MCAA: How to smooth product certification

Plans for streamlining product certification at six certification labs were among discussions at a Measurement, Control & Automation Association meeting. Topics included certification interchangeability, harmonized submission criteria, common processes for issue escalation, and one more you may not have considered....

07/22/2008


Williamsburg, VA – Plans for streamline product certification at six certification labs were among discussions at the Measurement, Control & Automation Association May annual meeting in Tempe, AZ. The two-day meeting of 120 senior executives included discussion about certification interchangeability, harmonized submission criteria, common processes for issue escalation, and a national mark, among other points discussed. For more help on certification, with photos, read:

Living with


At the MCAA meeting, more than 70 association members talked with representatives of six nationally recognized testing laboratories that test and certify products. The Product Approval Process Summit was held immediately following the annual meeting. Members reported that time delays and price increases resulting from certifications have placed them at a competitive disadvantage around the world. The goal of the summit was to bring parties to the table to air issues and move forward.
The moderator, former industry executive Edward J. Curry of the consulting firm of Curry & Hurd, solicited information about projects and processes. The group looked at issues of timeliness and cost, and both sides agreed to continue the dialog through further meetings. Labs represented were CSA, FM, Intertek, MET Labs, TUV Rheinland, and UL. The NRTL program is monitored by the Department of Commerce whose representative, Indrek Grabbi, attended as an observer.
The first task will be to provide facts to put specifics on the issues. Discussions are likely to take place with insurance underwriters and customers to educate both groups on the interchangeability of NRTL certifications. Members talked about moving toward a harmonized set of submission criteria, common process for issue escalation, and a common set of languages/terminology. A National Mark and a matrix timetable for certification were discussed.
A committee will be established to begin the process of addressing issues and pulling together a program to involve members and executives from the labs.
Other topics at the meeting included:
Keynoter Dick Morley, inventor of the programmable logic controller and founder of Modicon and Andover Controls, addressed, among other topics, surface-to-volume ratio and its impact on innovation.
Dr. Michael Workman followed up on his presentation last year on changes in channel relationships, suggesting that sales people must become primarily information managers, not information providers to remain essential to their customers.
Other segments included a review of the 2008 Operating Benchmarks Report , an economic forecast based upon the business cycles of user industries, new insights into selling products, and a discussion of innovation and product development. Expanded networking opportunities allowed attendees to share ideas and issues with each other.
Each year MMCA collects information on the operating performance of member companies — North American manufacturers and distributors of instrumentation, systems, and software used in industrial process control and factory automation. Members contribute financial information and the Association produces a report. Data is categorized by sales volume. The 2008 Operating Benchmarks Report covers 2003-2007 for companies in the industry. Forty-eight companies provided data, this year including 10 public companies. For the fourth year, the report includes a section on 15 industry companies from public data. An overview was presented at the Industry Forum. Full reports are available to participating member companies; non-members can contribute data and receive the aggregation for a fee.
Revenues for 2007 rose above 2006 from 4.2% to 16.3% (average) for members and over 20% for public companies in the industry. Revenue growth was substantial as was resulting income from operations. A factor in improved operating income is across-the-board management of selling and general and administrative expenses. This year larger companies increased R&D spending 30% in absolute dollars, while showing a decline as a percent of sales, likely attributable to a program of acquiring R&D by the larger companies. Smaller firms continued their investment at typically about 5% of sales. Global factors affected members– moving operations offshore, foreign exchange changes, energy and conservation initiatives by end-users, and R&D by acquisition.
In other news, MCAA elected David A. Wolfe, president of Acromag, Inc. as chairman for the next year. Wolfe holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Oakland University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and has served on the Board since 2004. Also elected was Charlotte Hill, president/CEO of GF Signet LLC in El Monte, CA, to serve as vice chairman and treasurer. Michael Gerster, president of WIKA Instrument Corporation in Lawrenceville, GA, and Jeffrey Peters, president of Precision Digital Corporation of Natick, MA, were elected directors-at-large.
Also read:

Growth expected: 3.6% a year, most in electronic flow, pressure, remote I/O, electronic level, MCAA says

Control Engineering News Desk
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.