The appointment of a new CE-marking manager reflects how IES is building on 16 years’ expertise in CE marking and testing. With continued legal requirements for CE compliance, Martin Wood and IES face exciting challenges – not least in educating manufacturers about the importance of integrating CE certification into the earliest stages of product development…
In February 2012, IES appointed a new CE-marking manager. Martin Wood. Martin brings 20 years’ EMC (electromagnetic conformity) experience in testing and fault rectification to IES. He joins the engineering services specialist from one of the UK’s leading EMC testing houses.
Joining a leading CE certification specialist
Martin’s appointment reinforces IES’ position in CE compliance, a legal requirement for all products sold in the European Union (EU). The CE mark indicates compliance with the European minimum safety standards.
Martin’s responsibilities include in-house EMC testing (IES provides both in-house and site test capability) and maintenance of LVD (Low Voltage Directive) testing and safety requirements. Martin will support customers who need CE testing for the EU marketplace. In particular, he’ll communicate the vital message that suppliers must integrate CE Testing into manufacturing and supply-systems early to avoid the costs and difficulties of later rectification.
Part of an integrated range of engineering services
IES became involved with CE marking in 1996 as a requirement of its core business – import and export of equipment in Europe. With this CE certification expertise, it was a logical progression to offer the service to any requirement. It was a good business decision; the subsequent growth of CE marking, EMC testing and PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) testing has proved to be a successful revenue generator. The company’s range of CE-related services now mirrors its top-level one-stop-shop offer for a wide range of complementary engineering services.
Describing what differentiates his company, managing director Niels Morch says: ‘As well as in-house EMC testing, we offer a much more flexible approach to CE testing for customers. For example, we tackle problem solving, remedial measures and design-for-compliance as well as testing – not everyone does. Our proven collaborative approach means we can assist with elements of certification or handle all aspects of testing and compiling Technical Construction Files (TCFs) to save customers time and money.’
Problem solving – not just CE testing
‘What’s more,’ Morch continues, ‘we can save customers from themselves by showing them why CE marking must never be left to the last minute. CE certification should always be designed into product development, along with EMC and other safety measures. If a company manufactures 50,000 widgets, and later finds they don’t comply, that’s a costly oversight!’
Years of experience have shown IES that it’s never too early to seek advice on CE marking and its implications. But with so much at stake, what should manufacturers look for in their CE marking partner? Top of Martin Wood’s list is being able to solve problems rather than just test. ‘Companies should also pick a partner that can help them avoid later test failures by working with them from product conception.’
The future of CE certification and testing
According to Wood, the challenge CE certification will remain important for suppliers to the EU. ‘Expect more harmonisation and a much more global face to CE marking too. Take the USA for instance: at present, they use the CE immunity standards as a baseline for EMC because they have none of their own!
‘Smart businesses will prepare for the future by complying with CE certification requirements to ensure unhindered free trade. An experienced partner, such as IES, will help. When legislation changes and retesting is required, we’ll keep in touch and advise on the requirements. As my appointment demonstrates, IES is consolidating its strong position by investing in the equipment, manpower and skills needed to keep it up to date with in-house and on-site testing. As a senior projects/EMC engineer with many years’ experience testing and rectifying equipment and on-site facilities, it’s an exciting time to integrate my knowledge with the successful IES CE testing team.’