The Measurement, Control & Automation Association believes that the current Product Approval Process is broken. Although the process control community supports international harmonization to IEC standards, we have elected not to target efforts to achieve that goal initially. Instead we believe that the US certification processes should be corrected first. To that end, we seek to harmonize the current conflicting patterns in the product testing and certification processes that increase costs, design uncertainty and time to market by establishing a unified third party testing and certification process:
- where all testing is conducted in conformity with standards issued by the American National Standards Institute or, if standards are issued by another body (such as NFPA) where ANSI has recognized that standard specifically;
- where certifications issued by an accredited testing laboratory are recognized by users, insurers and other testing laboratories through the use of a single, universal conformity mark but where individual testing laboratories can affix their own branded mark alongside;
- where a product approved by one laboratory is accepted by all other NRTLs when appropriately combined with products which might have been tested and certified by a second laboratory; and
- where follow-up NRTL manufacturing inspections are standardized to audit the quality process and are performed on an annual basis.
The Association has formed a Task Force of members who will actively pursue a remedy that will meet the above goals through OSHA and other means at our disposal. Our First step has been to request that OSHA change its internal policy which requires quarterly audits of manufacturing facilities of companies whose products have been subject to third-party certification and are used in hazardous locations. All other facilities are inspected annually. Read more about the MCAA proposal to OSHA.
Information about the NRTL program has been briefly outlined in a one-page document as well as a summary and scope of the current recognized laboratories which outlines their capability to test to the variety of standards applicable to products in our industry.
In 1999 and again in 2006 MCAA requested the following information from Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) which are among the 18 certified by the Department of Labor's Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA):
- Capabilities to test/approve products (instruments/systems used in process control and factory automation to measure or control a variety of parameters such as weight, level, flow, temperature, physical or chemical properties including field measurement and centralized control systems) under standards for explosion proof (division 1 and 2), intrinsically safe and general-purpose design in both hazardous and non-hazardous locations.
- The typical approval period from time of application through to certification for shipment.
- All test locations capable of such test and approval and the most senior contact person at each such location responsible for the approval process.
- Any additional information that would be useful to our members in obtaining timely testing and approval of their products.
The responses to our request are as summarized as follows. All listings have been updated in 2007. Scroll through all listings or click to read about a specific testing laboratory
CSA International offers hazardous location equipment testing services for a wide variety of product types including process control, industrial, signal and communication equipment as well as installation hardware and more. Expertise is global.
CSA International is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) under OSHA and is accredited in Canada by the Standards Council of Canada. Many certification and testing programs have been accredited by ANSI which means they can test and certify products to US and Canadian standards and those certifications will be recognized by federal, state, provincial and local authorities on both sides of the border.
Globally, CSA International is recognized as an Ex Certification Body and Ex Testing Laboratory to operate in the IECEx (International Electrotechnical Commission) Scheme for explosion-protected electrical equipment. CSA can issue certificates of conformity which will be accepted by all participating countries. For Europe, CSA International evaluates and tests products to CENELEC (EN) standards in accordance with the ATEX Directive under the direction of their EU Notified Body partner. They are a leading provider of product testing and certification services around the world. Offices, test facilities and network partners are located throughout the US and Canada as well as in Hong Kong; Guangzhou and Shanghai, China; Bangalore, India; Tokyo, Japan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Taipei, Taiwan.
CSA International coordinates with customers to establish mutually agreeable project completion dates and understands the need to meet time commitments as well as testing and certification requirements. The company offers a Technical Information Service for new customers or new products to obtain customized, confidential service putting an expert to work in advance of certification in examining specifications and prototypes, advising on standards and providing practice training for your product team.
More information is available at 866-797-4272 or 216-524-4990, email email@example.com or at their website at www.csa-international.org.
FM Approvals is recognized as a premier product-testing and certification organization. A product bearing the FM Approvals certification mark (FM Approved) means it has been tested and found to comply with requirements of specific national and/or international and FM Approvals standards to help qualify it for sale in specific regional or global markets. FM Approvals is fully certified to approve the products manufactured and offered for sale by MCAA member companies.
