UL Canada (ULC) facilities around the country are focused on testing and responding to the growing demand across its various industries. Staffed with subject matter experts in oil and gas, gas appliances, electrical hazards, building materials and systems, life safety and security, and other technologies such as transaction security, cybersecurity, and Internet of Things means ULC can address the demand and provide top-notch service.
Oil and gas: Canada has the third largest oil reserve in the world, behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. As of 2014, Alberta's oil sands proven reserves were 166 billion barrels (bbl). Oil and gas make up 20 percent of Canada’s GDP and more than 90 percent of Alberta’s economic contribution. Additionally, the United States imports the vast majority of its oil from Canada, making the U.S. its most stable partner.
Over the course of the last 15 years, Alberta Municipal Affairs was unable to keep up with the increased production of oil and gas when the price per barrel was on the rise, peaking around 2009. It required inspections for installed equipment such as valves, heaters and other components. This demand means there currently are approximately 300,000 to 500,000 uninspected pieces of equipment/components—all of which need to be tested.
ULC is answering this demand by growing its field inspections by becoming listed on the Alberta STANDATA to evaluate these installations. This began in 2003 when there was a gas variance introduced in Alberta, allowing Professional Engineering Firms the ability to test the products. As of July 1, 2016, the Alberta gas variance ends making ULC one of just five organizations that will be authorized to conduct field inspections for the gas and oil industry. The inspections are expected to be completed by 2020, which is a very ambitious goal. Growing brand recognition for the oil and gas is a core focus for ULC.
Combustion lab: ULC opened its combustion lab and can now start testing gas appliances and HVAC systems for clients. At this lab located in Toronto, engineers will evaluate household and commercial gas cooking appliances, valves, boilers, water heaters and more. The state-of-the-art lab is outfitted with mobile testing equipment, allowing engineers to reformat the space to accommodate products of varying sizes.
This lab will help increase the value for UL customers because it takes customs out of the picture. Prior to the opening of this lab, products needed to be shipped to the United States. One other service is the ability to test for international compliance as well. This lab provides a one-stop shop where UL Standards can all be tested in one location.
Other labs which contribute to Canada’s full-service program include: Montreal, which tests lighting products and HVAC; Vancouver, which focuses on the high-tech sector; and Toronto, which tests HVAC products, power supplies, medical devices and life safety and security products.
These locations help UL customers in Canada get their testing locally, reducing time and cost to the manufacturer. ULC hopes that these increased services will increase demand across the country and grow market share to allow ULC to make a mark on the industries they serve.