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Issue 03/2017

Energy Efficiency starts at home

Manufacturers address energy usage in home appliances

Today, numerous machines and devices powered by electricity can be found in our homes. Take, for example, the kitchen. This room alone probably has a dishwasher, an oven and a fridge, not to mention an array of smaller appliances for preparing and cooking food.

Issue 03/2017

Growing the IEC next generation

Ongoing opportunities for IEC Young Professionals in IECEE, SMB and CAB groups

Learn more about how IEC Young Professionals are becoming involved in the technical work of the IEC.

Issue 04/2017

Plug and play for refugees

Low-cost technologies are helping refugee camps get some basic comforts

Access to clean and affordable energy for all is a sustainable development goal for the United Nations and the IEC is contributing to the effort with a number of its International Standards. While access to electricity remains an issue for many of the world’s poorest, refugee camps are finding that cheap solar energy is a way of overcoming the odds.

Issue 04/2017

Effective testing for hazardous substances in electronic equipment

Manufacturers use international IECEE service to show compliance

Electrical and electronic equipment is part of our lives, from televisions, fridges and other appliances, to computers, printers and mobile phones.

Issue 02/2017

Nailing safety

Products tested to international standards instil confidence

Power tools are lighter, perform better and last longer, thanks to improved cordless battery technology, benefiting professionals in manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and construction, and amateurs alike. This booming global industry is expected to post revenues of more than USD 34 billion by 2020, according to market research by Technavio.

Issue 01/2017

Better to blow a fuse

Checking a critical part of electrical system reliability

Ever run the washing machine, ironed a shirt and blown a fuse?

2016
Issue 08/2016

The technology that runs smart homes

Electronic controls are increasingly used to operate home appliances

We are all familiar with remote controls. We use them to change TV channels, select our favourite music and protect ourselves with sophisticated security systems. Still, more appliances and systems in our homes work by using automated electronic controls.

Issue 07/2016

Portable medical devices radically change healthcare delivery

Wireless technology is revolutionizing the way we approach chronic diseases and other health-related conditions

In our mobile world, portable smart devices keep us connected and able to access information anytime, anywhere. The healthcare industry has also embraced connected technology in the form of medical wearables and portable devices. These offer accurate real-time monitoring, diagnosis and tailored treatment of conditions, such as some types of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Issue 06/2016

Keeping our powered lives safe

IECEE offers an efficient system for testing the quality, performance and energy use of many electronic devices

From the smartphone alarm first thing in the morning to switching off the lights last thing at night, many products and systems in our daily lives run off electricity. We use the hairdryer, washing machine, stove, get on and off transport and walk through automated doors at the office, take the elevator, fire up the computer and purchase items online, expecting that everything will work reliably and safely.

Issue 05/2016

Our battery-powered world

International Standards and testing help keep batteries safe and reliable

Many items we use on a daily basis require battery power, such as tablets, laptops, medical devices, toothbrushes, gaming hardware or power tools.  They enable our ever-increasing mobility - batteries power e-bikes, the starter, lights, and ignition systems of electric and fuel powered vehicle engines, and they start the engines or auxiliary power units of planes.

Issue 04/2016

The off-grid solar revolution

Off-grid solar powered products are booming and giving millions of people access to electricity

We don’t think twice about using lights at home during the day or after dark. We have also got used to charging our smart phones wherever we are – at the airport, on a train or in the office – so that we can make online purchases, read the news, send messages, do banking or make a call. When we forget our phones or there is a blackout for an hour and we can’t watch television, use the computer or boil the kettle, we find it very annoying, but imagine if this were the norm.

Issue 03/2016

Curbing electricity consumption

A globally harmonized programme for motor efficiency

Electric motors have many uses, in heavy industry, hospital generators, power tools, pumps to clean swimming pools, and many transport vehicles. Yet, they are the single biggest users of electricity, driving pumps, fans and other machines.

