MILAN, June 4, 2015 – UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety science organization, announced that their laboratory in Cabiate, Italy, is the first and only lab in Italy accredited to perform testing to the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s (BIFMA) Standards for (Office Chairs), X5.11 (Large Occupant Office Chair), and X5.4 (Lounge Seating). UL received accreditation from Accredia, the Italian Accreditation Body.
This achievement demonstrates UL’s technical capability to perform furniture testing and evaluation according to BIFMA standards, which provides customers with confidence that their test results are accurate and reliable. BIFMA, the largest office and institutional furniture industry association in North America, works with the furniture industry to develop durability and safety standards for office and institutional furnishings. BIFMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and has been developing standards since 1973. These standards are frequently reviewed and updated by working groups to meet industry needs.
According to Alberto Uggetti, vice president and general manager of UL’s Furniture & Bedding Business Division, “Achieving accreditation to test to BIFMA Standards gives UL a competitive advantage in the Italian market. Italy is one of the world’s leaders in furniture design and production, and many products produced there are sold in the North American market. Now, Italian manufacturers that work with North American furniture manufacturers and distributors can conduct their testing in Italy with an accredited lab, instead of sending products overseas for testing.
The laboratory in Cabiate is a UL Center of Excellence for furniture, meaning that it is a full-service laboratory dedicated to the furniture industry. The lab recently attained accreditation from UL to certify furniture products to UL Safety Standards. Other advanced services that UL’s Cabiate Lab offers are durability tests using a special collaborative robot arm for furniture components that have complex movements and 3D scanning of complete furniture pieces down to small-scale models. These new capabilities along with the new equipment have expanded the services offered and the speed at which they are available to both manufacturers and suppliers in the European market.
In addition to the lab in Cabiate, UL Furniture & Bedding’s North American Center of Excellence, Advanced Furniture Testing (Holland, Mich.), is also accredited according to the same BIFMA Standards. This consistency in accreditations throughout UL’s European and North American Furniture & Bedding laboratories will allow clients to rely on our unified testing process and accuracy on a global scale. The accreditation of the labs to BIFMA standards mean that clients can rely on UL’s support in North America and in Europe as they bring their products to market.
UL is a premier global independent safety science company that has championed progress for more than 120 years. Its nearly 11,000 professionals are guided by the UL mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. UL uses research and standards to continually advance and meet ever-evolving safety needs. We partner with businesses, manufacturers, trade associations and international regulatory authorities to bring solutions to a more complex global supply chain. For more information about our certification, testing, inspection, advisory and education services, visit http://www.UL.com.