History of Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

Canadian Standards Association

Sir John Kennedy, founded the Canadian Standards Association, in 1919. He was Chairman of the Civil Engineers’ Canadian Advisory Committee.

C.S.A. was first established as the Canadian Engineering Standards Association. However, the name was changed in the 1940’s. Furthermore, this change was to their current name.

Their first publication was “Specifications for Steel Railway Bridges”. 

After being published, they became the official agency for all electrical equipment intended for sale or installation in Canada.

In 1952 C.S.A. became globally recognized as a certification mark. Also, they have become accredited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

Most noteworthy, in the 1990’s, C.S.A. gained acceptance of CSA-certified products from major U.S. retailers.

These retailers include:

  • J.C. Penney.
  • Wal-Mart.
  • Montgomery Ward.
  • Target stores.

Furthermore, C.S.A. provides services to business all across the world. They also, provide their ever-growing knowledge to consumers.

North American Marks

C.S.A. markings show a consumer that their products have been tested to rigorous standards.

These tests are against applicable standards as well as applicable requirements.

Customers find these marks on various types of products.

Some of these products include:

  • Electrical products.
  • Gas-fired products.
  • As well as, plumbing equipment.
  • Personal protective equipment.
  • And, much more.

The C.S.A. mark shows that consumer products have been certified. However, this certification is by an accredited third-party lab.

Also, these marks show that a product met applicable standards as required by North American law.

Therefore, C.S.A. works with technical experts that understand the standard requirements.

International Marks

International network office and testing facilities provide a single contact to obtain certifications for markets worldwide.

Therefore, they can identify the specific product requirements for the target consumer markets quickly and confidently.

As a result, C.S.A. can obtain certifications in more than 30 countries across the world.

Furthermore, consumers can be confident in the safety of their products.

Energy Efficient Marks

Energy efficiency verification marks from The C.S.A. Group demonstrate that the product has met the specific requirements.

The following groups outline these requirements:

Additionally, consumer products can receive a combined certification and energy efficiency verification mark for both the U.S. and Canadian markets. They achieve this by being tested to both certification and energy requirements.

For a complete list of all C.S.A. Marks and certification click here.

Helpful Links

In conclusion, you can learn more about the other certifications with these links below:

To learn more about Ground Straps as well as the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Lastly, check out our other blogs!

 

 

 

ETL Certification Benefits

Obtaining an ETL Certification benefits all parties involved. The list includes the manufacturer, distributors, retailers as well as the end user or consumer. An ETL certification provides the stamp of approval representing high quality and safety. For this post, let’s take a closer look at the ETL Certification benefits offered for manufacturers. 

ETL Certification Benefits with Intertek

Falconer Electronics, Inc (FEI) manufactures commercial power strips as well as many other electrical products. Manufacturing safe and superior electrical products has been a key component to our 34 years of company success.

A valuable resource and trusted partner over the years has been Intertek.

Intertek brings FEI a strong competitive edge. This is done by providing compliance, quality and regulatory guidance.

All through the Intertek ETL Certification. Energy efficiency, performance, and safety are among the many ETL certification benefits.

Yet, ETL goes beyond testing. They also, inspect and certify products. Therefore, Intertek provides Total Quality Assurance to industries worldwide.

History of ETL Certification 

Intertek delivers the expertise to quickly get your electrical and lighting products to market. They ensure the safety, performance, and energy efficiency for products enduring their rigorous testing measures.

The history of ETL certification dates back to Thomas Edison. In 1896, Edison began Intertek at the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. The original name was the Lamp Testing Bureau. It was then renamed Electrical Testing Labs.  

Eventually, Electrical Testing Labs shortened the name to ETL.

For well over a century, ETL continues to deliver Edison’s legacy of high standards. The ETL logo represents how an independent testing lab approves and qualifies your electrical products.

Like the UL mark, ETL shows proof of compliance according to a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). OSHA created NRTL in 1988.

The team at Intertek provides valuable guidance on efficiency and safety as well as government regulations.

ETL Certification Benefits at Falconer Electronics  

Falconer Electronics, Inc enjoys the vast experience of obtaining ETL certification. Particularly, for many of our own products.

Especially since obtaining an ETL listing for the first time can be a daunting task. 

ETL Certification is recognized as an international symbol of compliance as well as being a symbol for high quality and safety.

For example, click here to view our Commercial Power Strips certified by ETL: 

COMMERCIAL POWER STRIPS 

Intertek brings strict and rigorous guidelines to product design. This ensures the innovation and reliability of electrical products. Along with the safety of those products.

FEI finds Intertek promotes collaboration with manufacturers as well as quick turnaround times.

The team at Intertek works hard to help the process flow quickly, smoothly and in a cost-effective manner.

Major retailers, such as Walmart and Lowe’s find the experience and expertise at FEI refreshing while navigating the ETL Certification process.

Also, customers find that FEI already possesses ETL certifications on many existing products.

Therefore, those products are extremely convenient, especially when facing tight deadlines.

For instance, when a customer needs a specific commercial power strip immediately, having the proper ETL Certification in place streamlines the process. 

Helpful Links

To learn more about Ground Straps as well as the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Also, check out our other blogs!

For more information on ETL and Intertek click here.

 

ETL Certification Benefits

ETL Certification Benefits at Falconer Electronics

 

 

 

 

History of UL

UL

In 1894 William Henry Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories. Otherwise known as UL for short. “Underwriters’ Electrical Bureau” was its original name. Then, in 1903 they published their first literature on safety. It was titled “Tin-Clad Fire Doors”.

The safety lab leaped into modern testing. Their certification of the first motor-driven phonograph was in 1907. As a result of keeping up with the times, one hundred years later they made another leap, testing of the modern CD player.

Recognition of the Testing Lab

Underwriters Laboratories has become the best-known independent testing lab in the world. Therefore, UL performs testing on a wide range of products. Their testing procedures assess the quality of the individual product as well as level as safety.

According to their website “UL certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits advises and educates.” UL performs all of these functions through their testing services. Especially for those looking to ensure their products comply with regulations as well as safety.

The UL Certification is not only recognized in the U.S., it also services companies worldwide. 

UL and International Influences

There is the same level of safety for products in the U.S.A. as those going outside of the states. UL studies international certification standards. 

Furthermore, UL has made a strong effort to standardize safety requirements. They have also made an effort to standardize protocol. These are as well as certifications around the world.

A Testing Lab

Underwriters Laboratories is very adamant about clarifying something.

UL wants it well expressed that they are a testing lab. They are not an approval lab. Also, they are not a government agency.

They do not have the right to approve any product for a consumer. However, their certification process is held at a high level. Due to this, the government takes their certification into account during the approval processes.

Helpful Links

To learn more about Ground Straps as well as the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

 

 

 

safety certifications

Certification of Electrical products is crucial. Certification results in a guarantee of superior quality.

Therefore, the regulation of electrical products is to ensure safety. Additionally, certification offers compliance with environmental obligations as well.

Certification Agencies Working With Businesses

Businesses can ensure their products and projects comply with testing requirements. They do this by having a relationship with independent certification agencies.

Most helpful, is an in-depth knowledge of how these different agencies work. As well as what they are looking to achieve during the testing process.

These agencies work with companies closely. Meanwhile, these agencies help make products less likely to need adjustment throughout the testing procedures. This is helpful when qualifying for compliance.

Below is a short synopsis of each agency.

These synopses include: 

  • Each agency’s standards.
  • Along with, each of their qualifications.

Finally, take a look at the websites for each certification agency. 

Three Main Agencies

There are three main safety certification agencies:

  • UL
  • CSA
  • ETL

Each is recognized in the electronic manufacturing field. Furthermore, each agency has their own specific purpose.