Issue 02/2016

Medical equipment in the digital era

How to ensure safety of state-of-the-art medical equipment

People live longer today than ever before. There are however major variations in life expectancy between continents and countries. Even within a given country, there may be differences between wealthier and poorer regions.

Issue 01/2016

Power to the people

Be energy efficient, make a difference

On the one hand, energy efficiency is a new way of life that requires behavioural changes on the consumer’s part. On the other, the pressure is on the manufacturers of electrical equipment and devices to produce goods that consume as little energy as possible.

2015
Issue 09/2015

You are the IEC

IEC General Secretary addresses Council

During his address to Council, the IEC General Secretary & CEO, Frans Vreeswijk, provided a brief overview of key accomplishments since Tokyo and drew the audience’s attention to a number of topics of high importance for the future relevance of the Commission.

Issue 08/2015

Obituary - Ron Collis

IECEE Chairman passed away on 10 November 2015

It is with immense sadness and regret that we have to inform the IEC community of the tragic death of IECEE Chairman Ron Collis on 10 November 2015. Ron Collis had been the victim of an unfortunate accident a month ago and never woke from a deep coma. He leaves behind his wife Marion.

Issue 08/2015

IEC, IAF and ILAC join forces

Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding prolongs collaboration for the next three-year

The IEC has had a tradition of cooperating with other standardization and conformity assessment (CA) organization for many years. In addition to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with which it forms the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), one of the Commission’s main partners is the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the context of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. These are but a few of the 180+ bodies with which the IEC has close links.

Issue 07/2015

Long-term commitment to safety

IECEE: 30 years of experience in testing and certification of electrical and electronic equipment

The number of CB Certificates issued by members of IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, keeps increasing each year and is again expected to break the 80 000 mark at the end of 2015. Add to that the successful and fruitful collaboration with international organizations, the outreach to developing countries and the introduction of new programmes and you have confirmation that IECEE is THE global certification system for electrical and electronic products. In 2015, IECEE is celebrating its 30th anniversary!

Issue 07/2015

Light up, light up!

IEC support for the International Year of Light

Switching on a light is such a routine task that we often take it for granted, however for millions of people worldwide, this is far from the case. The IEC is delighted to be associated with the global initiative, International Year of Light, adopted by the United Nations under the patronage of UNESCO.

Issue 06/2015

Energy-efficient living

IECEE certification targets energy efficiency

How many electrical appliances and devices do we rely on in any one day? From the lights that we switch on, to the hair dryer, oven and television at home and the computer in the office, most of the tasks we accomplish require the assistance of electrical devices. And then there are the appliances that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week: refrigerators and heaters, for example.

Issue 05/2015

Switched on to safety

IECEE helps build strong consumer confidence

When buying a new electrical appliance, who pays much attention to the cord – or to the control switch, for that matter? Customers tend to focus on the design, the look, the size, the price or the overall performance of the product. Cords and switches, seen as necessary appendages that don’t merit close examination, are seldom, if ever, part of the decision-making process that leads to the purchase of household goods. Consumers usually take it for granted that the device they acquire is safe and reliable, and will perform without any problems.

Issue 04/2015

Safety on the factory floor

IECEE certification brings benefits to industrial automation

The development of automation throughout the 20th century brought enormous changes to the industrial world: some jobs disappeared, others underwent major transformation, new ones were created and, most importantly, the interaction between man and machine was altered forever. In recent years, the emergence and proliferation of robots on the factory floor has raised automation to a new level.

Issue 03/2015

How to accelerate EV adoption

Certification to boost buyer confidence in EV range and technologies

Although many automotive manufacturers have added EVs (electric vehicles) to their product lines in recent years, they remain very much a niche market, albeit one that is dynamic and developing steadily. And while potential buyers may still be somewhat concerned by the short range and long charges generally associated with EVs nowadays, industry is striving to come up with innovative solutions to remedy these problems.

