I know that I’m heading into dark, dangerous waters discussing Brexit, harmonised standards and the possible future post BREXIT but here goes!
I don’t think many of us will remember a time before harmonised standards, when every country had its own version of everything or what it was like when travelling or buying goods around the world.
Britain has been at the forefront pushing to set international standards since 1906 when it led the IEC for Global standards. Then in 1947, Britain was a founding member of ISO (International Standards Organisation) in London, again pressing for harmonised standards to improve our Global trade.
It was in 1961 that Europe formed the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) or CENELEC (Comité Européen de Normalisation for Electrotechnical Standardization) to align European product standards to increase Global trade, improve the welfare of Europeans and to protect the environment.
Putting the Daily Mail ‘straight’ Bananas to one side, it has to be said that we have all benefited from high quality products and services across Europe. We now feel assured that from the chocolates we buy in Lidl’s, the paint we use on our walls, the petrol we put in our cars and the electrical gadgets we use, they are of a safe, predictable standard. However, Brexit is now bringing with it many questions on the future of UK standards once we are outside the EU.
Stucture Source Meeting Safety and Quality Standards
At Structure Source, as a manufacturer of Power Products for the office and IT industry, we have worked hard to meet Global standards for our products. We have been working for many years with standards such as the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) and harmonised IT Standard IEC/EN 60950-1 and office standards such as BS ISO 6396. Working with UL, TÜV and BS, we have been able to ensure that our products are built beyond the expected standards.
These standards are not a random act of bureaucrats in a dark room but come from a detailed suggestion from individual countries’ standards organisations, who have proposed a potential standard. This is then discussed and agreed, before being adopted (a process that can take many years to reach approval).
CEN work with individual countries’ standards organisations such as BSI (British Standards Institute), TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein ) in Germany, AFNOR (Association française de normalisation) in France, AENOR (Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación) in Spain, etc. In fact, CEN has 33 member countries ranging from Germany to Australia who each agree to abide by the standards. Britain currently has 7% of the voting rights on the CEN process.
What Does TÜV Approved Mean?
TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) which translated in English is Technical Inspection Association is a Global auditing and certification body that ensures products manufactured for sale meet international (IEC Regulations), EC (European Community) directives. It’s also an independent German approval scheme equivalent to the British Kitemark and is highly trusted.
As an experienced, globally recognised expert body in product safety testing, TÜV have the knowledge of all applicable local and international standards. The TÜV approval scheme ensures compliance with all domestic and international standards, guidelines, and directives and therefore provide manufacturing companies access to international markets.
Why You Want TÜV Approved PDUs?
Some manufacturers don’t seek external compliance testing to the relevant standard applicable. Products can be claimed CE by simply making a compliance statement. However, without any independent tests there are no guarantees of quality standards and could cause a potential risk to the safety of their products.
At Structure Source our primary concern is to ensure our products are of the highest quality so all of our products are independently certified by TÜV in Germany. TÜV run all of our products through their robust testing and produce a certificate confirming compliance.
We keep abreast of the latest thinking on standards and have been engaging with TÜV about current and future standards over the last few years. In the fact, we have already been working to the latest standard IEC/EN 62368-1, due to replace the IEC 60950-1. This is a Hazard Based Safety Engineering Standard, which means that it recognises the potential hazards and allows us to build products avoiding these potential hazards.
So, our customers can have complete peace of mind that all our units are covered by the TÜV approval scheme and leading warranty, ensuring they have been critically tested, to the design required. In addition, we are working to be ready on any future standards when they become legally enforced.
How will BREXIT affect TÜV Approval?
Unfortunately, nothing is certain at this stage as the Government continues with their negotiations. Britain is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 and it’s likely to continue to obey the rules of the single market and the customs union for at least two years after that as we enter a transition phase. This will give industries a little more time to modify processes and business models to whichever deal finally emerges.
Dr Dieter Reiml, at TÜV SÜD states “Brexit will affect not only manufacturers and importers in the EU, but also UK companies that export their products to the EU”. He goes on to say, “The earlier companies start to take action, the more likely they will be to minimise their commercial risks”.
As we have been working to the latest and highest standards, whatever happens in the future, you can be assured that Structure Source will be at the forefront of any changes that are required to maintain the safety of its products for our domestic, EU and international customers.