Product Certifications – A Look at The Process
Product certifications are complex endeavors, but when handled by experts they optimize processes and can considerably shorten times to market.
The globalization of markets and the resulting requirements for electrical and electronic products make launching products on new markets increasingly complex. Product certifications are complex endeavors, but when handled by experts they optimize processes and can considerably shorten times to market. CE, CB, FCC, EMC. These abbreviations and the regulations attached to them are unnerving for enterprises and consumers and can extend product launch cycles if handled by inexperienced entities.
Harmonization of Norms
Certifications require extensive knowledge, contacts and a worldwide presence, which is why manufacturers tend to outsource the certification process to experienced, globally present service providers. Long distances between different testing labs and certification centre’s are cancelled when all tests can be carried out in one single location. Waiting times and cost are considerably minimized.
To simplify international efforts towards common certification and shorten product development cycles, a series of multilateral agreements like the IEC, CB-Scheme have been agreed upon. Harmonized norms fulfill worldwide applicable safety requirements even those specific to a region or country: climate temperature or voltage requirements. To cover safety standards globally, manufacturers have to make sure that their CB report (also called CB test report) covers all the national product safety regulations.
CB reports are internationally standardized test reports and if issued by a National Certified Body (NCB) can be the basis for receiving several other certificates without having to retest a product.
Complex Processes to Make Things Simple
Harmonizing legislations is a complex process. This is confirmed by the particulars of Chinese certification rules. The CCC Certification requires additional on-site testing in China, even if a product has obtained a CB report.
Similarly, the requirements for the widely known GS mark (Geprüfte Sicherheit = Tested Safety mark for Germany) are rather complex as well. To receive a GS certificate, ergonomic reports and technical documentation are required and, since 2008, also an additional chemical analysis of plastics – PAK Testing.
In other situations misinformation or lack of communication can lengthen the certification process. Accessing the North American market is often falsely connected with receiving just Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certifications. In the American market there are a high number of Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL) which test to UL norms and offer certifications.
To make matters even more complicated some certifications require various cross-discipline testing and inspection. For product safety compliance, many countries have further testing requirements for eEectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and hazardous substances.
Make Certifications Work For You
Country-specific, product-specific or job-specific qualification requirements can be extremely frustrating to deal with for manufacturers and retailers. If not approached correctly the process will cost considerable time and money that could otherwise be spent developing new business ideas.
For all specific, safety, EMC, performance or restricted substances requirements SGS can support manufacturers and retailers through its extensive global portfolio of services. Experienced, multidiscipline SGS experts will shorten your product development process and time to market.
The SGS has accredited Certified Body Testing Laboratories (CBTLs) for the CB-Scheme and acts as a strong partner for European retailers and importers. SGS offers an attractive and speedy alternative to UL Certifications for the US through the SGS USTC mark, allowing more flexibility in the development and launching of products in the US market.
A worldwide network of labs as well as the necessary contacts in key manufacturing regions simplify your certification process and provide you with clear support when developing norms-compliant products. SGS can perform factory inspections required by various certifications all over the world.
Additionally, the implementation of SGS quality control systems will help you control and decrease production costs.
Find more info on Product Safety Marks. Contact:
SGS CTS - Center for Quality Engineering
t: +49 89 787475 106
The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 56,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.