Pressure Equipment

Pressure equipment

The Pneurop Committee 6 (PN 6) is involved with pressure equipment issues.

Its objective is to become the point of reference for manufacturer, in order to solve all the problems related to the application of European Directives in the area of pressure equipment and to the implementation of corresponding harmonised standards.

Therefore, PN6 activity has been addressed mainly to supporting members in the examination, interpretation and study of the Directive and, above all, to defending the interests of the compressor sector among the competent institutions.

The PN6 Secretariat, ANIMA, attends regularly the PED Orgalime Working Group (where the guidelines are discussed for the next steps) and the Working Group Pressure of the European Commission in order to monitor and to take part in the guidelines preparation and approval process. This activity means that compressor manufacturers have less difficulty in applying the Directive in the technical field.

The Companies interested in this Committee’s works are the ones that, in their assemblies, make use of equipment covered by the Simple Pressure Vessels Directive and the Pressure Equipment Directive.


“Pressure” is a traditional sector, which started to be regulated right from the industrial revolution.

The sector and the product range covered by pressure equipment directives is enormous: from storage containers to boilers in electrical power stations, including also complete chemical plants.

Nowadays, the Pressure Equipment Market, covered by three Directives (PED, SPVD and T-PED), is characterized by a growing wideness and complexity, in term of products typology, and is going through a continuous innovation, accompanied by a process of harmonization of the standards.

Innovation, increasing of competitiveness, development of the workers and consumers protection are the main targets for the next years.

For an interesting presentation about the industry of the Pneurop committee please click HERE.


The PED applies to the design, manufacture and conformity assessment of pressure equipment and assemblies with a maximum allowable pressure PS greater than 0.5 bar.

Many component of the compressors air system may belong to PED, for example:

  • piping including any kind of connectors classified according article 1.3 (e.g. in compressed air systems)
  • air coolers / heat exchangers (s. art.
  • filter / separator housings
  • safety/relief valves
  • pulsation dampers
  • vessels and reclaimers not included in SPVD (87/404/EEC)

When the air compressor package contains pressure equipment of category I not covered by Machinery Directive (e.g. exclusion of pressure vessels, art. 1 sec. 3) and pressure equipment of category II to IV, the result should be seen as an assembly according to the PED.

More Information is given on the PED website from the European Commission.

The Simple Pressure Vessel Directive

The SPVD applies to simple pressure vessels manufactured in series.

Simple Pressure Vessel means any welded vessel subjected to an internal gauge pressure greater than 0,5 bar which is intended to contain air or nitrogen and which is not intended to be fired.

The parts and assemblies contributing to the strength of the vessel under pressure shall be made either of non-alloy quality steel or of non-alloy aluminium or non-age hardening aluminium alloys.

The SPVD does not include the notion of assemblies.

Typical Simple Pressure Vessels installed in a compressors package are oil separator vessels and air receivers.

More Information is given on the SPVD website from the European Commission.


EN 13445 “Unfired pressure vessel”

This standard has been delivered in May 2002 as Issue 1. This new standard provides one means of conforming to essential safety requirements of the Pressure Equipment Directive. Through the publication of its reference in the Official Journal of European Communities on 2002-07-17, it gives presumption of conformity to the essential safety requirements identified in Annex ZA of each Part.

EN 13445 is therefore a very important reference document in the pressure equipment sector.

More information is given at the CEN TC 54 website

EN 286 “Simple unfired pressure vessels designed to contain air or nitrogen”

The standards establish the criteria for the design, and manufacture of simple pressure vessels.
It describes also the material, the temperature and pressure work conditions and the acceptable vessels dimensions.

The standards is harmonized under Simple Pressure Vessels Directive and it was cited in the Official Journal of European Communities on 1998-07-22

More information is given at the CEN TC 54 website



June 2012 – Interpretation and clarification paper concerning the applicability of the EC-Directive 97/23/EC “Pressure equipment” for air compressors intended as assemblies


June 2012 – Interpretation and clarification paper concerning the Conformity Assessment of Compressed Air Systems according Directive 97/23/EC