Electronic Safety Certification Agencies 

UL Standards Certification  CSA Certification   ETL Certification

 
 

 

UL (Underwriters Laboratory)    
  • UL began in 1894.
  • They have recognition, as a standard for testing electrical products.
  • As well as, the standard for inspecting electrical products.
  • UL also educates and guides businesses in required safety requirements.
  • Global certification possibilities.
CSA ( Canadian Standards Association)   
  • CSA was established in 1919.
  • They have recognition, as the official certifications for all electronic products in Canada.
  • Also, they are a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) for the US.
  • Additionally, CSA has authorization in energy efficiency testing.
  • Global certification possibilities.
ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories)
  • ETL was established in 1896 by Thomas Edison.
  • They are a provider of testing and assurance services.
  • As well as, highly regarded for their knowledge and expertise.
  • Therefore, ETL ensures minimization of health and safety risks. As well as, security risks by reducing cost.
  • Also, they have global accreditation. Along with global recognition.

Coming Soon

In the upcoming blog series, we will be focusing on what each of these agencies does.

Especially, how they ensure that electrical products are of the highest standards in safety. Furthermore, offering the highest standards for regulations.

Additional Helpful Information  

Click below for helpful information about Wire Harness Assemblies:

Also, for more information on Ground Straps, please click these helpful links: 

Finally, please look into our other blog posts on certifications:

Also, please connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Wishing you a SUCCESSFUL and ELECTRIC DAY!

Safety

Safety for Outlet Strips

Safety            Outlet strips have many different uses in everyday life. They have many safety features as well. These features keep everyone safe. Extension cord, power strip or surge protector devices provide temporary power to electrical devices. Especially those that need to be used in areas not located near a wall outlet. Therefore, these are a temporary fix. They shouldn’t be in use for more than 90 days in a single spot.

Most light duty extension cords have a rating for a maximum of 10 amps or 1200 watts. Whereas most strip cord, power strip, and surge protectors have a 15 amps (1875 watts) rating. All Outlet strips contain surge protectors. A surge protector is a device who’s purpose is to protect electrical devices. This protection is from voltage spikes. Also a surge protector attempts to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device. This is done by either blocking or shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe limit. In conclusion, all outlet strips also include an on/off switch and are made to be as safe as possible.

15 Important Safety TipsSafety

  1. The total watts should not exceed the rated capacity of the extension cord. This is also true for power strips as well as power tap or surge protectors.
  2. Power cords are designed for computers as well as audio and video equipment. They are also for use with musical instruments and home movie lighting. They are also designed for home workshops and laboratory equipment.
  3. Ensure that you purchase power strips with an internal circuit breaker.
  4. Use power strips sparingly.
  5. Look for Outlet strips that are UL or ETL Certified.
  6. Do not knot or twist the cord.
  7. High voltage items can cause an overload to outlet strips. Objects such as refrigerators, microwaves or space heaters. 
  8. Do not locate a surge protector in a moist or wet environment.
  9. Also, don’t locate a power strip in any area where carpet, furniture, or any other item will cover it. These items will limit or prevent air circulation.
  10. Never use a cord that feels hot.
  11. Additionally, do not use a cord that is showing signs of damage in any way.
  12. Never nail, staple, or tape power cords. This includes to desks, walls, ceilings, or another object.
  13. Furthermore, use exterior rated cords for outside use.
  14. Also do not use indoor extension cords outdoors.
  15. Do not extend extension cords by plugging into another. Overloading can occur when multiple devices are plugged into one cord.

Wrapping Up

Want to learn more about ETL and UL? Check out these blogs:

For additional information on Wire Harness Manufacturing, please check out these helpful links below: 

Finally, for more information on Ground Straps, please click these helpful links: 

Wire Harness Safety

Welcome to National Electrical Safety Month. Yes, May serves as the month to promote National Electrical Safety. Of course, we all should adhere to electrical safety each and every day. As a Wire Harness Manufacturer, we can certainly attest to the importance of Electrical Safety. Especially when it comes to Wire Harness Safety which plays a critical role with electronics. 

First, let’s look a little deeper at Electrical Safety. For companies in electronics manufacturing, contributing to consumer safety is paramount. Numerous agencies and organizations exist that are dedicated to electrical and workplace safety.

For example, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI) is the premier non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety for home, school and the workplace. EFSI founded National Electrical Safety Month. As an organization, EFSI promotes electrical safety in the spirit of bringing awareness and education for businesses as well as all consumers.

Below includes the National Electrical Safety Month Safety Advocate Guide which can be downloaded by clicking here

SHARP Program

Participating in the SHARP program also supports our company policy on safety. The acronym SHARP stands for Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program. The SHARP program works with small businesses who have made a commitment to operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. There are many benefits with belonging to the SHARP program:

  • Protect employees from workplace safety and health hazards
  • Follow OSHA guidelines on safety best practices to protect workers
  • Boosting morale by creating a safe and dynamic work environment for employees
  • Reduce workplace injuries 

Wire Harness Safety

Wire Harness Safety

Let’s dig specifically into wire harness safety. Many companies find tremendous profit potential by outsourcing wire harness assembly services to custom Wire Harness Manufacturers.

Factors include efficiency, price, experience, as well as possessing the proper tools and resources. 

Another important factor that plays a role with a company deciding to outsource their wire assemblies includes safety as well. 

At Falconer Electronics, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our employees as well as all products that we produce.

Serving the electronics industry since 1985, our team has developed the experience and expertise to deliver products in the safest manner possible. 

In addition, Falconer Electronics exhausts every effort for accuracy and reliability.

For example, this includes instituting wire harness safety during the assembly process.

Furthermore using the proper equipment and tools to tackle each project is another significant benefit with creating a safe work environment. 

Over the past three decades, Falconer Electronics has teamed up with the top electrical vendors based on durability and reliability to provide safe products.

 Wire Harness Safety: IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard 

Falconer Electronics also strictly follows industry guidelines and regulations for wire harness safety.

IPC/WHMA-A-620 serves as an industry standard that provides criteria for commonly used wire harness assemblies.

The standard is a “collection of visual Quality Acceptability Requirements for Cable, Wire and Harness Assemblies.”

Additionally, to learn more about the IPC/WHMA-A-620, click here:  http://www.ipc.org/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=IPC-WHMA-A-620

Let’s look at a few defects that hamper wire harness safety. For example, loose cables and wires can prove to be extremely dangerous. Yet, wire harness assemblies provide the necessary protection to contain loose wires. Also, handling the proper energy load is crucial. Otherwise a short can occur causing serious damage to the wire or even cause an electrical fire. 

A few other possible causes of defects:

  • Short circuiting of wires & cables
  • Damaged insulation
  • Overloading of electrical accessories
  • Conductor deformation
  • Wire separation 

Above all, any of these culprits can create an unwelcome or hazardous event.

Wire Harness Safety

Wrapping It Up

Lastly, to learn more about Wire Harness Manufacturing, check out these helpful links: 

In addition, check out these helpful links on Ground Straps: 

UL Standards

As we continue our series on New Product Development, a key component with the process includes obtaining certification at UL Standards. In the last post we discussed “The Importance of UL, CSA, and ETL Safety Certifications“. Earning UL listings offer your customers the peace of mind that your product tested and in addition, passed rigorous UL standards. Also, having gone through the process repeatedly for numerous products lends a valuable experience to our team. Therefore, gaining the knowledge and a full understanding of the expectations required for UL Standards allows us to help our customers with these challenges.

UL Certification Guidelines and Rules 

“UL Standards encompass UL’s extensive safety research and scientific expertise. With over a century of experience in the development of more than 1,500 Standards, UL is an accredited standards developer in the US and Canada. In addition to extending its global public safety mission, UL Standards partners with national standards bodies in countries around the world to build a safer, more sustainable world.”

Here is a helpful link to the UL Certification, especially for new product developers: “Specific Guidelines and Rules“.

