Certification of a product — where to start?

We talked a little about certification recently. But there is no one easy way to make it happen, so today we would like to tell you more about it.

We covered the process of building your product here. So if you already have your working prototype or you want to start building your product, and do it right, this text is definitely for you.

Where do I want to sell it?

This question is the one of the most important questions here. Every market has different requirements and law of every country differs, so preparation of the product, which will be sold around the world, is one of the most difficult jobs.

So why do I need to get certificates at all?

Obviously, you need them to be able to sell your product. On the other hand, we want to get them, because they ensure us and our customers that we will avoid dangerous situations. You probably heard about a smartphone, which has been banned by majority of airlines around the world for its explosive feature 😉

Types of requirements for:

  • Safety,
  • EMC — Electromagnetic compatibility,
  • Wireless connectivity,
  • Power efficiency,
  • Environment,
  • Performance — Security, Fire.

How to determine market requirements?

  • It is wise to work with specialists, who can help you and give you some advice.
  • Another way is to check, what do your competitors do? What kind of certificates their products have?
  • Then, find local institutions which certify products before they reach local market.
  • Don’t overpay and don’t save too much. Choosing the cheapest laboratory may seem easy now, but can cost you millions of dollars in the future.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the International Standards.

So when you should think about certification?

As early as it is possible. It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO of the start-up or a project manager — a part of a big company. Both of you need to build a product which will get all of needed certificates. Starting the process with knowledge about the requirements of certification is cheaper and more time efficient than changing ready-made products. Let’s be realistic, when you have a start-up and limited funds, you can’t wait with sales any much longer than it is necessary.

Where to start?

Firstly, think about a user manual which you include in your product’s box. It is not only about what people should do with your product, but also about what they shouldn’t do. For example, if somebody tried to charge his iPhone in a microwave and it exploded, you wouldn’t be guilty if you included, in the user guide, that microwave is not meant to charge any battery.

Next, think about components!

You can make your own:

  • It is your intellectual property,
  • You can design it the way you want;

Or use components, which are already built:

  • There are plenty of products to choose from,
  • You don’t have to design it yourself,
  • Decent costs of implementation,
  • It already has certificates and passed all the needed tests. (a lot of $$$ saved);

Finally, think about certificates which your customers expect from your product.

Even if you already know which certificates you need to have to be able to sell your product, you should also think about the ones which are expected. Sometimes there is no law which says that your product has to have some certificates, but your customers or the market would expect them from you. This can cause extremely hard situations, when everything seems to be fine, but you don’t sell anything. So be patient, make some research and talk to specialists who know local law. It is worth every penny.

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Certification of a product — where to start? was originally published in The Official BlastLab Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.