TUV Rheinland of Germany, together with Chinese enterprises to meet the challenge
TUV Rheinland based its choice of partners on “similar ideas”. When the concept of mutual recognition, even if the enterprise is still small, we believe that it will grow up. China’s capacity is for the whole world, not just the local market. Good products have to go abroad sooner or later. Since its founding in 1872, TUV Rheinland has won the trust of people and businesses around the world. With innovative ideas, professional skills, and a global service network, the company will make continuous efforts for the further development of products, services, systems, and human beings, making them more competitive, so as to create a harmonious future between human beings and the environment. Testing, inspection, and certification – TUV Rheinland offers services that inspire customers every day.
Before the Spring Festival this year, Germany TUV Rheinland, commercial and industrial products and services, vice President of greater China in Mr. Xiabo to lightning protection of the People’s Republic of China in the New Year’s greeting wrote: “in 2017, Germany TUV Rheinland will continue to hand in hand to the lightning and surge protection, industry enterprise service to our customers, hope it can help enterprises to enhance cooperation level, and meet the challenge, towards the world!” This year, we have indeed seen the sincerity and confidence of TUV Rheinland in serving Chinese enterprises and the achievements it has made.
At the beginning of November 2017, the 15th-anniversary celebration of the TUV Rheinland Chengdu Branch was held in Chengdu. On this occasion, the reporter interviewed Mr. Xiabo, vice President of commercial and industrial products and Services of TUV Rheinland Greater China, who attended the ceremony.
Q: Hello, Manager Xia! In 2011, TUV Rheinland established strategic cooperation with China INFORMATION industry and communication Products Lightning protection performance quality supervision and Inspection Center, providing a more convenient channel for China’s lightning protection products to enter the international market. We made a special interview report on this so that the industry had a certain understanding of the certification of TUV Rheinland products. After a lapse of seven years, how is the cooperation between the two sides?
A: The cooperation between TUV Rheinland and Information Industry and communication Products Lightning protection Performance quality supervision and Inspection Center is very stable. Up to now, the laboratory of the center has passed the CB review twice.
As an international testing and certification organization, TUV Rheinland has established its own laboratories all over the world, including In China. But in order to facilitate localized development, TUV Rheinland not only builds its own laboratory but also cooperates with many Chinese laboratories. Since the local laboratory already has very good conditions and capabilities, we do not need to repeat the construction. Such cooperation can not only promote the internationalization of the cooperative laboratory but also directly utilize the existing equipment resources for TUV Rheinland to jointly develop the local market and provide nearby services for customers.
Through the cooperation with TUV Rheinland, the laboratory management ability of the information industry and communication products lightning protection performance quality supervision and inspection Center has been improved. To operate according to international standards has become our CBTL, that is to say, we have successfully promoted the brand to the international market. At the same time, they have cultivated a number of professional talents and had the opportunity to participate in IEC affairs. In addition to serving local customers, they can also undertake the business of Taiwan, Japan, the United States, and other countries and regions.
Now domestic testing resources are very rich, we need to find ways to make rational use of laboratory resources in various regions. Some companies have their own laboratories, and because they specialize in one area of the product, their equipment may be as good as state laboratories. We evaluate these laboratories in accordance with the certification process. After meeting our requirements, we can carry out testing and certification programs in our own laboratories.
Q: When TUV Rheinland entrusts a cooperative laboratory to carry out test certification, does it need to send engineers to personally operate it?
A: The lab we work with usually has several stages. At the beginning of the cooperation, we will send experienced engineers to communicate, guide, and jointly complete the test project. After a period of time, when the laboratory has mastered our process, specification, and standard requirements, we do not need to send engineers to the site every time, but can more effectively audit and approve the data they provide. Of course, we review our lab regularly every year. For example, the lightning surge protection performance quality supervision and Inspection Center of information industry and communication products mentioned above have cooperated for six years, and now we no longer need to send engineers to the site. Unless there is a new standard, we will talk about it. In recent years, IEC standards have developed rapidly, and the SPD field has launched a series of new standards, such as IEC 61643-11:2011, EN 61643-11:2012, EN 61643-21:2001+ a2:2013, and EN 50539-11:2013+A1. When the new standards are announced, we hold training sessions to discuss with the industry.
In cooperation with the enterprise’s labs, we will divide several levels according to enterprise equipment and personnel capabilities. In the beginning, it was just our testers who borrowed equipment from the enterprise to do their testing. As the project progresses, it may become that our people go to the field and do “eyewitness” experiments, operated by people in the lab; More mature collaboration models, such as the third-party collaboration labs mentioned earlier, only need to provide data reports to TUV Rheinland for approval.
Q: In this case, TUV Rheinland worrying about “cheating” would happen?
