To confirm the quality and safety of its renowned double-seal gas and water valves and to further enhance their appeal in both UK and overseas markets, Aeon, one of the UK’s leading innovators in valve technology, has chosen to obtain Kitemark certification from BSI Product Services.

“Our products are designed in the UK, manufactured in China and, for the most part, they are distributed via our facilities in Poland and Dubai,” said Stephen Toas, Quality Manager of Aeon. “One of our essential requirements in selecting a certification partner was, therefore, that it should be an organisation that could support us effectively and efficiently in all of these locations.”

“In addition, it had to be an organisation that held Notified Body status for certifying gas valves to GIS V7 in line with the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED). And finally, we wanted to go beyond simply meeting our legal obligations in respect of certification – we wanted a mark of approval that would indicate unequivocally to specifiers and buyers that our manufacturing operations as well as our products meet the highest quality standards.”

After carefully evaluating the capabilities of certifying organisations, Aeon decided that it would work with BSI Product Services to obtain Kitemark approvals for its products. An important factor in this decision was the impeccable reputation and wide recognition of the Kitemark, not just in the UK but also in the company’s main overseas markets, including the Middle East and China.

Aeon found the Kitemark certification process to be searching but ultimately beneficial for the company itself and for its customers. The process necessarily involved extensive product testing which, after it had validated all of the relevant design data, was organised and witnessed by BSI Product Services. Gas valves were tested in line with GIS V7, while Aeon’s water valves were tested to EN 1074.

In addition to product testing, the Kitemark certification process also involved an in-depth evaluation of Aeon’s manufacturing methods and techniques, as well as the company’s quality standards and procedures.

Since its manufacturing plant is in China, Aeon could have confined this detailed evaluation to that plant alone. However, the company decided that the evaluation should also encompass its distribution centres in Poland and Dubai, partly to confirm that the same high standards are being adopted throughout its operations, and partly to cover those situations where components manufactured in China are assembled at the distribution centres to satisfy local customer requirements.

“Throughout the certification process, we received outstandingly good support from BSI Product Services,” said Stephen. “In relation to this, it’s worth remembering that the Pressure Equipment Directive alone has hundreds of clauses and to obtain certification, it is necessary to demonstrate compliance with every single one of these.”

“It would have been very difficult – not to mention time consuming and costly – for us to have done this without the expert assistance and advice provided by BSI Product Services, particularly in relation to the interpretation of the provisions of the directive. The inspectors from BSI Product Services were also a great help to us in relation to our own internal procedures and methods,” he continued.

“They suggested improvements that not only helped us to meet the requirements for Kitemark certification, but which have also helped us to enhance the efficiency and smooth running of our operations. Individually, these improvements were minor, but they all add up, and taken together they have produced very useful benefits.”

A unique and patented feature of both the gas and water valves manufactured by Aeon is a wedge system that provides a double seal. This means that, even if the seal fails on one side of the valve, the valve can still carry out its essential function of safely and completely interrupting the flow of gas or water. For this reason, along with their proven performance and excellent value for money, Aeon valves have been successful in achieving high levels of market penetration around the world.

“The Kitemark is undoubtedly helping us to build on this success,” said Stephen, “and it would be no exaggeration to say that it is proving to be a very powerful marketing tool for us. Our customers are impressed that the Kitemark not only proves our products to be of the highest quality but also guarantees that they can depend on this quality being maintained, since we have to undergo regular reappraisals to retain our Kitemark licence.”

“Seeking Kitemark certification for our products was a big decision for us,” he continued, “but it has proved to be an excellent move. It is certainly helping us to expand our customer base and to increase our sales both in the UK and around the world.”

AEON, TEL: 01740 661236

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 9

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
Read latest articles Pageflip Magazine Version Download Magazine