The approval process is straightforward and timely and supports on-time product launch for manufacturers. No matter what the product or the complexity of the test program, FM Approvals will partner with you to meet your product launch date. Certification is available for electrical equipment used in hazardous locations, alarm and signaling, and safety-related systems and components.
FM Approvals is recognized by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) which oversees Canada's National Standards and Certification System. As a result, FM Approvals provides certification services in both Canada and the US to electrical and electronic products.
As a Notified Body in the European Union, FM Approvals is able to offer the CE and Ex marks for construction products (CPD) and products intended for use in explosive atmospheres (ATEX). Additionally, FM Approvals has offices and certification partners in Asia, facilitating product certification and access to local markets in the Pacific Rim.
In addition, a manufacturer's product can gain international recognition through FM Approvals' accredited participation in the IECEx Scheme, a program administered by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for the recognition of electrical equipment used in hazardous-classified locations.
U.S. testing is led through the FM Approvals location at 1151 Boston-Providence Turnpike (PO Box 9102) Norwood, MA 02062; (781) 762-4300; Fax (781) 762-9375. Technical Team Managers for Hazardous Location approvals include Andrew Lozinski, Timothy Adam and David Strycula, whose email contacts are available on the FM Approval's website at www.fmapprovals.com.
Intertek can provide the approvals needed for global market entry and decrease time to market. Many valued clients have used the company for their domestic and international approvals, company ISO registrations and compliance to new ROHS regulations as well as functional safety requirements specified by customers. This simplified, efficient approach allows manufacturers to reduce cost, time and frustration associated with managing product compliance for global markets.
Intertek is accredited to assist manufacturers with approvals to US (ETL), Canadian (c-ETL), European (CE and EX) and International Standards through the IEC-EX scheme. They also offer InMetro Certification for Brazil, GOST-R for Russia and NOM approvals for Mexico. They are approved by OSHA as an NRTL and accredited by Standards Council of Canada as a Certification Body to test and certify to ANSI/UL, ANSI/ISA and CSA standards. They are an approved Certification Body for the CB Scheme for both Laboratory, Measurement and Control harmonized standards and Equipment for use in hazardous locations (IEC-Ex).
The approval process varies based on the complexity of the product. For ordinary locations, typical turnaround is three weeks based on manufacturer's readiness and compliance planning. For hazardous locations, Intertek can start a new project within two to six weeks from receipt of signed application and availability of samples and completed documentation package. The test program will depend on the number of products to be certified, intended markets, method of protection employed (flameproof, intrinsically safe, non-incendiary, etc.). For ATEX and IEC-Ex Certifications for Category 1 and 2 products, the manufacturer would also be required to obtain a Quality Audit Notification which can add time to the cycle.
Intertek offers Design Review Services and Compliance Training to assist manufacturers in preparing for certification by providing detailed review of the standards and requirements in the process of bringing new products to new markets. They partner with manufacturing clients in the design and prototype stages to help streamline certification and time to market.
Hazardous Location Products are tested three strategic locations in North America - Plano, TX; Cortland, NY; Edmonton, AB and in the United Kindom in Europe. Patricia Pasemko is the Business Line Leader (972-310-0814) firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.intertek.com/hazloc
MET has been accredited in the US and Canada for testing and certification of intrinsically safe, non-incendiary, purged and pressurized and explosion-proof equipment. In addition, they have agreements with TRL of the United Kingdom, an established Notified Body for the ATEX Directive, to accept test results for equipment to comply with the ATEX Directive in Europe. MET has tested and certified many products for intrinsic safety and other types of hazardous location equipment for many manufacturers and certifications are accepted by OSHA under the NRTL program and by SCC (Canada) under the CB program. Accreditation includes UL913 (Intrinsically Safe Equipment), UL1604 (Non Incendive Equipment Safety), UL1203 (Explosion Proof Equipment Safety) and many other hazardous location standards for the US and Canada.
