An innovative tool for tracking the certification process
12 May 2015
NCC, the Brazilian certification body, has developed an app to enable clients to follow the progress of the certification of their products in Brazil and elsewhere. The app, NCC Certifications, can be used for all Inmetro, Anatel and IECEx projects. Here Walmir Macedo of NCC explains the functionality of the app and the benefits it can bring to manufacturers bringing new Ex products to market.
Applying for certification in a distant country and keeping track of the process can be a difficult task because of factors such as time zones and language barriers. Individuals responsible for compliance in Ex equipment manufacturers need all the help they can get. NCC, the only IECEx certification body in Latin America, has assisted many companies through the process and has now unveiled a new app that can provide significant savings and reduction in time to market.
The app, NCC Certifications, is available for iOS and Android devices, as well web-based applications, and allows immediate checking of certification status without having to contact anyone at NCC. It works in any mobile platform (tablet or smartphone) and in any language or place, only requiring an internet connection.
The app can be found at Google Play and App Store by searching for ‘NCC Certifications’ and is also available at www.ncc.com.br/certifications.
When a new certification process is initiated with NCC the designated contact at the client will receive an email with a tracking number and a security code to use with the app. This tracking identifier can be saved with whatever name you choose. The web version will not permit saving the search.
The different icons used are explained in Figure 1. The client will receive notification anytime a change in the process occurs, keeping him informed and updated about the status of the process without the need to send the frequent requests for “Status”.
As the process is initiated, there will be several different phases the certification process can be found at. The first one is Process Started (Figure 2) and all relevant documents already in possession of NCC will be listed there. After initial analysis of documents, NCC can request more documents and the app will show a different phase, Waiting for Information.
As soon all the required documents are received and found compliant, the app changes to a new phase, Verifying Compliance (Figure 3). If any document is found to be non-compliant, the app will change to the Non-Conformity Found phase (Figure 4).
There will one last phase before the certificate is issued which is Concluding Process (Figure 5). In this phase NCC has issued the certificate to the applicant, but it is not yet showing on the Inmetro website nor homologated by Anatel.
Once this happens the final phase is shown – Certificate Issued – and the process is concluded (Figure 6). There is also the possibility that some Financial Issue is flagged and this will stop the process until it is solved, or the applicant decides not to proceed - Process Canceled and the process will then be closed.
This service is an industry first, increases productivity and saves time and money. The compliance teams can focus their attention on other projects, as the status information is automatically provided in real time by NCC. As any person in charge of compliance knows, anything that gives a company leverage in terms of shorter time to market is an essential benefit.
Certification Process concept:
Any time NCC receives a new certification process, if the documents and test and audit reports all conform the process will flow from 1 to 6 above (skipping 4) fast and smoothly. If non-conformity is found either in the documents or reports, notification of status is sent and the process stopped until new information is received. Upon receiving new information, the process will either move forward to 3, 5 and 6 or, in case of any non-conformity, will stop again. Before the certificate is issued, the client may wish to cancel the certification process and phase 7 will be posted if lack of payments is the issue.
• Brazilian standards are based on the IEC 60079 series of standards.
• ExTRs and ATEX TRs from ILAC accredited laboratories can be accepted.
• Any company wishing to supply Ex equipment into Brazil must get the Inmetro mark through a Brazilian certification body (CB, or Notified Body in Europe) accredited for the scope by Inmetro’s Cgcre (Accreditation General Coordination).