ift Rosenheim 2019
Expansion of international network and testing services at the Rosenheim Fire Protection Centre of ift and UL
Successful suppliers of window, façade, door and gate systems as well as their suppliers are internationally oriented. In order to continue to optimally support these customer groups, ift Rosenheim has expanded its international network by gaining recognition in the USA, Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This also offers advantages to window and façade manufacturers who carry out demanding projects in Germany and worldwide.
Globalization and technological change affect almost all business activities. Suppliers from all over the world can also be found in our industry. However, this is not a one-way street to Germany, but applies in both directions. Many manufacturers of windows, facades, doors and accessories use resources in other countries or successfully occupy the premium segment there. Because in most countries, solvent customers appreciate products "Made in Germany", both for reasons of prestige as well as high functionality and quality.
For this reason, the company's presence in its core European market was expanded. Since the summer of 2018, ift Hellas in Greece and ift Hvratksa in Croatia have been independent companies that offer and provide testing and services under their own responsibility. For customers, this means a plus in speed and, in some cases, lowers costs, because a lengthy journey is avoided. This covers a large part of South-eastern Europe.
ift Rosenheim's international position in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was strengthened by the recognition of the Civil Defence Department for the testing and certification of construction products with fire and smoke protection requirements and by its cooperation with the Canadian Quality Auditing Institute (QAI). As an inspection body for QAI, ift Rosenheim carries out the majority of inspections of building products in Europe, simplifying processing and offering price advantages through reduced travel costs.
The core of the international network is of course the cooperation with the globally active testing and certification body UL (Underwriters Laboratories). After intensive coordination of the workflows, the advantages and synergies are now taking effect. The special know-how of the ift experts in windows, doors and facades, plus the expert knowledge in safety and the global presence of UL are now available at operational level. A number of ift customers have already benefited from the common motto "Connect global markets - with your experts for fire protection testing in Europe" in projects in the Middle East or the USA. Many ift customers operate in the conurbations of the American east coast, which can easily be served by ship freight. In addition, the building elements from Europe enjoy an excellent reputation in the USA in terms of quality, technology and energy efficiency. There are attractive market opportunities for German window and facade manufacturers, because a large number of old high-rise buildings have windows and glass facades with single glazing that have to be restored to energy efficiency. The tests, verifications and production monitoring can be carried out in Rosenheim – they are recognised by UL in the USA and Canada, in accordance with AAMA, CSA or WDMA standards.
Structural fire protection plays a special role worldwide. Whether in India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates or Great Britain – major fire catastrophes lead to a drastic tightening of requirements. The ift Rosenheim and UL are currently testing 100 doors for fire resistance according to EN 1634 and British Standard BS 476-Pt-22 "on behalf of Her Majesty". The doors were sampled directly from the trade shops. The British government wants to determine the actual fire resistance duration of commercially available products in order to obtain a solid basis for changes in the monitoring and certification of fire protection elements. Thanks to the flexible accreditation of ift Rosenheim and the modern testing facilities of the fire protection center in Rosenheim, four door elements can be tested simultaneously in accordance with the special British test conditions so that the tight schedule can be met.
In Europe, the introduction of the product standard EN 16034 "Doors, gates and windows – Product standard, performance characteristics – Fire and/or smoke protection characteristics" and the possible CE marking will increase and redistribute the market. With the end of the coexistence phase at the end of October 2019, the previous system of building authority approvals will no longer apply. Together with the harmonization of EN 14351-2 for interior doors in mid-2019, a large dynamic will enter the European market of construction elements with requirements for fire resistance and smoke protection. In order to meet the expected rush of tests and the normatively required external monitoring, the testing facilities at the Rosenheim Fire Protection Centre of by UL and ift was expanded and completed.
In addition to the existing furnaces (8 m × 5 m and 5 m × 5 m), three further test furnaces were added:
- Floor Furnace
Tests on horizontal (5 m × 4 m) and vertical (4 m × 2.5 m) loaded/unloaded components according to ETK, UL, HC and RWS curves. The load is applied with 16 cylinders á 5 tons, 10 cylinders á 10 or 20 tons (not more than 60 tons per bracket).
- Column Furnace
Tests on columns/supports (size 3 m × 3 m × 3 m) according to ETK, UL, HC and RWS curves, loaded or unloaded with a rear loading device for 500 tons.
- Small Scale Furnace
Tests on vertical (1,5 m × 1,5 m) and horizontal (1,5 m × 2 m) components according to ETK, UL, HC and RWS curves, unloaded.
The Notified Product Certification Body (NPZ) in Nuremberg has also "upgraded" its organization and personnel in order to offer ift customers the necessary service. This includes know-how and experience in interpreting the underlying Exap standards of the EN 15269 series with almost 700 pages. The NPZ of ift Rosenheim can refer here to more than 17 years of testing experience, more than 2,000 fire protection tests, expert opinions and already more than 50 EXAP reports. According to the popular wisdom "first come, first served", many companies take the opportunity to obtain all the necessary tests and certificates now in order to avoid waiting times in 2019.