Customer Health & Safety11 min
It is our aim to make access in our customers’ lives seamless, smart, and secure. End user health and safety is therefore a top priority and an inherent part of our business plans.
Why it matters
For us as one of the top three global access control and security solutions companies, customer health and safety is fundamental to our sense of product responsibility. By identifying and minimizing all possible risks of our products – including those arising from harmful materials or potentially endangering functional features – we ensure the safety of our customers and end users.
It is our aim to make access in our customers’ lives seamless, smart, and secure. End-user health and safety is therefore a top priority and an inherent part of our business plans. Public buildings must meet high standards in terms of public health and safety, as well as for our built-in products and solutions. dormakaba meets these product and customer requirements with product certifications for internationally recognized standards such as from the European Standard (EN), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN). We pay particular attention to the DIN 18040 standards, which apply to barrier-free construction in public buildings. Furthermore, ISO 9001 processes ensure that quality management requirements are continuously monitored and improved.
Our product management team is responsible for this work, in close consultation with product development, as required by the Group Directive Adaptive Innovation Methodology (AIM) and defined by Group Innovation Management. Our product quality assurance process, which includes both internal and external resources, ensures that our products have all necessary labels. No product can be installed in-field or released for production without the appropriate certification in hand. This is a necessary step in the product development life cycle, i.e., the product verification phase based on AIM. In our business units and at our production sites, ISO 9001 processes are implemented locally and managed by local quality assurance managers.
To ensure product- and solution-specific customer health and safety, business segments develop adequate action plans:
- Access Solutions segments
- Key & Wall Solutions segment
Access Solutions segments
Our Access Solutions (AS) segments provide products such as escape routes, entrance systems, and hotel access systems. we work to address fire safety, electromagnetic interference, and hazardous substances, as well as the need to ensure emergency exits open following a power failure. To ensure customer health and safety, our business addresses these topics through the following activities:
- Hazardous substances: products are designed to comply with the EU Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS directive 2011/65/EC and its amendment 2015/863/EC). All components and materials in electronic products sold in the EU market are determined to be RoHS-compliant before any product manufacturing begins.
- Fire testing: an example of a fire test requires the door assembly with locks be placed in a door leaf and subjected to a temperature determined in the door leaf specification for a period of three hours. Requirements are met if no flaming occurs on the unexposed surface of a door assembly during the first 30 minutes of the testing period, among other prerequisites; the fire test fails if flames penetrate the door leaf during the whole test time.
- Electrostatic discharges: for various Electronic Access & Data products, we focus on product certification. For example, the dormakaba Wireless Gateway 90 42 is certified to EN 55024, which tests for immunity in cases of electrostatic discharges, power surges and interruptions, or radio frequency interference. The product is also certified to IEC 60950, which specifies requirements intended to reduce risks of fire, electric shock, or injury to the service person, operator, or end user who may come in contact with the product.
- Emergency exits and escape routes: automatic doors are subject to the highest safety demands, in accordance with EN 16005. To meet these demands, self-monitoring sensors are mandatory. Obstacle self-detection and automatic reversing are also included in many products. For example, the KTV ATRIUM revolving door systems feature a safety sensor system. Emergency exit and escape route doors are equipped with a redundant operator, an additional control unit for safety purposes and a self-monitoring motion detector. The ES 200-2D door operator features emergency opening following a power failure. Additionally, revolving doors require a safety risk assessment before installation, in accordance with DIN 18650. This is provided by us at the building site before a sale is made.
- User testing: in some cases, new product launches require the product development team to initiate an alpha (internal) and a beta (external) user testing. This is in addition to product certification and performance testing. Beta testing is the process by which the first initial products released from the production line are installed in a limited customer setting, and monitored closely by the technical support, product management, and engineering teams. During the beta testing, any issues can be escalated to the team, whereupon an investigation is carried out and issues resolved prior to the full launch of the product in the field. This provides an extra layer of verification and validation to most of our product launches and further deployments.
In case of emerging risks and customer complaints, we have a Group-wide customer complaint process in place based on the principles of ease of access, solution-driven expertise, short response times, positivity, and focus on our value “Customer First”.
The process follows five steps:
- Acknowledge that the customer has an issue, ideally within 24 hours.
- Assess the problem, prioritize and find a solution driver.
- Resolve the issue.
- Respond in a timely manner, keeping the customer informed of the status.
- Conclude with a proper follow-up to assess the customer’s satisfaction and integrate lessons learned.
Regulatory compliance is at the top of the list of priorities for any product development leader and requires immediate action plans. An incident response plan is also put in place to enable direct access to the required resources.