A: To adopt an “accommodating” attitude towards unqualified products in the process of product testing is “cheating”, which is the biggest taboo in the third-party testing industry. Credibility is the basis of the existence of third-party testing and certification agencies, if you say that this situation is rampant, then the entire testing and certification industry has no value.TUV Rheinland has its own preventive measures, how to achieve this? In addition to the system, fundamentally depends on people.TUV Rheinland cultivates people who understand the technology and have professional ethics. We are committed to carrying out the concept of preciseness and justice. We are also very careful in choosing partners. We must choose laboratories that share our common values for cooperation. At the same time, we also audit and spot check our cooperative laboratories regularly or irregularly every year. In the course of long-term cooperation, we have formed consensus and mutual trust. For those who make “accommodation” or unreasonable requests, we will resolutely put an end to cooperation.
Q: Does this mean that TUV Rheinland’s choice of customers is conditional?
A: At present, TUV Rheinland’s customers are mainly medium and large enterprises. They have completed the initial stage of development and are in a period of growth. However, we also have junior clients, and these “junior” clients can be said to be selected by us, or can be said to be selected from each other, based on the basic basis of “similar ideas”. When the concept of mutual recognition, even if the enterprise is still small, we believe that it will grow up. Many group companies have grown out of what were once small family workshops. I work with several of these companies. When we communicate with the boss, listen to the boss talk about his pursuit and ideas, everyone’s idea is the same, we will consider providing support.
Let me give you an example. There were two customers, both of similar size and similar products, who tested here. But the two bosses have different ideas. A boss cares about quality, and if the certification fails, he must change it to his own satisfaction. To this end, he invested a lot in the laboratory, personnel training, production line, and so on. The other boss thinks the product’s performance is about right. As a result, over the course of a few years, not only did the quality-oriented company grow in size, but overseas customers came to it, while the other company remained stagnant.
We usually think of the businesses we work directly with as our customers. But in TUV Rheinland, we see the end-user of our product as our customer. As third-party testing and certification agency, we provide product testing and certification services for enterprises to help them improve product quality. Only when more end users buy the products of the enterprise, the enterprise will recognize our service. From this point of view, we set standards and do authentication for the end-user. End-users will feel relieved when they see the certificate of TUV Rheinland, and our credibility will be reflected. If the end-user does not pay, the business is stagnant, and we, the third party, cannot survive. With this concept, other problems can be easily solved. Therefore, we also hope to pass our idea to general enterprises through the media. With the same idea, it will be easy to cooperate.
Q: As a third party that is picky about customers, TUV Rheinland will provide customers with some additional value-added services in addition to the main business of testing and certification?
A: Product certification is the “job” of TUV Rheinland. Besides, TUV Rheinland provides certification services for enterprises and brings some additional value directly or indirectly for the development of customers.
Our goal is to provide customers with comprehensive solutions and customized services to enhance brand competitiveness, and to help customers achieve sustainable development by sharing cutting-edge trends in the industry.TUV Rheinland can help enterprises to reduce costs and improve quality by virtue of its deep understanding of standards and a full grasp of market development and technological frontier, thus forming its own unique advantages and competitiveness in the field of segmentation.
When we do product certification, first of all, we should faithfully present the test results. If the enterprise’s products fail to pass the test, we can help customers find the direction of improvement. We’re going to combine that with experience and give some advice on big principles, and that’s what we’re willing to do. If the reason for the non-conformity is the deviation from the understanding of the standard, we will give him the interpretation of the standard.
More than a decade ago, many companies wanted to export their products and had no idea what foreign requirements were. They needed guidance from third parties like TUV Rheinland. Now that these companies have passed this stage, our role has shifted to working with them rather than being their teachers.
Take the lightning surge protection industry for example. At present, TUV Rheinland is not only concerned about the problem of lightning surge protection products themselves but also about the development direction of the whole industry. For example, lightning surge protection of power supply has many new applications. We will pass the information we have to relevant enterprises through professional seminars, and sensitive people will find new opportunities from them.
You might notice that TUV Rheinland annually released a white paper in a wide range of industries, such as “low-voltage electrical appliances market present situation and the industry development in 2016″, “wind power industry development white paper in 2017”, “network security trends in 2017”, “2017 China robot industry development white paper, white paper industrial robots and network security, etc…These white papers, based on the industry’s development trajectory, market status, and TUV Rheinland’s years of practical experience in various industries, offer suggestions on the industry’s development trends and challenges and help customers understand the latest development trends of the industry and grasp market opportunities.
China’s economy has grown so fast in recent years that some of the companies that were small a decade or so ago may now be listed on the stock exchange. They are so large that they have passed the stage of knowing the basic information. As a third party, we hope to work with customers to explore more potential areas.
