Field Evaluations: The Benefits of Conducting Pre-evaluations

Remove the Risk and Be Ready for Future Business

05 February 2019

According to North American safety requirements, all conductors of electricity must be approved, identified, listed or labeled.  For unlisted equipment, which are usually customized and not intended to be mass produced, a field evaluation is common to get them approved by a local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) for use. During field evaluations, the manufacture has the equipment evaluated and tested on-site by an AHJ-approved lab to ensure it complies to required standards.

In the case of equipment imported from outside of North American, an optional pre-evaluation, conducted where the equipment has been designed and manufactured, can play an important role. The failure of compliance to the proper standard or requirement can seriously impact business because the time spent correcting problems can take a long time.  This is not only because the equipment manufacturer is unfamiliar with the North American safety standard, but also because of bad communication channels, language barriers, late responses caused by time differences and sometimes the difficulty of sending personnel to North America.

Pre-evaluation services can solve this problem. For example, in China, with an expert involved in the early stages, all participants—the end user, trader and the manufacture—benefit. With pre-evaluations, risk is removed through:

  1. Fast delivery with full compliance: Contributed from the pre-evaluation, all non-compliance will be corrected in the design or assembling stages, before the equipment is shipped to North America. The equipment can then be labeled with a field evaluation in just one visit. There is no pressure and loss for all participants from delay.
  2. Precise design without cost-wasting: Support from the design stage, can help reduce wasted costs from design correction, changing incorrect critical components or modfiying improper assemby.
  3. In-field service with everything under control: With fewer manpower needs at the North American site, everything is predictable and under control. 

Pre-evaluation also prepares manufacturers for future business by:

  1. Building business reputation from successful case: It is not easy to identify the best business partner given the nature of customized, not mass-produced equipment.  Business reputation from successful pre-evaluation speaks louder than advertisement. The first opportunity to make a successful delivery could also be the only one. Pre-evaluation is the best way to support that.
  2. Developing the capability for fast delivery: Delivery time plays an important role in business. With the experience from pre-evaluation, the equipment manufacturer will be able to develop the capability for fast delivery.
  3. Ensure precise and effective pricing: The material cost directly effects on the price of equipment, which should be competitive while profitable. Pre-evaluation indicates what kind of material /component is required according to the standard. The pricing can then be based on the understanding of the actual material cost, which makes it workable in the business.

To learn more about field evaluations and field labeling, including insights on Intertek's services, check out our information page and resources.

This is the second post in our series on field evaluations.  Stay tuned for more from our experts on this topic.

As a business development manager for Intertek in China, Jim Mai has 14 years of experience in the testing, inspection, certification industry. He has a rich experience in field evaluation, handling field evaluation and labeling for thousands of pieces of equipment from China and offers unique insights for the Chinese market.