Additionally below is a link to “A Guide to United States Electrical and Electronic Equipment Compliance Requirements”:

https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/ir/2016/NIST.IR.8118.pdf

Furthermore, there  is a video on Accessing UL Standards Documents: UL Standards Certification Customer Library (SCCL):

List of UL Standards at Falconer Electronics 

If you are not experienced with UL Standards, the list below includes the UL Listings that Falconer Electronics obtained over the years for our products. Additionally, you can click on the UL Standards below: 

UL 1363

Portable Outlet Strip-

  • Indoor
  • Cord and plug
  • Movable
  • Less than 3 receptacles
  • Also, provides ground fault

UL 111

Hardwired Outlet strip

  • Multioutlet assembly
  • Raceway
  • Dry locations
  • Also strips without cords/  not permanently wired in

UL 5

Surface metal Raceways and fittings

  • Enclosed circuits operating at no more than 300 volts
  • Can either be metal or non-metal
  • This does not, however, include cover cable trays, wireways or nonmetallic raceways

UL 48

Electric Signs

  • Includes electric signs, art forms and outline lighting for use in accordance with the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70
  • Also, voltage is not a factor
  • Types of lighting included
    • Incandescent
    • Fluorescent
    • High-intensity discharge (HID)
    • Electric discharge tubing including neon tubing
    • Light-emitting diode (LED)
    • Skeleton neon tubing
    • Cold-cathode lamps
    • Also, electroluminescence
  • Furthermore, “Signs” included
    • Signs
    • Outline lighting
    • Art forms
    • Skeleton neon tubing.
    • Awning signs
    • Trailer-mounted signs
    • Electrically or mechanically animated signs
    • Signs supplied by photovoltaic systems in addition to other independent power sources
    • Changing message signs
    • Including scrolling
    • Flipper
    • Tri-view
    • Liquid crystal display (LCD)
    • Light-emitting diode (LED) type
    • Also, there are other electrically operated signs that are not necessarily illuminating.
  • Not included however
    • Illuminated clocks operating at 600 V or less; refer to the Standard for Household Electric Clocks, UL 826 or for commercial use clocks to the Standard for Time-Indicating and -Recording Appliances, UL 863;
    • In addition to, Exit signs; refer to the Standard for Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment, UL 924;
    • The trailer of a trailer mounted sign;
    • Luminaires mounted to function as outline lighting; refer to the Standard for Luminaires, UL 1598;
  • Additionally, Luminaires mounted within an Awning Sign; refer to Standard for Luminaires, UL 1598;
  • Signs that do not use electricity;
  • Luminaires intended for billboard illumination; refer to Standard for Luminaires, UL 1598;
  • Fiber optics or Fiber Optic Illuminators;
  • Also, Signs for use in hazardous (classified) locations as defined in the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70.

UL 183

Manufactured wiring systems includes:

  • Outdoor locations
  • Field-installed wiring assemblies using off-site manufactured subassemblies for branch circuits
  • Remote-control circuits
  • Signaling circuits
  • Also, communication circuits in areas that are accessible

Finally, thank you for reading this blog on UL Standards. Additionally, we will be continuing our series on New Product Development.

Let’s Connect 

Additionally, to learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Also, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Wishing you an ELECTRIFYING DAY!

 

 

safety certifications

Safety and Certifications Importance

As we continue our series on New Product Development, the next stage includes obtaining certifications for product safety. Safety and Certifications are an important aspect of any business. Not only to the customers but also to the company itself. Certification of electrical products is crucial to the safety of products. As a result, product certification is a stamp of superior quality. Regulation of electrical products is to ensure not only safety but also environmental obligations as well.

The Three Agencies

In electronics manufacturing, there are three main safety and certification agencies. A close relationship with these independent certification agencies ensures that products and projects comply with rigorous testing requirements. These agencies work with companies to help make products safely. They provide the proper testing procedures in order to qualify for the needed compliance. 

Electronic Safety Certification Agencies 

 CSA marks on products help consumers to know that that specific product has been tested and is meeting all standards and requirements. There are many different types of products that these marks are found on. Some of these include electrical products, gas-fired, plumbing, and personal protection equipment. However, these are not the only products that CSA marks can be found on. There is encouragement to consumers to always check products for certification markings from CSA, UL, or ETL.ETL Listings through Intertek  CSA Certification

UL (Underwriters Laboratory)

  • Began in 1894
  • The standard for testing electrical products
  • The standard for inspecting electrical products
  • Also educates and guides businesses in required safety requirements
  • Global certification possibilities

ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories)

  • Established in 1896 by Thomas Edison
  • Provider of testing and assurance services
  • Highly regarded for their knowledge and expertise
  • Therefore, ensuring minimization of health, safety, and security risks by reducing cost
  • Also globally accredited and recognized

CSA ( Canadian Standards Association)

  • Established in 1919
  • Official certifications for all electronic products in Canada
  • Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) for the US
  • Additionally, CSA has authorization in energy efficiency testing
  • Global certification possibilities

UL (Underwriters Laboratories)

UL Certification Lab

In 1894 William Henry Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories or UL. Since then, Underwriters Laboratories has become the best known and recognized independent testing lab in the world. Businesses recognize UL for their education and guidance on safety requirements. Therefore, they perform testing on a range of products. Their testing procedures assess the quality and safety of the individual product. Also, their procedures are viewed as the standard for the testing and inspecting of electrical products. UL’s experience and rigorous standards are why Falconer Electronics Inc places trust their certification process.

According to their website, “UL certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits advises and educates.” They do all of these through the testing services they provide. UL does all of these for companies looking to ensure their products comply with regulations and safety just like FEI and other manufacturers like us.

Products within the United States are not the only ones certified by UL. UL also studies international certification standards and practices. Companies worldwide recognize UL’s certifications. Due to this recognition, there is the same level of safety for products in the U.S.A. as those going outside of the states. UL has made a strong effort to standardize safety requirements, protocol, and certifications around the world.

2016 UL Accomplishments

In 2016 UL was recognized in over 100 countries. There were also over 20 billion products baring a UL mark. The numbers do not end there, however. In addition to their work in the United States UL also has over 1 billion consumers in Asia, Europe, and North America. UL reaches each of these consumers with their safety messages.

UL has had involvement with approximately 96000 product evaluations. There are over 11000 employees at UL. These employees work out of 170 facilities spread across 40 countries. Each employee plays a part in providing services to their large number of customers.  The publication of over 1500 current safety standards is a large part of the UL family’s accomplishments.

Along with the numerous products and services that UL evaluates they have to be adaptable to the ever-changing world of technology. New technology has led to new advancements in safety. In this changing time, UL has had to adjust certain standards while also developing new ones for newly developed products. These adjustments and new standards will help to ensure that the testing UL is performing is of the highest quality and continues to be relevant to current times.

UL is a Testing Lab Not an Approval Lab

Finally, there is an important distinction that UL is adamant about clarifying. Something UL wants well expressed is that they are a testing lab, not an approval lab. Also, they are not a government agency that has the right to approve any product for a consumer. Due to the view that their process is of the highest level, the government takes their certification into account during the approval processes.

 ETL Certification Benefits 

ETL Certifications

Intertek offers many benefits through its ETL certifications. Much like UL, ETL certifications do not just certify products. They also provide “Total Quality Assurance” to the industries that they work with. Through ETL, Intertek certifies products based on energy efficiency, their performance, and also for the safety of the product.

Thomas Edison is the most notable contributor to ETL. In 1896 his company, The Edison Electric Illumination Company were vital in the legacy of high standards that ETL continues to deliver today, well over a century later. Due to these high standards, companies that are obtaining an ETL listing for the first time may find the process daunting. However,  the Intertek team prides themselves on the amount of assistance they are able to offer to companies throughout the certification process. ETL doesn’t just certify a product and wash its hands of that company. They also do follow-ups and continue involvement in changes within that certified product.

World Wide Representation 

Intertek is a global industry. With their global coverage, Intertek has recognition in countries such as Argentina, China, Germany, Italy, and Mexico as well as the United States and Canada. Throughout 100 countries Intertek has 1,000 locations. Each of these locations is there for the convenience of the businesses that need Intertek’s involvement with their products.

Due to their large number of locations, there is also a need for a large number of employees. Within their 1,000 locations, Intertek employs over 40,000 workers. This large number of employees helps to ensure the best work possible for all of the companies that need Intertek’s help in the certification of their products.

Benefits of ETL Certification

There are many benefits to working with Intertek to get a certification. Intertek offers a step by step process to achieve their certifications.

