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What is UL, CSA & NSF Certification

& Why are They Important

All Gramatech chamber vacuum sealer models are certified and labeled that they meet the UL, CSA and NSF requirements for their type of machines. One might ask the question: What are these requirements and why would they be important to me?

UL and CSA

The UL and CSA are both “Safety” requirements and cover both the electrical as well as the mechanical safety of the machine.

The electrical safety would cover items such as proper grounding and proper fusing of the machine. This also covers other electrical items like use of the proper sized wiring throughout the machine. When certified a list of the approved electrical parts that go into manufacturing of the machine is created which allows an engineer to compare currently used parts to those that were approved during the machine’s initial certification to make sure the safety standard is being kept up.

The mechanical safety would cover any moving parts on the machine that can either pinch or otherwise cause harm to fingers and/or limbs of the machine user. This certification also covers the fit and finish of many of the sheet metal housings making sure the completed machine does not have sharp edges that could cause harm to someone operating or cleaning the unit.

NSF

The NSF certification is a “Sanitary” certification. This certification lets you know that the machine is safe for contact with food products. A large part of this certification has to do with the materials used for fabrication of surfaces that will come into direct contact with food during normal use. Some of these surfaces include the vacuum cavity or flat bed surface, filler plates and the lid of the machine. Another item considered is the construction of the machine. For example, this takes into account if there is enough clearance between the bottom of the machine and the surface it is on for proper cleaning to take place or if there are any vent openings in the housing large enough that a living creature could gain access to the inside of the unit.

Is this Important to you?

Not having these certifications does not mean that a machine doesn’t meet these standards but that they have not been inspected and approved by these third-party organizations. However, the UL and CSA certifications assure you that the machines that you are asking your employees to work with are safe for them to use and are safe for your facility. Also, many local governments or agencies require new facilities to have all electrical equipment to have some approved safety certification before final operating permits are provided.

The NSF certification may be of less importance if your business is not food related. However, it does provide a good baseline if your product is medical or pharmaceutical in nature or if you are packaging in a cleanroom environment. If you would like some further information regarding these certifications please contact a packaging machine specialist at IMPAK today.