December 5, 2017
Italy may be known for its architectural sites, delicious cuisine and sophisticated fashionistas but this country of 61.2 million people is more than just the Leaning Tower of Pisa, olive oil and Versace. As the euro zone’s third-largest economy Italy is also known to produce high-quality goods such as those created by the country’s machinery, textiles, industrial design and furniture industries, among others.
To help support its clients, UL maintains laboratory facilities focused on appliances, consumer technology, consumer retail services, environmental services and furniture in the Italian province of Milan.
Each lab is regionally staged to support as many industries as possible, allowing UL Italy to offer the best capabilities and solutions for customers.
Managers and marketing specialists from each facility were asked to discuss their services and to share a little about their community for this special spotlight on UL Italy.
UL Commercial & Industrial, Consumer Technology and Small Appliances Italy
Dario Rivoltella, lab manager for Commercial and Industrial (C&I), Consumer Technology (C-tech) and the Small Appliances Lab in Carugate, Italy
Carugate is a small municipality located nine miles northeast of Milan. With a Commercial & Industrial (C&I) focus, the facility offers two essential services for clients--calibration and automation services.
Calibration Services for Equipment
We offer professional and accredited calibration services to many European clients such as Electrolux, Whirlpool, De Longhi, etc.
Our calibration services include safety and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) equipment; training on calibration procedures such as measurement uncertainty, repeatability and metrological confirmation; plus, training on equipment developed and built internally for clients.
Calibration certificates have become standard services needed by clients to test and certify products in their laboratories. Our knowledge of equipment and certification standards, speed of service, competitiveness and low cost are the focus of the team that today consists of eight calibration engineers.
Automation services (AS) is another innovative area within UL Italy. We began working with AS technology 20 years ago with the aim of automating tests, saving time and increasing repeatability and reproducibility of data results required by our clients.
The facility’s five certified software and hardware developer engineers have created more than 100 custom data acquisition systems for hardware, software, validation and calibration. These systems are also available for use at UL facilities worldwide.
Three years ago, our clients received the opportunity to rent standard data acquisition systems or to ask for specific hardware and software development according to their needs.
The automation team’s knowledge in software and hardware developing, database validation, vision system and data acquisition allow them to satisfy a client’s specific request and to help clients face challenges related to Big Data and Industry 4.0.
UL Consumer and Retail Services Italy
Ilaria Colombo, marketing specialist for Consumer and Retail Services (CRS) in Cabiate, Italy
UL Consumer and Retail Services (CRS) ITALY is in Cabiate, 30 minutes from Milan and the famous Como Lake. More than 200 passionate people work here in a facility of 6.000 square meters. From toys to apparel, cosmetics to playground equipment and childcare products to houseware, more than 2.000 test are performed daily in our laboratories.
We regularly participate in the various commissions and working groups of the International Technical Committees, and we are recognized as an expert in the world of child safety, with unmatched industry expertise and active involvement in the development of international toy safety standards.
UL’s team of quality assurance experts can develop comprehensive programs to help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and brand specifications.
Our laboratories in Italy also hold Notified Body status under the European Toy Safety Directive. Notified bodies perform EC-type examinations and issue EC-type examination certificates. The notification has been designated by Italian Ministry.
With an ever-watchful eye on environmental issues, UL CRS ITALY is a contributor to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program, supporting the Program’s vision of widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry and utilizing best practices in the textile, leather and footwear industries to protect consumers, workers and the environment.
ZDHC has granted UL CRS ITALY a provisional acceptance for wastewater and sludge analysis in connection with the ZDHC Gateway – Wastewater Module.
Our industry-specific and global regulatory knowledge help customers speed their products to market and effectively plan to meet emerging standards and regulations.
Appliances, HVAC and Lighting Laboratories Italy
Valeria Zappalà, marketing specialist, Appliance, HVAC and Lighting Europe (AHL), in Milan, Italy.
The UL Carugate and Gavirate laboratories are European Centers of Excellence for LED lighting, appliances and HVAC technologies. Located in the Milan area, our labs are entirely dedicated to safety, energy efficiency and performance services and act as hubs for all of Europe.
Overall, they cover a total area of more than 3,500 square meters, with the intention to make significant contributions in all the different industries by offering high-tech services and a highly skilled staff of 70 engineers and technicians.
The lighting laboratory, which will be moved to a new space in late 2017 in order to be closer to the Appliances and HVAC laboratories, is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment such as two photo-goniometers and three lighting measurement spheres. This equipment allows the UL experts working there offer a comprehensive portfolio of testing for solid-state lighting as well as all other testing technologies, including the testing of lighting products for both specific and customized requirements.
