Finding out that a product or process is UL verified is like getting an unsolicited pep talk from your distant uncle: It’s interesting, but you’re not really sure what it means or why you should care about it. Turns out, UL Verification is a lot more important than that pep talk, so let’s clear up any confusion about it. Here, you’ll learn what UL is, how their verification process works, and how it all benefits consumers.
What is UL?
UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, is an independent science company that creates and maintains industry-wide safety standards for mechanical, electrical and chemical products. Since 1894, UL’s safety standards have provided design recommendations and testing/construction requirements for different products, including size and current requirements for wires and cables. UL is also a Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL), and, according to UL’s website, is the single most accepted Certification Mark in the United States, appearing on 22 billion products annually.
The UL certification mark can be found directly on the product, its tag or packaging. How does the mark get there in the first place? UL performs product testing in accordance to applicable standards, then performs follow-up audits to monitor compliance and product consistency.
UL issues different certification marks for cables, including UL Listed and UL Recognized, and offers many services, such as performance testing and company trainings on compliance and product safety. UL also verifies marketing claims “giving you a way to separate verified fact from fiction.”
How UL Verification Works
UL Verification gives consumers the ability to “verify” the accuracy of marketing and advertising claims of a product, process, system or facility. UL performs an independent, objective, scientifically based assessment of these claims then issues a custom UL Verified mark (pictured right) to the manufacturer. The mark can be used in advertisements, marketing materials, and/or directly on the product, enabling consumers to easily identify safe, trustworthy items. All UL verified claims can be found in the UL Verify online database.
UL Verified igus® claims
It’s common for companies to claim in their marketing materials that their cables last millions of life cycles, but information regarding the testing process is usually much less transparent. Consumers need answers to questions like how were the continuous flexing properties verified, what research and development were done to say that this cable works, and is there any continuous testing to check the ongoing quality of the cable?
- 12 m/s² on 50 meters travel inside a cable carrier
- Long travel, 400m travel test
- 10 twister torsion tests
- AutΩmes cable real time electrical function monitoring system
- Two -40°C cooling chambers with continuous linear cable carrier testing
- Horizontal and vertical strokes
- Circular movements of 720°
- Rotation around robotic arms with 4x6 axis test robots
- Raw material testing