Smart, sustainable, secure – in 2021, these are more than just buzzwords. They represent product attributes that have never had a higher value. VPS’ ECO Tower, part of the VPS Smart Tower range, ticks these three boxes. It is a solar-powered, mobile CCTV structure which is used to monitor sites remotely.
VPS – who provide bespoke solutions to help protect vacant property, remote sites and infrastructure, helping their clients to mitigate risk – were keen to bring this game-changing product to market as quickly as possible; especially in the light of the pandemic. With more people at home, monitoring locations remotely has become mandatory in many cases.
But before the ECO Tower could be rolled out across Europe and the UK, it had to have the necessary certification, and that’s where IES came in. Here we will demonstrate how the right expertise and experience can save valuable time in expediting product availability when it counts.
An effective partnership
VPS provide bespoke solutions to help protect vacant property, remote sites and infrastructure, helping their clients to mitigate risk. They offer a fleet of technological solutions to many sectors from CDM through to highways, as well as vacant property temporary alarms. Every VPS product, including the new ECO Towers, are designed in house.
Their partnership with IES began in 2016, when VPS required technical checks and CE marking services to meet the legal requirements and directives of the European Union; allowing them to make their products available for sale and hire across the continent. Over the years, VPS has valued the approachability of IES, who provide them with an uncomplicated service at competitive rates.
In 2020, VPS asked IES to conduct Low Voltage Directive (LVD) testing and EMC testing on the new ECO Towers in order to ensure CE certification, allowing the product to be sold in the EU, and UKCA marking, to cover the product for sale in the UK market.
The ECO Tower – a solar-powered, sustainable product which represents one of today’s leading risk mitigation solutions – was ready to be advertised to its target market of commercial and domestic property owners and managers. Now VPS relied on IES to ensure that the product was checked in line with all relevant EU and UK standards, and certified accordingly.
Taking on the directives, COVID and the clock
The market opportunity presented by the COVID-19 lockdown for sale and hire of the ECO Towers meant that time was of the essence. The LVD safety testing and EMC testing had to be carried out in as small a timeframe as possible.
VPS needed to ensure that all the contents of the accompanying Technical File required for CE certification were correct, and contained all the of the necessary documents to enable them to self-certify. They also needed the completed Test Reports provided as quickly as possible.
And with the ongoing pandemic in mind, it was important that all testing was carried out in a COVID-safe environment which minimised risk for all personnel involved in the testing, as well as VPS employees and clients.
Efficient, meticulous and safe
IES carried out the LVD safety testing and EMC testing at VPS’s site in Manchester. This was done for the convenience of VPS, negating the need for transportation of the ECO Towers and saving time.
It took IES just three days on site to fully complete all required elements of the LVD and EMC testing. Tests carried out included; conducted emissions, radiated emissions, RF conducted immunity, fast transient bursts, electrostatic discharge, surge immunity, voltage dips and interrupts, radiated immunity, and harmonics & flicker. The tests applied demonstrated that the products met the specific requirements of the relevant directives.
IES delivered full consultative support, collating documents for the ECO Towers’ Technical File, and checking all the contents meticulously; providing VPS with the necessary documentation to self-certify. These documents would not only be needed for self-certification, but are also valid for the life of the product, subject to modifications.
Social distancing measures - carefully following the government guidance of ‘hands, face, space’ - were in place within the testing ‘bubble’ created at VPS’ site. Only a small team of IES personnel were permitted to enter this area during the testing process. Vehicles and shared equipment were sanitised after every use.
Ready for market
With the completion of IES’ testing services and their self-certification process, VPS could now be confident that their ECO Tower fulfilled all the necessary requirements and was ready for distribution, sale and hire across Europe and in the UK.
At a time when security and sustainability are becoming increasingly important from VPS clients’ perspective, the ECO Tower was ready to meet these needs.
Mark Wilson, VPS Head of Compliance, said:
''As we already knew from working with them for five years, IES just come in and get a great job done. We value their ability to test at our site and work in line with our safe-working COVID restrictions. IES provided an efficient, well thought out method of testing which caused minimum disruption to our ongoing business operations.”