Q: We have learned that TUV Rheinland held a multi-pulse standard seminar in Beijing in mid-November. The multi-pulse technology is still under debate in China. We would like to know what work TUV Rheinland has done on the multi-pulse standard.
A: After Beijing Lightning Protection Testing Center successfully developed the 10-pulse multi-pulse impact generator in 2012, the first 20-pulse multi-waveform lightning testing system was settled in Heilongjiang Lightning Protection Center in 2014. But until now, the multi-pulse standard has been debated. The topic of multi-pulse was mentioned in the second China Lightning Protection Industry Development and Innovation Summit forum held in Shenzhen and IEC SC37A Working Group meeting held in Chengdu on October 24th this year.
“The Way of Quality Wins”, as our brand of conference forum, provides a platform and an opportunity for the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain and industry experts to gather together and exchange ideas on quality control and improvement. Every year, we hold hundreds of similar technology exchange forums to explore market demand and potential opportunities through close contact with the industry and customers. The quality and level of the event have been widely praised by the participants. According to the 2017 Foreign Trade Service Market Survey Report published by import and export Manager magazine, TUV Rheinland’s theme forums such as a photovoltaic forum, automobile, and parts Forum have become the industry benchmark.
As for the problem of multi-pulse, we have had a lot of internal discussions in TUV Rheinland, Germany. This Seminar in Beijing launched the standard of our enterprise, the internal standard code of TUV Rheinland, “2PfG 2634“.
Q: How do the internal standards of TUV Rheinland affect the industry standards?
A: TUV Rheinland usually introduces its own internal standard or the enterprise standard of the third party before some industry-standard comes out.
We often say that standards lag behind products. After the product comes out, if the standard does not fall, it is disadvantageous to the industry development. How can a product be accepted by the market if there is no standard assessment? If we can reach a consensus on the key points, we should put aside the dispute, implement it according to some generally accepted “standards” that are more suitable, and then refine it according to the application. Many of the technical standards currently in place are subject to constant revision.
In my opinion, there are two starting points for the development of a standard: the test items specified in the standard meet the needs of the industry and customers; The certification done in accordance with the standards can stand the test of application. One success story is our 2PfG 1169, standard for solar power cables. This standard has now become an IEC standard, and national standards are basically the same.
Lightning surge protection products are part of our component products business, as well as switches, discharge tubes, fuses, resistors, capacitors, and temperature protection. We have a technical team of about 10 people dedicated to this kind of project. In addition to the multi-pulse standard, we will gradually introduce internal standards such as backup protection and intelligent lightning protection, as well as assessment standards for the level of lightning surge protection technology.
Compared with switches, relays, and other products, lightning surge protection products this piece of relatively new, faster changes. The former standard system is mature, as long as according to IEC standard to change the edition update is enough. But for new, fast-changing fields, TUV Rheinland is willing to do something forward-looking and motivating.
China is such a big country that the technology of many industries is the world’s leading. As third-party testing and certification organization, we are concerned more about how to promote Chinese products to the world and promote the standards formed in China to the international market.
TUV Rheinland is a multinational company, and we will also share some international standard trends with Chinese enterprises.
TUV Rheinland has a lot of training sessions and seminars every year. We invite together enterprises matching the upstream and downstream of the industry, which can bring great opportunities to customers. For example, photovoltaic inverter workshop, we will invite lightning protection and fuse manufacturers to participate. Photovoltaic inverter enterprises will put forward requirements and confusion for downstream enterprises, while component manufacturers can give Suggestions and research solutions. There is a successful case is that when the manufacturers know that photovoltaic inverter has special requirements for fuses, they take the initiative to dock with the inverter manufacturers, and quickly organize research and development. Later in the industry, there are a few specialized manufacturers of photovoltaic fuses. However, traditional enterprises think these projects are relatively small and ignore the market prospect brought by such differentiation.
Q: At present, there are many discussions in the field of lightning surge protection technology, such as “backup protection”, “intelligent lightning surge protection” and “online monitoring”, etc. What’s your opinion on these technical directions?
A: These are the hot issues in the field of lightning surge protection device technology. A hot spot is also a point of contention. At present, China is leading the technology and market in these fields, and the IEC meeting is also discussing these issues. There is no consensus on how to write them into the current standard.TUV Rheinland is paying close attention to these technical directions and has received inquiries in this regard.
In response to the rapid development of the Chinese market, TUV Rheinland has also made some adjustments to its global architecture. With the continuous development of the business, our vertical segmentation industry layout is deeper and deeper. In the past, we divided our business according to regions. Now, we arrange our business according to vertical segments. For example, a lightning surge protection device (SPD) is discussed separately, and the whole country is a game of chess.
Q: What is the current market share of TUV Rheinland in China?