Issue 02/2015

Have you ever been shocked?

Some simple rules and useful tools that protect against electric shock

Who among you hasn’t at least once in your life received an electric shock, for example while changing a light bulb? In most cases you don’t feel much and it has no serious consequences. So much so that you will not do anything about it once the new light bulb is in place. That’s where the problem starts. An electric shock is a first sign that something may be defective in the electrical installation of the building.

Issue 01/2015

Safe lighting for everyone, everywhere

IECEE certification of great value to industry and consumers alike

For many of us, switching a light on or off is such a routine task that we take it for granted. With the exception of extreme situations – major power outages – we’ve never had to worry about lighting in our homes offices, factories, streets, and so forth. But there are still millions of people with limited or no access to electricity who don’t have that privilege. The United Nations have declared 2015 the International Year of Light to raise awareness on the central role played by light-based technologies in providing solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.

2014
Issue 09/2014

Shaping the future

IEC CAB focuses on the evolution of IEC Conformity Assessment

Highlights of the IEC CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) meeting that took place in Tokyo, Japan, during the 78th IEC General Meeting.

Issue 09/2014

Safety first

Paving the way to safer electronic equipment

The theme of this year’s Workshop for Industrializing Countries was "Challenges to Ensure Safety of Electronic Equipment". Held during the IEC General Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, the meeting aimed to facilitate the sharing of experiences and help highlight solutions to a particularly pertinent issue for developing countries.

Issue 09/2014

A quiet force

Tribute to Hiromichi Fujisawa, IEC Vice-President and CAB Chairman

Hiromichi Fujisawa, IEC Vice President and Chairman of CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) will step down at the end of 2014. Under his competent and thoughtful leadership IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems have become stronger expanding their portfolio to better serve industry. A new CA System, IECRE, saw the light of day and will serve the needs of the renewable energy industry, in particular wind, marine and solar PV, and a new governance structure will provide a strong basis for the future. Fujisawa has left his mark on the IEC and the IEC CA Systems in many positive ways. 

Issue 08/2014

A leader in its field

IECEE is a truly international partner for the electrical and electronic industry

The number of CB Certificates issued by members of the IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) keeps increasing each year (more than 80 000 in 2013). Add to that the successful and fruitful collaboration with international organizations, the outreach to developing countries and the introduction of new services and product categories and you have confirmation that IECEE is THE global certification system for electrical and electronic products.

Issue 07/2014

Protection against electromagnetic effects

Specific IECEE EMC programme ensures safety and reliability of electrical and electronic devices

Lightning is a huge natural electrostatic discharge between electrically charged areas within a single cloud, from one cloud to another or between a cloud and the earth. The discharge is accompanied by a flash or strike, can result in serious injuries or fatalities when people are exposed to it, and can cause serious damage to equipment, installations and buildings when it hits the ground.

Issue 06/2014

IECEE helps build customer confidence

Safe and reliable consumer goods for everyone, everywhere

Fast-evolving technologies and a wealth of electronic devices and equipment on the market have dramatically altered people’s lives in recent years. All facets of life have been affected by these changes; home chores, office and factory work, education, leisure activities and commercial endeavours have at some point all embraced a new technology.

What makes a person buy a certain type of equipment, a particular brand? What are the criteria that come into play?

Issue 05/2014

Tackling cybersecurity threats

IECEE is developing the necessary strategy and business plan to minimize exposure to these risks

The development of automation throughout the 20th century brought enormous changes to the industrial world: some jobs disappeared, others underwent major transformations, new ones were created and, most importantly, the interaction between man and machine was altered forever. The rapid evolution of IT (information technology) in the second part of the 20th century enabled engineers to create increasingly complex control systems that integrated fully between the factory floor and the office environment.

