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Automated Warehousing and Safety Concerns


Automation resized 600The traditional functions of a warehouse are well known. Unlike its predecessors, however, the modern warehouse/fulfillment center is an assemblage of highly evolved automation technologies, making it a core part of the supply chain. Reducing cost and product processing time is the goal of an automated warehouse.

Today's warehouse activities include automated conveyors, crossdocking, palletizing, kitting, tagging, and identifying products, as well as storing them in the most time-efficient and space-efficient manners possible. This automation has also increased the speed of units into and out of the warehouse and employee fatigue can be a contributing risk factor. As a result, warehouse automation now has a direct bearing on supply chain efficiency.

Even large companies are not immune to the safety hazards these automated warehouses may pose. Recently, large fulfillment center accidents killed two workers, but this is not a new trend. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there have been 12-20 warehouse deaths per year from 2009-2012 and many more serious injuries.

When dealing with automated systems, safety is always an issue. Some of the most commonly used warehouse technologies and the safety issues associated with it include:

Automated Conveyors - Movement of parts and boxed goods around the warehouse. Crush hazards and in-running nip point hazards that may catch loose garments, hair and jewelry.

Robots- Robots play a major role in the materials handling systems. There are many types and uses- from palletizing/depalletizing to case packing and truck loading. Robots do not sense when things are out of normal order or when people come into their work envelope. Crush hazards and pinch point hazards exist if not properly enclosed and protected.

AS/RS Systems- Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), generally consist of machines that move up and down one or multiple parallel storage aisles, storing and retrieving products and materials for dissemination to internal and external destinations alike. Crush hazards and pinch point hazards exist if not properly enclosed and protected.

Forklifts- Automated warehouse systems typically use forklifts to load/unload trucks. They can be combustion engine or electric and each have associated hazards from flammable fuels to battery charging and maintenance. Crush hazards from lost loads, driving hazards of truck trailers wheels not chocked or otherwise secured to prevent movement, people in their path which may not be seen and other visibility risks.

RFID- Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) can be implemented at the pallet level, case level, or unit level. The medium to long-term trend is to have RFID tags at the unit level, so every item a consumer purchases can be tracked. This is still fairly cost prohibitive, but most industry experts agree that unit-level RFID tagging will continue to grow.

LASER Bar Code- Bar coding can also track items as they flow through the facility. Bar code scanners pose a low risk to the eyes.

AGVs- Automatic guided vehicles (AGV) used to move units within the warehouse. Crush hazards and pinch point hazards exist if not properly enclosed and protected.

Crossdocking - A distribution method in which the goods flow in an unbroken sequence from receiving to shipping, thus eliminating storage; also known as flow through distribution

The automated systems once installed have extreme work cycles to meet demand. Downtime is very costly and the systems are often too large and complex for plug and play replacement. Down systems may mean shipping comes to a standstill. Being crushed by objects are an all too common hazard for warehouse workers, along with slips and falls, forklift accidents, chemical spills and burns, fires, heat and back pain from manual material handling. Most are preventable.

Preventive maintenance is key. So is vigilance as conditions in the warehouse may change rapidly.

  1. Laser-based proximity guarding devices, light curtains, or mechanical barriers may be used to keep people out of the hazard zone.
  2. Interlocks are typically installed to ensure humans are not within a dangerous enclosure and Lock-out/tag-out procedures are to be implemented during maintenance.
  3. Equipment jams must be cleared safely, and means to do so be documented so short-cuts are not improvised.

For warehouse automation to be most effective, tools and technologies must be coupled with efficient use of integrated information and a well-trained, safety conscious, capable warehouse staff.

Let TUV Rheinland of North America help identify and work with your team to eliminate and minimize these risks. We provide EHS consulting and compliance assistance, Industrial Hygiene (IH) Services, OSHA Consulting, field labeling, training and more. Click here to learn about our EHS Services!

Contact TÜV Rheinland

(888) 743-4652 |

Why is late pre-registration important?


REACHREACH is a European Community (EC) safety regulation that deals with the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances. REACH compliance poses a big challenge for most companies and requires extensive and specific technical competence and knowledge.

