Dave Pedersen’s days at work consist of smashing, freezing, soaking, and tipping. As the Principal Compliance Engineer at KIOSK Information Systems, his job is to find out how products could break or injure someone — before the public does.
Headed by Pedersen – aka “UL Dave” – KIOSK’s on-site compliance lab is the last stop for products before mass production and shipment. KIOSK’s compliance engineers put products through a battery of tests to discover weaknesses in design that could result in product failure or user injury and fix them before the units are placed in public places.
While other self-service manufacturers may offer UL compliance testing on their products, KIOSK is exceptional in offering testing at an onsite lab, reducing total costs and speeding time to market.
At the KIOSK compliance lab, products undergo UL and other compliance testing to measure product safety and environmental testing to ensure kiosks can withstand the elements when placed in outdoor settings. Attack testing helps validate that the kiosk design provides a measure of security against vandalism.
Though many people recognize the UL mark from consumer electronics, fewer know what the symbol means. UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, is a third-party safety agency that sets standards and requirements for new products. It tests and certifies products for electrical safety, fire safety, and more. When you see the UL mark on everyday products, you can be sure that it has undergone rigorous safety testing.
Like the many consumer products with UL certification, kiosk deployers can also benefit from the peace of mind and protection that a UL certification brings. While KIOSK’s standard kiosk products are UL certified, customers who purchase custom-designed kiosks may want, or be required, to have UL testing performed before kiosk deployment.
During KIOSK’s custom engineering process, the customer can decide if they want their product to undergo UL certification. Because electrical code adoption varies from state to state and city to city, a UL certification may not be legally necessary in all situations. However, if the customer is planning a multi-state kiosk deployment, it’s prudent to attain UL certification.
KIOSK stands out from other self-service manufacturers by offering UL testing and certification at an on-site lab. Not only does this eliminate shipping costs to a UL testing site, but it also saves time on testing. According to Pedersen, however, the biggest advantage of on-site testing is the ability to modify a product on the spot and continue with testing if an issue is discovered by UL.
Pedersen gives an example of a kiosk that passed the “tilt test” when the service door was closed, but failed when the door was open. The tilt test is a standard UL test for kiosks that proves the product won’t fall over during everyday usage. The kiosk is tipped 10 degrees and must come back to a standing position unassisted to pass.
Because the kiosk was being tested on-site, KIOSK’s engineers were able to design and install a door restrictor that only allowed the service door to open 90 degrees. The kiosk was re-tested the same day and easily passed the tilt test with the restrictor in place.
Without an on-site UL lab, the kiosk would have needed to be shipped from the UL lab in California back to KIOSK HQ in Colorado to have the problem fixed, and subsequently shipped to California again for a final round of testing.
This ability to pivot and speed the testing process sets KIOSK apart from other manufacturers when it comes to custom kiosk design.
In addition to UL certification testing, KIOSK performs environmental testing on outdoor kiosks onsite and at nearby test lab to verify durability and weather resistance in a variety of climates.
During a soak test, the kiosk is drenched with a rain tree for an hour on each side to simulate a rainstorm. The kiosk is then inspected to make sure there is no water ingress.
In an icing test, the unit is brought to -20 F until ice has built up to a specified thickness to see if the kiosk can withstand cold weather.
Outdoor kiosks can also be tested for their ability to withstand humidity, large temperature swings, UV exposure, and shock and vibration, depending on where the kiosk will be located.
Since kiosks are designed to be unattended and placed in public locations, they must be strong and secure to withstand vandalism and attacks. In an attack test, testers try to break into a kiosk using common tools like pry bars, knives, and screwdrivers. These tests are especially important for kiosks that hold valuable items like package lockers or retail return kiosks.
Pedersen and the KIOSK compliance testing team make sure that each product that leaves the warehouse is equipped for safety and longevity in its intended environment. Because of the thorough testing each kiosk design undergoes, customers can feel confident that products from KIOSK Information Systems are amongst the most safe, durable, and secure on the market.
Contact KIOSK to get started on your self-service kiosk solution.