Vertical Cable, CMB cited by UL as incorrectly using mark

Cabling association lauds this as just the first steps, wants more action
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Friday, August 6, 2010

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Vertical Cable and Cable Manufacturing Business, companies white-labeling cabling manufactured overseas, were notified last week by UL that they are improperly displaying the UL mark, according to public notices (see Vertical and CMB. Specifically, Vertical's Cat-5e 350 MHz and CMB's Cat-6 550 MHz were identified.

"We've been notified,' acknowledged James Piguet, director of marketing for Vertical. "And we're working with the manufacturer to figure out if there is a problem. As soon as we do, we will devise an appropriate solution.'

UL discovered that Vertical "does not comply with the standard for safety for the United States and Canada,' said Mac McNeer, manager of corporate communications, "through a recurring market surveillance program, and through feedback from industry participants.'

For CMB, the notice does not mention safety, but simply says, "This cable is not authorized to bear the UL Mark or reference UL.'

Chris Badinelli, president of CMB, said the error on his company's end resulted from a misprint by the OEM manufacturer. "We were never meaning to claim to have a UL listing,' he said. Rather, it was the manufacturer overstepping its bounds.

In the opinion of the Communications Cable & Connectivity Association, an industry association comprising a number of cable manufacturers and distributors, these notices represent a new and important step on the part of UL.

"UL is to be commended for its industry leadership and for being the first testing agency to take additional steps to protect users from poor quality as well as the serious fire safety hazards from non-compliant cable being imported into North America,' said Frank Peri, executive director of the CCCA, in a prepared statement.

In a separate interview with Security Systems News, Peri reported he received a number of complaints about Vertical Cable from distributors and cable manufacturers. He said people reported having difficulty competing with them because of the pricing, and while sometimes that's just the fair market, in this case there is the belief that they're not compliant to the standards that they need to meet, which allows them to charge less and retain margin.

"CCCA is pleased to have been an important contributor to UL's development of improved, tougher quality assurance procedures, which led to this significant and decisive action,' Peri said in the statement. Specifically, Peri said UL's new focus on testing products in the field, rather than simply at the manufacturing plant, where UL testers could be anticipated, is very important.

McNeer said that these kinds of notices are issued "periodically.' A review of notices on the web site shows Vertical and CMB are the first cable manufacturers to be identified as improperly using the mark since "Siamese CCTY Coax Cable' was identified in November, manufacturer "unknown.' Last April, UL warned of counterfeit Systimax cable.