Standards ensure safety quality and effectiveness for Tru Test

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Issue 45 – December 2012

Tru-Test Group is a world-leading manufacturer of livestock scales and milk metering equipment. It is also a world leader in electric fencing and traditional fencing tools, helping ensure animals are contained and pastures are managed for sustainable, profitable results. Tru-Test supplies customers in over 70 countries, serviced through five subsidiaries and a number of independent distributors.

'Safety and quality are key factors that underpin the international success of the company', says Tru-Test's Product and Markets Manager, Keran McCaull. 'Manufacturing to international Standards validates the safety and quality of our products, and thereby opens up the doors to international trade.'

The main area where compliance with Standards has the biggest impact is in the design and manufacture of electric fences, where safety, quality, and effectiveness are all key. Tru-Test and the New Zealand industry mirror group* participate in the development of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 60335 Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety, Part 2-76 Particular requirements for electric fence energizers, CISPR14-1 and CISPR 14-2 (Standards that specify electromagnetic compatibility requirements for 'household appliances, electric tools, and similar apparatus'). Once developed, products are sent to an independent laboratory in Christchurch for compliance testing against international and national Standard variants where they apply.

Keran is keen to be 'sure that New Zealand's voice is heard on international standardisation'. Several Tru-Test staff attend international meetings, helping to formulate, upgrade, and revise Standards relevant to the Tru-Test business. The company is keen to design its products to align with the developing international Standards. Without assistance from Standards New Zealand and the commitment of the Tru-Test meeting delegates, Keran says that 'New Zealand's world-leading industries would face more non-tariff trade barriers inhibiting our successes'.

'For a small country at the bottom of the world, and exporting, it's really important that you remove all barriers to trade. It's no good creating what you think is a good product and heading off round the world trying to sell it only for the first hurdle to be, “where's your compliance certificate?”' Keran sees it as imperative to work alongside Standards New Zealand who he says, 'is recognised on the world stage as a contributor to the world Standards community'.

'Without a national Standards body, we would end up being flooded with imported and/or non-compliant products and very soon we would have no manufacturers or exporters left.'

Tru-Test won an innovation award, for its work in electronic tag readers. It's Mark Powell's job as Business Manager radio frequency identification (RFID) to represent Tru-Test on the Technical Expert Group on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee dealing with livestock Standards.

Mark sees value in meeting with the other subject matter experts in his field and working together to ensure interoperability between devices, and to create a good, consistent experience for the consumers of the final products. All Tru-Test readers will read all tags, which is quite an achievement. As Mark says, 'that's the value of participating in the development of, and designing to, international Standards.'

* A mirror group is a group of New Zealand stakeholders, interested in the subject of the Standard, who come together to reach consensus on New Zealand's position on the Standard's content.

Note: You can order IEC Standards from www.standards.co.nz or call 0800 782 632 during business hours or email enquiries@standards.co.nz. Members of Standards New Zealand receive a 20% discount on all NZS and AS/NZS Standards, and a 10% discount on all international Standards. Visit our membership page for more information.

Note: As New Zealand's representative for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Standards New Zealand ensures that New Zealand has a voice in the international Standards community.

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