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Koplas: Korean standard makes life difficult for foreign injection machine builders

Article-Koplas: Korean standard makes life difficult for foreign injection machine builders

The Korea Certification (KC) Standard currently required for selling injection molding and machines into the local market has raised eyebrows at several foreign machine builders PlasticsToday spoke to at the Koplas show held March 12 through 15 in Seoul, Korea.

The KC Standard, introduced in 2011 but reportedly applicable to injection machines since early 2012, is modeled in part on the CE mark, and requires machine vendors to obtain documentation certification, factory certification and machine certification. The key difference with KC machine certification and similar overseas standards such as the CE mark is that an example of each tonnage in a standard series needa to be inspected and individually certified before it can sold in Korea. Furthermore, customized machines need to be certified individually upon delivery to Korea.

"The cost in Korea to certify a single machine is KRW500,000 ($454)," says Seong-Sang Yoo, general manager of the design and engineering team at Engel Machinery Korea (Pyeongtaek), but he concedes that this would likely be higher for overseas vendors because inspectors from Korea's Ministry of Employment and Labor would need to visit overseas plants for certification of both factory and machines. The overseas machine vendor would also need to ensure all the machine series and tonnages targeted for sale into Korea were available for inspection during the site visit.

China's Haitian Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) is one company with eyes in the Korean market that is not entirely happy with the situation. "Our factories need to be audited annually my Korean inspectors and individual tonnages have to be certified. With our extensive product range, that adds up to a lot of money. CE certification is much simpler and less costly," he laments.

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