Author Topic: Symbols on Units and What they Mean  (Read 8453 times)

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Offline RGecy

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Symbols on Units and What they Mean
« on: April 29, 2009, 03:03:52 PM »
Symbols on the Units and what they mean:

Trade marks, agency marks, and regulatory marks have appeared on goods since the middle ages.  The most common mark of the middle ages, and the one which it was always imposed, was that of the baker.

“Those who supply the people with their necessary food or drink,” observes Daines Barrington, an eighteenth century antiquarian, “(as bakers, millers and brewers) have not only always been suspected, more than other traders, but have likewise been subject to regulations of peculiar severity.” 

Today’s consumer electronics market faces ever growing regulatory and agency compliance laws, and if you purchased any consumer electronics lately, you’ve probably noticed a myriad of markings on them.

The most common markings you’ll find on consumer electronics are the “CE marking”, the “UL marking”, the “FCC marking”, and the "WEEE wheelie bin”. 

“CE marking" is a process that applies to a wide variety of products and one which manufacturers located in the EU or importers of goods into the EU must complete. The CE mark is affixed to the product as the final stage of this process and is effectively a statement from the manufacturer (or importer) that the process has been successfully completed and that the product meets the essential requirements of the relevant CE marking Directives.  The product meets the protection requirements (design safety) and the administrative requirements for products.

UL (Underwriters Laboratories), ETL, & TUV are examples of private agencies that have established regulatory standards. “UL marking” is meaningful because of the extended affiliations with government regulatory agencies and other guiding organizations.  U.L., for example, works with insurance underwriters.  When a product is certified as "safe" by U.L., an insurer has a reasonable expectation that common failures that occur when products are being used appropriately, will not result in excessive damages and/or claims against the insurer.

Although you will not find an “FCC marking” on most of Humminbird products, all commercial electronic devices (unintentional radio-frequency radiators) destined for sale in the United States that have clocks/oscillators that operate at a frequency of greater than 9 kHz and uses digital techniques are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Rules and Regulations, Title 47, Part 15 Subpart B. This includes almost every product that employs a microprocessor. An unintentional radiator, if not controlled through proper design of grounding and shielding, may result in high levels of energy being radiated or conducted from the equipment causing unwanted effects upon another device.  The FCC has broken down Part 15 into two categories, Class A and Class B. 

Class A Device: A device marketed for use in an industrial or business environment and not intended for use in the home or a residential area.

Class B Device: A device marketed for use in the home or a residential area. Examples of such devices include, but not limited to, personal computers, calculators, printers, modems, many electronic games, and similar devices that are marketed for use by the general public.

So why doesn’t most of Humminbird product have a “FCC mark”?  It doesn’t readily fit into the regulatory categories.  Where it is applicable and required, our products do have FCC marks. This is also why Humminbird does not sell a wall plug adaptor, if we did then we would have to do all of the FCC testing.

Recently, we’ve been working on complying with many of the global green laws, and as a result, you will find a “new” mark on all of our products:

WEEE (Waste Electric & Electronic Equipment) is a European Union directive that places e-waste recycling requirements on manufacturers of consumer electronics, and Johnson Outdoors, Inc., is actively working to ensure compliance to WEEE across all brands.  What is e-waste?  Very simply, it’s electronics that are waste.  If you see this symbol on the product, it means the item should not be disposed of in ordinary household trash.  It should be recycled.  It should be placed in the appropriate collection container at your local recycling / refuse center. Although WEEE is primarily a European Union requirement, most municipalities here in the United States also designate collection sites for plastics, cardboard, petroleum, consumer electronics, and home appliances. 

Please do your part, and act responsibly with the environment.

Thanks to Keith Councel with Humminbird for submitting this Article.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 03:05:24 PM by RGecy »
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Offline harry padgett

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Re: Symbols on Units and What they Mean
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 11:56:56 AM »
   Great information,  thanks.

Offline George

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Re: Symbols on Units and What they Mean
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 12:36:29 PM »
In my career, I have been involved in developing many programs to get products certified in U.L., CE and a number of others certifications depending on the products and/or where they were sold.  I also had several plants that I put thru ISO9000 certifications, as well as helped many of our customers and suppliers.  ISO9000 was a hot issue at the time.  Along with ISO, Automotive was probably the most difficult certification programs and was intensely political.  Before I retired ISO had back off on a lot of their requirements and became easier. 

Some of the certification programs are very labor intensive and require lots of time not just looking at the products but require intense reviews of every piece of process and test equipment.  Also, supplier audits are very formal which at times took up to a week of observations and documenting each step, first time audits normally ended up with a large list of correction requirements and follow up.  On critical products initially I might have to visit them monthly and as everything came together the visits would be semi annual to annual.

The bottom line is that certification programs can be very intensive and very expensive.  Some support the consumer and some are just political to make it difficult to get into certain markets.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 12:58:12 PM by George »

Offline stillbear

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Re: Symbols on Units and What they Mean
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 02:19:58 PM »
Good information to know.   Thanks Gary

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