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The UL shuffle

The UL shuffle

(OP)
So I'm back designing a product for a client and dreading the UL phase we'll eventually get to. I'm always happy to job this out but everyone's always shocked when they get the tab from UL. I can understand a reasonable fee for testing services, that's all well & good (definition of "reasonable" notwithstanding). What kind of gets me is the published standards that they make you buy if you want to try to comply early on. Is it really fair to charge $500+ each time an engineer wants to review their list of standards? (which is about as fun as reading through a 100pg EULA in detail). Then, if you find your document isn't really the most applicable, you have to go buy another one.

I'm all for everybody making a fair profit for services here, but I feel like there should be a more appropriate process with more emphasis on safety and less emphasis on profits. Maybe a subscription? So you could pay for 30 days of access to unlimited documents? I guess everyone would just save the whole library then, huh? Anyway, I'm not sure if this is ending up more of a rant than the constructive criticism I intended, but every time I have to deal with UL I end up with this sort of dialogue in my head. Any suggestions to making this headache more palatable are welcomed!

RE: The UL shuffle

If your customer has a UL account for manufacturing, they should also have unlimited access to standards for free. It would be copyright infringement to print them and hand them to you, but you should be able to review the applicable standards for your product design at the customer's location.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: The UL shuffle

Yes once you become a customer of UL you get unlimited access to any/all standards they have..
I would discuss with UL if you can become a UL certification customer now and have access to all the standards.. I'd think they have some process for that to happen.

But here is the listing of all the standards which also allows you to see a scope/table of contents..
http://ulstandards.ul.com/standards-catalog/?docty...
Or just call them.. discuss your product and I'm sure they can tell you where you would fall and which standards would be applicable to your product.
Or simply pull up the UL file for similar products and see the standards they fall into.

Buying standards is just part of the game though...
And if you think $500 is crazy you should try some of the others..Some Telcordia (telecom) standards are in the thousands of dollars each

RE: The UL shuffle

(OP)
Thanks for the replies- the "$500" comment was really just re: the project of the day. I've actually paid $2000+ for documents before (via my employer) but its just the general idea of buying all these documents all the time without certainty that they will be relevant at the end of the design process. In retrospect I imagine the best plan of action would be to buy and review all the documents before even starting a design so that we can be assured we're in compliance early on, but that's very counter to the creative process of development that I think we're all used to.
I guess I would rather see UL be more open about the whole copyright concern such that they could focus more on work/evaluations for hire as a profit center. That seems like a more safety-minded approach for everyone. My client in this case (and many cases) is an independent company providing medical services. Most of my clients are independent inventors rather than corporations and so it would be a rare case where they have a UL account for manufacturing, even if they did, it's not the most convenient thing to go hang out in their office each day combing through UL documents.

Anyway, I've been fortunate enough to have opportunities to delegate some of these tasks in the past, but am getting more involved with it now, so I do appreciate the tips and experiences you've relayed. Thanks for the help!
-k

RE: The UL shuffle

UL recently changed the access for manufacturers. Standards must be purchased. Upgrades are free!

Z

RE: The UL shuffle

Not sure where you are getting that zappedagain..
I still have access to ANY/ALL standards..
Hard copies must be purchased but I can view all and even print one time..

RE: The UL shuffle

Same here, mcgyvr. Perhaps they're doing that with new contracts?

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: The UL shuffle

Maybe there is a grandfather clause in place.

Z

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