NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 16, 2009, — Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced today it has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organization (AECO). As an AECO, UL will be better able to serve elevator/escalator manufacturers that seek to introduce innovative components, products and systems into the marketplace quickly.

"New elevator technologies are faster and more efficient, but regulations can make it difficult to get new components, products or systems approved and installed efficiently," said Kevin Connelly, North American industry manager of Industrial Control & Power Distribution for UL.

Typically, a manufacturer seeking to have an innovative product installed in the US would need to approach each local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) – such as a governmental agency or building inspector – to review overall compliance of proposed systems according to local regulations. Because there are more than 130 jurisdictions in North America, this process can be both costly and inefficient for manufacturers, and places undue burden on the AHJs. With UL’s AECO accreditation, manufacturers can now submit their innovative elevation products, systems and components to be tested and certified by UL. Once certified, those products would be accepted by all local AHJs, and manufacturers will no longer have to approach each jurisdiction separately.

"Our goal is to work with manufacturers and AHJs to help get inventive, faster technology to market more quickly while making sure there is overall product compliance for public safety," said Connelly.

UL will review and test elevator designs to determine whether or not they meet relevant American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards and use the AECO label in conjunction with its own UL Mark to indicate verification. UL-AECO certificates will be accepted by all adoptees of ASME performance-based codes.

"With the accreditation of UL as an AECO, the elevator industry is embracing a bold, new era where certified, innovative and safe products can reach the marketplace rapidly," said Louis Bialy, director of Codes and Standards for Otis Elevator.