QCA Negotiates with Ink Manufacturers for Compliance Testing
Clif Treco, North American sales manager for Marabu, said, "The QCA Ink Testing Initiative represents a move forward in the market for safer and compliant products. While the testing was initially targeted for the promotional products industry, the results have a much bigger impact because our inks are also used by numerous consumer companies that sell at the retail level. Whether in a B2B or B2C situation, we want our clients as well as their customers throughout the supply chain to rest easy because they know our inks are safe and compliant."
Rick Brenner, CEO of Bridgeport, Connecticut-based supplier Prime Line, is a long-time advocate of ink testing because of the implications of noncompliant ink. "Decorating an otherwise compliant product with noncompliant ink negates the entire process, making the overall product noncompliant," he said. "This is especially true for children's products because they have the most stringent regulations. Having third-party validation that the inks being used to decorate product that otherwise meets all other regulatory requirements helps me sleep a lot better at night and, frankly, is what my customers are asking for."
Brent Stone, QCA executive director of operations, agreed. "Essentially, component testing of inks used in decoration in conjunction with the existing testing of blank product is the only way suppliers can ensure short-lead-time orders are compliant. The short lead times and low average order size in our industry simply do not allow enough time for the newly decorated item to be sent out for testing. Even if you were able to rush the testing service, the cost for testing these small orders would be prohibitive."
Dr. Angelo Fatta, CEO of ANSECO Group, a consumer products testing laboratory specializing in toys, children's products and simple hardlines, sees the QCA Ink Testing Initiative as a great step forward for the promotional products market. "Efforts such as these that focus not only on validating products as conforming to regulations and standards but also on identifying potential issues in advance benefit the wider market by ensuring the availability of safer and compliant consumer products," he said. "This is essential for reducing risk and protecting our overall brand equity."