A: Market share is usually based on data. It’s hard to say because it involves different business categories. Let me take an earlier survey from “The Import and Export Manager”. Instead of focusing on performance and share, the report provides the percentage of the most trusted third-party testing and certification bodies for China’s foreign trade companies.TUV Rheinland of Germany came second, narrowing the gap to just 1.3 percentage points.
From a global perspective, TUV Rheinland has prominent advantages in product testing, including commercial products such as construction machinery and parts, as well as consumer electronics such as white goods and mobile phones. The quick-charging system in phones like Huawei’s MATE 10, which went on sale last month, is tested and certified by TUV Rheinland.
TUV Rheinland is so strong because of its historical roots. TUV Rheinland was the first German testing and certification company to enter Asia. TUV Rheinland entered Japan in 1986, Taiwan in 1988, and established its branch in Shanghai in 1989. With strong technical strength throughout the world, TUV Rheinland is undoubtedly the world leader in product testing and certification.
Q: Since TUV Rheinland entered China, the quality certification awareness of Chinese enterprises has been greatly improved. TUV Rheinland certification has been more and more valued by enterprises in China, which has promoted the prosperity of the certification market. At the same time, we have also noticed that international and domestic certification bodies are also developing rapidly. Under such circumstances, does TUV Rheinland also have competitive pressure?
A: As domestic testing and certification bodies continue to open the entry threshold and deepen the reform, we do face more and more competition. I think for testing and certification organizations, social credibility is the foundation of the enterprise. Both foreign and local testing and certification bodies should care about fairness and rigor as the code of conduct.
TUV Rheinland has the advantages of mature market operation, strong technical experience, and extensive overseas layout, and takes the lead in achieving scale, marketization, and internationalization. With the industrial upgrading and the rapid change of economic model, the development of some emerging industries cannot be viewed simply according to past experience. The innovation ability and resource integration advantage of testing and certification bodies are crucial. Better grasp the development trend from the macro level, quickly penetrate into the frontier industry, more market segments, and even the entire supply chain, to provide customers with multi-field cross-integrated solutions, and grow and develop together with customers, is the important weight of our competitiveness.
On the other hand, it is very important for us to stay at localization. For a long time to come, we should grasp two trends: the local business opportunities brought by consumption upgrading and the international business opportunities brought by the globalization strategy of Chinese enterprises. On the one hand, we should promote the experience of voluntary certification and verification service and localize the target brands. On the other hand, it will make deep alliances with Chinese brands in the globalization strategy, and make use of international popularity and experience to help Chinese enterprises go abroad instead of just selling abroad. Only by closely following the market opportunities in these two directions and making full use of international experience sharing can we maintain sustained credibility and influence.
We are also paying closer attention to the development of new businesses, such as 3D printing, robotics, electric cars, etc., which are currently hot. We have been doing this for two or three years, and we are putting a lot of effort into these new businesses. We are using our global resources to rapidly develop these new businesses and strive to lead the standardization and maturity of the market.
China’s capacity is for the whole world, not just the local market. Good products have to go out sooner or later. Recently we have several clients who used to only deal with the domestic market and are interested in TUV Rheinland’s one-stop certification service. Through the cooperation with TUV Rheinland, they not only obtained the product certification recognized by more than a dozen countries but also learned the cutting-edge information in the world.
Q: As the person in charge of a third-party agency, through dealing with lightning protection enterprises over the years, what’s your opinion on the current lightning surge protection industry in China?
A: At present, there is still a lack of well-known brands in China’s lightning surge protection device industry, especially the few enterprises with international competitiveness in the high-end market. The general situation is, product homogeneity, strong dependence, the key core technology is difficult to break through, product sales mainly depends on price, so the profit is not high. In my opinion, improving product quality, pursuing innovation, and even allowing enterprises to participate in the formulation of standards so as to be able to dominate the standards will be a shortcut for Chinese lightning surge protection enterprises to finally gain the core competitiveness.
Q: This year coincides with the 15th anniversary of the establishment of TUV Rheinland branches in Chengdu and Chongqing. How do you view the business development of TUV Rheinland in this region?
A: I am very optimistic about the development prospects of TUV Rheinland in Chengdu and Chongqing. In addition to the industrial transfer in the east, the industrial foundation of these two places is very solid. With the industrial pull, the supporting industry will follow. Therefore, our market developers, engineers, and technicians will also support each other accordingly. Today is the 15th anniversary of the establishment of our TUV Rheinland Chengdu branch. In the past 15 years, the annual business income of TUV Rheinland in the Chengdu-Chongqing region has grown from one million yuan at the beginning to tens of millions of yuan now, which also reflects the vigorous development of industries in the Chengdu-Chongqing region.