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September 2011 Newsletter  
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Recent Posts:
Top 10 Tips for Designing Safety into Electrical Products

Testing for DOT Intelligent Transport System Devices

EMC Symposium Covers Proposed Inclusion of ESD & Lightning in MIL-STD-461G


Ask Pat:

Q1: We are beginning a new design project and were wondering if you had any suggestions concerning choices in enclosures?

Q2: If my product was certified to an older version EPA ENERGY STAR specification, what steps do I need to take to maintain my status on the ENERGY STAR Qualified Product List when a new spec comes into place?

Q3: My company is manufacturing a 6 volt DC battery operated device for ...

Q: We are beginning a new design project and were wondering if you had any suggestions concerning choices in enclosures?
-Chad Black, Jamestown, VA

A: Well, you have not provided a lot of detail, but there are general rules pertaining to enclosures that may be useful while still in the planning phase.

Enclosures need to be made according to the hazards they are trying to prevent. For fire hazards, the enclosure should have the appropriate flammability ratings to prevent ignition or spread of fire if ignition should occur. To protect against electrical hazards, the enclosure should be properly grounded and limit access to bare parts of hazardous circuits. There are additional considerations for enclosures providing protection against moving parts. Enclosures meant for outdoor use have a whole other set of criteria to deal with.

Tim Su, MET Labs Product Safety Engineer, has published an article in Electrical Source Magazine that gives an overview on how to design electrical products to comply with safety standards. His article "Working by Electrical Standards" discusses enclosures, and other design issues.

Q:
If my product was certified to an older version EPA ENERGY STAR specification, what steps do I need to take to maintain my status on the ENERGY STAR Qualified Product List when a new spec comes into place?
-Bob Hilliard, Toledo, OH

A: THE QPL reflects only products certified to the most current version of the specification. When a new spec goes live, it may require new testing, though this is not always the case. Refer to the current version of the spec to see if there are new procedures in place that would require new testing, or if there are just new limits that are to be met.

Q: My company is manufacturing a 6 volt DC battery operated device for rodent capture (this is not a rechargeable or lithium battery). The unit is a polymer enclosure and contains a small circuit board and a solenoid actuator. Does it need any NRTL approvals and marking to sell it in the USA. If so what legislation dictates this (i.e OSHA requirements) and what standards would apply.
-Jerry Linn, Juno, Alaska

A:
The answer is maybe. Sorry, this is one of those situations that is not super clear in the OSHA requirements. The primary OSHA requirement that electrical equipment used in the workplace shall be NRTL listed is contained in 29 CFR Part 1910.303. The full text may be read here.

Unfortunately these requirements do not make a distinction between a mains-connected device and one that is battery-powered but recharged from a mains-connected device. Many safety standards, in fact, identify batteries as a potential source of hazard and include requirements for battery-operated products. One example is the standard for safety of information technology equipment, UL 60950-1, which has specific requirements that address safety concerns with overcharging and excessive discharging of batteries. The primary safety concern is with respect to fire or energy discharge rather than with electrical shock. Of particular concern are products that are transportable or products that use lithium-based batteries.
So to answer your question, if the applicable safety standard has requirements for battery powered equipment then it is quite likely that the OSHA rule will be interpreted to apply to your device. The best bet may be to have the product evaluated, tested and certified to comply with the applicable safety standard so that no question is raised once the product is deployed.


Ask your own question of Pat, MET's compliance expert.

Hearing from our customers is a very important and necessary component to improving our service. Please feel free to pass on your comments, good and bad, by emailing us at info@metlabs.com.

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In this issue:

 
 

MET Teams with AIM's Healthcare RFID Group
MET is working with FDA and AIM's RFID Experts Group (REG) Healthcare Initiative (HCI) to determine potential adverse effects on medical electrical equipment such as infusion pumps, heart monitors and other electrical equipment associated with patient care. The HCI group has reviewed the steps proposed by MET Labs to validate a test protocol to identify potential problems and help identify solutions.
Learn more about MET's RFID services.

Act Now to Benefit from MET's 60601-1 3rd Edition Offer
MET is seeking ten IEC 60601-1 Third Edition certification projects, to fulfill an IECEE requirement to receive CB Scheme accreditation to this edition.

For those first ten projects MET provides an exciting incentive.
Learn More.



MET Safety Certifies Medical Armband Monitor
The popular BodyMedia activity tracking Phoenix Armband and sleep monitoring system has been certified by MET Labs for compliance to U.S. and Canadian 60601-1 product safety standards.

Major retail chains Target, Best Buy and Costco are carrying the product.
More about MET's testing and certification services for medical devices.

New Office in Taiwan
MET has opened a new office in Taiwan, located in the Zhonghe Dist. of New Taipei City.

Manufacturers in Taiwan, like Acer, Asus, MSI, rely on MET for North American product acceptance.
Call 886.2.8227.8887 or email mettaiwan@metlabs.com for fast quoting.

See all of MET's locations

ASUSTeK Relies on MET for ENERGY STAR® Certification
The ASUSTeK Computer TS300-E7/PS4 Server was recently awarded ENERGY STAR status, employing MET as its EPA-accredited Certification Body. ASUSTeK learned of MET's ENERGY STAR® testing & certification services from its involvement with MET's operations in Shenzhen, China.

MET Labs Helps Peak Beam Gain U.S. Army Acceptance
  The U.S. Army told Peak Beam its Maxa Beam Search Light would have to pass MIL-STD-461 testing to be placed on the Army’s Common Table of Allowance.  Peak Beam turned to MET. 
“We chose to work with MET Laboratories because MET offered the ‘lunchtime review’ and technical consultations that went above and beyond the standard testing offered by laboratories that were much closer to us geographically,” says Annie McManus, Peak Beam’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
Learn more of MET's MIL-STD testing services.

Indirect Lightning Surge Testing Up to 20KV
MET California's newest test equipment is a combination wave 1.2/50-8/20 20kVolt/10k Amperes tester. The machine performs surge tests according to ANSI C62.41 and EN 61000-4-5 level X "1.2/50-8/20 Combination Wave" and a myriad of other referenced tests. These tests simulate the impulsive surges deriving from the effects of indirect lightning strikes, as experienced by electrical equipment connected to power transmission lines and in varying degrees of environmental embedment.

Learn more about MET's EMC testing.

Upcoming Seminars

Wireless Testing & Certification
September 22, 2011
Santa Clara, CA
Get more information and register

NEBS Testing
November 1, 2011
Austin, TX
Get more information and register

NEBS Testing
November 8, 2011
Baltimore, MD
Get more information and register


Upcoming Webinars

Meter Testing
September 20, 2011
Get more information and register

Overview of 60601-1 3rd Edition
October 11, 2011
Get more information and register.

Learn more about MET's upcoming events.


Meet With Us at These Upcoming Trade Shows

IAEI Western Section Meeting
September 18-21, 2011
Galt House
Louisville, KY

IAEI Eastern Section Meeting
September 25-28, 2011
New Yorker Hotel
New York, NY

IAEI Canadian Section Meeting
September 30 - October 2, 2011
Four Points Sheraton
London, Ontario

IAEI Southern Section Meeting
October 9-12, 2011
Marriott Downtown
Chattanooga, TN

EEI Transmission, Distribution and Metering Conference
October 9-13, 2011
Hyatt Regency Dallas
Dallas, TX

Verizon NEBS 2011
October 25-26, 2011
Marriott Orlando World Center
Orlando, FL

International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo
November 2-4, 2011
Booth #1019
Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV


If you would like to meet with us at these events email us in advance to set up a day and time.


 

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