Issue 04/2014

Compatibility and interconnectivity

All power grids need IECEE certification for trouble-free operation

Electricity is so deeply entrenched in our lives that we take it for granted…until there’s a power outage. Whether on a small or large scale, power outages may have dire social and economic consequences: no lights in homes, offices, public places; disruption of public transportation services; temporary factory shutdown, to name but a few. In recent years, major power outages have been able to paralyze whole regions or countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Can this happen again? Probably, but there are ways of ensuring that energy generation, transmission and distribution occurs in the safest, most reliable and efficient way possible.

Issue 03/2014

Medical equipment advances at lightning speed

IECEE focuses on its safety and reliability

Since 2007, IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) has been managing the risks surrounding medical electrical equipment. Its task has become more important as technological changes and enhancements have radically increased the complexity of the sector.

Issue 02/2014

Getting to know Kerry McManama

A mind open to all possibilities

e-tech talks to Kerry McManama, the new Executive Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) to find out how he arrived at this point and the challenges he sees in his new role.

Issue 01/2014

Nightmare of a child chewing on a cord

IECEE Certification means safety

It happens to every parent at some point. Your child is playing with her toys in the living room. You step out of the room for a minute, knowing that the room has been baby proofed, feeling confident that nothing could happen. Then you come back and see that your curious little one is chewing on the television cord. A raft of nightmare scenarios pass before your eyes as you imagine what could have happened while you were gone. Then you shake yourself and remove the cord from your child’s grasp. You are able to do this because IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, tests and certifies the safety of audio/video equipment.

2013
Issue 10/2013

Continued safety and strength

Kerry McManama joins IECEE

IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, has a new Executive Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. Kerry McManama will assume this role on 1 January 2014. McManama, a US citizen, has been involved in Conformity Assessment almost since its beginning. His goal is to continue to ensure the safety of the products that are certified and tested by IECEE.

Issue 10/2013

CAB report to IEC Council

Dr Hiromichi Fujisawa, IEC Vice-President and Chairman of CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) reported to the IEC Council.

Fujisawa gave an update on CAB activities in the 12 months since the Oslo GM (General Meeting). He talked about the creation of IECRE, the new IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) System for renewable energies, presented the work of some of the CAB working groups and of the WT CAC (Wind Turbine Certification Advisory Committee). Furthermore Fujisawa provided insights into the process that is currently being undertaken to harmonize the basic rules of the three CA Systems, IECEE, IECEx and IECQ.

Issue 09/2013

Testing and certifying

IECEE PSC Working Group 2A on Smart Grid

IECEE has a working group that is trying to satisfy the needs of industry in terms of Smart Grid. It is looking to help industry ensure that its products are safe, of high quality and interoperable.

Issue 08/2013

Making the world a safer place

IECEE is an internationally trusted partner

The last 12 months have been extremely successful and fruitful for IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. Increased collaboration with international organizations, outreach to developing countries and the introduction of new services and product categories have contributed greatly to confirming IECEE as the leading global certification system for electrical and electronic products.

Issue 07/2013

Brighter, cleaner and cheaper lights

More efficient and robust technologies will benefit users and the environment

In 2007, the International Energy Agency estimated that lighting accounted for just under 20% of electricity use worldwide. Public policies, reflecting environmental and energy saving concerns, are driving the global take-up of energy-efficient bulbs. The lighting industry's need for proper International Standards to ensure the safety and measure the performance of these bulbs is obvious and proceeding apace under the aegis of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 34: Lamps and related equipment, and its SCs (Subcommittees).

Issue 06/2013

He did it his way

IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo to step down end 2013

IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo will step down at the end of 2013. As in previous years, IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, held its annual series of meetings at the beginning of the summer, this time in Vancouver, Canada, from 17 to 21 June 2013. What distinguished this year’s gathering was the announcement that IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo would step down at the end of the year.

Issue 05/2013

Focus on industrial automation

IECEE launches INDAT, a new service for products and installations in the automation field

The development of automation throughout the 20th century brought enormous changes to the industrial world: some jobs disappeared, others underwent major transformations, new ones were created and, most importantly, the interaction between man and machine was altered forever. In the pre-automation era, machinery had been used to assist workers.

