electrical safety, industrial machinery, Low Voltage Directive, LVD, National Electric Code, NEC

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Electrical safety for industrial machinery

Delivering real business benefits across key segments

The functional core of modern machinery is made up of a complex combination of wiring, motors, switches, circuit breakers, power supplies and transformers. As electrical components have a significant impact on the reliability and quality of a product, your machinery and processing equipment may face a variety of regulatory safety requirements. Within the European market, the minimum safety standards are set out by the EU’s Low Voltage Directive (73/23/EEC). In other major markets, such as US and Canada, unique National Electrical Codes may apply.

What is the Low Voltage Directive?

The Low Voltage Directive (or LVD) demonstrates that electrical equipment operating within certain voltage limits meets certain essential requirements, most commonly EN 60204, Safety of Machinery - Electrical Equipment of Machines. Having been first adopted by the European Council in 1973, with the aim of harmonizing the laws of different Member States, the LVD was amended in 1993 by Directive 93/68/EEC to include the procedures for conformity assessment and the CE Machinery Directive. As a result, any product falling under the scope of the directive must also carry a CE Mark, which indicates full compliance with all EU requirements. Download the Low Voltage Directive document to see the full extent of the requirements.

Download the Low Voltage Directive document

Electrical design standards

In addition to safety regulations, machinery and process equipment can be subject to a number of fundamental electrical design standards:

  • NFPA 79 Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery
  • UL 3121-1 Standard for Safety for Process Control Equipment
  • UL 3111-1 Standard for Safety for Electrical Measuring and Test Equipment
  • UL 3101-1 Standard for Safety for Electrical Equipment for Laboratory Use
  • UL 508 Industrial Control Equipment
  • EN 60204 Safety of Machinery - Electrical Equipment of Machines
  • EN 61010 Safety Requirements for Electrical Equipment of Measurement, Control and Laboratory Use
  • SEMI 3191 Design Guide for the Electrical Safety of Semiconductor (Draft) Manufacturing Equipment

How can TÜV SÜD help you comply with electrical safety requirements?

TÜV SÜD offers a wide range of services to support you throughout the design, construction and installation of your electrical equipment.

Worldwide recognition: Global manufacturers need access to global markets. With offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia, TÜV SÜD boasts a network of state-of-the-art testing facilities to help you save money on testing costs by only gaining the certification you need:

  • TÜV SÜD’s CUE program offers certification for three major world markets. Our independent laboratories test products to the highest standards in Canada (CSA), the United States (UL/ANSI) and Europe (EN/IEC), providing a passport to electrical safety compliance in three major markets.
  • As a member of the international CB Scheme, TÜV SÜD test reports are recognized by over 40 member countries around the world. With certification accepted by all members, the scheme promises lower testing costs for those selling products in multiple countries and demonstrates built-in quality and safety to offer an edge over the competition.

EU expertise: A manufacturer may self-declare that a product meets the requirements of the Low Voltage Directive based on an evaluation from a Notified Body, such as TÜV SÜD. Recognized throughout the world, the TÜV SÜD Mark also gives businesses the option of distinguishing their product with certification that goes beyond the minimum requirements.

U.S expertise: Installing electrical equipment in the United States can be complicated. Each region (State, County, Municipality) has the freedom to introduce its own safety standards, meaning there could be numerous electrical design requirements for a single product, depending on where it is installed. Opting for certification from a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), such as TÜV SÜD, can save you time by ensuring that your equipment is fully certified for sale anywhere in the U.S. and meets the requirements of all Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

Alternatively, if you are targeting sales in individual locations, then field labeling may be the best option. Field labeling, also known as Special Inspection, requirements are unique to each municipal juridiction, which means you’ll need to look for a testing organization with specific knowledge of each area. With decades worth of U.S. expertise to call on, TÜV SÜD could be just the answer.

SEMI assessment: TÜV SÜD is a leading provider of assessment services for the SEMI guidelines. With these standards designed to address not only electrical safety, but a long list of other hazards as well, SEMI assessment goes beyond the basics to guarantee peace of mind for semiconductor equipment manufacturers everywhere.

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