Pre-registration is the process for potential EU registrants (non-EU exporters to the EU or manufacturers within the EU) to inform the European Chemicals Agency of their intent to register phase-in chemical substances. Pre-registration is beneficial as you will benefit from extended timelines for registration.  These extended timelines provide additional time to collect the required data that will be needed for registration.

Late pre-registration must take place within 6 months after the first manufacture/import of the phase-in substance but not later than 12 months before the defined registration deadline.

Phase-in substances which meet the following criteria can take advantage of the pre-registration:

  • Must be listed in EINECS
  • Substances manufactured in the EU which were not placed on the market in the EU by the pre-registrant 15 years prior to June 1, 2007 (intermediates)
  • NLP or “No-Longer Polymers” placed on the market prior to June 1, 2007

Late pre-registration can be performed by only:

  • EU manufacturer
  • EU Importer
  • Only Representative

If you do not pre-register:

  • Registration submission is required immediately to ECHA
  • Manufacture or import is to stop immediately
  • Limit manufacture/import amounts below 1 ton per year

Please note that pre-registration applies to article producers and importers of articles that use a phase-in substance with intended release.  The one ton per year threshold applies to the intended release substance.

Our services can prevent you from having the member state authority stop manufacture or import of your substances or limiting your import volumes until you come into compliance.  We have a solution to keep your business going and growing.

REACH Whitepaper

Click here to download our Impact of REACH Regulation Whitepaper and our Making Sense of the Major Changes in RoHS Whitepaper

Contact us today to learn how TÜV Rheinland can help you!

Contact TÜV Rheinland

(888) 743-4652 |

Want to Get Your Gas Detectors to Market Faster?


Honeywell XNX MPD resized 600The average wait time for Testing of Gas Detectors in the U.S. can take from anywhere from 4 to 6 months. This means a significant delay in time to market and even delayed revenue for North American manufacturers.

In an effort to help North American gas detector manufacturers dramatically reduce their time to market, TUV Rheinland of North America will now offer IEC 60079-29-1 certification services.

The IEC 60079-29-1 standard specifies the general requirements for construction, testing and performance, and describes the test methods that apply to portable, transportable and fixed apparatus for the detection and measurement of flammable gas or vapor concentrations with air.

In collaboration with our labs in Cologne, we can now start your test within a two-to-four-week period. Our expanded facility in Cologne is equipped with state of the art equipment. Our experts are knowledgeable with all the regulations and directives you need including IEC/EN 60079-29-1, to get your products to market.

Click here to read the press release on this new service.

TÜV Rheinland provides IECEx Certification, ATEX and HazLoc Testing, EMC Testing, Functional Safety and Machinery Safety.

Contact us today for lab availability, or other ways we can help you meet your testing needs!

Contact TÜV Rheinland

(888) 743-4652 |

Image Courtesy: Image used with permission from Honeywell

ISO 9001 for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises


ISO Certification for Small Business

ISO 9001 certification has helped organizations increase their revenue through continuous improvement and effective business processes. Currently, there are over a million organization globally that have implemented the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

However, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding ISO 9001 certification. Small and medium-sized companies especially avoid broaching the subject because they believe they are too small, the certification is too complex and costly, or due any number of other reasons they have heard.

International experience has shown that significant business benefits are accrued by companies that comply with this standard. Small and medium-sized businesses have much to gain from implementing a QMS. A sound QMS helps organizations improve customer service, promote innovation, increase new business, and improve client retention rates.

In our most recent whitepaper, we have tried to dispel some of the misconceptions regarding ISO 9001 certification and have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions in an effort to remove barriers to certification. Download you free copy today to learn more!

Download Whitepaper

Are you interested in obtaining ISO 9001 certification for your organization? Contact Us Today for a competitive quote.

Ask the Expert--- Fire Testing Webinar on August 7th


Have you had your modules or PV systems evaluated to the new FIRE requirements? 