By using our services in UL Italy, companies can earn access to the different safety Marks necessary to access global markets including the new UL Verified Mark for Low Optical Flicker and The UL Verified Mark for Photometric Data.
Our lighting laboratory can support the entire supply chain in the lighting industry, from the distributors of electrical material to manufacturers, architects, designers, and even software companies.
Appliance and HVAC Laboratory
The Appliances and HVAC laboratory, a recognized CB Testing Laboratory that is ISO 17025 accredited for more than 60 categories of products, covers both domestic and commercial appliances and can test and certify equipment according to most of the global safety standards.
With more than six climatic chambers and a noise chamber, this laboratory can serve manufacturers according to their different needs and can test and certify both components and end products. A new combustion lab has been recently added to the Appliances and HVAC laboratory to provide a complete resource for our appliances customers. Here, gas products, consisting of more than 43 different types of gases, can be tested and certified.
The UL Gavirate laboratory, located in north Milan, represents the final addition to the AHL laboratories in Italy. Established on August 2017 by the acquisition of AE Performances Testing Lab, this laboratory is the center of excellence for energy efficiency and performance testing in accordance to the requirements of several countries and organizations for white goods such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers and cooking appliances. The experts at this laboratory have an in-depth knowledge of energy efficiency regulations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Laboratory also has accreditations for Asia Pacific and North America.
Furniture Laboratory Italy
Cristina Canni Ferrari, marketing manager, Furniture in Cabiate, Italy
With over 3300 sqm of space, UL’s furniture lab in Cabiate focuses on furniture safety, VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)/GREENGUARD, packaging and performance testing, plus 3-D equipment to help qualify products for major furniture retailers.
Safety Certification for Furniture
At UL’s lab in Cabiate, we help ensure that furniture is safe. From residential to office/contract furniture, we can perform testing according to the most relevant UL safety standards, including:
- UL 65 – Wired Cabinets (Showcases): A lighted store display case or shelving unit.
- UL 962 – Household and Commercial Furnishings: Complex store displays, beds, chairs, illuminated decorative furniture, motorized furniture, training room tables and much more.
- UL 1286 – Office Furnishings: Office cubicles, tables and storage systems.
Furniture is verified in all constructional aspects and tested for electrical, fire and mechanical hazards. The test portfolio ranges from a temperature test to stability tests, and from insulation to proof load tests, all to verify that the furniture is safe enough to bear the trusted UL Mark.
Mechanical & Performance Testing
An accredited testing lab according to European (EN), International (ISO) and USA (ANSI/BIFMA, ASTM) standards, the lab offers the first and only program to certify that a product meets BIFMA performance standards for furniture. Furniture manufacturers can achieve certification from a trusted third-party certifier to demonstrate products meet industry performance and durability requirements.
Certification allows manufacturers to meet a variety of purchasing requirements and use the UL Mark on their products and promotional materials.
Examples of the tests performed include heavy bags being dropped on chair’s seat 100,000 times; a cabinet door being opened and closed 200,000 times; or a 140kg roller rolling 30,000 times on a mattress to simulate a person’s sleep pattern.
Additional tests include a machine simulating a person sitting on a chair and then laying on the backrest, robots opening and closing cabinets flaps, plus salt spray, UV and other environmental tests to verify the suitability of furniture to outdoor conditions.
Global retailers’ protocols
The UL Lab in Cabiate also performs custom protocols for large retailers through both transit and quality performance tests, surfaces and packing.
The lab is very flexible and can perform individual qualitative tests at the request of customers. Customers trust our knowledge, expertise and equipment. We provide each customer with the support needed to define criteria and perform special "safety margins" such as "BIFMA X3". This is what differentiates UL in Europe
UL GREENGUARD Certification
The brand new GREENGUARD and chemical lab give manufacturers the tools needed to effectively communicate the complex message of low-product emissions to the marketplace.
The lab consists of state-of-the-art equipment including GREENGUARD VOC analysis according to ISO 16000-9, BIFMA M7.1 2011, BIFMA X7.1 2011 Standards.
Securing products while in transit
Recognized by the ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) to provide the necessary documentation and test reports for Transit Tested Certification, UL can test a variety of packaging for products, including glassware and household items, ready to assemble furniture, and other furnishings. For instance, we help retailers and manufacturers reduce product loses and product claims, saving them money and reducing customer complaints from damaged products.