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What codes/standards apply?

What codes/standards apply?

(OP)
Hello,

We are developing a new product for use in industrial manufacturing environments in the United States. This product involves a metal housing containing a custom molded connector for powering an integrated 120VAC, 100W heater.

What standards and/or codes might apply here? Or, how might I discover which codes/standards apply?

Some questions that I hope may be answered in the code/standard include:
What spacing is required between pins for 120VAC operation? Does the plastic influence this?
What requirements are there to prevent finger contact or shorting?
What are grounding requirements?

Thank you!

RE: What codes/standards apply?

I'm guessing you may be from the other side of the pond?

I would start by looking at it from your side of the world and see what standards you would apply locally. If you've built something similar in your country, ask the Notified body if they know what the equivalent US standards might be.

Assuming you're armed with the equivalent US Standards, read and understand them in your applications, you now need to find an NRTL (National Recognized Testing Laboratory, the equivalent to a EU Notified body). In the US, NRTL's are approved by OSHA. NRTL's also have to be accredited by OSHA to use a given standard.

You can find OSHA approved NRTL at: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program.
You can find OSHA approved Standards at: Appropriate Test Standards

Now you need to find out what NRTL is accredited to use a given standard. You can do that by going to the 1st link, clicking on one of the Lab "MORE" buttons, and then the link that says "Recognized Testing Standards". This will show a page of the standards OSHA has accredited them to use.

Next you're going to have to get a quote from an NRTL to do the testing, which is where the headaches start. Based on my experience, you'll be dealing with a sales person who knows little to nothing about what standard you need to test to. You'll be given a form to fill out (which you may or may not understand)so they can give you a price. Ask to speak with an engineer and have them explain why you need to use the test standards they're recommending. Make sure you have a copy of that referenced standards.

You need to be careful about what they recommend as for one client they wanted to perform a series of test which weren't required because they didn't understand several of the referenced standards.

With regard to "Grounding", NFPA 70 is the "Electrical Installation Code" adopted by most US States and you can read it on line as well as buy a PDF copy of it. Chapter 2 addresses "Wiring and Protection", and article 250 addresses "Grounding and Bonding", based on the fact that your above 50 volts, you'll need to do something. Remember this in an installation standard, not a manufacturing standard and other codes will have jurisdiction.

You may also want to have a look at the US building codes (International Code Council) as you may need some form of fire protection on you're product. If so, you'll need to make sure that the product is NRTL Approved, which will likely mean you'll need to coordinate with someone in the US.

Regards,
DM

"Real world Knowledge isn't dropped from a parachute in the sky but rather acquired in tiny increments from a variety of sources including panic and curiosity."

RE: What codes/standards apply?

(OP)
DM2, thank you for the detailed response. I am actually from the US, but have not done any ground-up electrical/electronic development before.

Quote (DM2)


I would start by looking at it from your side of the world and see what standards you would apply locally. If you've built something similar in your country, ask the Notified body if they know what the equivalent US standards might be.

This is what I need to figure out: What code(s)/standard(s) apply? Who is the "Notified Body" in the US?

It looks like NFPA 70 applies here, but maybe there are other standards that are more appropriate? (I am familiar with NFPA 79, but that does not seem to apply...)

It would seem that UL 508 is the standard we should refer to, but I would like a little more confidence that this is the case before I purchase the standard.

Does it make more sense to refer to the test standard, or the code from which it was derived?

RE: What codes/standards apply?

NFPA 70 is an installation standard. Where it would apply to your application is more to do with how someone is going to install your product. Your manufacturing needs to consider this.

UL 508 is the construction of enclosures. UL 508A is the assembly of components in the enclosure. There are panel shops that are UL 508A certified to build control systems.

We design custom enclosures and have a UL 508 shop build the enclosure. We stuff the enclosure, but the products we put in the enclosure are excluded from the UL 508A standard so we're not a UL 508A shop. If you think that UL 508A is what you need to comply with, you can do a google search for UL 508A panel shops. If you want to become a UL 508A panel shop you would go to the OSHA NRTL web site and see what NRTL Lab's are capable of using UL 508A.

I'm not sure what they would require to start the process (likely review your drawings, components, certification issued for the components, etc. [Technical Construction File]). From that point forward a UL 508A panel shop's pay a quarterly fee to have the NRTL come by and inspect the fabrication process. If your building something, they'll have a look at it. If your not, they put a note in the file that your not building anything and then hand you a bill for X dollars (generally north of $1,000.00 / Quarter).

You might start with talking to a UL 508A panel shop and telling them what you want to build, and if they could build it. You'll get some education out of this exercise.

Regards,
DM

"Real world Knowledge isn't dropped from a parachute in the sky but rather acquired in tiny increments from a variety of sources including panic and curiosity."

RE: What codes/standards apply?

(OP)
Thanks DM2. It sounds like none of those apply here... This product does not go into an electrical enclosure. It would typically be mounted on a press, or perhaps handheld.

On the other hand, it would seem UL 508 has a broader scope than you say. Our product would seem to fall under 1.4j in the link below.
https://standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_508_17

RE: What codes/standards apply?

Ya learn something new every day.

Regards,
DM

"Real world Knowledge isn't dropped from a parachute in the sky but rather acquired in tiny increments from a variety of sources including panic and curiosity."

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