USA, the land of opportunity
The USA – the country, where the business idea of our eGym founders Philipp and Florian was originally born.
If you can make it there, you can make it everywhere.
After rapture a quick reality check:
- What kind of certifications do we need?
- Can we sell our machines as they are now in the US ? (e.g. due to different public power supply system in the US)
- How do we get our fitness machines overseas?
- Current challenges – certification for the US market
The issue with certifications was much more complex than had expected. It was clear quite quickly that the European producer declaration from the CE label is not enough. We needed an evidence for the conformance of the US testing institute. While UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is responsible for the machine safety, the FCC agency is responsible for radio (RFID/WLAN) and for EMC (electromagnetic compatibility). And here the real work began – the study and understanding of normative texts:
- Where do we find discrepancies regarding the European guidelines?
- Which components can we use and which not?
- Do the US components work for the whole machine and do we have enough space?
- Next challenge – power supply in the US
… and now the power supply – we need a high-power transformer!
Fortunately a suitable transformer was found quite quickly for our machines. We just had to adjust the cabling, check if it is easy to assembly and if all functions in the machines are working correctly. Final tests about the heating behaviour and for the FCC certifications were made and everything turned out to be positive. So our new transformer already has the UL license.
Testing institutions postulated exact information. Therefore we collected all vital documents for the certification. Once our homework was done, we passed the tests – and so it was time to raise the glasses!
- Another challenge – Off to new shores
In order to make sure that our machines will reach the US safe and sound, we talked to some shipping experts. It seemed crystal clear that we had to choose maritime freight as mode of transport. However, we had no experience at all with this kind of freight. The body of experts needed to be enlarged for the sake of finding the best solution: Our machines could be packed in wooden boxes.
It might not be obvious at first sight, maritime freight turns out to be a peculiar mechanical stress for our freight. So our products needed to be additionally secured in containers, hence sheltered from salty ocean water.
So what now?
During the development process, new questions had appeared:
- Do we need a new professional expertise? And how much?
- How to structure our project best?
In course of time our project team grew from one person to more than 13 and is supported by internal experts from different departments such as mechanical design, electrical engineering, quality management, purchasing and logistics. All together we were able to overcome new obstacles and became a strong big team. We steadily organized ourselves with the project management method SCRUM, as known from software development. More on this topic at a later time…