Testing for full compliance with IEC standards



In recent years, the CB scheme gathered momentum: this is reflected in the number of CB Test Certificates issued and recognized. One important reason for the success of the CB scheme is certainly the strict obligation to stick to IEC standards and to issue CB Test Certificates only after verification of compliance with all clauses and requirements of these standards. This practice may be common in the CB scheme, but it is by no means so common in the routine work of many laboratories who claim to adhere to the spirit of safety rather than to the requirements of the standards. Very often, recognition of such test reports is difficult due to the lack of common understanding.

For the VDE-Institute, the practice of full compliance with applicable standards is laid down in its statutes and has been followed since its beginning 80 years ago. The tradition of VDE in standardization is even more than one hundred years old. For the VDE Testing and Certification Institute, active participation in standardization has always been an important role to play: on one hand, their input and experience is highly appreciated, and - on the other hand - active participation keeps them always up to date in matters of standardization and the latest developments. This allows them to advise clients competently.

As early as 1929, the VDE Institute took the initiative to harmonize standards on a European level in the so-called CEE. Later on, a set of CEE standards was established which formed the basis for the first mutual recognition agreement in Europe from which the IECEE-CB scheme was derived. In all these activities of standardization and building of mutual recognition systems, the VDE Institute took a leading role. The VDE Institute has activities in testing equipment and components alike. In fact, a considerable number of components for use in equipment have been certified by the VDE Institute (see VDE Certification Register). Such components do not need to undergo repetitive testing. This saves time for the producer of the equipment. However, in order to ensure this, the producer of the components should mention the types of equipment for which his components are intended. This not only allows the coverage according to the requirements of the component standard, but also of of relevant equipment standards, and thus avoiding undesirable surprises to the producer of equipment at the moment of testing. With CB Test Reports and Certificates issued by the VDE Institute, the client can be assured that this is a real passport to markets world-wide. For being able to serve our clients better, we appreciate their cooperation in notifying us as early as possible where they intend to export their products. Then we have a chance to test for any national deviations of the country of destination. Our clients can also benefit from bilateral agreements which we have with a number of certification bodies world-wide with respect to certification and factory inspection. And besides the CB scheme participants, CB Test Reports are also recognized by many countries not participating in the CB scheme.

The VDE-Institute is a non-profit organization holding a number of accreditations on national and European levels with most relevant notifications in the EU. Products within the scope of the Low-voltage Directive and the EMC Directive describe the major volume of VDE activities which are presently covered by 420 employees concentrated in the Offenbach laboratories. This allows good synergy effects in testing and certification work with easy access to relevant expertise and information. In order to serve our clients locally, we have established a network of VDE Authorized Offices, e.g. in China, Korea, and Japan. Our technical experts are available especially during the design phase, but also for product assessment.

Further information is available at www.vde.com

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