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The Value of Testing Products for Global Export

For companies choosing to design and build products for global export, testing the equipment before it is shipped is highly recommended. When designing a product with international customers in mind, it is essential to know that the product will work in the country of choice.

Pre-testing the product can help to give a competitive advantage and can help enhance customer relations, because customers expect a product to work when it is unpacked from the box. “The intended end use and destination of the product needs to be considered. The designer needs to keep in mind which safety standards need to be met for the market and country. It is important that the designer consider these requirements early in the design process through verification testing,” explained Ron Barnett, Product Development Manager at Interpower®.

The following aspects should be considered when designing for global export:

  • Use the Correct Plug/Socket Standard

    Currently, there are numerous common plug and socket standards used worldwide. A company needs to include the correct plug for the country of export. It is also advised to equip the product with the necessary cables and connectors so the customer won’t have to modify the product before use, which could cause the loss of approvals.

  • Set the Product at the Correct Voltage and Frequency

    It is advised to design the product so it is set at the correct voltage and frequency. Voltages vary around the world, so it’s important to know the voltage rating of where the product will be used.

  • Design the Product to Meet the Correct Standards

    Make sure that the product meets all applicable safety standards, according to the country where the product will be exported.

  • Test the Product During the Design Process

    It’s essential to test the product. By testing during the design process, the manufacturer can potentially save costly modifications that may occur after the product is in production, avoid possible failures or repairs and hopefully avoid returns.

    Test the Product Prior to Shipment

    The product should be thoroughly tested at international voltages and frequencies, including a suggested 24-hour burn-in test before shipment. Pre-testing helps to ensure that the product will work when it reaches the overseas customer.

“It is important that the manufacturer performs validation testing to ensure that the product meets the intended needs of the end use customer,” said Barnett. An International Socket Strip offered by Interpower can be used to test or burn-in electrical and electronic equipment that will be exported with international power cords and cord sets. This allows testing of the equipment, complete with the power cord, in the same manner that the global customer will use it. It should be noted that the International Socket Strip does not change voltage or frequency.

The International Socket Strip can be connected to a test bench or burn-in rack that has a source of 50Hz or 60Hz power to deliver power to the most commonly used international sockets. (If a source of 50Hz or 60Hz is not available, this is an example of when the International Socket Strip and the Interpower International Power Source can work together.) To test a product, the correct international power cord needs to be installed into the product and connected to the proper socket. “The International Socket Strip enables designers to perform internal testing in a simplified manner using a single power strip which includes multiple country sockets,” Barnett said. “This eliminates the need for multiple socket strips to perform in-house testing.”

Interpower offers three different models. See the complete line of International Socket Strips available at Interpower. These socket strips are also highlighted on the Featured Product page.

Interpower offers free technical support. For further assistance, please see Interpower’s contact information below.

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