Underwriters Laboratory. It sounds like something out of a Cartoon Network show, or a secret creative writing workshop tucked away in an alley of New York City. Unfortunately for you, there is no secret society you’re missing out on, as the term simply stands for a long process involving product testing. However, albeit as boring as it may be, receiving a UL for your developed product can be the key component in the success of your company.
It can be difficult to market yourself and convince potential buyers that your solution is worth investing in if you have a new product within a well-established field. Perhaps the best way to combat this issue is by applying for, and receiving UL certification. A UL stamp of certification will show your potential consumers and the general public that your product meets the highest standard safety measures.
The reason that a UL is so well received, is simply due to the fact that they set the original standard for NRTLs. An NRTL is a nationally recognized testing laboratory program, and is what ensures the safety behind newer products to major industries. Currently, there stands less than 20 certified testing laboratories, offering a range of testing that involves major sectors such as the farming, mechanical, industrial, entertainment, and oil industry.
The cost and time frame of applying for a UL can be tricky, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Multiple variables play a part of the process, such as what market your product is intended for, as well as the unique design behind your potential moneymaker. One thing to keep in mind when applying for a UL is to thrive for transparency; a key mistake that young companies make is not providing enough valuable information surrounding their company and line of products, slowing down the entire process and potentially leading to more overhead costs.
A major complaint stemming from business owners who filed for a UL is that the process is long, demanding, and often requires multiple attempts. The best way to avoid this headache is by participating in a formal preliminary investigation with Underwriters Laboratory, which allows a team of engineers to oversee your entire design process long before it’s submitted to their official laboratory. The investigation will grant you communication to engineers working for UL, who can bring up potential problems with your product, saving you time, and money.
Lastly, it’s important to understand that filing for a UL is not always necessary, and should be avoided if possible as the costs and time frame behind the process can be quite extensive. However, if you’re competing in a market with multiple UL listed products, it might not only be encouraged, but downright necessary when it comes to the success of your new product. For example, if it plugs into a wall for a power source then it must be UL certified to be sold within the US market. From a business perspective, many owners will not touch a product that isn’t UL certified because it will come with little to no insurance.
If you have any questions surrounding a UL, or are interested in applying for a certification, follow this link or e-mail us with any specific questions.