Creative Solutions Can Help Your Company Meet the New SEFA Requirement for Product Compliance
The laboratory furniture and equipment industry through SEFA, (Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association) has developed a comprehensive set of Recommended Practices that define Laboratory Grade products and represent the best practices of the industry. These Recommended Practices are based on the collective knowledge and experience of companies that have been building labs for over 100 years. This body of knowledge defines laboratory grade products and what sets them apart from other types of furnishings such as kitchen, office, commercial, and millwork. Laboratory Grade is a class of its own. Customers have an expectation that the laboratory furniture they are acquiring is designed for the intended use and will be safe and durable when used in a laboratory setting.
At the SEFA 2015 Annual meeting, the SEFA bylaws were changed to make it a condition of membership that each company making products have at least one product offering that has been certified by a SEFA approved third party testing lab to be compliant with the appropriate SEFA Recommended Practice. This will help ensure that laboratory products being sold by SEFA members are truly of a laboratory grade and will provide the safety and durability expected by the market. There is a market perception that if you are a SEFA member, you are producing a laboratory grade product. This change in membership requirements will ensure that this perception is a reality.
Many members are not fully aware of the product requirements that must be met to be considered a laboratory grade product. To ensure that the membership understands the criteria and has the ability to produce laboratory grade products, SEFA now requires that all of its executive members have at least one of their product offerings certified by a SEFA approved Test Lab to be compliant with the appropriate Recommended Practice. For a list of approved labs
The SEFA bylaws regarding the qualifications for Executive Members (Section 3.1(a) now includes the following:
(4). Applicant shall also submit a certified test report from a SEFA-approved testing facility, establishing that the applicant manufactures laboratory furniture or related equipment at its manufacturing facility which complies with at least one of SEFA’s Recommended Practices in effect at the time the membership application is submitted by the applicant.
(5). All Companies which are Executive Members as of the date these amended by-laws become effective shall have twelve (12) months from that date to submit their product for testing in accordance with Section 3.1 (a)(4) above. The Member will be given an additional six (6) months to establish that their product is SEFA compliant.
Thus, existing SEFA Executive Members must submit at least one product line for testing by November 6, 2016. In order to remain a SEFA Executive Member, you will need to submit a certified test report from a SEFA approved test facility, establishing that at least one of your Company’s product lines is SEFA compliant no later than May 6, 2017. For a full copy of the new Bylaws
This change is important to ensure that the SEFA brand is trustworthy and that customers can rely on SEFA members to produce safe and durable products that are intended for laboratory use.
SEFA Executive Members must submit at least one product line for testing by November 6, 2016. You will then have six months (May 6, 2017) within which to submit a final certified test report from a SEFA approved test facility establishing that at least one of your Company’s product lines is SEFA compliant.
Producing a Laboratory Grade product is not an easy task. Many of the products in the market today would not be compliant with the SEFA Recommended Practices. If you need help in getting your products to be compliant, Creative Solutions can help. We have worked with companies around the world to help them produce SEFA Compliant products.
Chip has been involved with SEFA for many years and was Chairman for 1998-2000. Chip has been active on many of the committees that developed the Recommended Practices. He was Chairman of SEFA 10 – Adaptable Systems for many years and is now a co-chairman of that committee.
Not only has Chip designed a number of products, he has served in the management of several of the industry leaders including President of ALC-Collegedale. For the past few years, Chip has been practicing as an international consultant with a focus on product design and Lean manufacturing. Currently, Chip has clients in 8 countries. For more information