I am told that plagiarism is a compliment. Since exida is the leading company for IEC 61508 certifications I suppose it was bound to happen. Well it did. exida got an email from our sales representative in China. He asked why this certificate was not listed on the exida Safety Automation Element List. An electronic copy of the certificate was sent to me. It was easy to spot that the certificate was forged. Looking closely I see they did a good job. The fonts and spacing were pretty good. But I recognized that this particular certificate was from another customer, Virgo. Virgo has gone through the effort of having their engineering process and manufacturing process audited and inspected. They demonstrated that they build quality products. What a shame that some bogus company would use their certificate to sell a bogus valve.
The fake certificate had an address on it in the US. An internet search showed a company at that address - Club Expose! Further internet searching put that address as a “gentleman’s club” not a valve manufacturer. So the lawyers in the US could not even send a threatening letter. So what else can be done?
exida issued a general news release with the fake certificate attached. It got wide distribution. Good, most of the target audience was notified. Hopefully those buying products for use in safety instrumented systems will remember to always check the Safety Automation Equipment List (www.sael-online.com) to verify validity of any IEC 61508 functional safety certificate.