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Compliance & Precision News Round-Up - Issue 13

This issue covers:

LIA warnings over rough service lamps

The Lighting Industry Association has drawn attention to the fact that some retailers are offering special purpose lamps intended for rough service environments to consumers in an attempt to circumnavigate the EU phase out of inefficient lamps.

This is predominantly a market surveillance issue and the National Measurement Office, the body charged with policing the relevant regulations in the UK, has issued a document on this practice. This document highlights the fact that it is an offence to place on the market lamps which do not comply with the efficiency requirements laid out in Commission Regulation EC 244/2009. Special purpose lamps are exempt from aspects of these requirements.

The manufacturer needs to hold a technical file in which information is stored which can justify a company’s declaration that a lamp is special purpose. For a rough service lamp, examples of this kind of information might be detail of additional filament supports, vacuum lamp, single coil filament or many other different technical parameters considered by the lamp design team to constitute a rough service lamp.

A lamp being marketed as a rough service lamp is being declared by the manufacturer not to be suitable for household illumination.

The LIA supports the drive to introduce more efficient lighting whilst improving the quality of the lit environment and believe that the ErP Regulations being applied across all EU countries is an effective vehicle for achieving that by phasing out very energy inefficient lamps in favour of more energy efficient types. Genuine rough service lamps are intended to be used in industrial applications and as well as costing considerably more to run than an energy efficient lamp they also provide, because of their design, a lower level of light than their equivalent household incandescent lamp.

The NMO has indicated in its statement that they will carry out market surveillance to enforce the Regulations and will check the labelling for conformity but also have the power to request copies of the Technical Files kept by the manufacturers which should detail the design parameters which support the case for labelling these lamps as special purpose.

More details at

Institute of Measurement annual lecture

The Institute of Measurement and Control hosts its annual lecture and learned awards evening later this month (Thursday 18th October).

The event at the Glaziers Hall (The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers), Southwark, London includes a lecture on the necessity of measurement by Professor Graham Machin, NPL Fellow, FInstP, FInstMC .

The presentation will highlight that, in everyday life people take measurement for granted, but good measurement is essential for the functioning of modern society. The lecture will therefore examine the importance of reliable measurement and will give some emphasis on the necessity for reliable temperature measurement.

The event begins at 6.00pm and further details are available at

Monitoring of electrical equipment in nuclear plants

The IEC and the IEEE have jointly published new international guidelines for the condition monitoring of electrical equipment that performs vital nuclear power plant safety functions.

The series of international standards and guidelines, IEC/IEEE 62582, Nuclear power plants -Instrumentation and control important to safety—Electrical equipment condition monitoring methods,is intended for use by nuclear power plant operators, system evaluators, test laboratories, and licensees of nuclear power plants.

Included is the condition monitoring of electrical cables, which not only provide power needed to operate electrical equipment in nuclear power plants but also transmit signals to and from the various instrumentation and control equipment that performs safety and accident mitigation functions.

Condition monitoring can also provide specific information on the status of degradation of equipment due to ageing or the physical integrity and dielectric strength of the insulation and jacket materials of cables.

The organisations have also published three affiliated standards detailing specific techniques that can be used to perform the condition monitoring evaluations.

IEC/IEEE 62582 establishes a worldwide common standard of a series of condition monitoring techniques that can be selected and applied, as appropriate, to establish the actual condition of new or installed equipment. This test helps establish a baseline, which in turn allows nuclear plants to determine, with a high degree of confidence, how long equipment will be able to perform as expected, even in the event of a severe accident.

The IEC and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) collaborated extensively to develop these standards to promote international uniformity in the practice of electrical equipment condition monitoring.

Record semiconductor R&D spending predicted

 Worldwide spending on semiconductor R&D is expected to increase 10% in 2012 to a record high of $53.4billion.

According to market research firm IC Insights, the rise will lift R&D spending by chip companies to 16.2% of total semiconductor sales in 2012, which are now forecast to rise 3% to $329.8bn from revenues of $321.4bn in 2011.

Intel's R&D expenditures accounted for 32% of the top 10 spending and about 17% of total R&D expenses at all semiconductor companies worldwide. The chip maker's 27% increase in R&D expenditures was the largest among companies spending $1bn or more on R&D last year.

IC Insights' mid year update shows that US companies accounted for 57% of worldwide semiconductor R&D spending in 2011, followed by suppliers based in Japan, 17%; Europe, 10%; Taiwan, 8%; South Korea, 7%; and mainland China, 1%.

Integrated device manufacturers accounted for about 66% of R&D spending by semiconductor companies in 2011, while fabless suppliers represented 29%, and pure play foundries made up the remaining 5% of the total. More at

Analysis of the European EMS Market

A new analysis of the European electronics manufacturing services provider market has been published by reportlinker.

The forecast period is 2012 to 2016 and among the findings is that the major verticals contributing to revenue generation are consumer electronics, telecommunications, and computing and storage.

It is anticipated that computing and storage will remain the largest revenue-generating vertical markets for European EMS providers. However, niche segments, such as the automotive and medical segments, are gathering attention from European EMS providers because they have high profit margins.

The largest revenue contributors in 2011 were Germany for Western Europe and Hungary for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Hungary’s position reflects it as an early beneficiary of the outsourcing trend in electronics manufacturing in CEE.

The research service provides an in-depth analysis of the European electronics manufacturing services market, and is comprised of breakdowns for both Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The study highlights market drivers and restraints, revenue forecasts, and a competitive analysis. The end-user segments discussed in this research service include: computing and storage; consumer electronics; telecommunications; medical; automotive; and industrial.

More details at

Fake cable discovery

A significant quantity of sub-standard data cable purporting to be CCA Cat 5e cable has been removed from an educational establishment in the Isle of Man following an investigation by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI).

Concerns were originally raised about the cable earlier this year and the ACI can now confirm that around 100 boxes of the suspect cable have been removed from the installation as part of a data cable refit.

Iain Ballingall spokesperson for the ACI said: “This is a clear example of the kind of problems which are regularly coming to our attention. Despite warnings in the media and numerous articles written by the ACI and others on the subject, the message is continually being missed. Contractors appear willing to turn a blind eye to the quality of their purchases in return for a better price – in this instance that approach has obviously backfired.”

The ACI brought the issue of misselling data cable (Cat5e/Cat6) with Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) to the attention of electrical contractors last year. Such cables are non-compliant with published national and international standards and although they don’t present a safety risk, the fact they do not perform properly will inevitably damage a contractor’s reputation.

The ACI is advising contractors that they should examine cable and its packaging carefully and look for identification marks and warning signs such as the print legend carrying no reference to the standards typically associated with data cables of this type.

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