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President and Chairman of Council Peter Vincent, PSEE, BA, IEng, MIET, Hon.FSEE Immediate Past President Graham Couser, PPSEE, CEng, CEnv, Hon.FSEE Vice Presidents Stephen Tweed, CEng, CEnv, FSEE James Regan, CEnv, FSEE Chief Executive Prof Raymond P. Clark, OBE, DSc, CEng, CEnv, Hon.FSEE, Hon.FSE

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Test House Directory 2018 E:

Editor Andy Pye MA (Cantab) E: T: +44 (0)20 7863 3078

Advertisement Manager John Harvey E: T: +44 (0)20 7863 3077

Managing Director Paul Williams E:

© The Society of Environmental Engineers 2018

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Trades of grey P

eriodically, industries flag up the issue of counterfeit industrial products - it has emerged in the robot spares market and is common in small consumables like batteries. The use of batteries for life-critical devices, whether in the medical or military sector, means there are serious safety and security concerns. It is estimated by manufacturer Accutronics that the global rise in the so-called grey

market for batteries means that imports of counterfeit goods account for around 2.5% of global imports. That’s one battery in 40. Counterfeit batteries pose a risk of overheating or catching fire, as well as not delivering

reliable performance. To counter this, Accutronics’ batteries can feature algorithmic security, meaning that if a counterfeit battery is inserted into the host device, it can display a warning message or shut down completely. Counterfeit batteries often look identical to branded batteries, so OEMs must look for security features such as this to protect their devices from battery counterfeiting. Not all counterfeit products are as easy to identify as batteries. All premium brands of

bearing are affected by counterfeit products. And in 2017, counterfeit bearings with a market value of approximately EUR 1 million were destroyed in Greece, following the successful completion of legal proceedings commenced by Swedish giant SKF in 2009. They were crushed at a local metal recycling facility to ensure they will not resurface on the market. To distinguish a counterfeit product from an authentic one often requires expertise. One

way is to send photos to the supposed manufacturer for verification. Frighteningly, it has been estimated that 30% of test certification allegedly coming from

China are either inaccurate, misleading or fraudulent. A fake test certificate costs approximately RMB 3,000 (£330) against RMB 12,000 (£1,300) for a genuine one. These figures show the majority of test house certification can be relied upon but clearly there is a risk. How much time should be spent checking certification needs to be based on a risk assessment of the consequences of something going wrong, both as a reputational risk and also any potential personal injury. Test houses accredited by a third party, such as UKAS, add to credibility. Buyers should

always ask for copies of the test certification and if possible make compliance with the relevant EU/UK legislative requirements part of the contractual agreement. Due to issues with fake certification many larger test houses run a free online checking

service – just enter your certificate number. Alternatively, for those not listed email the test house directly. Wherever possible, in high risk cases, it is advisable to involve a local test house as part

of the validation process. Andy Pye, Editor, Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering magazine is published by Concorde Publishing Ltd on behalf of the Society of Environmental Engineers. It provides engineers of many disciplines with valuable information about the whole field of environmental testing. For subscriptions, contact Concorde Publishing Ltd on 020 7863 3076. To find out about membership of the Society contact the SEE at For more information on this directory and editorial and advertising opportunities contact Concorde at 020 7863 3079. Or see the websites and

Test House Directory 2018 n 3

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