2013-08-28 14:38:13 - ALPHA CERTIFYING - CONSULTING - INSPECTION SERVICES
ALPHA acts as a trend-setting and future-oriented service provider for certification, inspection tests and consulting of goods and equipment. Launched in 2007, the company provides a high quality service and a wide range of core competences for its international clients. Constantly growing, ALPHA continuously sets new standards for safety and working demands.
The Chinese market is without doubt one of the most famous and attractive ones for the export of automotive bodies and vehicles. For a successful export, the regulations of the “China Compulsory Certification” (CCC) have to be considered. Introduced in 2003, they guarantee an institutional standard for the import of goods to China.
For the CCC-procedure, the requirements of the Chinese automotive sector are exceedingly high: “Deadlines are strictly enforced; also, product tests and audits are performed very accurate and precise. Due to the dynamics of the automotive-sector it is highly recommended to be very picky with modifications. A wide-ranging strategy is essential for managing modifications in a successful way”, Dr Thomas Krause, the director of Chemnitz-based company ALPHA recommends.
launched special standards that are connected with the dynamics of the automotive sector: “The so-called Guobia-standard – also called GB-standard – is a basic concept for Chinese product tests. For exporting a product to China, it has to pass one of these product tests that are based on the CCC requirements”, Krause emphasizes in the interview. “The procedure itself is very complex and extensive and it’s not always evident whether a product is compulsory for certification or not. The Republic of China established a system of product groups for the import of automotive parts and vehicles. If a product can’t be classified as a part of one of the product groups, that it is very likely that the product is not compulsory for CCC”.
The specifics of the GB-standards and the CCC-procedure cause many troubles not only when it comes to the certification of products. It is even more complicated to point out clearly in which factory the audit has to be arranged: “Basically, it is assumed that the audit has to take place in the particular factory where the total product is manufactured and completed. This also applies if the final steps of quality management were executed in that factory”, Krause adds.
The engineers of ALPHA are well-experienced specialists for the question if a product certification is compulsory or not; the company is a long-term expert for CCC. Multilingual project engineers supervise and support their clients during the whole procedure.
It goes without saying that ALPHA is a competent partner for the current GB-standards, too. Dr Krause provides an insight into the portfolio of his company: “For the CCC-procedure based on the current GB-standards, the products are assorted as certification units. To give an example, a passenger car is compulsory for certification by itself, but also many single components of the vehicle have to pass the CCC-procedure, too”, Krause summarizes.
“For certifying single components we offer efficient solutions. One main problem is that the Chinese customs might keep back the products and this causes additional troubles and costs”, Krause explains in the interview. “The certification of these single components only is the best solution for the dynamics of the automotive sector: If it’s necessary to change some of the components of the vehicle, the CCC-procedure then is really not a big deal. Usually, it is possible to certify some of the parts while certifying the whole passenger car. But when the export of the vehicle is completed and changes of some components are required, this could be a very dense issue. Another problem is that the exchanged parts are not valid for carrying the CCC-signature”.
ALPHA offers a highly recommendable service for certifying automotive bodies, vehicles and the delivery of spare parts; the company is a specialist for a successful export to China: “Compulsory products are seat belts, tires, glazing, direction indicators up to seats and head restraints. Additionally, any kind of headlights and lamps – e.g. marker lights, rear position lamps, clearance lights, brake lamps, as well as backup lights, fog lamps, side marker lights, rear reflectors and the licence plate illumination – are certification units that are established in China for many years”, Krause specifies.
The range of products that are compulsory is even more extensive: “Furthermore, compulsory certification units are brake-hoses, rear mirrors, the petrol tank, the horn or hooter, any kind of car door locks and car hinges as well as the whole interior panelling of the car”, Krause completes the long list of product groups that automotive suppliers have to certify for the Chinese market.
Manufacturers of interior parts are expected to come across various complications as the Chinese import requirements are very difficult: “The classification of the single components is exceedingly tricky, because passenger compartments are designed in a very individual way; they differ enormously from manufacturer to manufacturer. Just imagine the countless variations of centre consoles, components of the footwell, garnish mouldings or door covering components. In general, the covering components are expected to cause difficulties with classification. But also specials such as car headliners and convertible soft tops cause various hassles. An accurate inspection whether certification is compulsory or not simplifies the delivery of spare parts”.
Additionally, exceptions of the CCC-procedure are not as clearly identifiable as they appear at first glance. Krause resumes with a smile: “The requirements are pretty obvious for parts like breakdown triangles and alloy rims; these two can be identified quite easily and certification isn’t compulsory for them. At least not yet – it is expected that they will be compulsory in the course of 2013”.
Furthermore, even the expectations of the procedure causes even more troubles and the automotive suppliers don’t might have them in mind: “Again, the passenger compartment of the vehicle is incredibly challenging. It might be easy to classify the courtesy lights and the warning lights of the car doors which are not compulsory for CCC. The harder part of the procedure is to classify smaller components, e.g. alloy door sills, invisible components behind the columns, door window frame covers and removable car mats. To identify these parts without any doubt as exceptions of the CCC-procedure, a wide knowledge of the GB-standards is essential”.
Expectations of the expectation are also more than likely, Krause continues: “The passenger compartment is really a challenge. Trunk compartment measurements are CCC-compulsory if the trunk is connected with the passenger compartment, but this requirement is not in force for passenger cars with a separate trunk”.
As the director of ALPHA demonstrates with the interview, the GB-standards for automotive bodies and vehicles are very complex. Therefore, a professional consulting is necessary. For many years, the Chemnitz-based company supports automotive suppliers to certify their products for the Chinese market. For the CCC-procedure, a competent and intercultural experienced service is provided by ALPHA’s multilingual project engineers.
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