“Why communication is key to acing the safety certification process”Martin McCullagh, Business Development Manager for Fire Detection at BRE Global
When a company sets out to bring a new fire detection product to market, one of the main challenges it faces is gaining certification to the relevant standards. Like taking out an insurance policy, this is a process that every company in this sector must go through if it wants its product to be widely sold. By gaining Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) approval, for example, as a manufacturer you will benefit from increased sales and value pricing, while reducing your liability.
The challenge, however, is that the certification process can be costly and time-consuming. If manufacturers fail to meet the many requirements of European Standards, corrections must be made and the longer that this journey is, the longer that a company is incurring costs without making sales, meaning there is intense pressure on the process going to plan.
So when Argus Spectrum International’s (ASI) Sales Director, Tony Betka approached BRE Global in January 2019, with the objective of bringing his company’s new products to consumers in just one year, we all thought it was a tall order but both parties welcomed the challenge.
Yet less than 12 months later, the StreletzPro range is due to be showcased at Intersec 2020. Independent third party certification through international certification body LPCB, operated by BRE Global for approvals of fire and security products, is expected in during the first quarter of 2020. The process so far has been rapid by usual certification standards and is undoubtedly a result of both teams’ ability to work together, focussing on the three C’s – communication, cooperation and collaboration.
To achieve certification, Tony Betka initially approached BRE Global at Intersec Dubai in January 2019. BRE’s LPCB brand is well known and respected and, in one name or another, has been around for over 100 years. It was this wealth of knowledge and expertise that convinced ASI that BRE Global was the right choice, and in my role as Business Development Manager for Fire Detection at BRE Global, I was able to quickly establish a strong working relationship with Mr Betka.
Under accreditation rules, certification bodies are unable to give advice, but the BRE Global team made themselves readily available to provide guidance and to answer questions regarding matters such as the technical clarification of clauses within standards before ASI submitted their products for testing in April 19. Regular meetings took place with all involved to enable quick amendments to be made to the product design if there were any minor glitches during the test programme.
LPCB Certification involves testing and auditing of the factory production lines, so whilst the testing was underway, our team also visited the manufacturing plant in St Petersburg in Russia where the StreletzPro range is being produced. ASI is also planning to manufacture the StreletzPro range at their new plant in Savonlinna in Finland. The kitting out and subsequent work required to enable a successful ISO 9001: 2015 and Factory Production Control visit in such a short time took significant investment from ASI, who got through their initial audit without incurring any non-conformities, which is very unusual for a new manufacturing plant.
Thanks to a brilliant example of collaboration with the BRE Global team, ASI can also now look forward to showcasing the StreletzPro range at Intersec Dubai 2020.
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