Jul 6, 2021|General
You’ve seen the UL logo indicating UL certification many times on product packaging, whether you knew what it meant or not. Once you understand what UL certification is and what it means for product quality and safety, you’ll always look for it.
UL, LLC (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) is a worldwide safety certification company with headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois, USA. It was founded in 1894 to analyze the safety of new technology. The UL logo on products indicates the product’s safety and quality. UL currently has offices in 46 countries.
We’ll discuss why UL certification is superior to other certifications, what UL certification means, and why it’s important to be UL Recognized or UL Listed. We’ll also list Candor Industries documents and certificates with a link to our UL product certification list.
What is a UL Certification?
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UL sets industry-wide safety standards for new products to follow. But what does UL certification mean? UL certification is an assurance that companies follow UL’s safety standards with continual checks to make sure the products are constructed correctly and continue to comply with the designated safety standards.
Sometimes UL checks the product themselves. Other times, UL authorizes a manufacturer to engage in self-testing.
Not all products require UL certification. You are most likely to see a UL certification logo on industrial equipment or home appliances.
UL standards exist for:
- Product sustainability
- Electrical and electronic products
- Life safety
- Building products
- Industrial control equipment
- Plastic materials
- Wire and cable
- Canadian building construction products>
Why is a UL Certification Important?
Is UL certification important? UL certification is important for safety, innovation, and marketing.
When Underwriter Laboratories created their company in Chicago in the late 1800s, they did so to try to make the world safer for both workers and consumers.
Safety standards evolve with time, so having UL certification pushes a company to innovate its products to meet the highest standards.
UL certification also shows consumers that a business is dedicated to producing safe, high-quality products.
A general UL approval does not exist. Instead, UL certification has three tiers: UL Listed, UL Recognized, and UL classified. They are similar to each other, but it’s important to understand the differences.
What Does It Mean if a Company Is UL Recognized?
UL Recognized components are parts that ultimately go inside a UL Recognized or UL Classified product. UL Recognized products do not get a UL mark like UL Listed or UL Classified products do. Instead, they get a different mark that looks like a backward R joined with a U.
You’re most likely to see a UL Recognized stamp in a factory or if you open up a UL-certified machine (like one that contains a Candor circuit board).
UL Recognized products must meet standards that include proper housing. They may require protective installation precautions or protection from chemicals or liquids involved in manufacturing the product.
Companies can choose which internal components inside a UL Listed product that they want to be UL Recognized.
What Makes a UL Certification Superior to Other Certifications?
UL is not the only product safety organization. Similar, competing, and category-specific product safety organizations also exist around the world. However, UL certification is superior to other safety certification programs because UL has a positive track record for over a century, is a non-profit organization, has stricter certification requirements, and performs ongoing third-party visits.
UL has been the leading Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) for over 120 years. It’s the only NRTL that operates in over 100 countries. Maintaining status as a non-profit organization ensures that UL certification cannot be bought.
UL’s strict certification requirements require testing every product component for all following:
- Fire safety
- Mechanical safety
- Electrical safety
- Product longevity
Changes in design always require recertification.
UL visits manufacturers unannounced at least four times per year to ensure that the manufacturer continues to meet all UL quality and safety standards.
What Does It Mean to Be UL Listed?
Components of a product can be UL Recognized, but only a finished product can receive a UL Listed stamp of approval. Far more testing is required for a product to be UL Listed rather than UL Recognized.
UL Listed products have been tested and found to meet all applicable nationally recognized sustainability and safety standards. UL Listed product tests show that they do not cause fire or an electric shock in an ignitable Division 2 environment.
Why Get UL Certified or Buy UL Products?
Having a product UL Listed benefits the consumer and the business’s reputation. UL Listed products are certified to be safe and long-lasting with normal everyday use.
UL certification is a strong marketing component because it can give a consumer peace of mind. When a consumer familiar with the UL logo is making a product choice, seeing the UL logo can sway their buying decision. Consumers would rather purchase a product that they know has been tested to strict safety and durability standards rather than choose an unknown.
UL certification is also important for insurance purposes. UL certification gives a consumer and a company a layer of accountability protection from accidents.
Since UL is a well-known third-party company with a long history, consumers know that product safety isn’t being handled by a sham company. Using such a well-established safety certification company ensures that customers don’t question the validity of the safety claims you make about your product.
How do I get UL certification? Manufacturers can start the UL certification process by requesting a quote at UL.com. You will want to use UL standards early in the manufacturing process and use UL-recognized components like Candor’s circuit boards to make sure your product can pass UL-required testing.
At Candor, we take product quality and safety seriously. We have eco-friendly PCB manufacturing processes and continuously improve our products to meet industry standards. Candor holds the following certifications and approvals:
- ISO 9001:2015 Certificate
- CGRP Certificate
- IPC Certificate
- Candor UL Approval Product Table
When choosing a complex circuit board manufacturer, you want to be sure that the circuit boards meet the highest industry standards. Choosing one of Candor’s UL-certified circuit boards ensures that your end product has internal components that match your company’s high-quality standards.