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Feature | July 2017

We are pro-actively adapting our facilities to changing technologies

Dr M K Shah, Director, Electrical Research and Development Association

Nowadays, technology evolves and upgrades very fast. Do you think, it is a challenge to keep up with the fast-paced change when it comes to a testing facility like ERDA? Electrical Research and Development Association (ERDA) has also witnessed similar challenges in smart meter testing (development of IS:16444- Part-1 & part-2), change in Ministry of new and Renewable Energy (MNRE) specifications for solar lighting systems & solar pumping systems, change in BEE star rating programme for distribution transformers etc. However, ERDA is actively involved with the regulating authorities in framing the standards and test requirements.

Similarly, due to right of way (ROW) problem, power utilities are trying to transmit more power through the same tower footprints by using High-Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) conductors instead of conventional ACSR or AAAC conductors. Testing facility of HTLS conductor in India is insufficient. ERDA is in the process of setting up HTLS Conductor Testing facility to cater the market requirement.

Hence, ERDA always keeps itself abreast of the impending changes in technology or standards and readies itself with required testing facilities to serve the market requirements. ERDA is fully geared up to accept the challenge of fast evolving testing requirements in various sunrise sectors.

Could you elaborate on the procedure followed when an instrument comes for testing in the lab?
Samples along with the test request letter, technical and contract forms and advance payment towards testing charges are received by our dedicated Customer Relationship Management team. After verification of the sample and matching with the technical specification enclosed, CRM Engineer prepares the work order in the ERP system and forwards the sample with specific identification barcode to the laboratory for testing. CRM Engineer informs the customer the tentative date of testing and report submission.

On completion of the testing, the soft copy of test report is sent to the client through ERP and hard copy through courier along with the final invoice to the customer.

Did you see any significant changes in the electrical testing and measuring equipment in the past five years?
The following initiatives of various Government agencies are a major game changer in the field of Electrical Testing in India:
The Government of India has appreciated the importance of good quality products to improve the quality, energy efficiency and reliability of electrical ecosystem of the country. Hence the Government and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) have promulgated Quality Control Order for CRGO, distribution transformers and induction motors, which mandates type testing of these equipment for manufacture, storage, and distribution of these products.

Also, any electrical equipment imported into India now has to be compulsorily tested at Indian laboratories as per the Capital Goods Policy of the Government. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) jointly with BIS introduced Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS) in 2012. The scheme first covered 15 electronics and consumer products, and another 15 products were added to the scheme in 2014. Under this scheme, it is mandatory for the manufacturers to get their product registered before introducing them in the market. Testing by an accredited laboratory is an essential part of the certification process.

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