The Steps
  • The assurance that you receive:

Intertek aims to help companies identify any risks that they have before certifying a product. They help evaluate operations, supply chains, and management systems.

  • Testing:

This step helps to see where a product stands in all the standards they uphold. Therefore, if a product does not perform in quality, safety, sustainability, and performance it will have to go through redesigning.

  • Inspection:

This step is very important to the certification process as it not only affects the final product but each individual aspect that creates the final product. All of the individual pieces and products that go into a final product will go through inspection during this step.

  • Certification of the product:

During this step, a product goes through its final confirmation to ensure that it is meeting all standards.

 

Thomas Edison Founder of ETL Certification

Thomas Edison Founder of ETL through Intertek

 

 

CSA Certification

CSA Certification

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) was founded by Sir John Kennedy in 1919. Sir Kennedy was chairman of the Civil Engineers’ Canadian Advisory Committee. Due to this, CSA had the original name of The Canadian Engineering Standards Association. CSA did not change their name until the 1940s. As CSA’s recognition grew as they became the official agency for any piece of electrical equipment that is for sale or already in use in Canada. CSA became globally recognized in the 1950s. Furthermore, CSA has become accredited by U.S. OSHA as a “Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory”. Since the U.S. OSHA accreditation CSA has gained global recognition for the services they provide.

CSA Certification Goals   

There are many benefits to acquiring a CSA certification. Much like the other two types of certifications, CSA helps to ensure product quality and safety. CSA works with businesses to achieve their certification by helping them reach the following goals:

  • Developing a Strategic Alliance
  • Utilization of Technical Experts
  • Globally Recognized Certifications
  • Fast and Reliable Delivery of Services
  • Customized Support Throughout the Certification Process
  • Product Protection Supported by the CSA Certification

CSA Types of Certification

The Canadian Standards Association has five different types of certification available. Model certification, witnessed manufacturer’s testing for certification, supervised manufacturer’s testing certification, category program for certification, and finally the field certification program. Below are the descriptions of each type as stated by the CSA website:

Certification Types
  • Model Certification

Your product samples are tested at our facilities for safety and performance. If the product meets the applicable standard, a certificate of compliance is issued, and the CSA mark can be displayed.

  • Witnessed Manufacturer’s Testing for Certification: 

Product testing is performed at your facility under the observation of a CSA Group technical expert who documents the results. If our requirements are met, a certificate of compliance is issued along with CSA mark approval.

  • Supervised Manufacturer’s Testing for Certification (SMTC):

Product testing and certification reports are provided to CSA Group experts by the manufacturer. Through data validation and spot-checks, results are confirmed prior to issuing a certificate of compliance. Before qualifying for SMTC, your testing facility and proposed testing process need to be audited.

  • Category Program for Certification (CPC):

This option allows you to conduct your own testing in a product category, once you’ve received a certificate of qualification. Product testing and validation is performed at your facility, then evaluated by CSA Group experts, who issue a certificate of standards compliance to market-ready products.

  • Field Certification Program: 

Our field certification service is intended as a means of “one-time” certification of product to Canadian or U.S. requirements, for a specific number of units and is not meant to be an alternative to regular certification. This service may also be used where a CSA certified product has been shipped without the CSA mark or has been field modified and needs to be labeled. Tests are carried out by CSA Group to the applicable standard and a certificate of compliance is issued for products that meet the requirements (depending on your location, certain regional requirements may also apply). Gas-fired products will receive the CSA Star label and/or CSA Flame label. Electrical and plumbing products will receive the applicable CSA label.

Why is CSA Certification Important?

CSA has the experience of creating standards and certifications for products of all sizes. To date, the CSA mark is on billions of products all around the world. Also, this number is always increasing as CSA is certifying new products constantly.

CSA has recognition from numerous organizations. Some of which include OSHA and the American National Standards Institute. Therefore, CSA certifications give businesses the peace of mind that their products are of the highest quality and will perform their duties safely.

CSA marks on products help consumers to know that that specific product has gone through testing and is meeting all standards and requirements. There are many different types of products that these marks are found on. Some of these include electrical products, gas-fired, plumbing, and personal protection equipment. However, these are not the only products that CSA marks can be found on. There is also an encouragement to consumers to always check products for certification markings from CSA, UL, or ETL.

Certifications are Crucial

Certification of electrical products is crucial. As a result of a product being certified, it is guaranteed to be of superior quality. Therefore, the regulation of electrical products is to ensure safety and environmental obligations. Additionally, there are three main safety certification agencies that are recognized in electronic manufacturing. Each agency has their own specific purpose.

A close relationship with these independent certification agencies ensures that products and projects comply with rigorous testing requirements. Most noteworthy is an in-depth knowledge of how these different agencies work and what they are looking to achieve during the testing process. These agencies work with companies to make products less likely to need adjustment throughout the testing procedures in order to qualify for the needed compliance.

More Information

Want to learn more about these certifications? You can visit each of their websites below!

Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Intertek (ETL)

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

Thank you for reading our blog on Safety Certifications as we continue our series on New Product Development.

Check out our  Shop product page.

Let’s Connect

Also, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Wishing you an ELECTRIFYING DAY!

 

 

 

 

 

Grounding

Grounding

Grounding? You mean I’m grounded?! The word “grounding” is certainly never one you want to hear as a teenager. Especially from your parents. Grounding means no car. No smartphones, tablets or other devices. No sleepovers. You are basically under house arrest. Oh, the humanity! It certainly pays to mind your manners. In other words, try to stay out of trouble.

Anyway, the term “Grounding” for this discussion refers to safety. Phew! Great stuff to discuss when it comes to electrical products. Grounding returns live electrical circuits to the earth or ground. This keeps individuals safe from live wires or currents.

Grounding = Electrical Safety

Grounding wires prevent electric shocks, fires and even fatalities. It sends the current back to the ground making it harmless. Ever blow a fuse or trip a circuit? That “inconvenience” just saved you from a potential disaster.

So next time a circuit breaker pops, be grateful. Sure it stinks to stop what you are doing. Especially in the middle of making dinner or some other important project. As you go searching for which circuit to flip, take a moment to appreciate that the safety feature worked causing no harm to your household.

When you look at any outlet at your home or office, notice that there are three openings? Ever wonder why? Well, the left slot serves as neutral. The right slot means HOT. The third hole is for the ground plug. Any electrical device with three prongs means that product includes a ground cord.

Safety Tip: NEVER cut off the ground plug to fit an outlet. Not a good idea under any circumstance.

Without the ground cord, the electric current could flow through your body to find gound. Certainly, not a welcomed experience.

Grounding

You can always visit our blog for more information on electrical products and safety. Also, you can check out product information on grounds straps here.

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Surge

What is a Surge?

A surge is an increase in voltage significantly above the design level in a flow of electricity. Any household product can also cause a power surge in homes. The main causes can be from a storm or single lightning strike near your home.  Also, power lines and utility poles that are not working properly due to damage by animals, tree limbs, and car accidents. The burst of electricity can enter your home by telephone or power lines. This can cause an overload of power that needs to escape somehow.

Why Use a Protector?

Surge Protectors are extremely important in the home. They can be found almost everywhere, especially in outlet strips. Outlet strips can be for anything you can imagine in the home. Without proper protection, they can also harm your electronics if an electrical storm were to come about. Current electronics are much smaller and more delicate than older machines and are therefore more sensitive to current increases. It’s a good idea to use surge protectors for high-end electronic equipment, such as entertainment center components. By using this protection, generally, you can extend the life of a device.

Key Tips and Tricks!

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when choosing your protection!

  1. Always look for outlet strips that are properly tested to the standards of a UL certification.
  2. Don’t overload your outlet strip, this can cause too much electricity to run through the outlet strip at one time. This can cause fires, electric shock, and many more dangerous situations.
  3. Make sure to check your outlet strips on a regular basis. A strong enough electrical current could have broken the protection without your knowledge.
  4.  Pay attention to how many joule ratings your outlet strip has. The higher the rating the better!
  5. Make sure you have an indicator light. This is for proper grounding in your strip.

 

Stay Connected with us!

You can click here for more information on our Commercial Power Strips.

