UL Label Development Path: Type R Follow-Up Service [UPDATED]
Update: UL has revised their Printing UL Marks document to version 6.0. This change includes references to the new enhanced marks. More importantly, it also made a fairly significant update to the authorization path for Type R Marks. UL has explicitly stated that it will no longer review artwork submitted from label printers–only the end user of the labels. As such, I have updated this article (originally posted May 2014) to reflect this change.
Yesterday, I discussed the development path for Type L Follow-Up Service (FUS). Today I’m going to cover it’s brother: Type R.
When it comes to printing custom UL certification Marks (aka the UL logo), there are general similarities between Type R and Type L. Both need a UL Authorized Supplier, and in both cases there has to be verification that the document meets the specs in the your UL procedure.
But that’s about where the similarities end. Type R is much more hands off than Type L. For example, while the normal workflow does involve the UL Label center, there is a provision that allows for an internal approval. This can lead to a much faster approval process. The reorder cycle is also much shorter. While a Type L label essentially requires you to start at the beginning each time, with Type R, as long as the printer maintains record of the “Stamped” artwork, printing can begin without any re-evaluation by the UL Label Center. Let’s take a look at the different options in the development path below:
As you can see there are two different ways to go these labels, but it basically works out to be design, verify, and print. Verify is perhaps the most important step. It is with these type of labels, that companies can get into trouble. Maybe they didn’t use an approved printer or maybe the printer didn’t hang onto their records, but there have been a few situations when all of sudden their labels didn’t match up with the required specifications on their markings page, and they need someone to fix the labels quickly. I guess with more freedom comes more responsibility.
My Listing Mark data indicates this “The manufacturer may reproduce the Mark or obtain it from a UL authorized supplier.”
What is the actually meaning of “the manufacturar may reproduce the mark”?
What I understand is that I can print my own labels using a vendor of my preference or, if I want, use an UL authorized vendor. There are some other files where it does indicate you have to use a Label center, but for other than that, it is realy ambiguos. Can you clarify?
You are right on the mark. “The manufacturer may reproduce the Mark” literally means you can print labels with the UL Logo.
Let’s take a step back for a second. Basically the UL Logo (Listed, Classified, etc.)–which UL refers to as the Mark–is essentially their seal of approval. It certain applications, it is also how they monetize their services. As a result they take steps to protect it. You have to either be the manufacturer who is already paying for their services (i.e. you) or a company that has been specially licensed. Basically that’s what that statement is saying.
The label center is there is verify the contents of the UL mark. Does it have the correct references, safety information, etcetera. You should have a Marking Data sheet in your procedure which goes over these rules. The Label Center (a division of UL) would just check your artwork against this marking page to ensure you are in compliance. Alternatively a UL Authorized Vendor can (in some cases) check this data page for you. They also have a Marks Hub on their website, which helps you design a compliant mark with approval (sans the Label Center).