TÜV SÜD’s unique partnership with Big Ass Solutions has helped this innovative manufacturer of industrial, commercial and residential fans and lighting products achieve global access for its products while reducing compliance costs.
Founded by Carey Smith in 1999 and based in Lexington, KY (U.S.), Big Ass Solutions (BAS) has gained an international reputation for its innovative cooling and lighting products. Initially, the company designed and manufactured largediameter (up to 7.4 meters), low-speed fans to cool large agricultural production facilities. The advantages of the fans’ specialized energy-efficient design were quickly recognized by customers in other industries, and soon BAS fans were also being installed in industrial and commercial settings as well as in offices and schools.
BAS launched its Haiku-brand home ceiling fans in 2012 in response to consumer demand for a residential version of its highly successful commercial fans. Utilizing advanced engineering technologies and aerodynamic airfoils, BAS’s Haiku fans are significantly more efficient than comparable products, and have repeatedly topped the U.S. ENERGY STAR® list of the most energy-efficient ceiling fans. In 2014, building on its reputation for innovative, energyefficient products, BAS introduced LED lighting fixtures for use in industrial, commercial and residential settings.
In recent years, BAS launched efforts to expand its base of business outside of the U.S. However, this decision brought with it a number of challenges, including the complexities associated with achieving compliance with regulatory requirements in other countries. BAS was seeking an experienced testing and certification agency partner that would help the company reduce duplicate testing and streamline the product approval process in order to gain prompt access to important market opportunities.
TÜV SÜD’s solutions
BAS first contacted TÜV SÜD in 2013 to seek its assistance in obtaining approvals in Singapore for the company’s Haiku fan. Working with experts in TÜV SÜD’s Global Market Access (GMA) group based in the U.S. and Singapore, BAS was able to quickly and efficiently secure the requisite approvals. As a result of this success, BAS contracted with TÜV SÜD to assist the company in securing approvals for additional fan products in other key markets.
As BAS was preparing to introduce its line of LED lighting products, the company again reached out to TÜV SÜD for assistance. BAS’s compliance personnel worked closely with lighting experts at TÜV SÜD’s Energy Efficiency Centre of Excellence near Atlanta, Georgia to identify lighting requirements for specific markets as well as applicable voluntary certification schemes for lighting products that could help BAS gain market acceptance. TÜV SÜD GMA technical experts then coordinated the mandatory testing and certification of lighting products, reducing the need for duplicate testing, and saving time and money. TÜV SÜD Energy Efficiency Centre technicians also conducted photometric testing in support of BAS’s efforts to achieve compliance with the requirements of voluntary energy efficiency certification programs.
TÜV SÜD continues to work with BAS on product approvals utilizing TÜV SÜD’s Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Mark, as well as on compliance issues related to new products under development. Weekly teleconferences between BAS compliance engineers and TÜV SÜD technical experts supports continuous progress with critical testing and certification programs, and facilitates the prompt identification of issues that could potentially delay certification.
According to Donald Dodd, BAS’s Manager of Global Compliance, the partnership between BAS and TÜV SÜD has been an important asset in the company’s efforts to bring new and innovative products to the global marketplace. “For us, the key factors in an effective compliance effort are quality, timeliness and cost,” Dodd noted. “TÜV SÜD’s expertise in our core technologies, combined with their coordinated response to our global compliance requirements, makes them a critical partner in our product development process.”
As an extension of that partnership, BAS is also evaluating the benefits of participation in TÜV SÜD’s Acceptance of Client Testing (ACT) program. Under the ACT program, qualified manufacturers test their products to relevant product safety standards, thereby potentially reducing testing time and third-party testing fees. ACT program participants are subject to on-site audits by TÜV SÜD’s Product Service staff based on the requirements of ISO 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
“We think that using TÜV SÜD’s ACT program for product certification will save us time and money,” said Dodd. “By bringing product certification testing in-house, compliance considerations become an integral part of our product development process, resulting in fewer problems and better products overall.”
Choose certainty. Add value
As this case study illustrates, a coordinated approach to addressing global compliance issues can be an important advantage in introducing new products and gaining market share. TÜV SÜD’s extensive technical expertise, along with its team of GMA advisors, can provide your organization with a straightforward path to achieve compliance with regulations worldwide. Our team approach can speed the approval process while reducing certification costs. TÜV SÜD is a premium quality, safety and sustainability solutions provider that specializes in testing, inspection, auditing, certification, training and knowledge services. Represented in over 800 locations worldwide, we hold accreditations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. By delivering thoughtful solutions to our customers, we add tangible value to businesses, consumers and the environment.