Are You Prepared For Your Type Approval?

Are You Prepared For Your Type Approval?

17 April 2023

Imagine you’re trying to get your driver’s license, but you’ve never taken a driving test before. You may know how to drive a car, but if you’re unfamiliar with the rules of the road and what’s expected of you during the exam, you might fail the test.

The same goes for manufacturers seeking type approval for their measurement devices and systems. You may have designed an instrument that works perfectly fine but may not know the exact requirements for type approval.

For manufacturers unfamiliar with the type approval process, NMi recommends performing a pre-investigation during the development of new products. Consider it a practice driving test that familiarises you with the rules you’ll be expected to navigate for the actual test.

Small Investment, Big Gains

Pre-investigations are the best opportunity to help you understand what works well, what does not (yet), and what needs to be added. It is a modest investment that we strongly recommend to every manufacturer who enters a new market or is developing a new product. It can reduce the costs involved when retesting or modifying the product at the end of the product development phase.

Potential obstacles or test failures in the later certification process can be predicted when modifications are relatively straightforward during product development. This significantly reduces the chance of failure in the type-approval stage, when measuring systems and devices must undergo obligatory tests.

For example, let’s say a manufacturer designs a new weighing scale. They think it’s ready for type approval but need to know what documents they must provide or if the scale meets the required accuracy standards. By doing a pre-investigation, they can better understand the process, the necessary documents, and the accuracy requirements. They can also identify any issues with the scale before they submit it for type approval testing, reducing the risk of rejection and delays.

What to Expect

NMi pre-investigations allow manufacturers to check whether their measurement equipment complies with (inter)national legislation. They are typically short projects of up to 4 hours that help manufacturers understand the normative documents they need to follow and run a conformity assessment on their instruments.

An NMi approval expert takes an experienced look at the measurement equipment specifications by comparing them to the legal requirements of the defined targeted market(s). By doing this early in the product development process, manufacturers identify which aspects of their measurement equipment need to be adapted to be ready for type approval. Understand which future requirements and standards changes are expected in relation to your product. These recommendations can then be compared to your prototype and incorporated into your design specifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does my design meet requirements?

A. Getting a reliable and transparent answer to this question is precisely the purpose of a pre-approval examination. An approval engineer from NMi will let you know what progress you are making with your product and to which extent your design meets the legal requirements.

Q. Does my product have sufficient documentation?

A. Based on a documentation review, an NMi approval expert will determine whether your product documentation package is complete. After the pre-investigation, you will know if you must obtain additional information from suppliers, if new documents need to be fabricated and which documents need an update or revision.

Q. Can my product be exported to foreign markets?

A. An NMi type-approval report will give you access to most EU countries and beyond. Moreover, we are fully aware of the additional requirements for enforcement equipment posed by Dutch, Belgian, British, and other authorities. We can compose a tailored test plan aimed at entering these markets and guide you towards a successful procedure during the pre-investigation.

Prepare for Success

Like a practice driving test with an experienced teacher, NMi Pre-investigation helps manufacturers prepare for legal metrology-type approval. It can help manufacturers understand the process, identify the necessary documents, and anticipate potential obstacles or test failures. By doing a pre-investigation, manufacturers can increase their chances of achieving successful type approval and avoid costly delays or rejections.

Contact us to learn more about NMi pre-investigations