Moving Production Facilities Can Impact Certifications
What to Know When Considering a Geographic Change
10 September 2019
Many market drivers are pushing manufacturers to move production to difference geographies. This is happening across multiple industries: batteries, electric vehicle components, electronics, appliances, industrial equipment and more. Many of these products are highly regulated for safety and performance and have demands for materials and components.
A factory move means more than a change of scenery. Moving production overseas, bringing it back home or consolidating operations into fewer global locations could impact certifications and require reassessments. There are several considerations that should be made when moving production and manufacturing facilities. These include considerations for processes and existing certifications.
Changes to the Process: There are several factors that may impact the manufacturing process if you change countries. Raw material availability will likely be different in a new region. This could impact your supply chain and require importation or other logistical considerations. New or different labor laws, regulations and standards will also lead to changes in the production process. Major changes to available materials, legal requirements and logistics may, ultimately, necessitate product design changes to accommodate the differences at play in a new region.
Certification Reassessments: When changing production, third-party certifications will need to be assessed. Quality systems and safety-related aspects must be considered as they relate to the new factory and production facilities. Ensuring the certification of the space will ensure the quality and safety of the products. Additionally, if products have been redesigned or had changes in their underlying materials, certifications will need to be re-issued, calling for new evaluations and assessments to applicable standards, including potential evaluation of the replacement materials or components. If new factory equipment is being installed or transferred between factories, then the installation of that equipment may need to be assessed for compliance to local electrical, fire or machinery codes
From batteries to electrical devices, shifts in production can impact the manufacturing process in ways that may not be anticipated. Before making a geographic move, consider the changes in both process and certification that a move will require. Work with a trusted partner to evaluate options and put together a plan for assessing, testing, certification and other needs.
Global Technical Director of Transportation Technologies
Rich Byczek is the global technical director for electric vehicle and energy storage at Intertek. He has more than 20 years of experience in product development and validation testing, and is an expert in the areas of energy storage, audio equipment and EMC. Rich sits on several SAE, IEC, UL and ANSI standards panels.