Eurovent Certita Certification (ECC) is recognised as a world leader in third-party product performance certification in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC+R) industry. Auditing is a central part of the certification process and is an important tool for manufacturers such as LG, who find real value in the audit process.
When it comes to product certification, ECC uses state of the art evaluation protocols including independent tests, manufacturing audits, control of selection software, product sampling, product purchase, data consistency algorithms crossed by product family, and product disassembly after testing.
The process doesn’t stop once a certificate has been awarded. Participants in a number of programmes also undergo yearly selection software audits and manufacturing audits, to ensure products continue to comply with certification criteria. While this may seem like more red tape to the uninitiated, for those in the know, yearly audits bring big benefits.
ECC factory audits are comprehensive and can be undertaken both face-to-face in the manufacturing environment, and remotely. Audits are taken under clear and transparent criteria, for all participants large and small. Every product and manufacturing environment is tested independently, to exactly the same high standards.
A key element is auditing both the manufacturing process and the certified product(s) to:
Additionally, selection software audits ensure that unit configurations continue to meet the requirements defined in the certification programme.
Many manufacturers see audits as an investment. The audits conducted by ECC are completely product-oriented. They focus on the product specificities and are conducted by an auditor with extensive technical knowledge in that particular field. Audits in existing programmes have proven to be a good way to enhance continuous improvement. This can be highly beneficial for the manufacturer, and even for other products manufactured on the same site.
And if things don’t quite go to plan, the auditing process helps to identify problems, which in turn reduces the risk and costs associated with non-quality issues and customer complaints.
Audits offer good value. They are generally much cheaper than testing, and supports the need for fewer tests to reach the same confidence level. Indeed, the cost of a full audit is often the same as for a sampling visit. However, the full audit provides substantial feedback, and the chance to talk face-to-face with the auditor on a number of subjects, including certification in general, new programmes, and the global evolution of the market.
Audits are being progressively introduced in all the programmes ECC offers.
Audits offer benefits such as:
LG Electronics Air Solution Europe recently shared their experience as an external participant of ECC auditing certification activities. LG Electronics has been a partner of ECC from late 1990s, for the certification of HVAC products, including air conditioners, heat pumps, liquid chilling packages and variable refrigerant flow. One of the key benefits for LG, was that certification could open the doors to financial incentives thanks to verified and trusted, third-party certified data. LG also cited the importance that audits can bring in developing improvements to both products and production.
Vice President of LG Air Solution, Peter Verkempyck, said, “At LG we are fully committed to the principle of Eurovent.” He continued, “LG has from the early stages of the development of its MULTI V line-up referred to Eurovent’s VRF certification programme to develop its own test standards, and working hand in hand with Eurovent over the years has created a momentum within our organisation, fostering innovation and a commitment through the ranks for the highest possible product quality.”
View Peter Verkempyck’s video on LG’s auditing experience with ECC
ECC also takes vigorous steps to ensure both its certification programmes and audits are relevant and up-to-date. ECC certification programmes evolve, just as the market does, ensuring products are benchmarked against the very latest regulations and standards.
This is another reason why yearly audits can make a big difference in the years in-between reapplying for certification. Being able to speak to an auditor who knows certification and the market inside-out puts manufacturers ahead of the game. This type of insight is very important to a global company the size of LG, as Peter explained, “Anticipation of changes in the Eurovent standards is key to a smooth transition: R&D, quality control, production and material management need to fine tune and align their processes, and in an organization as ours enough lead time is of essence. Audits that have happened since the recent changes in rules, have acknowledged our level of preparedness and unwavering commitment to abide by those rules.”
A key benefit of audits is to strengthen the customers’ confidence. Certification shows customers that the products they choose will perform to their expected level, with no nasty surprises. Being part of a programme with strong requirements has a positive impact on the certified product’s reputation. Not only does the audit verify the quality of the product, but also that the manufacturing process complies with industry best practice. This is very important to manufacturers such as LG, with Peter emphasising the need for “Independent certification standards, which guarantee transparency for the benefit of users and participants in the buying process.”
Additionally, at LG, such a large number of employees contribute to upholding high standards, that auditing is seen as a chance to shine. “We are honored to share with you the best manufacturing practices that have allowed us to become a market leader and respected player in the HVAC sector, and also a credible member of the Eurovent community.” Peter concluded. Credibility really is key in the HVAC market.
While there are other certification bodies out there, ECC benefits from solid international recognition, built over 25 years of product performance certification. As an accredited certification body, ECC is impartial, independent and puts equality are the core of its certification programmes. LG in particular noted that ECCs certification schemes are very much guided by genuine engineering and technological considerations.
Additionally, the content of the audits conducted by ECC is transparent and clearly stated in the reference documents, ensuring that all manufacturers are evaluated the same way. Auditors are also notably bound by a confidentiality commitment, so you can rest assured that sensitive information such as sales records are safe throughout the audit process.
By choosing ECC to certify and audit your product, you have a guarantee of market leading expertise, quality, impartiality and confidentially.