5 tips for choosing quality converter products

Choosing quality converter products is crucial for a reliable data network, especially when you are interfacing the converters with your mission-critical and expensive devices such as computers, PLC, RTU, SCADA, and HMI - whether in the field, server room, factory, control room, or fire command center. Furthermore, an RS485 / RS422 network often consists of many different components, such as cables, connectors, converters, master and slave devices, and power supply, and because this type of network is normally used over a long distance in an electrically noisy environment, noises, reflections, and data errors might occur. Given the fact that there are too many possibilities and that the components are often not at the same location, it could become extremely difficult to identify the problems if a system becomes unstable. A reliable data network starts with a proper system design and choices of right partners and products, especially the components that sit in between the devices, such as converters.

Here are some tips for choosing the quality converter products.

Tip #1: Quality Management System

ISO Certified

The most common and internationally recognized quality management system is the ISO 9001 system, ISO 9001 has different versions such as ISO 9001:1987 and ISO 9001:2000, and the current version is ISO 9001:2008. ISO 9001 sets strict rules and regulations for organizations to ensure that they meet the needs of customers and the industry, as well as meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to the product. Being a trusted ISO 9001:2008-certified brand (strictly certified by SGS / UKAS, cert no. SG12/04213, click here to verify), CommFront has developed a strict quality assurance system for its products and customer satisfaction. Many companies boast ISO 9001 and other certifications, some might even own certain ISO certifications with the scope of "sales and distribution", however, that does not change the fact that the products are not designed, manufactured, or supplied to the ISO 9001 standards. We are proud to provide our credentials to help our customers make a well-informed decision when choosing a long-term business partner.

Tip #2: Certifying Labs


The market includes many certifying laboratories. From small-scale to large-scale and non-reputable to reputable, every certifying laboratory serves its own customer base. CommFront chooses SGS and TUV as its certifying partners for the following reasons:

  1. Quality, Safety, and Compatibility

    SGS / TUV set strict rules and regulations for ISO 9001:2008-certified companies, and they conduct yearly audits for the quality control systems applied to the companies. For product safety and compatibility, SGS / TUV conduct the complicated and thorough EMC/EMI tests required for the safety certifications, which include radiation, emissions, immunity and other related tests, to ensure that our products are safe to humans and are safe and compatible to the devices to which they are interfaced.

  2. Meticulous and Reputable

    SGS / TUV are the most meticulous and reputable testing labs in the industry, the testing and certifying time ranges from 3 to 6 months, compared with 3 days of certifying time required by some other non-reputable labs. Customers should be leery that many other converters available on the market do not have proper certifications, and some home-based businesses claim that their products are "RoHS-, CE-, FCC-certified" and/or "ISO 9001 factory certified" but fail to provide valid certification numbers or to even simply acquire "certificates" from laboratories, such as  SEM Test Compliance SEM Test Compliance.

  3. Globally Recognized

    SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company. Recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity, SGS is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) in North America (approved by OSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration), and an Notified Body in European Union. More about SGS »

    TUV SUD - headquartered in Germany, is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) in North America (approved by OSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration), and an Notified Body in European Union. It has more than 16,000 staffs and over 600 branches around the world. More about TUV »

Tip #3: Product Safety and Compliances

Safety is an important aspect of the product quality; it comes with the certificates of CE, FCC, and nowadays, RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive). The purposes of the CE and/or FCC certificates are to make sure that the products do not generate too much electrical noises and to withstand a certain level of ambient electrical noises without causing the products to malfunction. FCC testing consists of conducted emissions and radiated emissions, while CE covers a wider testing scope, including the conducted emissions, radiated emissions, harmonic current emissions, voltage fluctuation, and the immunity, such as electrostatic discharge immunity, RF radiated immunity, and conducted disturbance immunity, etc. The RoHS directive restricts the levels of lead, mercury, cadmium and other hazardous materials that products may contain. CommFront products are CE- and/or FCC-certified, and the products are manufactured according to the ISO 9001:2008 and the RoHS directive 2002/95/EC standards. See our conformity page »

Tip #4 Industrial or Commercial Grade?

Just as there are many differences between industrial- and commercial-grade computers, the industrial- and commercial-grade converters differ in many ways, such as the level of circuit protection, temperature range and noise tolerance. Most importantly, true industrial-grade converters require rugged components and reliability-engineering designs for environmental factors, reliability, and durability; therefore, they are much more durable than commercial-grade converters, and the quality is much higher. Industrial-grade converters are designed to interface with mission-critical equipment, such as computers, PLC, SCADA and HMI - whether in the field, server room, factory, control room, or fire command center.

Tip #5: Product Warranty and Guarantee

High-quality products normally come with a long product warranty period, and the product failure rate is much less than those of the lower-quality products. In CommFront, we provide a 5-year replacement warranty. Within 5 years from the time of purchase ("Warranty Period"), if a rare malfunction should occur, CommFront will, without charge, repair or provide a replacement for any product that proves to be defective in materials or workmanship. In addition, you may return products sold by us within 30 days of purchase for a full refund, and we do not charge re-stocking fees.