Safety certifications do more than provide assurance to the end users of products. For manufacturers of products such as motor drives, they are one of the keys to market entry and acceptance, supporting the brand by demonstrating an understanding of requirements, attention to detail, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. As markets have become increasingly global, the power and importance of safety standards has grown. They provide an important mechanism to qualify those engaged in market competition. Beyond this commercial function, standards also help meet long-term corporate goals of sustainable design and documentation/preservation of knowledge.
Achieving specific safety standards requires a rigorous process, one that can seem daunting to those about to embark upon it without expert assistance. That’s one reason companies worldwide turn to Underwriters Laboratories—no one has more experience in safety certification. Working with UL as you go through the certification process can help you achieve your certification goals faster and less expensively, get your products to market more rapidly, and gain critical market share. In a highly competitive global market such as motor drives, these advantages power success.
There are multiple safety standards of interest to those building or using motor drives:• UL 508C – UL 508C is the UL standard for safety for power conversion equipment. It is the basic fire/shock standard used to test motor drives being installed in the United States. A customer’s product found to comply with UL 508C can bear the UL Listing Mark for the United States. This mark may also include a “US” identifier when combined with certifications for other regions. • EN 61800-5-1 – EN 61800-5-1 is the European standard for adjustable speed electrical power drive systems – part 5-1: safety requirements – electrical, thermal and energy. It is the basic fire/shock standard for motor drives that is required by the European Union. A customer’s product found to comply with EN 61800-5-1 can bear the UL-EU Mark. Further, because EN 61800-5-1 is a harmonized standard (a technical specification adopted by European Standards Organizations and developed under a mandate given by the European Commission and/or the European Free Trade Association), those in compliance with it are presumed in compliance with the European Union’s Low Voltage Directive. • CSA C22.2 No.14 – This standard is in accordance with the rules of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1. It applies to control and protective devices and accessory devices rated at not more than 1,500 V, for starting, stopping, regulating, controlling, or protecting electric motors, generators, heating apparatus, or other equipment used to control an industrial process that is intended to be installed and used in non-hazardous locations. This is the basic fire/shock standard for motor drives that is accepted for installation in Canada. A customer’s product found to comply with CSA C22.2 No. 14 may bear the UL Listing Mark for Canada. • IEC/EN 61800-5-2 – 61800-5-2 is the IEC standard for adjustable speed power drive systems, part 5-2: safety requirements – functional safety. This is the globally accepted functional safety standard for motor drives. Drive systems providing safety functions can be investigated to 61800-5-2 and may bear the UL Functional Safety Mark. Such safety-related drive systems will fall under the Annex 4 of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC as “logic units to ensure safety functions.” Similar to the situation with 61800-5-1 and the Low Voltage Directive, if drive systems meet the requirement of EN 61800-5-2, it provides presumption of conformity with the essential health and safety requirements of the Machinery Directive. Note that investigation for compliance with the fire/shock requirements (UL 508C, IEC 61800-5-1 and/or CSA 22.2 No. 14) is a prerequisite for completion of a UL functional safety evaluation.
UL’s complete range of services for the drives manufacturer means one organization, greater cost efficiency, a more seamless process and the ability to get your products to market more rapidly with powerful and increasingly essential safety certificates.