The internet is a great thing. We can use it to find the answer to some of life’s most troublesome questions. You can find out where the best place to eat is, how to fix your car, or find out how to make toast without burning it. In fact, many people’s first instinct when a question or problem arises is to “Google it.”
Many engineers might think to turn to the internet when they have an issue at work. One of those issues might be trying to determine whether or not their product is safe. After all, the cost of placing low-value products on the market can exceed ten times the sales value. Consider the children’s toy that emitted an electric shock, or the toy mobile phone that emitted sounds intense enough to permanently damage a child’s hearing. A product recall was ordered on both products and the company was forced to pay for recalling several million five dollar items. That is expensive.
So why not do a quick check on the internet to make sure that the product that you are designing won’t end with a highly public recall or a very expensive fine? This is how people find information in this day and age. You should be able to find all the information you need to make sure your product is compliant on the internet. Right?
Not so fast. Here are a few good questions to ask yourself before entrusting your business to the almighty internet:
- Would you help a competitor fix a product design?
- You will get a wide range of solutions – how will you determine which is correct?
- Your safety standard will have several hundred clauses – how much time will it take?
- You might think that you have the right interpretation but you may be wrong. How sure are you?
- If you do not demonstrate compliance with all relevant Directives and don’t have a completed Data File available you will have serious problems. This can result in a ban on import, quarantine on warehouse, or loss of reputation. Will your customers buy from a company known for its recalls or from someone else?
Phoenix Technical Group delivers training to your door, and we can use prototypes to bring you product specific training. We review your products and have the knowledge to conduct pre-compliance (for UL) or self-assessment for CE Marking.
Can your business survive the high costs of a product recall? You don’t need the internet to know the answer to that.