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Eurovent Middle East highlights value of product certification in latest webinar

Representatives from Eurovent Certita Certification and UL elaborate on the importance of ISO 17065 accreditation

| | Jun 14, 2020 | 4:51 pm
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Brian Suggitt

Eurovent Middle East elaborated on the importance of product certification in ensuring performance, safety and reliability, during a webinar, titled ‘Product Certification Value’, on June 9. The virtual gathering, which the industry association organised, featured presentations from representatives of Eurovent Certita Certification (ECC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), followed by a panel discussion on how authorities, investors, planners, consultants and end-users can benefit from third-party certification.

Brian Suggitt, President, Eurovent Middle East, welcomed the participants and spoke on the essential nature of certification and standardization. He highlighted four key elements anchoring the discussions of the day. “Firstly, product standards are an important foundation, which serves as a common and workable framework for all stakeholders,” he said. “It is a reference point we can go back to, and we have to have them as a basis. Secondly, impartial certifications of products provide trust. Thirdly, compliance is important – all manufacturers have to comply without fail; it is essential. Last, but not the least, it is important to have continuous conformity assessments. We have to police everything we do, and that’s where government bodies have a part to play. We are working with them now to help build platforms for these discussions.”

Stefano Traversi

Stefano Traversi, Engineering Leader HVAC, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), followed with a comprehensive overview of UL’s role in meeting safety, performance, energy efficiency and environmental considerations. Traversi pointed out that in addition to building a common framework for all stakeholders, standards help protect people and the environment and drive the industry and market by increasing energy efficiency and environmental requirements. Not complying with standards, Traversi added, leaves customers at some level of risk, some of which can be minimal, while others could potentially be lethal.

Traversi also discussed ISO 17065  requirements, pointing out that the overall aim of certifying products, processes or services is to give confidence to all interested parties that a product, process or service fulfills specified requirements. “The value of certification is the degree of confidence and trust that is established by an impartial and competent demonstration of fulfillment of specified requirements by a third-party,” he said, adding that the main objectives of ISO 17065 is to ensure consistency, impartiality and competency.

Speaking on the fundamentals of testing and calibration of laboratories, Traversi added that when a laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025, its compliance is not only assessed to the generic standard.  When it comes to ISO 17025, the laboratory has to comply and meet management system and technical requirements to demonstrate it is competent to perform specified tests and calibrations. “The scope for which the laboratory does testing needs to be clearly specified and stated,” he said. “Usually, scope is supported by listing the specific test methods for lab. It also allows for the customers of the lab to identify a suitable laboratory for their purpose and have confidence in the tests and measurements made by the laboratory.”

Eric Foucherot

Eric Foucherot, Director International Affairs, ECC, began his presentation by highlighting the body’s trust in the value of ISO 17065 accreditation, considering its contribution to the development of a more robust ecosystem within the industry. Foucherot said that the importance of third-party certification permeates throughout many industries, citing the European car sector as an example of issues that can emerge in its absence, where there was a growing gap between the claims of the manufacturer and what was happening in real life. “It is important to focus on the relationship between the manufacturer and end-riskers,” he said. “We are not pushing innovations, we are here to enable [bodies] to create standards that are applicable economically and to be sure that there will be programmes from these new standards.” He added that independent, third-party certification creates a fair playing field and is the most effective and consistent way for manufacturers to bring confidence to market.

Markus Lattner

Foucherot pointed out that standards also contribute to market surveillance, and highlighted the importance of partnerships with authorities, adding that ECC is a member of technical committees and energy-efficiency bodies. “More and more authorities now rely on the fact that we are independent,” he said. “We are there to enable the sector to be sustainable.” Foucherot also took the platform to provide clarity on misconceptions in the market. “There are some misunderstandings that a certified product offers the top level of performance,” he said. “It’s not correct. A certified product is a product that is compliant to the manufacturer’s declaration. It’s not necessarily the top, it just needs to be in accordance to what they said. What we certify is in accordance to declaration. If there is any difference, if there any degradations, if they claim C and we witness D, they must publish D.” He added that there is also an issue when it comes to the certification of complex systems. Presenting the AHU as an example, he said some AHUs might get an advantage by using certified components, but using certified components is not sufficient and that a holistic approach to these more complex systems is needed.

Markus Lattner, Managing Director, Eurovent Middle East, concluded the virtual event by highlighting how third-party certification, based on ISO 17065, is a useful tool for market surveillance, and while certification offers great value for regulators, manufacturers consultants, investors and end users, it needs to be understood and always checked for validity.

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