Approval process time depends on the product and initial compliance but ranges from 30 to 60 days. All testing is performed at MET's Baltimore laboratory where the senior technical engineer is Cedrick Valiente and the department director is Rick Cooper.
The information on MET was provided by Jim McDonald, Marketing Coordinator, who can be reached at 914 West Patapsco Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230-3432; 410/354-3300 Ext 345, Fax: 410/354-3313
MET's website is located at: http://www.metlabs.com
SGS-USTC has been accredited in the US for testing and certification to ANSI/UL 913 for Intrinsic Safety and to UL 1604 for Hazardous Locations. Experience with process control equipment appears to be somewhat limited. SGS-USTC is currently attempting to significantly expand their scope as an OSHA NRTL; they are awaiting approval from that agency. We will update their capabilities when that process is completed.
Turnaround times will usually run 2-3 months.
This testing is performed at SGS-USTC's Fairfield, NJ laboratory where the contact is Brian Baker.
The information on SGS-USTC was provided by Russell Nichols, Quality Manager who can be reached at 291 Fairfield Avenue, Fairfield, NJ 07004; 973/461-7979, Fax: 973/575-8271.
TÜVRheinland® is world-renowned for providing comprehensive product testing and certification services for North America, Europe and Asia. Our international network of more than 11,000 employees at over 300 locations in 60 plus countries supports the company's position as the world leader in independent testing and assessment services. TÜVRheinland® has numerous offices conveniently located throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With our expert CE Marking services, TUV can help manufacturers meet the requirements of the EU directives for faster, easier access to the European Union (EU).
As a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) by the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), TÜVRheinland® can provide proactive assessment and certification services to help manufacturers here, and from all corners of the globe, meet U.S. standards. In Canada, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has accredited TUV to test and certify products to Canadian National standards. Products tested and certified for the Canadian market by TUV will be identified by the cTUV mark and the TUVus mark for the U.S. market. When both marks are combined clients are able to demonstrate product compliance for both the U.S. and Canadian markets through one single mark—the cTUVus. In addition, TÜV offers certification services for Russia (GOST) China (CCC) Germany (TUV GS Mark) Canada (cTUVus ) Japan (S-Mark), Finland (FIMKO), Denmark (DEMKO), Norway (NEMKO), Sweden (SEMKO), Mexico (NOM) and more. If you need help with ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 16949, AS9100, OHSAS 18001:1999, TL 9000, ISO/TS 16949 or ISO 14001 registration, TUV can do that too.
TÜVRheinland® also offers planning and execution of tests concerning key business areas of functional safety including electrical, electronic and programmable electronic safety-related components and systems in safety-related applications. TUV's testing services include Type Approvals, Software Tests, Environment Tests, Risk- and Reliability Analysis, FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) and more. TÜVRheinland® certifies safety products and systems according to internationally accepted standards.
Testing and certification services are available for automotive, industrial machinery, railway, medical devices and pressure equipment products. Field evaluation services for unlisted equipment in the U.S., as well as EMC (including field testing & in-situ testing) and Telecom testing are also available. TUV also provides SEMI S2, SEMI S8 and SEMI F47 assessment for semiconductor equipment manufacturers worldwide. If you are interested in European ATEX/Hazloc (such as UL508, EN60204, NFPA79) or International IEC Ex approvals, TÜVRheinland® can provide all your explosion protection evaluation services. In addition, TÜVRheinland® can provide you with a single CB Test Report and Certificate recognized by more than 30 participating countries. TUV is your preferred single source to obtain international certification.
TÜVRheinland® can offer its customers:
- Seamless solutions for market access across the world
- Resources and international networks to support any size business, from small manufacturers to global corporations
- A large portfolio of compliance and testing services – serving most industry sectors and markets worldwide
- A professional call center to help you with everything from certification questions to competitive quotes
- Convenient locations throughout North America and the world, as well as the ability to come to you with our dedicated mobile EMC laboratories equipped with specialized equipment.
