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What role does the PDF/A format play in the context of the new machinery regulation and why is it so relevant?

Speaking of: New Machinery Regulation & Digital Format for Operating Instructions 

What role does the PDF/A format play in the context of the new Machinery Regulation and why is it so relevant? 
As of January 14, 2027, the revised Machinery Ordinance will come into force, which now also accepts the digital provision of operating instructions. A critical look at the regulation suggests that the PDF/A format most closely meets the specified requirements. But what makes this format so special and are there alternatives? 

Würzburg, September 4, 2023 – Noxum GmbH, a specialist for content management and editorial systems, recommends the article by Volker Römisch, Noxum GmbH, to your partners and interested parties who are already preparing for the new Machinery Ordinance in their technical editorial departments.  

The latest amendment to the Machinery Ordinance has given rise to lively discussions within the industry. Particularly in focus: the digital requirements for operating instructions. According to Machinery Directive Article 10(7), these instructions must be provided in a format that allows printing, downloading and storage on electronic devices. Our analysis showed that the PDF/A format best meets these requirements. 

Why PDF/A? This ISO standard ensures long-term archiving of electronic documents and ensures constant readability over long periods of time. It contains all the elements necessary for presentation and is platform-independent, barrier-free and easily accessible. 

However, there are also points of criticism. The traditional PDF format is often considered too "document-oriented" and less interactive. This is where topic orientation could come into play, allowing for structured and user-friendly information transfer. 

Despite the clear requirements of the Machinery Directive, companies are not restricted from exploring innovative digital formats. New technologies, such as AI, could add value to technical documentation in ways that the PDF-only format may not. 

We invite you to read and discuss our colleague's full consideration: Besides PDF, what other formats could be considered as a solution to meet the requirements of the Machinery Directive? What role do technological advances and customer expectations play in this?