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For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect with us on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

 

Groundhog Day! A wonderful time of year. Ski and snowboarding season is still at full throttle. Yet, the whispers of spring are just around the corner.

Not to mention, a reminder of one of our favorite movies of all time, Groundhog Day. A classic film with Bill Murray that came out 25 years ago in 1993. Where did that time go? If you are not familiar with this timeless treasure, do yourself a favor and watch it soon. Being Groundhog Day, no time better than the present.

Groundhog Day: A Shocking Experience 

Well, Groundhog Day is also a perfect time to kick off our series on staying grounded with ground cords and ground straps. In other words, keeping safe. Always remember safety first.Groundhog

A toaster in the tub? Of course, not a good idea. Water and electricity are typically not friendly to each other (understatement of the day). As a matter of fact, any electrical device in the tub will be a shocking experience. Not in a pleasant way though.

Electrical currents love to travel, fast. The human body does not serve well as a carrier of electric currents. Wires, on the other hand, they LOVE electrical currents flowing through them. Think of all of the many benefits that electrical currents offer.

Electrical currents keep our homes warm, rooms lit with proper lighting, refrigerators running, microwaves heating and…well….you get the idea. The device that you are reading this with has wires inside that are tidily tucked away out of harm’s way.

No plans for the weekend? No problem. Make a nice cup of hot chocolate. Grab milk out of the fridge, mix with cocoa and heat up on the stove. Throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Settle in for a Winter night with Bill Murray and Groundhog Day on your TV or tablet. It is a great day to appreciate ALL of the electricity flowing safely through your home keeping you warm, nourished and entertained.

Lastly, just remember, spring is just around the corner. The Groundhog says so.

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

SHARP renewal

From left, Tim Songin, Safety Compliance account manager; Gary Baumann, Falconer Electronics; Cheryl Stanford, Falconer Electronics; Jan Jackson, Falconer Electronics; and Roger Hall, Falconer Electronics founder and president; outside of Falconer Electronics, located at 421 W. Everett St., Falconer, to recognize the business’ recertification into the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Submitted photo

Falconer Electronics Maintains SHARP Certification

FALCONER NY — Falconer Electronics was recently recertified into the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, also known as SHARP, for maintaining a safety and health program among the most-effective in the nation.

The recertification involved a three-way effort between the state Department of Labor, Falconer Electronics and Safety Compliance Inc.

Joe Budzich, state Department of Labor health auditor, and Brad Hahn, state Department of Labor safety auditor, completed the recertification. Falconer Electronics achieved its initial certification into the program in 2002 and has maintained the certification since. In addition to recognizing the company for having a highly effective safety and health program, acceptance into the SHARP also grants the company an exemption from routine OSHA inspection that can be renewed annually.

The company was founded in 1984 and incorporated in 1989, at which time it employed 10 people. Falconer Electronics manufactures circuit boards and electro-mechanical assemblies at a 30,000-square-foot facility at 421 W. Everett St. in Falconer. The company’s first assembly project was with AT&T and involved the development and production of security and temperature control for telecommunications cabinets. Falconer Electronics works for a number of well-known manufacturers and customers, often as a private label source for various components and complete assemblies. Additionally, the company serves the automotive industry, having worked in partnership with a customer prototyping and then producing the first LED lighting assemblies for heavy-duty automotive applications.

The company has completed more than 12 years without a day away from work accident.

“We are very happy and proud of our personnel. Since 2005, we have had zero days away from work injury cases. We would like to thank Brad Hahn and Joe Budzich from the state Department of Labor and Rick Shields and Tim Songin from Safety Compliance for their efforts and support maintaining our certification,” said Roger E. Hall, Falconer Electronics founder and president.

Tim Songin, Safety Compliance account manager, credited continual rotation on the safety committee as an important part of the company’s success.

” Consistency throughout the company’s safety program is at the forefront every day. Gary Baumann, Jan Jackson and Cheryl Stanford played an intricate part in this renewal,” said Songin, who co-chairs the committee.

The Falconer Electronics safety committee, composed of both line and management personnel, meets on a monthly basis and oversees the company’s written safety policies, annual employee training sessions and facility safety inspections. An action plan is drafted at the end of each year outlining the company’s monthly goals for the upcoming year.

“I am very proud that Falconer Electronics has once again been recertified into the SHARP. This is the result of all parties involved maintaining a high standard of safety in our work environment and a true team effort,” said Baumann, Falconer Electronics safety manager.

The company’s certification runs through 2019 at which time it will be up for renewal.

http://www.post-journal.com/news/business/2017/12/falconer-electronics-maintains-sharp-certification/

The Holiday Tree  

Image result for christmas tree

Everyone knows Christmas isn’t the same without a tree. There are things you can do this holiday to ensure that your tree stays a beautiful decoration and does not become the subject of your disaster holiday stories. If you are purchasing an artificial holiday tree make sure that it is listed as being “Fire Resistant”. Therefore, making it more likely that in the case of an electrical shortage within the lighting a tree will not burn so quickly.

Also, if you have a real tree you want to make sure that you keep it watered. Due to the nature of trees if they are dry they have a tendency to catch fire easily. Some lighting can create heat and a dry tree is susceptible to heat damage.

Holiday Lighting

Related image  Image result for christmas lights

Using lights for decorating can add an extra flair to any holiday. However, you want to make sure that you are using them properly. Check lighting for breaks in the electrical lines. If there is a broken electrical wire there is a heightened chance of a fire or electrical shock. Also, if there are any broken or bents plugs do not use them. These broken plugs can not only short out the light string or any other lighting but, can cause damage to the socket they are plugged into.

Outdoor Decorations

  Image result for outdoor christmas decorations

When decorating the outside of your house for the holidays there are some things to remember. Do not touch overhead power lines. They can electrocute you. Also, you could fall a long distance which could result in a serious injury.

For more tips and top 10 lists check out our other blogs.

You can also get great DIY ideas on our Facebook page! For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect with us on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

NEMA


NEMA
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers. They were founded in 1926 in Rosslyn, Virginia.

The manufacturers involved also create a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. They also provide a forum for the development of technical standards that are in the best interests of the industry and users.

The History Behind NEMA

NEMA was created by the Electric Power Club and the Associated Manufacturers of Electrical Supplies. As a result, they combined together to create the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. The organization has also made numerous contributions to the electrical industry.

They also can do this by shaping public policy development and operating as a central confidential agency for gathering, compiling, and analyzing market statistics and economic data. In addition, their mission for this association is to expand market opportunities, remove business barriers and reduce manufacturing costs. In addition, they can do this through development and delivery of consensus-based standards and other intellectual property, effective advocacy, and decision-quality business information and analytics.

Why Join NEMA?

NEMA has many benefits to being a part of this association. Membership is available to any enterprise actively engaged in the manufacture of any electrical product.

They have three criteria they follow:

1) Developed and designed for sale and use in the United States,

2) Commercially available and sold in the United States

3) Be within the NEMA Product Scopes.

They also want to promote competitiveness among the members of the Association. In addition, the development of technical standards that promote fair competition by defining products and processes. They can also promote accurate and timely customized research, data collection, analysis, and forecasting to key decision-makers.

Two Types of Memberships:

Full Membership: Corporations, firms, or divisions of companies that manufacture and/or design electrical products are eligible for full membership.

Associate Membership:  Firm or entity that do not qualify for Full Membership and are industrial suppliers; wholesalers/distributors or associations.

To learn more about NEMA, Click Here!

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

RoHS

What is RoHS?

The abbreviation RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. In the beginning, RoHS was put in place, to restrict the use of certain materials in Europe. This was due to their hazardous nature. Therefore, the use of these restricted materials was regulated within electrical devices. Since July 1, 2006, every electrical device in the European Union must pass RoHS mandates.

What does RoHS Mandate?

There are specific materials that RoHS has banned due to them being hazardous.

The main hazardous materials include:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI)
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)
  • Finally some Phthalates
    • DEHP
    • BBP
    • DIBP

Due to the materials effect on the environment, they have been banned. This banishment is a result of their pollution to the landfills. Also, these materials can be harmful to any workers who work with electronic equipment that contains them.