- Over 140 years of experience
- Talented professional staff
For more information please call 1-TUV-Rheinland (1-888-743-4652), International 203-426-0888 or www.us.tuv.com
TÜV SÜD America Inc., a subsidiary of TÜV SÜD AG, is a global testing and certification organization providing an array of professional services to the industrial process control and factory automation industry. It is an OSHA-recognized NRTL and an SCC-accredited Certification Body capable of providing electrical safety certification services to a range of North American requirements. The company's NRTL scope includes the following standards: UL508, 508A and 508C (Industrial Control and Power Conversion Equipment); EN 60950-1 (IT Equipment); EN 61010-1 (Measurement, Control and Laboratory Equipment); EN 60335 (Household and similar Electrical Appliances) and more.
As a EU Competent Body, TÜV SÜD America can assist manufacturers to meet the requirements of the ATEX directive for products intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Additionally the company is a EU Notified Body, a member of the international CB Scheme and provides CE Marking assistance. TÜV offers a comprehensive international compliance program utilizing the TÜV SÜD network of over 600 global locations, and is capable of expediting approvals for numerous marks such as IRAM, GOST, CCC, MIC and more.
Approval process time for products certified to a standard in our NRTL scope is generally three to four weeks.
TÜV SÜD America maintains over 20 locations across the U.S., and TÜV SÜD AG operates over 600 locations worldwide. The largest U.S. testing laboratories are located in Danvers, MA, Dade City, FL, New Brighton, MN, San Diego, CA and Portland, OR. Interested parties are welcome to contact TÜV at its toll-free number, 800-TUV-0123, or at www.TUVamerica.com. Additionally, TÜV SÜD America has developed a web site with a repository of NRTL facts and data for its customers, called NRTL Spotlight. To access the site, please visit www.tuvamerica.com/nrtl.
UL is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization. They have tested products for public safety for more than a century, and have been involved in the global conformity assessment of electrical equipment for use in, or relating to, hazardous locations (explosive atmospheres) for more than 85 years.
In addition to UL being a leader in product safety testing and certification within the US, their involvement in the testing and certification of HazLoc equipment is recognized and respected around the world. UL's HazLoc family members include UL USA (Northbrook, IL), UL International Demko A/S (Herlev, Denmark), UL do Brasil Ltda. (São Paulo, Brasil), UL International Germany GmbH (Neu-Isenburg, Germany), UL International (UK) Ltd (Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom), and UL India (Bangalore, India).
The strength of UL's global HazLoc team is its ability to meet industry needs—especially in the area of turnaround time and global market access. Regarding turnaround time, UL has over 90 highly-trained and customer-focused HazLoc engineering staff ready to service our customers. Regarding market access, UL is the only safety testing and certification organization that maintains the following global HazLoc accreditations:
Internationally: Ex Certification Body (ExCB) and Ex Testing Laboratory (ExTL) status under the IECEx Scheme
- In the European Union: Notified Body (ExNB) status under the ATEX Directive,
- In the United States: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) under OSHA,
- In Canada: Accredited Certification Body (ACB) under the Standards Council of Canada (SCC),
- In Brazil: INMETRO accreditation, and
- In Japan: Designated Foreign Testing Body (DFTB) under the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Recognizing that these accreditations cannot address all global market access needs, UL also maintains and is expanding relationships with other local HazLoc testing and certification organizations throughout Asia, Australia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe and Latin America. These global relationships and accreditations allow UL to provide truly one-stop-shopping for global conformity assessment needs under either the Division or Zone hazardous locations classification systems.
Approval process time varies greatly depending on the protection technique, complexity of the product, etc. Small project revisions are targeted at 2 weeks, with larger projects averaging 12 weeks.
Contacts include Mr. Paul T. Kelly, Lead Operations Manager, North America Hazardous Locations Industry at (847) 664-2326; fax: (847) 313-2326; e-mail: Paul.T.Kelly@us.ul.com and Mr. Kerry McManama, General Manager, Global Hazardous Locations Strategic Business Unit at (847) 664-2469; fax: (847) 313-2469; email: Kerry.McManama@us.ul.com. UL's HazLoc website is located at: http://www.ul.com/hazloc/