18 September 2018
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UL Recognised Access Hardware Increases Product Testing Efficiency To Get Products Faster To Market - Saving Manufacturers Time & Money

Increasingly essential if you export your products to the USA or Canada, the UL standard is an initiative that increases efficiency for manufacturers by saving time and money when testing products – and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the standard in the UK and throughout Europe.

Founded in 1894, UL is a global safety consulting and certification company and is recognised worldwide for helping companies demonstrate safety, confirm compliance, deliver quality and performance and build workplace excellence.

Enclosure manufacturers face many challenges when certifying their end product to meet environmental compliance, including testing products with differing environmental ratings to the required enclosure. Until recently in order to build enclosures that were UL 50E Type rated, additional testing and evaluation of the enclosure was almost always required due to the unknown compliance status of components, such as hinges and latches used in these enclosures.

UL recently released FTTA2/FTTA8, a new Recognition Certification for the US and Canada which evaluates components’ resistance to corrosion and performance degradation due to environmental conditions and usage over time.

Utilising components with the new certification, enclosure manufacturers will be able to reduce significant time and costs associated with having to put their enclosure through all facets of UL 50E testing, which includes solid and water ingress, corrosion resistance, gasket integrity, and plastic concerns such as UV resistance, water exposure and immersion, and flammability requirements.

Southco, Inc., a key supplier of enclosure accessories (click here to visit our Southco range), recently collaborated with UL to complete testing and Recognition Certification of a select portfolio of its hinge and latch products according to FTTA2/FTTA8 and they are the first access hardware component supplier to earn this certification.

By pre-qualifying the enclosure for outdoor applications, using component hardware from Southco that meets FTTA2/FTTA8, it’s been estimated the manufacturer will save testing time resistance against environmental factors such as corrosion, heat water ingress as well as the cost of test samples.

The new FTTA2/FTTA8 Recognition Certification covers a broad range of enclosure accessories, including:

  • 3-point handles
  • Butt and concealed hinges
  • Draw latches and compression latches
  • Captive fasteners
  • Quarter-turn fasteners
  • Swing handles

Recognised access hardware from Southco can help enclosure manufacturers avoid these challenges by:

  • Saving 50 days or more of corrosion testing
  • Accelerate speed of product evaluation and time to market
  • Eliminate costs for test samples and lab fees
  • Access hardware tested and regularly inspected by UL
  • Using latches, hinges and fasteners that are Type rated to the same Type as the enclosure
  • Trusting UL tested and regularly inspected products
  • Selecting from over 100,000 Type rated enclosure accessories
  • Southco manufactures over 100,000 UL Recognised products
  • Hardware tested to meet corrosion, ingress and gasket integrity standards

Discussing UL’s role in improving manufacturer’s testing efficiency John Kovacik, UL Principal Engineer said, “UL works with manufacturers from the outset to help them address challenges and achieve compliance.”

He continued, “Not only do we excel in research and science, but we understand our customers’ market needs. So, we are uniquely skilled to help them with testing, certification, and analysis of the results and explain, if needed, why there is a failure, in order to help them revise and retest.”

Chris Waite, Engineer, Diversified Technologies, Southco, Inc said, “Southco’s work with UL will allow us to provide greater value to our customers, by helping them to bring their products to market faster with our FTTA2/FTTA8 Recognised products.”

“By pre-qualifying the enclosure access hardware for indoor and outdoor applications, it’s been estimated the manufacturer will save at least 50 days of testing time, including fees associated with testing, and the cost of test samples.”

Zygolgoy Sales Director, Richard Avery, also states “UL is new to the UK and Europe, but it makes a lot of sense for designers and manufacturers to specify and use components which have been preapproved for use in a particular application. Like many transatlantic initiatives I feel that UL will soon become a common part of design practice in Europe. Having this range of parts already certified will certainly make life easier for designers now – whether or not the final products end up in North America.

If you’d like to find out more and discover how UL Recognised Access Hardware can increase your manufacturing efficiency by saving time & money or discuss our range of Southco products, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today on 0808 123 1221 or email sales@zygology.com.

Zygology Ltd

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