Product Testing 

When RoHs tests a product for compliance, they use two analyzers. These two analyzers check and confirm that products comply with restrictions. These two analyzers are X-ray fluorescence along with XRF metal analyzers.

Who is Responsible for Compliance?

Originally compliance to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances was in Europe. However, as the United States exports electrical products to European countries, they started to adapt to the same restrictions. Therefore, responsibility for compliance falls on any business who not only sells electronics, it also falls to the companies who assemble electronic products. In addition to the fully assembled devices, components and early assembly of the electronic products are subject to restrictions.

More Info:

Look at the compliance guide to learn more about Restriction of Hazardous Substances   Related image

To learn more about our Wire Harnesses check out our Wire Harness Assembly page.

Also, check out our line of e-commerce line of products at Shop Our Products.

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Outdoor


Outdoor

       Safety is a big priority when It comes to all outdoor sports. This is especially important when it comes to an outdoor stadium. There are many different factors to consider when starting to plan. The first thing to consider is power lines. How is the field going to be lit? Overhead and underground power lines need to be identified and included when making a system decision. This is needed in order to power everything for the field. The second thing to consider is the layout of the field. This includes if there is easy accessibility for heavy equipment for installation and future maintenance or repairs, enough room for seating, and room for lighting poles. The final thing to consider is the availability of equipment. This is important because all the necessary equipment should be put together before even starting the project.  

New considerations to factor when starting to build

      The first consideration is the type of field that you are building. This is important when considering layout, drainage, and wiring. The second thing to consider is to look at the wiring being used. If using Underground wires there are many considerations that need to be taken. There can be three types: direct buried, trough, or tunnel. The first is direct buried. There are three conductors are buried in a trench in the ground with cooling pipes as well.  Once this is finished, the ground is reinstated and there is no visible sign of the cable along most of its length.

     The second kind is tough. There are three conductors closer together and contained in a concrete trough flush with the ground surfaces. The final kind is a tunnel. Cables can be placed in a tunnel bored for the purpose deep beneath the ground. Various designs have been used, with the conductors often bundled together. The next thing to take into consideration is overhead powerlines. There are two major types of overhead power lines. The first is Electrical cables. This includes high and low voltage cables, Supervisory and Signaling Cables, and Cathodic protection. The second type is Communication cables. This includes Phone lines, Coaxial cables, and Broadband cables. These are very important when it comes to getting power to your field.  

After the Stadium is built brings new factors

     There are many new considerations to factor in once the stadium is built. Safety is the biggest priority. Lightning is something to be aware of when it comes to outdoor sports. Taking the precautions needed, lightning poles will keep everyone safe. A well lit field also needs to be taken into consideration especially in an emergency.  These are just some of the safety features in order to keep everyone safe at your sporting events.  

Thank you for reading our post. For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

lead-free

Avoiding Grief and Pain When Using Your Soldering Iron

In a recent blog post, we discussed soldering safety tips. Our team brings over 100 years of experience with soldering circuit boards. Over the years, we have learned the best practices on how to efficiently and safely solder a variety of electrical products, particularly printed circuit boards. Through our vast experience, we have also gained a clear grasp on what NOT to do while holding a Soldering Iron.

10 Things NOT to Do While Holding a Soldering Iron

Below is a helpful list that may spare you lots of grief and pain when using a Soldering Iron:

  1. EYE SPY PAIN
    Something in your eye? Please put the soldering iron down first. Thankfully your safety goggles are in place for absentminded events such as this. Singed eyelashes will be the least of your problems without your safety glasses securely fastened.
  2. NEW NOSE RING 
    Scratching an itchy nose with a soldering iron in your hand is typically not a good idea. Unless you are eager to add that new nose ring that you have been putting off. If that is the case, then the soldering iron will cut right through the victimized or targeted area. Viola! A new hole available for your new nose ring.
  3. OUCH!
    Absolutely under no circumstance should you zip up you fly if you notice it is down. No adjustments, fixing, or any other engagement in that general area while holding a soldering iron. Results could be disastrous. Plus you will have an extremely difficult time trying to explain this accident to the emergency room staff.
  4. USE Q-TIPS INSTEAD
    Feel water floating in your ears from the early morning swim? This is not the time to clean out your ears. Set down your soldering iron and grab a few Q-tips.
  5. NO KNEE-SLAPPERS
    Tell everyone around you no jokes if you are one to slap your knee when laughing. Yelling, “Hey Johnny, that’s a knee-slapper” can turn painful real quick once the soldering iron hits your knee.
  6. SEE #1
    Soldering is not a time to apply mascara or eyeliner. Please refer to rule #1.
  7. WORSE THAN A ROOT CANAL
    If you suddenly feel a piece of popcorn stuck in your teeth from that movie you watched three nights ago, please do not try removing the kernel while soldering. A soldering iron is not a replacement for a toothpick and this could quite easily be more painful than a root canal without Novocain.
  8. NO SELFIES
    Holding or using your cell phone while soldering typically falls under the category of a “Bad Idea”. If you find it necessary to Facetime or Go Live on Facebook while soldering, please have someone else hold the phone to film your activities. You will be glad you played it safe.
  9. HOLY SMOKES BATMAN
    Please under no circumstance do you want to apply lipstick or Chap Stick while holding a soldering iron.  You may end up looking like the Joker from Batman….permanently.
  10. NO STRETCHING 
    Last but not least, if you are sitting next to someone while soldering, please keep them beyond arm’s length. Especially if you like to speak with your hands, point when making a point, flail your arms when emotional, stretch frequently or tend to smack people on the shoulder when speaking. All of the above can cost you a friendship real quick.

Soldering Iron

We had fun putting together this list even though burns and injuries are a very serious matter. Please use extreme care and caution when using a soldering iron. Hopefully, these tongue-in-cheek comments convey the message. We use the safest measures possible when soldering printed circuit boards at our facility. Falconer Electronics has proudly participated in the SHARP program since 2005 to proactively maintain a healthy and safe workplace.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post. Continue looking for our series on soldering circuit boards.

Also, to learn more about wire harness assemblies, check out our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog posts.

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

 

Striving for Perfection with Wire Harness Testing 

At Falconer Electronics, Wire Harness Manufacturing and Assembly runs through our veins. Having built literally millions upon millions of Wire Harnesses over the past 30 years, many of our employees say they could build a wire harness in their sleep. (Is that why they started bringing their pillows to work?) On a serious note, Wire Harness Testing is a core process with every order. Consistent and accurate Wire Harness Testing contributes greatly to our long-term and successful customer relationships. 

Wire Harness Testing Check List

Safety First! Wire Harness Testing requires extreme caution since live wires are involved. Unfortunately, electric shock and burns can turn a great day into a real bad day quickly. Mandatory personal protective equipment on the job includes gloves and safety glasses when testing a wire assembly.  

When performing Wire Harness Testing, our quality control department strictly follows the IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard. This standard is a collection of visual Quality Acceptability Requirements for Cable, Wire and Harness Assemblies. 

Below includes a check list for testing wires in a wire harness assembly: 

  1. Accurate Labeling
     
  2. Check for Damaged Insulation or Defective Wires 
     
  3. Continuity
     
  4. Correct Wire Gauge
     
  5. Crimping
     
  6. Free of Moisture and Corrosion
     
  7. Optimum Wire Placement Within Connectors
     
  8. Pull Test
     
  9. Test for Broken Wires
     
  10. Test for Shorts

Wire Harness Testing

To learn more about the Wire Harness Manufacturing process, click on these links: Crimping Wires and Crimping Tools.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post on Wire Harness Testing. To learn more about the wire harness assembly process, please continue reading our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog series. 

 

Also, click on the following links to learn more on printed circuit boardssoldering circuit boards and soldering safety tips.  

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

 

Soldering Safety Tips

Hand soldering printed circuit boards takes tremendous skill, patience, and expertise. As we discussed in a previous blog post, our team at Falconer Electronics has over 100 years of soldering printed circuit board experience. Below includes a list of Soldering Safety Tips that helps keep our staff safe. 

