The safety of the component parts is an important consideration in equipment design. However, a part-by-part analysis of component quality and design is too time consuming for design and quality personnel. To get around this problem, safety standards have been designed to assure component safety. The following section describes the safety standards with which Oriental Motor is concerned.
UL, or Underwriters Laboratories Inc., is a non-profit testing organization that was founded in 1894 by a group of American fire insurance companies. Their aim was to prevent loss of human life and damage to property from fires and other hazards by ensuring that machinery, tools and materials were safe. To this end, UL developed a variety of tests and research methods for machinery, tools and materials, which resulted in the compilation of the UL standards. These standards are used for common items such as electronic equipment, motor-powered devices and electronic parts. The most important aspect to the UL standards as a manufacturer is that legal provisions in many American states require that such products have passed the relevant UL safety tests and be listed in the UL Directory before being offered for sale. Although some states do not explicitly require UL-listing by law, there are cases where insurers refuse to cover the risk of fire or damage caused by a product that is not UL-listed. This is almost equivalent to the legal sales restrictions in other states, and under such circumstances the customer will obviously only purchase items that are UL-listed. For a product that is to be sold in the United States, recognition or listing by UL is recommended.
Also, UL has been accredited as a verification agency for the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and is recognized by all Canadian provinces. Therefore, it is possible to have testing for Canadian safety standards performed at UL. Products that are recognized as conforming to Canadian safety standards can display the c-UL mark, and their sale and use is permitted in Canada.
CSA stands for "Canadian Standards Association", a private, non-profit testing organization established after an inquiry by the Canadian government. To protect human life and property from fire hazard and accidents, provincial laws in Canada forbid the sale and use of any electrical machinery, electrical parts, and so on, unless its safety has been confirmed by the CSA. For this purpose, CSA has established standards detailing mandatory tests and requirements to ascertain component safety.
Also, the CSA has been accredited by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a national research and testing laboratory (NRTL) and is now able to undertake testing under American safety standards. Products that are recognized as conforming with American safety standards may display the CSA mark with NRTL added, and their sale and use is permitted in the United States.
The European Union continues to coordinate the industrial and safety standards of individual member states under the aegis of the Council of European Standardization (CEN) and the Council of European Electrical Standardization (CENELEC). The unified standards for all of Europe are called the Harmonized Standards. The numbers for Harmonized Standards all begin with an "EN". EN standards apply to the design and manufacture of products exported to the EU area. (IEC and VDE standards apply when an EN standard has not yet been enacted.)
Certification is given by private inspection organizations such as TÜV Rheinland, VDE and DEMKO. Qualifying products may display the various safety marks.
Effective April 1, 2002, Japan's Electrical Appliance and Material Control Law was revised and renamed the "Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law". The purpose of the new law is to prevent the occurrence of danger and trouble resulting from electrical appliances and materials by regulating the manufacture, sale and other activities involving electrical appliances and materials, while promoting the voluntary efforts of private businesses in order to ensure their safety. Accordingly, the authorizations (tests) and other safety checks, which under the old law were conducted directly by the government, have become the responsibility of the manufacturers, etc. which must now ensure the safety of their own products through the introduction of a third-party certification system. The Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law applies to the electrical appliances and materials generally used in homes, offices, etc. They are classified into categories- "special electrical appliances and materials" and "products other than special electrical appliances and materials" - according to the level of danger they present. Special electrical appliances and materials are subject to compliance tests and the retention of compliance certificates performed/issued by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET) or other test laboratory certified (or approved) by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and INdustry, and must also bear the diamond-shape PSE mark. Products other than special electrical appliances and materials must comply with the relevant technical standards and bear the circular PSE mark.
Chinese requirements for safety and quality certification are not new. Since 1989, China has had a safety licensing system, which included the CCIB Safety Mark, required for products in 47 product categories, and the CCEE "Great Wall" Mark, for electrical commodities in seven product categories. As the certification system grew through the 1990s, many companies exporting to China raised concerns about the dual certification systems, redundant testing, and differential treatment of domestic products and imported products.
When China negotiated the terms of its World Trade Organization (WTO) membership in the late 1990s and through 2001, it acknowledged some of the problems inherent in its existing system, and agreed to merge its two certification regimes into a single unified system, with equal treatment for domestic products and imports.
In December, 2001, at about the same time it joined the WTO, China announced the new China Compulsory Mark system and the list of covered products. The system was put in place on May 1, 2002, with a one-year transition period, with the system fully effective -- and mandatory for all goods in the product catalogue -- on May 1, 2003.
The CCC Mark is administered by the Chinese government agency Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA). The China Quality Certification Center (CQC) is designated by CNCA to process CCC mark applications.
To distribute equipment within the European Union, the CE marking is mandatory for certifying that the equipment complies with EC Directives (safety). To obtain a ruling that the equipment satisfies the required items of each directive, the manufacturer must usually verify that the equipment complies with the EN standards applicable to the EC Directives, or, if not available, with the IEC standards. The manufacturer then composes a declaration stating compliance with the directives and applies the CE marking. (However, depending on the risk of danger, formal testing by an approving authority may be required and the self-composed declaration is then issued after receiving proof of formal testing.) Products with a declaration of voluntary compliance have the CE mark on the nameplate or on the package label.