Global Market Access Testing & Certification for Renishaw
“Working with Element no doubt significantly reduced the time to market for our product range.”
Product Compliance Officer at Renishaw plc
Renishaw is a global provider of manufacturing technologies, analytical instruments and medical devices. The company works closely with manufacturers to solve complex engineering and science challenges and improve products and processes.
A recent major upgrade of Renishaw’s market-leading radio transmission probing systems for machine tools would enable users to benefit from substantially increased functionality across the product range. This included the use of radio transmission with frequency hopping spread spectrum technology (FHSS) to avoid interference and transmission dead spots, ensuring impressive reliability even in high-density radio frequency environments.
The product changes meant Renishaw needed to undertake significant radio, EMC and safety testing and certification to enable the latest versions to be launched globally across multiple markets. These included Europe, North America, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, South Africa and South Korea.
Richard Warren, Product Compliance Officer at Renishaw plc, comments: “Renishaw places great importance on the safety and reliability of all its products. We are used to having to undertake this level of testing when we release new products but, in this case, we were looking at testing 11 different products almost simultaneously and in countries and locations that all had very different regulations and certification requirements.”
The project was put out to tender and, after a rigorous selection process, Renishaw chose Element. Warren explains: “Renishaw had worked with Element before and was confident not only in its testing, inspection and certification expertise but also its knowledge of the manufacturing technologies industry and Renishaw’s range of solutions.”
A central part of the project was the co-ordination and delivery of the radio, EMC and safety testing and certification for Europe, North America and Japan. This was carried out by a team of test engineers and project managers at Element’s UKAS accredited facilities in Hull and Skelmersdale in the UK. As well as being UKAS accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, Element is a Notified Body for the European Radio Equipment, EMC & ATEX Directives, an Approved Body for the UK Radio Equipment Regulation, EMC Regulation and Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulation, a Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) for the US, a Foreign Certification Body (FCB) for Canada and a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) for Japan.
As an IECEE certification body and a certification body test lab (CBTL), Element was also able to perform all the necessary Safety CB testing and certification for the products. The IECEE CB Scheme is a multilateral agreement and certification system based on IEC International Standards that can be readily accessed and accepted in international markets. A key aim of the scheme is to allow manufacturers to gain access to international markets without the need for time-consuming and costly, duplicate or additional testing in each country.
Element’s global market access (GMA) team were then able to use Element’s UKAS accredited test reports to obtain certification for the products in countries that accept third party accredited test data including India, Malaysia, Philippines and South Africa.
The GMA team’s expert knowledge of each location’s individual requirements, combined with a detailed understanding of the project’s requirements, ensured they were able to complete the certification process for each region quickly and efficiently. Element’s global reach meant that its GMA engineers based in Europe and Asia could help to circumnavigate any potential time zone issues and avoid any language barriers.
For countries that required the product to be tested at a local laboratory, Element was able to arrange all the additional mandatory overseas testing and provide in-country representation, either at one of Element’s 200 laboratories worldwide or using an Element approved local test house from its expansive network of compliance partners. These countries included Brazil, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, and Mexico. If necessary, Element sourced and selected new suitable test houses to ensure certification was always achieved as quickly as possible.
Renishaw had a number of key deadlines in order to meet customer demands. By taking a collaborative approach, Element’s team of experts were able to work with Renishaw to meet all their timelines and deliver the project on time.
Element’s in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations in different countries, including any potential updates that might be taking place, ensured any issues were professionally dealt with as soon as they arose. The team kept abreast of any potential changes or issues developing in each location, advising Renishaw on topics ranging from labelling requirements and importer requirements to documentation language requirements. When required, Element also liaised directly with the relevant government regulators on Renishaw’s behalf.
Element’s team of experts also fully briefed Renishaw on any additional future requirements, such as certification expiry dates and when the renewal process would be necessary. This varied significantly from country to country with countries such as Mexico, for example, requiring certification to be renewed as frequently as every 12 months.
Richard Warren comments: “Overseas product testing during any testing and certification project can be a complex and time-consuming burden for manufacturers but Element took responsibility for many aspects from advice on test requirements to advising on local regulations and assisting with various technical and regulatory issues.
“Working with Element no doubt significantly reduced the time to market for our product range. Element not only handled everything that was required, providing testing and certification as quickly as possible, but their team ensured that we were always kept up to date throughout the process, helping to give us certainty whilst we concentrated on our core business.”
For more information on how Element can help you, contact our expert team for more information.
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