Soldering Safety Tips

14 Helpful Soldering Safety Tips

  1. First, if the soldering iron happens to slip out of your hand, PLEASE DO NOT GRAB IT! The soldering iron is extremely HOT. Let it fall, keep your cool and pick it up by the handle. Wearing gloves or having a dry cloth nearby will come in handy (yes, the pun was intended).  
     
  2.  Solder runs. It can seep through a hole in a printed circuit board. Ouch! After doing that a time or two, you will wisely consider wearing gloves. Using tweezers to hold the wire works great as well.
     
  3. Always return the soldering iron to the stand when not in use.  
     
  4. Safety Glasses, Safety Glasses, Safety Glasses. By the way, did we mention Safety Glasses? Safety Glasses probably serve as the most important tool and resource that you will use when soldering.
     
  5. Keep the cleaning sponge wet.
     
  6. Wash hands thoroughly when finished soldering. Especially if you are grabbing a meal afterward. Lingering solder on your fingers typically does not add value to the tastiness of a meal.
     
  7. Wear long sleeves and gloves. Our team has observed that solder plays “Dodgeball”. Solder likes to toss or launch little specs of heat at you. Unfortunately there is little time to “dodge” these bundles of joy. Protect your skin as much as possible. By the way, did we mention to make sure you are wearing safety glasses?
     
  8. Keep the work station clean and free of clutter. Cords from the soldering iron can easily become entangled with other objects on your workstation. The soldering iron can quickly fall. As we mentioned, NEVER grab a falling soldering iron. An even worse result would be finding the soldering iron in your lap.
     
  9. Place ice or cold water on accidental solder burns immediately. For serious injuries seek medical assistance ASAP!
     
  10. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Also, make sure it is current and up to code.
     
  11. Extract Fumes! Preferably a ventilation system that vents out of the building. For home use or hobbyist, there are many options including fans with filter boxes. 
     
  12. Avoid dirt or particles when soldering.
     
  13. Keep soldering iron turned off and unplugged when not in use. 
     
  14. Never solder live circuits or wires. This could be an Electrifying experience! 
       

 

Thank you for reading our blog post on Soldering Safety Tips. Look for continued blog posts on Soldering Circuit Boards this month.

Also, check out our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog posts to learn more about Wire Harness Assembly and Wire Harness Manufacturing

Lastly, Let’s get social! Connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program

The Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program allows manufacturers of finished goods to accept wiring harnesses manufactured off site or at a third party. Maintaining supply chain integrity while adhering to end user sourcing requirements is the key. UL offers a traceability program that determines components consistency due to UL requirements for compliance. This program helps to bring safer products to market since it follows UL standards. It also ensures the confidence that outsourced products are meeting safety standards and requirements.

Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program

Custom manufacturers are faced with many challenges. Being a part of the supply chain for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) comes with a significant responsibility. Especially with electrical products. Manufacturers in the supply chain have a social responsibility to produce high quality and safe products. In turn, the Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program provides the OEM with confidence while mitigating the risks associated with the introduction of non-compliant cable into their products.

As a wire harness manufacturer for over 30 years, Falconer Electronics works closely with customers to ensure UL standards and requirements on electrical products and assemblies. Having obtained numerous UL listings for electronic products, the team at Falconer Electronics fully understands the rigorous process and necessary requirements. We also provide the necessary support and guidance that you need to successfully build your products.

UL Offers Three Traceability Programs

UL offers three options of traceability for wire and cable distributors and processors to ensure supply chain integrity:

  1. Certified Processed Wire and Respooled Wire
  2. Recognized Component Processed Wire and Respooled Wire
  3. Recognized Component Wiring Harnesses

UL requires minimal to no testing with obtaining certification and quick turnaround. Also UL clients have immediate use of standard labels.

For more information about the Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program, please click here:

http://industries.ul.com/blog/ul-traceability-programs-support-supply-chain-integrity-and-end-user-sourcing-requirements

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Let’s get social. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Printed Circuit Board Safety

Printed Circuit Board Safety has been a serious concern as the industry has vastly grown and developed over the years. There are many safety issues when assembling and producing printed circuit boards. This is our last post for our series with commemorating May as Electrical Safety Month. In our previous posts on safety, we addressed OSHA as well as safety steps with wire harness assemblies and commercial outlet strips. This post will address printed circuit board safety. 

SHARP Program 

Safety at Falconer Electronics is an absolute top priority as shown with the company commitment to participating in the SHARP program. It can be extremely challenging for a small manufacturer to keep up with every new safety regulation. With constantly changing rules and regulations, Falconer Electronics has taken a proactive stand. The team at Falconer Electronics works closely with consulting firm Safety Compliance, Inc on OSHA compliance and workplace safety: (http://www.safetycomplianceusa.com/index.html).

Printed Circuit Board Safety 

Soldering printed circuit boards requires a special skill set. Our soldering team has combined experience that exceeds 100 years! They are an impressive group that produces high-quality circuit boards. Due to our commitment to safety, we have enjoyed over 12 straight years without a work injury or safety violation.

SHARP has also been very helpful with our soldering process. We have an extensive ventilation system disposing of fumes caused by the high heat of the mettle.

Secondly, our new circuit board pick and place machine offer many safety features that are extremely beneficial to our team. This machine places 3000 parts per hour. The machine comes equipped with a safety lid and switch. 

Another issue that we have seen in our shop is that of the safety glasses. Safety glasses are required on the floor of our factory due to the possibility of wire shavings or other material that are in and around that could cause eye damage. There have been situations where people have been clipping wire ends or leads and have had the piece fly off through the air. 

Circuit Board Safety Tips 

Below include a number of precautions with printed circuit board safety:

  1. Wearing safety goggles – Protective eyewear is essential (and mandatory)!
  2. Wearing gloves
  3. Handle solder diligently with care
  4. Clutter free workstations 
  5. Appropriate temperatures
  6. Utilize ventilation system
  7. Acceptable lighting
  8. Do not put cookies or food through reflow oven (just checking if you are reading this)
  9. Proper tools
  10. Check all connections
  11. Testing 
  12. Proper cleanup 

May is Electrical Safety Month! During which we will continue focusing on safety issues, concerns, hazard prevention, along with so much more! Check out our Facebook page for “Electrical Fail Fridays” and “What not to do” every week this month. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+. Continue to check out our blogs throughout every week this month for more information on Electrical Safety!

SHARP Program

The acronym SHARP stands for Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program. The SHARP program works with small businesses who have made a commitment to operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. There are many benefits with belonging to the SHARP program:

  • Protect employees from workplace safety and health hazards
  • Follow OSHA guidelines on safety best practices to protect workers
  • Boosting morale by creating a safe and dynamic work environment for employees
  • Reduce workplace injuries 

Sharp Program at Falconer Electronics

Benefits of SHARP

There are also significant financial rewards participating in the SHARP program. As a part of the SHARP program, companies are able to achieve reduced insurance and workman’s compensation rates. These better rates can be attributed to the elevated status that SHARP gives a company. Participation in SHARP shows that companies are willing to go the ‘extra mile’ for their employees.

Also the SHARP program allows small business owners and management the ability to closely adhere to OSHA regulations. This helps prevent costly violations during an OSHA inspection.

The SHARP program keeps a close eye on all workplace activity in our manufacturing facility. Precaution and diligence is crucial when working with any electrical product. Falconer Electronics Inc. was first certified by SHARP in 2002 (15 years ago) and has been working with their consultants ever since. Throughout these 15 years we have learned the types of potential hazards that SHARP looks for. We have been able to work side by side with the consultants to prevent injuries and any harmful situations.

According to safety consultant Tim Songin from Safety Compliance, Inc, personal protective equipment (PPE) is the biggest violator that his firm encounters while consulting manufacturers. “PPE is the most common oversight with most manufacturers that our team consults”, says Songin. It is interesting that failing with the fundamental basics in workplace safety is a common culprit.

