Reka Cables has opened a fire testing facility for cables in Keuruu, Finland. Cable Test Center is the first fire testing laboratory offering CPR-testing in Finland. It will significantly strengthen Reka's product development, and also offer fire testing services externally.
Reka Cables’ answer to the new EU construction product fire safety regulations was to open a fire testing laboratory in Keuruu, Finland. In today's world product development must be able to respond quickly to changing regulations and market needs. For Reka Cables the only solution to this problem was to have a state-of-the-art test facility of its own.
The new EU Construction Products Regulation behind the new testing facility
The fire testing facility was prompted by the EU / 305/2011 Construction Products Regulation (“CPR”) governing the safety of EU construction products, which expanded from 1 July 2017 to include electricity and telecommunication cables used as construction products. CPR obliges the manufacturers to declare the fire behaviour of their products more substantially than before.
The new CPR test laboratory gives Reka Cables a significant advantage in product development. With the Construction Products Regulation, new product types must always be tested and classified according to the new system before they can be launched to market. “We gain both speed gain and capability now that we are able to do CPR testing in our own premises, “says Jari Koistinen, Product Development Manager at Cable Test Center. “New product types can be tested and their characteristics passed to completion before the required official testing at the approval body is carried out.”
The system also allows for more efficient market monitoring and analysis of competing products.
Cable Test Center offers fire testing services also externally
A change in the classification and testing of new fire behaviour characteristics has meant significant efforts for cable manufacturers. The test method and rating system are different from previous, and previously used test equipment is not sufficient for the new requirements. Another feature is that the approval tests for the fire classification must be carried out in so-called Notified Bodies, the nearest of which is currently located in Sweden.
Similar to Cable Test Center’s testing equipment is rarely available, only the largest cable manufacturers have them in their own use. Therefore, there is estimated to be a clear need for fire behaviour testing of cables at the request of customers and authorities. These can be e.g. different types of estimations or product development projects. This creates new business opportunities for Reka Cables while it’s simultaneously improving the quality and safety of its own products from already a high level to even higher.
Reka Cable has tested, classified and marked all its cables according to new CPR requirements by 1 July 2017 using external test facilities.
Pictures from the CTC Opening event can be found here.