Our Standards

Go Green

Symco USA is committed to creating and implementing environmentally responsible procedures throughout all phases of manufacturing of products. We are also committed to protecting and preserving natural resources of planet Earth.

It’s our belief that we can follow a dual path of being both friendly to the environment and manufacturing functional, durable and beautiful products.

We have implemented manufacturing technologies and plant management policies that conserve energy and reduce waste at production facilities. We purchase raw materials from local suppliers along with indigenous and renewable sources. We make every effort to partner with vendors who keep the highest production standards while also following international environmental laws and regulations.

Our goal is to minimize our carbon footprint on the Earth while holding fast to our standards of producing high-quality products.

KCMA / American National Standards Institute


Requirements Cabinets Must Meet to Earn the KCMA Certification

  • All cabinets must be fully enclosed with backs, bottoms, sides, and tops on wall cabinets; and backs, bottoms, and sides on base cabinets, with certain specified exceptions on kitchen sink fronts, sink bases, oven cabinets,and refrigerator cabinets.
  • All cabinets designed to rest on the floor must be provided with a toe space at least two inches deep and three inches high.
  • All utility cabinets must meet the same construction requirements as base and wall cabinets.
  • Doors must be properly aligned, have means of closure, and close without excessive binding or looseness.
  • All materials must ensure rigidity in compliance with performance standards.
  • Face frames, when used, must provide rigid construction.
  • For frameless cabinets, the ends, tops/bottoms, and back shall be of thickness necessary to provide rigid construction.
  • Corner or lineal bracing must be provided at points where necessary to ensure rigidity and proper joining of various components.
  • All wood parts must be dried to a moisture content of 10 percent or less at time of fabrication.
  • All materials used in cabinets must be suitable for use in the kitchen and bath environment where they may be exposed to grease, solvents, water, detergent, steam and other substances usually found in these rooms.
  • All exposed plywood and composition board edges must be filled and sanded, edge-banded, or otherwise finished to ensure compliance with the performance standards.
  • All exterior exposed parts of cabinets must have nails and staples set and holes filled.
  • All exposed construction joints must be fitted in a workman-like manner consistent with specifications.
  • Exposed cabinet hardware must comply with Builders Hardware Manufacturing Association finishing standards.

Five Structural Tests Measure Cabinet’s Structural Integrity

  1. All shelves and bottoms are loaded at 15 pounds per square foot, and loading is maintained for seven days to ensure that there is no excessive deflection and no visible sign of joint separation or failure of any part of the cabinets or the mounting system.
  2. Mounted wall cabinets are gradually loaded to 500 pounds without any visible sign of failure in the cabinet or the mounting system.
  3. To test the strength of base-front joints, a load of 250 pounds is applied against the inside of cabinet-front stiles for cabinets with drawer rail, or 200 pounds is applied for cabinets without drawer rail, to ensure reliable front joints that will not open during stress in service or during installation.
  4. To test the ability of shelves, bottoms, and drawer bottoms to withstand the dropping of cans and other items, a three-pound steel ball is dropped from six inches above the surface. After the test the drawer must not be damaged and must operate as before the test with no visible sign of joint separation or failure of any part of the cabinet or mounting system.
  5. To test the ability of cabinet doors and connections to withstand impacts, a 10-pound sandbag is used to strike the center of a closed cabinet door and repeated with the door opened to a 45-degree angle. The door must operate as before the test and show no damage or sign of separation or failure in the system.

Two Door Operation Tests Measure Durability

  1. To test the ability of doors, hinges, and means of attachment to withstand loading, 65 pounds of weight is applied on the door. The weighted door is slowly operated for 10 cycles from 90 degrees open to 20 degrees open and returned to the 90 degree position. The door must remain weighted for 10 minutes, after which the door and hinges must show no visible signs of damage, and connections between cabinet-and-hinge and door-and-hinge must show no sign of looseness.
  2. To test the ability of doors, door-holding devices,hinges, and attachment devices to operate under the stress of normal use, doors are opened and closed through a full 90-degree swing for 25,000 cycles. At the test’s conclusion, the door must be operable, the door-holding device must hold the door in closed position, hinges must show no visible signs of damage, connections between cabinet-and-hinge and door-and-hinge must show no sign of looseness, and other specifications must be met.