Safety Tips

Below are a few tips that Songin recommends:
1. Proper Training – a few minutes on preventative measures can save many dollars and hours of frustration
2. Avoid careless mistakes – Sometimes easier said than done, but focus on the basics
3. Clean work stations – Many hazards are caused by simply not maintaining a clutter-free work area

May is Electrical Safety Month! During which we will continue focusing on safety issues, concerns, hazard prevention, along with so much more! Check out our Facebook page for “Electrical Fail Fridays” and “What not to do” every week this month. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+. Continue to check out our blogs throughout every week this month for more information on Electrical Safety!

 

 

OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created to help insure the safety and health of all workers. It was created at the same time as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 set standards that were enforceable. With the knowledge of these standards it was possible to create training and outreach programs. These programs also educate and assist companies and workers on how to safely do their jobs.

The OSH Act

The OSH Act is in place to guarantee proper working conditions for all workers. This act gives the authority to enforce safe conditions and standards based on research and education in the field of occupational safety and health. The OSH Act covers employers and workers in the private sector of all 50 states along with other recognized territories. This act provides a recognized reference to business and officials as to what the correct procedures are and what the potential consequences of non-compliance would be. The Department of Labor recognizes The OSH Act.

United States Department of Labor

The administrator of OSHA answers directly to the Secretary of the United States Department of Labor. This is a member of the United States Presidential Cabinet. This administrator is also the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. 

Our Involvement with OSHA

While they have a common interest in keeping all employees safe, OSHA and the SHARP program are separate identities. With our involvement with the SHARP program we here at Falconer Electronics Inc. have very little contact with OSHA directly. OSHA would respond in the situation of a serious health or safety complaint. However, due to our involvement with SHARP we are able to detect any possible threats and make corrections before they become concerns.

If you would like more information on OSHA please check out their website.

May is Electrical Safety Month! During which we will be focusing on safety issues, concerns, hazard prevention, along with so much more! Check out our Facebook page for “Electrical Fail Fridays” and “What not to do” every week this month. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+. Continue to check out our blogs throughout every week this month for more information on Electrical Safety!

 

Mining

Mining Safety, MSHA Certification

 

MiningMining safety has been looked at as a growing concern for over a hundred years. Due to, it’s dangerous working conditions and highly unstable ground this profession is scary. Therefore, the introduction of the first act of safety was in 1891. This act involved the banning of children under the age of twelve years old in underground mines in the U.S. Furthermore, this was a giant leap forward for mining safety.

Also, another act was put in place in 1947. This was the introduction of the first Federal safety standards for bituminous coal and lignite mines. Also, the passing of the Federal Coal Mining Safety Act came in 1952.

This outlined preventing major disasters.

Major Situations Outlined in this Act for Mining Safety

  • Requiring annual inspections in certain underground coal mines.
  • The limitation of enforcement authority given to the Bureau of Mines.
  • As well as, including power to issue violation notices and imminent danger withdrawal orders.
  • Mandatory safety standards for underground coal mines.
  • Also, more stringent standards for “gassy” mines.
  • Furthermore, the assessment of civil penalties against mine operators for noncompliance.

These standards extended to all underground mining faculties by 1966. Also in 1966, the passing of the Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mine Safety Act occurred. This stated procedures for developing safety and health standards for metal and nonmetal mines. It also, required one annual inspection for all underground mining faculties.

The next major advance in health and safety came in 1969. This was the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. Also known as, the Coal Act. It was the most comprehensive and straightforward legislation governing mining.

Key Components of the Coal Act

  • Four annual inspections required at all underground coal mines
  • Two annual inspections required at all surface coal mine
  • Mandatory fines for all violations
  • Criminal penalties for knowing and willful violations
  • Individual State enforcement plans discontinued
  • Safety standards for all coal mines strengthened and health standards adopted
  • Specific procedures created for developing improved mandatory safety and health standards
  • Training grant program instituted
  • Miners given the right to request a Federal inspection
  • Miners disabled by black lung disease provided benefits

This was the opening for the founding of a new organization. The Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration. Also known as, MSEA. MSEA came to be in 1973. This organization enforced health and safety regulations.

In addition, this also gave way to the founding of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. It also known as, MSHA. Furthermore, this administration was governed by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. It was also known as, the Mine Act. Which was responsible for decreasing fatalities in mines dramatically.

This act included the transferring of responsibility from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Labor. It is now known as MSHA. Due to the Mine Act, both coal and metal/nonmetal had the placement under one regulation.

Key Components of the Mine Act

  • Four annual inspections required at all underground mines.
  • As well as, two annual inspections required at all surface mines.
  • Strengthened and expanded rights for miners.
  • Also, enhanced protection of miners from retaliation for exercising such rights.
  • Mandatory miner training provisions established.
  • Furthermore, The requirement of mine rescue teams for all underground mines.

The passing of the Miner Act was in 2006.

Revision of the Mine Act 1977

  • Mine-specific emergency response plans in underground coal mines.
  • New regulations regarding mine rescue teams and sealing of abandoned areas.
  • Prompt notification of mine accidents.
  • Also, enhanced civil penalties.

The Agency develops and enforces safety and health rules for all U.S. mines regardless of size, number of employees, commodity mined, or method of extraction. MSHA also provides technical, educational and other types of assistance to mine operators. We work cooperatively with industry, labor, and other Federal and state agencies to improve safety and health conditions for all miners in the United States.

Helpful Information

 

ETL Certification - Commercial Power Strips

 

Falconer Electronics Gains ETL Certification for Major Retailer in Time for Christmas

In August 2016, a Fortune 500 retailer contacted Falconer Electronics, Inc (FEI) to tackle a time-sensitive commercial power strip project. This major retailer, with over $60 billion in annual revenues, needed 1400 metal fabricated outlet strips for a Christmas Tree display.  The outlet strips had a delivery deadline of October 2016. Obtaining ETL certification was also a requirement. Being a new customer and a new product, it was imperative that FEI exceeded expectations. Long-term customers value that FEI takes great pride in doing the job right the first time and every time.

 

The seasoned staff at FEI loves a challenge and welcomes the opportunity to solve difficult problems for customers. In this case, to achieve a safety certification there was a need to develop a prototype, along with getting approval, and qualification. Once that process was complete, the production still had to happen in time. Especially with the beginning of the important Christmas shopping season quickly approaching. The team at Falconer Electronics rose to the occasion. The ETL certification was obtained, the product was produced, and the final product was delivered meeting  the extremely tight deadline. Millions of Americans viewed the beautifully lighted Christmas Tree displays throughout the entire country. Every display was powered by commercial outlet strips that were proudly made in America at Falconer Electronics, Inc.

 

Offshoring Not an Option

This is a perfect case where timeliness and quality played a crucial role.  Offshoring this project to overseas manufacturers with cheap labor was simply not an option. With just a matter of weeks available to develop the prototype, obtain the ETL certification and manufacture the final product, partnering with a trusted manufacturer was essential. Communication, developing a superior product as well as timeliness were the top concerns for this major retailer. They needed a manufacturer with the reputation and resources to deliver a quality product that met the tight timeline.

 

Partnering with Intertek for ETL Certification

 FEI has over 30 years of experience and expertise in delivering superior quality commercial power strips. Company President, Roger Hall says that partnering with Intertek was essential for project success, “Intertek played a vital role with the project. Their guidance and professionalism was top-notch. Especially since tackling this challenge was exactly what we have been doing for over 30 years.”  Hall continued, “Falconer Electronics, Inc considers it an honor and privilege to provide our company experience and expertise to help solve difficult problems that our customers face.”

 

FEI has the knowledge, staff and resources available to navigate a customer through the rigorous certification process. Since achieving the Intertek ETL certification is a symbol of superior quality and high standards. Also, the ETL certification grants tremendous peace of mind for large retailers. FEI customers take great comfort knowing product displays are powered by safe and compliant commercial outlet strips. Minimizing risk and ensuring a safe work environment is the result. FEI President Roger Hall explains, “Our goal is to remove the stress for our customers. Especially with obtaining a safety certification such as ETL. Furthermore, this allows our customers to focus on the many other challenges that they confront on a daily basis”.

 

ETL Certification - Commercial Power Strips