UK or Europe with a rated output between 75kw to 200 kW (2Pole/4Pole and 6Pole) must achieve IE4, meaning Europe will become the first area to require this standard of efficiency for certain motors.

Ahead of the curveAround 8 billion electric motors are currently in use in the EU, consuming almost half of the electricity that Europe produces. The prominence of electric motors on the continent means that businesses can make significant energy savings by ensuring theirs make the grade. Regardless of whether a machine is manufactured in the EU, UK or elsewhere, if a motor or VSD used falls within the scope of the regulation, both the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and customer has a part to play in demonstrating compliance.

Equipment manufacturers can gain an advantage by upgrading their machines’ motors and drives before phase two comes into force. While it may be tempting to hold off until July, being proactive will help users reap the long-term financial benefits of increased efficiency while boosting the sustainability of their machinery fleet.

Getting startedThe EU 2019/1781 sets out strict requirements for machine builders and the provision of technical documentation. Both Annex I (motors) and Annex II (VSDs) stipulate that product information must be visibly displayed on (a) the technical data sheet or user manual supplied; (b) the technical documentation; (c) a publicly accessible website of the motor/VSD manufacturer, its authorised representative or the importer, and (d) the technical data sheet supplied with products in which the motor/VSD is incorporated.

If machine builders install motors or VSDs, they must provide a copy of the relevant data sheet or manual along with the machine’s documentation. Therefore, before purchasing these machines, customers must request these from the OEM, if necessary, to demonstrate compliance. This information should then be passed onto facility managers, operators, and other engineers responsible for the machine’s maintenance.

As a Premier partner for WEG and Bonfiglioli electric motors, Technidrive has over 25 years’ experience supplying electric motors and, understands the importance of providing high efficiency equipment — and integrating it into its own industrial drive solutions.

The next phase of EU 2019/1781 will be a milestone for many businesses, pushing the boundaries of what was already significant shift in the EU’s efficiency pledge. As the July deadline approaches, understanding the scope of the updated standard and acquiring the necessary data sheets, manuals and technical documentation will help businesses prepare and stay ahead of the efficiency curve.

More information on products and services from Technidrive can be found online at Contact the team directly on [email protected].

What the second stage of EU 2019/1781 means for machine builders. Comment from industrial drives specialist Technidrive.Ahead of the curveGetting started