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Old 15th November 2010, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default Questions about CSA/UL certification of my commercial fully built amp.

Hello

It's being about two years that I've work on various amps schematics and prototypes and I would like to commercialise, in a small scale, a fully built amp (not the ones I've posted in the forum), not a kit.

The CSA/UL certifications could cost thousands of dollars, that's a lot wen you want to start a small business, and they don't say a lot about that in the CSA web site.

If I would use an external power supply who are allready CSA certified, from another company, do my amp, who would use this external power supply, will still need a CSA certification ?

Any inputs and ideas about certifications and commercialise my amp are welcomes.

Thank you

Bye

Gaetan

Last edited by gaetan8888; 15th November 2010 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 15th November 2010, 11:33 PM   #2
taj is offline taj
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Hi Gaetan,

I will ask our local CSA inspector when he comes into our facility next. He's usually here a few times a month doing field tests. He's a very friendly, helpful guy that enjoys good chats to enliven his boring tests.

Did you plan to export your product to different countries? US, Europe, etc? You will need their certifications too, which requires a lot of research.

..Todd
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Old 16th November 2010, 12:39 AM   #3
Gordy is offline Gordy  United Kingdom
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I don't know the legislation in your country, but my guess is that you are looking at it from the wrong direction.

If a company wants to make 10,000 kettles then they need to prove to the public they are safe... it's the accepted way to go, so certification will be required. But for a few amplifiers? Very unlikely.

This is my understanding...

Here (in the UK) low volume manufacturers have to keep a file of all the design details, testing, component specifications, etc.. It's called a Technical File. When the file is full the company can say "We have gathered the details and verified the product design and believe it to be safe". Then they can put a 'self-certified' CE sticker on the equipment. They have to be confident that their file and the testing is complete and reasonable.

The Technical File must be kept on the premises for inspection upon the demand of the Authorities. However they almost never inspect the files because they only have time to attend to the mass manufacturers who put more people at risk (... 10,000 kettles).

My guess is that your legislation will be quite flexible on low volume manufacturing, and 'self-certification' is likely to be possible in some way.

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Old 16th November 2010, 02:30 PM   #4
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CSA, unlike CE, does not allow self-certification. They do not trust us!

Having been through this process several times it is not worth it unless the production numbers are there.

Initial test costs $5k to $10k, quarterly plant (field) inspections at $1k to $3k.

Independent test labs can save you some money ther.

A fully enclosed approved external PS will solve your problem (as long as the amp does not produce over 48V out) but it will limit optput power to the capacity of the PS

E
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Old 16th November 2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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I have gone through this a few times professionally, although not for audio.

Getting CSA certification for yourself, forget it, it's just too expensive as has been said already.

Your cheapest option might be to have a CSA shop do a portion of the work for you, subject to an agreement that they will certify the device with their number. Essentially you are "renting" their certification.

The other cheap option is to get a CSA inspector to do a one-time certification. He basically comes, hi-pots it, inspects the grounding detail, and puts a CSA sticker on it. We did this a couple of times in Calgary 10 or so years ago and it was about $500 each time IIRC.
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Old 16th November 2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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CSA and UL are certifications by notified bodies that you pay for, an independent badge saying your product is good and safe. They are not mandatory to put electronic goods on sale in the US.

You will however have to comply with electrical safety regulations which involve details about how the equipment is constructed and insulation tests etc, and evidence that you can meet EMC standards. You can do most if not all of this yourself with a little study and time. Well actually a lot of.
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Last edited by richie00boy; 16th November 2010 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 16th November 2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richie00boy View Post
CSA and UL are certifications by notified bodies that you pay for, an independent badge saying your product is good and safe. They are not mandatory to put electronic goods on sale in the US.

You will however have to comply with electrical safety regulations which involve details about how the equipment is constructed and insulation tests etc, and evidence that you can meet EMC standards. You can do most if not all of this yourself with a little study and time. Well actually a lot of.
richie00boy is correct, CSA, UL, ETL are third party and not mandetory for most goods. (There are instances where local law, state or federal law require a certified good, for example a circuit breaker for your house.)

For an amplifier, I would suggest keeping a technical file in line with CE regulations. Without a digital device at 8kHz or higher, I don't think you have to prove you can meet EMC standards...FCC-Part15 or CSPR-22

Scott
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Old 16th November 2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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AFAIK the last 2 comments are irrelevant for Canadian law. If you sell a product without CSA or ULc certification and it causes harm such as electrocution, shock, or fire, then you are liable. Insurance companies love to sue here too.
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Old 16th November 2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadbelly View Post
AFAIK the last 2 comments are irrelevant for Canadian law. If you sell a product without CSA or ULc certification and it causes harm such as electrocution, shock, or fire, then you are liable. Insurance companies love to sue here too.
Oh it's the same way in the US too, and frankly even *if* you have the CSA or UL cert you can still be sued. (They may not be successful, but they always have the right to try.)

Take a good look at the back panel of the CA-2300...

Classé Audio manufactures Delta and CT (Custom Theater) Series home theater and hi fi systems for audiophiles and videophiles including digital tuners, surround sound processors, DVD players, and multi-channel amplifiers.

There is only a CE marking on the panel, at a minimum, they *should* have tested for safety, conducted emissions, etc and self declaired compliance with EU laws for electronic products.

There is no ULc, UL, CSA, TUV or ETL marking on that amp....

Scott
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Old 16th November 2010, 08:14 PM   #10
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Quote:
If I would use an external power supply who are allready CSA certified, from another company, do my amp, who would use this external power supply, will still need a CSA certification ?


This IMO is the most economical approach, but will only be acceptable if the supply voltages are deemed SELV ( safety extra low voltage ). AFAIK This was an approach used by RANE Inc. using wall warts (UL listed) and telephone jacks. Although this approach was dropped later on, if memory serves, mainly because of customer complaints. It's much easier to get a sticker if you use a more stringent "Listed" component, because each "certified" component needs to re-evaluated by its final use for your products safety evaluation.
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Last edited by infinia; 16th November 2010 at 08:22 PM.
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