Fire Testing 

According to the latest California State Fire Marshal bulletin (April 29, 2014): "Effective January 1, 2015, Rooftop mounted photovoltaic systems shall be tested, listed and identified with a fire classification in accordance with UL 1703.” Fire test requirements in the latest edition of UL 1703 have changed dramatically, based primarily on the research of Solar ABCs.

Time is running out to get your product tested. The closer we get to the deadline, the longer turnaround time for testing at the labs. TUV Rheinland PTL has a state of the art (in house) fire test lab, with full capability to test the requirements of UL 1703, UL SU 2703 and UL 790 standards.

This free webinar will explain the new test requirements and how they are being implemented.

Some of the information that will be covered:

• Requirements for Building Integrated PV modules
• Requirements for Rack-Mounted PV modules
• Requirements for Mounting Systems
• UL 1703, UL SU 2703 and UL 790 Standards

Event details:
Thursday, August 7, 2014
11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET

Ask the Expert Webinar Series

About the presenter: Mark Witt

Mark Witt is an Engineer in the Solar and Fuel Cell Division of TUV Rheinland PTL in Tempe, AZ., with extensive experience in product safety testing and evaluation, including fire safety testing related to PV modules and PV systems according to UL 790 and UL 1703.


Register Today!

RoHS 2 for Medical - Are You Ready?


The July deadline for compliance with the new RoHS2 2011/65/EU Directive has passed. Are you ready?

  • July 2014: Medical Electrical and Electronic Equipment falling under the MDD 93/42/EEC
  • July 2016: In Vitro Diagnostic Electrical and Electronic Equipment under the IVD 98/79/EC
What you Need to Know

What is RoHS 2?
The 2011/65/EU (RoHS2) Directive is a recast of the 2002/95/EC Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and now includes electrical and electronic Medical, IVD and Monitoring & Control Instruments.

Are there any changes to restricted substances?
No. Lead, Mercury, Chromium VI, PBBs & PBDE’s remain at 0.1%. Cadmium remains at 0.01%

Are standards available to help me demonstrate conformity to the requirements?
The EN 50581 standard was created to assist OEMs in
complying with the new RoHS2 directive. This standard
includes tasks for developing the Technical Construction File, performing risk assessments on materials and suppliers, and recommended documentation to obtain from vendors.

What does the CE Mark cover?
The CE mark on your equipment now means that you fully comply with not only the MDD or IVD Directives, but also the RoHS Directive.

How can TÜV Rheinland Help?

  • Assist with Supplier/Material Risk Assessment and completing the Technical Construction File (TCF) using EN 50581
  • Software Management of Environmental supplier data and test results
  • RoHS2 Ready Audits with Gap Analysis
  • BOM Analysis & Scrubbing with Supplier Data Collection
  • WEEE Recycling and Recovery Rates Reports
  • Chemical Testing (RoHS, REACH, and many other standards)
  • Non-Destructive XRF and HD-XRF Testing
  • REACH Registration and Compliance Dossiers
For more information or to find out how TÜV Rheinland can help you, contact us today!
Phone: 1-888-743-4652 | Email Us

OpenSky, TÜV Rheinland Company, Expands IT Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Services With Location in United Kingdom


OpenSky, an IT consulting firm focused on securing information assets and transforming IT infrastructure, has today announced the opening of its first regional office in the United Kingdom. A TÜV Rheinland Company, OpenSky provides access to a global network of resources. The new office, located in Leatherhead, England, is part of an international strategy that will enable OpenSky to better serve its clients by providing local experts to solve complex IT challenges.

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 OpenSky has completed over 750 IT projects to help  major enterprises, many on the Fortune 500 list, find  solutions for their most pressing challenges. Through  a unique, vendor-independent perspective,  OpenSky’s team of seasoned professionals focus on  delivering solutions that are tailored to the client’s  specific maturity and IT environment.

 “Our operations in the United States, the largest  market for IT services and security solutions, have  provided us with long-term, valuable relationships  with clients in the Fortune 500 group,” said Roger  Levasseur, President and CEO of OpenSky. “We have  established ourselves as a trusted adviser, and it is a  logical next step to improve our international support  by providing local resources and expertise.”