Issue 04/2013

Trust is the keyword

IECEE leads the way in electromedical equipment safety and performance

A few weeks ago, as I underwent eye surgery, I realized that I was much more worried about the outcome than about the operation itself. Why was that? Given the numerous problems caused by poor eyesight since I was a kid, I had difficulties imagining a world that wasn’t hazy and out of focus, a world in which I would see sharp outlines and well-defined silhouettes. As for surgery, I had total confidence in the skills of my ophthalmologist. I trust him.

Issue 03/2013

Supporting EV development

IECEE certification key to EV technologies

Although many automotive manufacturers have added EVs (electric vehicles) to their product lines in recent years, they remain very much a niche market, albeit one that is dynamic and developing steadily. And while potential buyers may still be somewhat concerned by the short range and long charges generally associated with EVs nowadays, industry is striving to come up with innovative solutions to remedy these problems.

Issue 02/2013

Protection against electromagnetic effects

Specific IECEE EMC programme ensures safety and reliability of electrical and electronic devices

Lightning is a huge natural electrostatic discharge between electrically charged areas within a single cloud, from one cloud to another or between a cloud and the earth. The discharge is accompanied by a flash or strike, can result in serious injuries or fatalities when people are exposed to it, and can cause serious damage to equipment, installations and buildings when it hits the ground.

Issue 01/2013

IEC, IAF and ILAC increase cooperation

New tripartite Memorandum of Understanding is signed

Cooperation agreements with other standardization and conformity assessment bodies have been on the IEC agenda for many years. One such agreement, made between the Commission’s three CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems, IAF (International Accreditation Forum) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) has proved highly rewarding, with levels of collaboration increasingly constantly.

2012
Issue 05/2012

Connecting people

IECEE celebrates WTO ITA 15th anniversary

The past 15 years have seen the extraordinary growth of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector. The emergence of mobile devices, and their immediate success in markets worldwide, has provided an additional boost to a sector that was already expanding rapidly.

Issue 04/2012

One test, one standard, everywhere

IECEE Affiliate status explained to ASEAN member countries

In an effort to establish a single market and production base with an aim to facilitate the free flow of goods, services and investment, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries are moving towards establishing the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community). The goal is to allow capital to flow more freely and to stimulate more equitable economic development, while reducing poverty and socio-economic disparities.

Issue 03/2012

Taking developing countries onboard

IEC Affiliate Countries can participate in IECEE activities as observers

Standardization and conformity assessment are complementary. While it is essential that products and systems comply with standards, this compliance has then to be verified and certified. This may be a given in industrialized countries; it is less obvious for developing and industrializing countries.

Issue 03/2012

Fruitful IEC, ILAC and IAF cooperation

Canada’s SCC recognizes IECEE CB Scheme qualified laboratories

When it was signed in October 2010, the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between IEC, ILAC(International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and IAF (International Accreditation Forum) was seen as a cornerstone of enhanced collaboration for the three organizations involved. Now this agreement, which generated much interest in the CA (conformity assessment) community, is bearing more fruits.

Issue 02/2012

Raising awareness

IEC speaks at UNIDO conformity assessment workshop for developing countries

While conformity assessment is a given in industrialized countries, the concept has not necessarily been fully integrated into developing economies. Recognizing the need to raise awareness and provide a better understanding of the specific requirements linked to standardization and conformity assessment activities, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) has been implementing a series of projects, tailored specifically for developing countries.

Issue 01/2012

Electrical energy efficiency certified

New IECEE service is fully operational

How many electrical appliances and devices do we rely on in any one day? From the lights that we switch on, to the hair dryer, oven and television at home and the computer in the office, most of the tasks we accomplish require the assistance of electrical devices. And then there are the appliances that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week: refrigerators and heaters, for example.

