MRO Magazine

CSA and UL to develop mutual component acceptance program

Toronto, ON -- At the NEMA annual meeting and leadership conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 10, 2004, Loring Knob...


Industry

December 17, 2003
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Toronto, ON — At the NEMA annual meeting and leadership conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 10, 2004, Loring Knoblauch, president and chief executive officer of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Robert Griffin, president and chief executive officer, CSA Group, signed agreements to establish a collaborative process leading to the mutual acceptance of certain components and to expand the certification organizations’ 1996 data exchange Memorandum of Understanding.

The agreements are the result of several months of negotiation between UL and CSA, with support from National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Electro-Federation Canada (EFC), and major electrical customers.

CSA and UL signed an agreement to develop a mutual component acceptance program that will eventually provide for the acceptance of components used in end products submitted to UL or CSA for certification and listing. Under the terms of the agreement, each organization will accept the other organization’s certification and listing of components in end-products, provided that each organization can apply their existing component acceptance procedures to the components certified by the other organization, and only after equivalence of follow-up programs has been evaluated and confirmed.

The agreement will initially be limited to low-voltage distribution and industrial control equipment and will be re-assessed over an 18-month period.

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The expanded Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) goes beyond the 13 product categories described in the 1996 MoU and will ultimately include all electrical end-product categories and standards for which UL and CSA are accredited by both the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

Under the expanded MoU, manufacturers of electrical end products will be able to obtain both CSA and UL certification and listing on the basis of a single product test program carried out by one of the two organizations. The implementation of the MoU will be in support of expressed industry needs and will be delivered following the completion of required validation activities by both organizations.

Knoblauch said the expanded MoU and proposed component-acceptance program are part of UL’s ongoing effort to streamline the certification process for customers who seek both U.S. and Canadian market access.

“UL is committed to helping manufacturers who are faced with ever-increasing costs and tightening time-to-market demands,” he said. “We are very pleased that these initiatives will not only enable UL to help NEMA and EFC members get safe products to the market faster, but will also ensure the integrity of our testing and follow up program.”

Griffin said, “Both initiatives contain significant benefits for the electrical industry in eliminating redundant testing costs and improving speed to market. CSA applauds the strong leadership and commitment demonstrated by NEMA, Electro-Federation Canada, and electrical manufacturers to achieve this significant first step. CSA International will continue to explore component acceptance solutions that will benefit other members of the electrical industry.”

NEMA president Malcolm O’Hagan said, “This historic agreement will help NEMA members get their products to market more quickly while avoiding unwarranted costs. We commend UL and CSA on this new agreement made in the interest of their customers.”