Four Finish Tests Conducted

These tests create, in accelerated form, the cumulative effects of years of normal kitchen conditions of pre-finished cabinets. Cabinet finishes are inspected to ensure that stringent standards of appearance are also met.

  • To test the ability of the finish to withstand high heat,a cabinet door is placed in a hotbox at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent relative humidity for 24hours. After this test the finish must show no appreciable discoloration and no evidence of blistering, checks, or other film failures.
  • To test the ability of the finish to withstand hot and cold cycles for prolonged periods, a cabinet door is placed in a hotbox at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent relative humidity for one hour, removed and allowed to return to room temperature and humidity conditions, and then placed in a coldbox for one hour at -5 degrees Fahrenheit. The cycle is repeated five times. The finish must then show no appreciable discoloration and no evidence ofblistering, cold checking, or other film failure.
  • To test the ability of the finish to withstand substances typically found in the kitchen and bath, exterior exposed surfaces of doors, front frames, drawer fronts and end panels are subjected to vinegar, lemon, orange and grape juices, tomato catsup, coffee, olive oil, and 100-proof alcohol for 24 hours and to mustard for one hour. After this test, the finish must show no appreciable discoloration, stain, or whitening that will not disperse with ordinary polishing and no indication of blistering, checks, or other film failure.
  • To test the ability of the finish to withstand long periods of exposure to a detergent and water solution, a cabinet door edge is subjected to exposure to a standardized detergent formula for 24 hours. The door edge must then show no delamination or swelling and no appreciable discoloration or evidence of blistering, checking, whitening, or other film failure.

KCMA / Environmental Stewardship Program


What is ESP?

The Environmental Stewardship Program encourages industry policies and practices that benefit the environment and society. The voluntary certification program provides a tangible way for cabinet manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

ESP goes beyond other environmental programs by taking a holistic approach to certification, holding the industry to higher standards and requiring third party verification for many of its criteria. After meeting the rigorous certification requirements companies are awarded the ESP seal to display on their products.

Statement of Beliefs

ESP confirms and expands upon the following beliefs:

  • The forests not only provide outstanding environmental benefits, but also provide an array of renewable wood products and derivatives.
  • We encourage the continued and expanded use of forest products.
  • We are committed to promoting conservation and the intelligent use of our natural resources.
  • We support and encourage responsible forest management practices that promote sustainability and result in long-term economic and environmental benefits.
  • We are committed to educating our members and customers in the global wood products community about environmental and forestry issues.

Certification Criteria

Manufacturers must earn points based on compliance with stringent criteria to be awarded ESP certification. These criteria include, but are not limited to:

  1. 75% of particleboard, plywood and medium density fiberboard used in the cabinets must be certified to meet lowest formaldehyde emission standards
  2. 75% of particleboard and medium density fiberboard used in the cabinets must contain 100% recycled or recovered fiber content
  3. Hardwoods must be certified through an independent and credible sustainable forestry program
  4. A documented energy conservation program must be in place
  5. A written Environmental Management System must be available and enforced
  6. An active recycling program for process wastes must be in place
  7. All federal, state and local environmental requirements must be observed
  8. The manufacturer must demonstrate community involvement and leadership through service or charitable organizations



NTA Inc. maintains a state-of-the-art; industry-leading testing facility to ensure that products meet compliance standards established by regulatory, government and industry organizations. NTA, Inc. is a leader in building component testing and evaluation, and has considerable expertise in accurate and reproducible analysis of the new low-VOC coatings. They specialize in paints and coatings for the building industry. NTA Inc. developed an “Approved Green” certification so that manufacturers can confidently market their low-VOC coatings and sealants to engineers and architects looking for products that can contribute to green building standard points. To read more about NTA, visit their website.

National Green Building Standards ICC 700-2008

  1. Materials used have recycled content.
  2. Bio-based products are used, item (g) natural fiber products made from crops.
  3. Wood-based products are certified to requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  4. Cabinets in accordance with KCMA ESP 01.
  5. Manufactured and labeled in accordance with ANSI A208.1 or ANSI 208.2.
  6. Particleboard, MDF, or hardwood plywood is in accordance with CPA 2-06.
  7. No urea-formaldehyde added or in accordance with CARB Composite Wood Air Toxic Contaminant Measure Standard.