2011
Issue 10/2011

Pooling resources

IEC-OIML agreement helps reduce costs, time and complexity

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”. Lord Kelvin, First IEC President.

What Lord Kelvin said more than a hundred years ago is still true. The technology of the 21st century may be a far cry from that of Lord Kelvin’s era, but metrology is still a key element of standardization and conformity assessment, essential to the work of the IEC and the OIML, the International Organization of Legal Metrology.

Issue 09/2011

Switched on to safety

IECEE helps build strong consumer confidence

When buying a new electrical appliance, who pays much attention to the cable – or to the control switch, for that matter? Customers tend to focus on the design, the look, the size, the price or the overall performance of the product. They are likely to overlook other aspects and see the cable and the switches as necessary appendages that don’t merit close examination. They usually take it for granted that the device they acquire is safe and reliable, and will perform without any problems.

Issue 08/2011

Safe batteries

Harmonization of safety requirements for batteries is underway

Batteries are used in numerous devices and their safety determines the lifespan and faultless operation of countless products. With converging technologies and the advent of horizontal standards comes the need to regularly review, compare and update the standards that define safety requirements in order to ensure that testing and conformity assessment processes are coordinated. This is what is currently happening for the standards issued by IEC TC 108 and IEC SC 21A.

Issue 08/2011

Moving forward

IECEE developments to meet industry demand

IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Testing and Certification for Electro-technical Equipment and Components, is a truly international conformity assessment system. The IECEE CB Scheme opens up access to the global market, while the IECEE CB-FCS (Full Certification Scheme) takes testing and certification a step further with a complete factory inspection process. IECEE is also the exclusive provider of the PV (photovoltaic) Quality Seal and Quality Mark. Technological innovations and environmental issues have prompted the setting up of additional services to meet specific demands from industry and governments worldwide.

Issue 07/2011

Industrial automation certified

IECEE responds to market demand

From the wheel that helped transport heavy loads to the fire that provided heat, inventions and discoveries have made life much easier. The advent of electricity was a turning point in the industrial world. Automated operations were introduced that could be performed without the need for human intervention. The development of automation throughout the 20th century brought enormous changes: some jobs disappeared, others underwent major transformations and new ones were created.

Issue 06/2011

High rise

Number of IECEE CB Test Certificates issued is growing fast

IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, held its annual series of meetings in Istanbul, Turkey, during the last week of June 2011. IECEE Executive Secretary Pierre de Ruvo made a presentation on the System's activities over the past 12 months and highlighted the good results obtained by CB Test Certificates.

Issue 05/2011

Certifying energy efficiency

Certifying energy efficiency

In commercial and office buildings, energy is consumed by appliances and equipment, from computers and copiers to water coolers and lighting. Heating and cooling equipment – often out of sight – is another major source of energy consumption.

Issue 04/2011

DIY and gardening made safer

IECEE at forefront in certification of portable electric tools

Sunny days. Milder temperatures. No doubt spring is back. If you have a garden, it’s time to resume all the great outdoor activities the winter interrupted. Mowing the lawn, pruning the trees, fixing things around the house, uncovering and filling the pool (if you’re lucky enough to have one) and getting the barbecue ready are some of the tasks to be performed before you can relax and enjoy the good life in your garden.

Issue 03/2011

Keep the engine running

Safety and performance of batteries certified by IECEE

As EVs (electric vehicles) make their comeback — they were first seen in the 1900s and then briefly in the 1970s — much of the focus is on batteries, their main power source. Fuel-powered and hybrid cars, trucks, buses, locomotives and aircraft also rely on batteries to start their engine or, in some cases, the APU (auxiliary power unit).

Issue 01/2011

Reducing risks and injuries

IECEE tests essential in reducing risks

It is safe to assume that there is at least one electrical appliance in every room of your house or apartment. If nothing else, there is at least a lamp.