I am brand new to EE/ECE and am aware that companies such as UL offer a gammit of services such as:
- Circuit verification (they verify your schematic does what its supposed to do and doesn't have any design smell to it)
- Circuit testing (they verify the functional correctness of your circuit/electronic system)
- Circuit certification (not sure how this really differs from testing, but the end result is that you get to put their fancy "certified" logo on your product)
I completely understand the value of the first two: verification gives you confidence from a 2nd set of eyes that your design is valid. Testing gives you confidence that you are in fact ready for production (or at least prototyping). But the certification service is what has me baffled. As a consumer, it would never naturally occur to me to check some new stereo, MP3 player, or remote control helicopter for a "UL" logo prior to using it. You guys might, but then again, you're EE/ECE peoples :-)
So is the certification just for establishing trust/confidence in the product? Does it have implications with regulatory bodies or insurance carriers? If so, what bodies/carriers/policies? Are there "electronics insurance carriers" that specialize in selling "Electronics Liability" policies to electronics suppliers, and perhaps they only sell the policies for "certified" products? Of what real-world, practical use is the certification?