Key & Wall Solutions segment
Our Key & Wall Solutions segment provides product categories such as automotive solutions, keys, and space-dividing solutions. Both business units, Key Systems and Movable Walls, have individual approaches to customer health and safety that are product-specific:
- The business unit Key Systems approaches customer health and safety as an element of its ISO 9001 certifications and ensures compliance with both mandatory (such as the European CE Declaration of Conformity) and voluntary safety standards. Over 16 product certifications apply. Each Key Systems product features: proper documentation, such as an owner’s manual; a Declaration of Compliance; contact details for the manufacturer; quick guides and tutorials available on the web; and training on demand or during product installation to provide the customer with all the information relevant for proper product use and safety features. Regional distributors are periodically trained on the same topics.
- The business unit Movable Walls has over ten active certifications, including those from Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Product certification includes fire testing, smoke testing, ball-throwing tests, and weight-bearing tests on suspension track systems, for example. The related legal registers are regularly monitored and updated.
In addition to the Group-wide customer complaint process, the ISO 9001 quality system within Key Systems includes a further grievance mechanism. Each production site implements its ISO 9001 processes locally. Quality assurance managers have ownership of the grievance mechanism and track any complaints from receipt to closure, including feedback to the customer. The steps involved are: registering the complaint in the ticketing system, evaluation, problem analysis and corrective actions, verification, lessons learned, and closure. The intended users of the grievance mechanism are the relevant stakeholders, such as customers, technical assistance, procurement, quality control, logistics, manufacturing, product development, and sales teams. Effectiveness of the grievance mechanism is based on the number of open, accepted, refused, and closed complaints per fiscal year. Additionally, at least once a year, a management review assessment evaluates related KPIs and performance status.
To ensure we are on the right track, we internally and externally verify customer health and safety through various certification programs (including ISO 9001), testing, and stakeholder feedback. For example, 53% of reporting sites have achieved ISO 9001 certification.
53% of our sites have achieved ISO 9001 certification
Examples of contributions to customer health and safety in the financial year 2020/21 included:
- AS APAC continued its practice of regular customer training and education programs for its channel partners to raise awareness on new solutions, e.g., space occupancy management, health and safety check entrances, and the use of antimicrobial-coated offerings.
- AS DACH continued to develop Health Product Declarations (HPDs) that help identify hazardous materials in the products, and as a next step, the segment will work on solutions to reduce or eliminate them. In order to fulfill the products’ health and safety requirements, regular trainings are conducted in the Wuppertal (Germany) training center for employees and customers. As an example, trainings on the correct and safe handling of our revolving doors are offered to installation teams and customers.
- AS EMEA continued collaboration with a technical university in Austria to study materials that could be substituted for lead in our metal alloys.
- The Key & Wall Solutions segment provided declarations of substances for the SCIP database, and in addition the Movable Walls business unit provided Health Product Declarations (HPDs) to help consumers make better informed purchase decisions. Furthermore, the Movable Walls business unit redesigned several steel components with high lead content, and the Key Systems business unit started sales of lead-free keys in the EMEA region. The Movable Walls business unit further improved operational and assembly instructions, including short videos, to enable safe installation and use of products. Modernfold has launched a “Pilot Build Program” to ramp up production and get user feedback on newly launched products. Customer feedback is used, among other things, to update safety notes and warnings in installation and user manuals prior to full production release.
In the financial year 2020/21, there have been no incidents of non-compliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services that have resulted in a fine, penalty, or written warning.
We will continue our efforts to ensure customer health & safety in relation to the use of our products. Planned projects and initiatives include:
- Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand in the access and security market has shifted to touchless solutions. The protection of the health of staff and visitors to buildings and hospitals, and prevention of the spread of contagions, is more important than ever. AS APAC plans, for example, to expand antimicrobial coating options and touchless identification with facial recognition readers, seeking collaboration with local occupancy management and contact-tracing providers.
- We will continue scouting new lead- and nickel-free materials and less hazardous materials in the market. Our goal is to integrate these materials into existing production infrastructure with minimal modifications to the machinery. To address the issue, AS EMEA, for example, joined a cross-industry working group under the umbrella of ARGE (The European Federation of Associations of Locks & Builders Hardware Manufacturers). The first action will be to measure the lead release rate in keys with different materials.
- The business unit Movable Walls in the Key & Wall Solutions segment is continuing to perform VOC (volatile organic compounds) emission tests on several products and is expanding the VOC certifications to increase transparency on indoor air quality, as this is an increasing customer concern.