- Overall standardisation work
The Standardisation Administration of China’s Technical Commitee of household electrical appliances (SAC/TC 46) is responsible for standardisation work in the field of household and similar electrical appliances. The TC has established 19 sub-technical committees (SCs) and 18 standardisation working groups (WGs), which are responsible for the development and revision of standards for different products and technical areas.
The counterpart international standardisation bodies of SAC/TC 46 are: (i) IEC/TC 61 – Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, and its SCs; (ii) IEC/TC 59 – Performance of household and similar electrical appliances, and its SCs; and (iii) IEC/SyC AAL – Systems Committee of active assisted living. The responsibilities of these bodies mainly include voting on new international standards, participating in relevant conferences and meetings, and revising relevant international standard systems.
To date, SAC/TC 46 has formulated 431 standards – 249 of which are national standards, and the remaining 182 are industrial standards. It has also participated in the revision of 173 international standards, is currently involved in the ongoing discussions on 13 international standards proposals, and has completed more than 30 standardisation research projects from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Standardisation Administration of China. The experts of SAC/TC 46 are also members of corresponding international standardisation bodies.
In order to comply with the Plan for the Improvement of Standards and Quality for Consumer Products, SAC/TC 46 carried out research and optimisation of the standard system of household appliances, as well as research on the standard system of components and materials for household appliances. At present, the reference model of China’s standard systems is based on three dimensions, i.e. product category, life cycle, and technology development – reflecting China’s efforts to align standardisation frameworks with technological and industrial development.
China’s basic standards are mostly in line with international counterparts, but with a larger scope. It added standards for intelligent household appliances, household service robots, green manufacturing, products for the elderly and children, reliability and health. With respect to standards for methods and products, China has in some cases developed standards in line with international ones, while in other cases it has developed standards independently.
The two key considerations for the establishment of the standard system for household electric appliances – including the development or revision of standards – are adaptation to the Chinese conditions, and alignment with the needs of industrial development. As such, the standard system plays a significant role in protecting the rights of Chinese consumers and in standardising the quality of household appliances.
- Interpretation of specific standards issued in 2019
(i) GB/T 37597-2019 Methods for Measuring the Performance of Electrically Operated Food Preparation Appliances
Following higher quality and standards of life, the production and sales of electric food preparation appliances in China increased rapidly in recent years. The development of test methods for such appliances, therefore, is urgently required.
The standard GB/T 37597-2019 Methods for Measuring the Performance of Electrically Operated Food Preparation Appliances is equivalent to IEC 60619:1993+A1:1995+A2:2004. The standard defines the functions of household electric food preparation appliances, specifies test methods for their performance, and provides guidelines for the test results. Moreover, it clarifies the normal conditions for the testing of household electric food preparation appliances, as well as the test materials, steps and calculation methods for all their functions.
The publication of this standard filled an important gap of the industry. Its implementation will positively contribute to the comprehensive standardisation of test methods for the performance of various functions of electric food preparation appliances, such as whipping, beating, stirring, twisting and juicing. The standard is also expected to stimulate manufacturers to improve the quality of products, to adjust the behaviour of certain manufacturers producing faulty goods, and ultimately to ensure that Chinese consumers are provided with safe and affordable products.
(ii) GB/T 20292-2019 Methods for Measuring the Performance of Tumble Dryers for Household Use
Following higher quality and standards of life, the production and sales of tumble dryers for household use increased significantly and the industry developed rapidly. The recently updated version of the international standard IEC 61121:2012 also reflects this trend, as it lists test methods for a wide range of new products emerged in recent years, such as heat pump tumble dryers. The test methods of the updated IEC 61121:2012 largely correspond to those developed by the European Union, which have been widely adopted by the electric appliance industry.
The standard GB/T 20292-2019 Methods for Measuring the Performance of Tumble Dryers for Household Use is equivalent to IEC 61121:2012. It made significant adjustments to the previous GB/T 20292-2006. Specifically, it added requirements for tests of load weighting and average life, and for tests of load code; it also further refined the specific process of performance testing, now structured as: test preparation, general requirements, performance testing, and performance assessment. The standard will allow for more comprehensive energy consumption tests for tumble dryers.
Furthermore, GB/T 20292-2019 not only provides the latest technical specifications for tumble dryers technologies and products in China; it also provides more bases for consideration to consumers when purchasing products. Finally, the fact that the standard is in line with its international counterpart will significantly facilitate the exportation of Chinese household appliances abroad, as the impact of technical trade barriers will be eliminated; it will also improve the reliability of testing and thus reduce certification costs, which will ultimately benefit relevant manufacturers.