Why the CE Mark alone is not enough…

Studor has remained a pioneer of standards and approvals for drainage ventilation products since being founded in 1975. When European Standard EN12380 was introduced for Air Admittance Valves (AAVs) in drainage systems in 2002, it was natural for Studor to not only to comply with the standard but to take that step further and seek independent validation of conformity. This was achieved by the issue of the DIN CERTCO KEYMARK in 2005 for the Mini-Vent and Maxi-Vent. Studor now holds several KEYMARK certificates across the range of AAV products.

Sören Scholz, Head of Certification Body for “DIN CERTCO Gesellschaft für Konformitätsbewertung mbH”, has kindly taken some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about DIN CERTCO and the KEYMARK scheme:

 

Who is DIN CERTCO and what do they do?

DIN CERTCO is the certification organisation of TÜV Rheinland and DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, highly regarded internationally for its independence, neutrality, competence and extensive experience in the certification of products, services, qualified enterprises and persons. DIN, as other standards bodies, maintains a comprehensive collection of technical rules that sustain the efficient manufacture, testing, and assessment of products. DIN promotes the application of standards by its activities in the field of conformity assessment. Testing and assessment can take various forms: from the supplier’s declaration of conformity to third-party assessment, from proto-type-testing to type examination, or the assessment of a quality or environmental management system. With its network of partners, DIN CERTCO offers certification services that adapt flexibly to specific requirements. As a result, the proof of conformity provided exactly matches the scope deemed necessary.  Since 2015, the empowerment of certification bodies, the administration of the KEYMARK, and the management on behalf of CEN is assumed by DIN CERTCO as the KEYMARK Management Organization (KMO).

What is your role in DIN CERTCO?

I am the Head of Certification Body at DIN CERTCO. We were anxious to extend the certification business at DIN CERTCO in the area of heating and air-conditioning products, although for these kinds of products the certification has a long tradition in Germany. Together with the interested parties we develop specific certification schemes and implement them in addition to the relevant standard(s). Our DIN certifications help specialist planners, installers, builder/owners in the public and private sectors in the decision-making process. We think that the voluntary product certification becomes more and more important, especially for the growing European market. Therefore a quality mark well known Europe-wide is very important for both, manufacturers/suppliers and consumers.

What is the KEYMARK?

On recommendation of the European Council to improve consumer protection and to counteract the uncertainty of consumers by a mark variety, the European Standards Organisations CEN and CENELEC developed the harmonised European Mark System for standardised products. The KEYMARK is the European quality mark showing the conformity of products with European Standards. A product may only be marked with the KEYMARK if it has been tested and certified before by a neutral, independent and competent body. The factory inspection and Initial Type Testing (ITT), together with regular inspection, constitute an important element of the procedure for granting the KEYMARK. Beyond that, the manufacturer has to carry out a Factory Production Control (FPC) in consideration of the relevant product standards and the elements of EN ISO 9001. This quality system is controlled by an annual inspection and is completed by type testing which takes place at least every 2 years. Today, there are many products using the KEYMARK as a European quality mark, including:

  • Clay pipes
  • Heat pumps
  • Solar thermal products
  • Thermal insulation products for buildings and industrial applications
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • … to name just a few!

What is “DIN-Geprüft”?

To improve the confidence in the KEYMARK, it is often granted in combination with marks of existing national certification systems which are based on the conformity with European Standards. In Germany, the KEYMARK is often granted together with the well known Certification Mark “DIN Geprüft” (= DIN Tested). The KEYMARK symbol and “DIN Geprüft” together form the KEYMARK certification.

What’s wrong with just using the CE mark?

The CE mark is basically a self-declaration. There are strict requirements a manufacturer must comply with in order to apply the CE mark, but in most cases, there is no requirement for independent validation that these requirements have been met. The CE mark shows the observance of legal minimum requirements, but the KEYMARK provides a real surplus value for the consumer: tested and certified observance of uniform European Quality Standards.

How does the KEYMARK affect the STUDOR products?

Several of the the Studor Air Admittance Valves have been issued the KEYMARK certificate, which certifies that they conform with the requirements for CE marking as laid out in European Standard EN12380.

Are any other Air Admittance Valves certified with the KEYMARK?

At this time, STUDOR and Geberit are the only manufacturers to be issued with the KEYMARK certificates.

Where can I find more information about DIN CERTCO and the KEYMARK certification?

DIN CERTCO’s website provides detailed information in German and English at www.dincertco.de.

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