Written by Ken Wijaya 12:21 am Product Testing & Certification

Mexican Accreditation Opens New Doors in North America

IAPMO R&T Lab, a long-trusted name in independent testing for the plumbing, mechanical and electro-plumbing industries, has been recognized by Mexico’s ema (Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion, A.C.). Ema is the premiere non-governmental body in Mexico for the accreditation of testing laboratories and certification bodies.

The process for recognition by ema began nearly two years ago. IAPMO R&T Lab sought this accreditation at the request of numerous manufacturers who were seeking “one-stop” testing of their products for the North American market.

Requests from the industry to provide testing to NOM 005 for flushometer valves, NOM 008 for showerheads, NOM 009 for toilets, and NOM 010 for fill and flush valves were overwhelming.

The process began with the submittal of our application for recognition and quality manual. There was a 90-day “desk audit” of the documentation, which complied with the ISO 17025 guidelines, but several changes were requested to adapt the documentation to the additional Mexican law requirements. The entire documentation then had to be translated into Spanish and sent back for a second “desk audit.” Test data procedures, test report formats, calibration information and relevant documentation also had to be developed, translated into Spanish, and sent back to EMA for approval. Once this was completed and approved, the physical audits began.

The initial physical audit of the IAPMO R&T Lab was conducted by EMA, which suggested we make several changes to our test equipment. However, after careful consideration it was concluded that the differences in the test procedures in the NOM standards precluded using the same test equipment for the U.S./Canadian requirements and the NOM requirements. This resulted in new test equipment being developed exclusively for testing to the NOM requirements.

The second physical audit by ema was to demonstrate the lab’s proficiency in testing, on the new test equipment, to the NOM standards. Products from each category were selected and testing was performed with the ema auditor reviewing the process. This audit also included other aspects of the IAPMO R&T Lab facility, such as environmental conditions, control and storage of test samples, disposal of samples tested, and calibration of test instruments.

At the conclusion of the second audit, the findings were then presented to the EMA committee that handles laboratory recognition for review and approval. In early 2013, EMA granted recognition of the IAPMO R&T Lab. This meant that a manufacturer that has products in these categories can now have their products tested by IAPMO R&T Lab for all of North America.

The significant differences between Mexican requirements and U.S./Canadian requirements are the number of samples to be tested for the initial certification process and the testing for renewal process.

New NOM standards are under development in Mexico for faucets and other plumbing products; some of these are expected to be released next year. IAPMO R&T Lab will then seek to expand our accreditation as these new standards are developed.

In addition to the ema accreditation, IAPMO R&T Lab is ACLASS accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 and is capable of testing to more than 400 standards and providing such special services as research and development, quality assurance, failure analysis and witness/field testing.

IAPMO R&T Lab, with state-of-the-art testing facilities, offers “one-stop” testing for fast-track listing of products in the United States, Canadian, Mexican, India and Australian markets.

Ken Wijaya
Executive Vice President IAPMO R&T Labs

Last modified: December 30, 2022