Matthew Wiltshire has been appointed to lead OpenSky’s UK operations as Managing Director. He has managed IT service businesses in the UK for over 15 years and brings his years of firsthand experience to OpenSky to help guide clients as they face rapidly evolving pressures.

“Many large enterprises in the UK are facing increased concern about the threat of cyber attacks and the need to design highly secure, leading-edge transformational infrastructure solutions,” said Wiltshire.

 Read the entire press release 



Ask the Experts---Materials and Tensile Testing Webinar on July 30th


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Presented by Brett Pond and Christopher Nichol, this webinar will cover Tensile Testing & Metallurgical Services.

TÜV Rheinland Industrial Solutions (TRIS), a full-service inspection, testing and certification company, recently expanded the range of tensile and compression load test capabilities with its hydraulic machine calibrated from 10,000 lb. to 1 million lb. of pressure.

Hear about our new capabilities at the Metallurgical lab in this brief webinar presented by our licensed metallurgical and mechanical engineers. They will provide an independent expert opinion on a variety of projects including component failures, material quality, and accident reconstruction and manufacturing processes.

What you will learn:

  • Tensile & Compression Load Test Capabilities
  • Non-Destructive Testing
  • Mechanical Testing
  • Failure Analysis, Physical Testing, Machine Design, Computational Modeling
  • and more...

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Event Details:

Wed. July 30th

2:00pm ET/11:00am PT


Register Today!


Grand Opening in Aliquippa PA -- August 29th

TÜV Rheinland is excited to welcome our customers to the Grand Opening Celebration of our new Aliquippa Metallurgical Lab in PA. 

Join us and tour our labs, attend demo sessions to get a first hand look at our Metallurgical Lab, Materials Testing and Non-Destructive Testing Lab and, our Field Service Mobile Lab.

describe the imageEvent Details:  

Date: Friday, August 29, 2014

Time: 10:00am--2:30pm

Location: 100 Industrial Blvd, Aliquippa, PA 15001



We will be conducting three (one hour) lab tours and demo sessions starting at 10:30am. Attend one or all three until 1:30

  • Metallurgical Lab Tour
  • Materials Testing and Non-Destructive Testing Lab Tour
  • Field Service Mobile Lab Tour and Demo

Join us at 1:30 for a complimentary lunch and meet the team!

Register today!

Award given to TUV Rheinland Bentonville AR Office


Mark Smith, Laboratory Manager at TUV Rheinland in Bentonville AR accepted an award from Tony Warrington, Technical Director at Mississippi Polymers, Inc., on behalf of TUV Rheinland's Bentonville, AR office. The company manufactures calendered PVC film and sheeting and value-added prints and laminates.

Mississippi Polymers participates in many local and community fund raisers throughout the year. The company strives to be an important part of not only the community but also the employes and the things that affect their lives.  In the past, the company has played a major role in funding research to find a treatment and cure for polycystic kidney disease.

Mark Smithphoto resized 600

The MVP award is for the company service provider that has gone above and beyond to deliver critical services over the past year. According to Mississippi Polymers VP of Sales & Marketing, Jerry Waxman, “CPSIA compliance has become a very important part of our business and TUV Rheinland's ability to turn results quickly helps immeasurably.”

The Criteria for earning the MVP award:

  1. Executives at Mississippi Polymers review the prospects for consideration.
  1. The evaluation is based on Price, Quality, Service/Delivery and Dependability.
  1. What is the overall value that their company has added to Mississippi Polymers throughout the year?

TUV Rheinland tests vinyl film and laminate product for Mississippi Polymers for select chemical attributes such as phthalate and heavy metal content. Mississippi Polymers selected TUV Rheinland because of the quick dependable and reliant service was one that added great value to Mississippi Polymers.  It allowed the company the ability to quickly release material to customers for shipment thereby keeping the supply chain open and moving.

Delayed inventory moves, equal lost dollars. Much of the testing from Mississippi Polymers Inc is required on a next day service basis and TUV Rheinland has never missed a report deadline in over 2 years of work with the company.

The supplier dinner was held June 18, 2014 in Memphis, TN


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