A Spanish engineering SME seeks companies with expertise in Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification for a product devoted to the railway infrastructure. A services agreement is being sought.
The company has more than 45 years of experience in the field of engineering and construction of energy supply networks, electric substations, signalling and communications systems for railways in Spain. This wide knowledge of the railway infrastructure has fostered an innovative approach of every task, its employees have to deal with in their everyday work. As a result of this, the company is currently developing a device which records and evaluates, in real-time and on-site, several geometrical parameters of the railroad environment, considered critical in terms of maintenance for infrastructure administrators.
The product is conceived as a portable, lightweight and easy to handle device. Several sensors are integrated in a specifically designed trolley, enabling an operator to easily push it alongside the tracks. Up-to-date and machine-learning adapted algorithms let the user visualize in the embedded software the recorded measurements, with no need of later office post-processing.
The company has initiated product homologation according to European directives to finally obtain the CE mark approval. This seal means the product comply with the essential requirements of European health, safety and environmental protection legislation. As the United States are also considered a key market according to the company’s business plan, there is a need of extending this certification to applicable North American standards as established by underwriters laboratories (UL), the corresponding authority.
According to that need, the Spanish SME proposes a services agreement with a consultancy company with expertise in UL certification. The starting point will be the accredited compliance gained with the CE mark. The entity shall also provide in-depth knowledge of railway infrastructure, and requirements for products devoted to this field.
- Type of partner sought: The services agreement will be based on a turnkey solution with the final objective of obtaining the most appropriate UL certification, according to the device characteristics and its field of operation.
Starting by the CE mark, first step will be evaluating whether the strategy for obtaining the mark should be ‘UL listed’ or ‘UL Classified’. This will determine if the device must be certified with regard to all foreseeable safety-related hazards, or on the contrary, only under specific conditions. The convenience of asking for an enhanced UL Certified Mark will also be addressed.
After that, contact with accredited laboratories shall be made, so that all needed tests to gain the mark can be performed. Results will be communicated to the Spanish company and, just in case any change should be made in the design to comply with any of these standards, specific advice on that issue should be given. The consultancy company will also seek, in that case, the entity able to implement these design changes.
As a final result of the consultancy services, the corresponding UL mark will be emitted by underwriters laboratories or any other authorised entity.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: The company is looking for a long-term service under the form of a services agreement with a consulting entity. In those terms, any SME, research and development institute, technological center or university with accredited expertise in UL (Underwriter Laboratories) product certification will comply with the company requirements. This entity must also be acquainted with the North American railway environment, and follow any guideline established by the Federal Railroad Administration in terms of any standard to comply with, taking special care on electromagnetic compatibility compliance. The services provided will be in terms of a turnkey solution, taking the CE mark as a base to finally obtain the UL mark.
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