Raising the Standard: MiniVADER EN54-23

C-Tec is a leading UK independent manufacturer of quality life safety electronic equipment, which includes fire alarm control panels, fire detectors, visual alarm devices, voice alarm systems, power supplies.

The Problem

Since the 1st of December 2013 all Visual Alarm Devices (VAD) used within the EU have to comply with the new standard. This is known as the European EN54-23 standard. An overview of the standard can be found in the Code of Practice document produced by the Loss Prevention Certification Board. This ensures that the VAD pulsed light output must occur within a defined frequency range, defined pulse duration and must be visible from the entire circumference of the VAD within a defined intensity.

The Solution

This new standard requires C-Tec to ensure that their VAD’s are compliant. The VADER system has been used by C-Tec to help in the development and testing of their VAD’s and helps them meet the EN54 certification.

The VADER system is used by most test house in the UK to ensure that the manufactures VAD’s are compliant to the EN54 Standard. Therefore, C-Tec were advised that the VADER system would be ideal for development and testing of their VAD’s. This in turns minimises the chances of the VAD device failing the EN54-23 compliance test, thus eliminating the waiting time and the cost associated with re-testing.

The VADER system enables C-Tec to develop their VAD’s in-house, as this allows C-Tec to try different designed VAD’s (PCB’s, LED’s & Len’s) in order to achieve a VAD that meets their requirements and is compliant to the EN54-23 standard.

The VADER systems works well within C-Tec R&D department as this allows the engineering team to test different designed VAD’s, quickly and efficiently. The VADER system allows the engineering team to visualise the light output of the VAD under test and calculations derived from the light output, all through the dedicated pulse analysis hardware and software. All measurements and calculation are logged to the VADER laptop for analysis. The VADER system also has the ability for the engineers to modify the test parameters and enables any position on the hemisphere to be checked.

The VADER system allowed the C-Tec engineering team to achieve the best VADs that suit their needs and complied with the EN54-23 standard.



C-Tec now have compliant VADs and the VADER system seemed to have been of benefit to them.


PTP’s project management ensured that the VADER system was produced and delivered on time and training completed successfully.

The completed VADER system delivered significant time and efficiency savings which translated into cost savings for C-Tec. Collaboration with PTP has meant that C-Tec can continue to deliver high end VAD’s which comply with the European EN54-23 regulation.


at C-Tec Ltd




It probably has had over 1000 runs in the last 12 months. I have written testing profiles that go far beyond the level done at test houses, with full hemisphere tests with full 1deg resolution.

We believe it took far less than 12 months to pay for itself.Daniel Foster: Design Engineer
at C-Tec Ltd