America is the West’s great producer, with an industrial backbone that is responsible for over 8% of all employment across the nation. The sheer volume of products created by the myriad facilities up and down the country represents a great deal of risk to consumers and commercial clients alike, where even slight mistakes in production can lead to catastrophic mistakes further down the line. A lot of trust is placed in private industry – which is why product certification and standards are a modern-day norm.
First and foremost, product certifications and safety standards are established in order to protect clients and consumers. Regulating the manufacture of complex products and machinery effectively minimizes the risk to users, where processes and materials can be guaranteed safe – as can the operation of the machinery or components within pre-calculated tolerances.
Reputable domestic, commercial, and wholesale suppliers of equipment and components, such as RS Americas sell certified equipment and machinery as part of an ethical obligation to consumers, as well as to keep in line with US law.
Product certification and standards are crucial considerations for numerous reasons. However, there is a concrete legal basis on which these standards are built that incentivizes compliance on all counts. The main act with which industries will be familiar in this regard is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, or CPSIA in short – an act designed to improve safety and health for domestic consumers, especially with regard to children’s products. With regard to specialized and industrial equipment, though, the bases are a little more complex.
Third-party organizations generally handle standards and certifications with a mandate; themselves specialized according to a particular discipline or field. For example, the American Concrete Institution is responsible for the development of standards regarding concrete usage and practical application.
The Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) is a global standards organization that certifies a wide variety of equipment and processes across industries; meanwhile, the American National Standards Institute is responsible for reviewing existing standards and certifications for efficacy.
For a manufacturer, ensuring a given product or line is appropriately standardized and certified is a multi-faceted process. First, US law needs to be combed for base legal frameworks to follow – then, the appropriate standards organization needs to be identified and contacted. From here, the product can be tested under the correct conditions by an authorized lab before the product receives the formal certification necessary. This certification can then be included in the supplementary materials and packaging for users to review.
Certifying a given product is a simple route to ensuring it is a safe, legal, and commercially sound item. It can also allow a product greater access to the markets in which it might sell, not to mention greatly increase trust between manufacturer and client.