Third-party verification required for Energy Star products
The U.S. EPA requires third-party certification for all products seeking the Energy Star label.
To transition the Energy Star labeling program away from self-certification, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will now require third-party certification of all qualifying product information. This will include qualification testing prior to product labeling conducted in an EPA-recognized lab, as well as post-market verification testing to ensure the product continues to meet program requirements. Test data will be reviewed and certified by third-party certification bodies (CBs).
Manufacturer-owned, unaccredited laboratories can conduct testing in the new program if they participate in a witnessed or supervised manufacturer testing program run by a CB. In that case, personnel from the CB witness the test and certify to EPA that the laboratory meets our requirements and the data is reliable.
In June, EPA finalized requirements for accreditation bodies and laboratories that seek recognition by the Energy Star program. In late July, EPA released final draft requirements for certification bodies; those requirements will be final in mid-August. These documents require that organizations operate according to the relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, with some additional requirements specific to the Energy Star program.
Accreditation bodies, laboratories, and certification bodies will be required to apply for EPA recognition to participate in the program. EPA is currently reviewing and accepting applications from accreditation bodies, and will begin reviewing applications from laboratories soon. Certification bodies represent the final group of organizations EPA anticipates recognizing as participants in the testing and verification scheme.
EPA continues to coordinate with a range of organizations seeking to establish certification programs for different product categories. The Agency is also currently in the process of refining the eligibility criteria and partner commitments across all 60 product categories to reflect the new certification requirements.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.