Archive for February, 2012

ICPHSO Kicks Off Annual Meeting with Manufacturers Day

by admin on Feb.29, 2012, under Product Safety

Yesterday was the first day of ICPHSO’s 2012 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium in Orlando, Florida.  As a product safety certification body, MET Labs is participating.

The first day was “Manufacturers Day.” For electronics manufacturers, the most relevant presentations focused on new supply chain disclosure requirements, and factors in standards development.

Here are the key points from the supply chain disclosure panel:

With its REACH and RoHS requirements, Europe has the most stringent requirements in this area.

The U.S. is following, with California leading the way.  Four states have ‘green chemistry’ laws: California, Washington, Wisconsin and Maine.  An additional nine states had green chemistry laws introduced in 2011/2012: Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon and Alaska.

As covered in Compliance Today previously, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will soon implement reporting requirements for four conflict minerals.  This regulation will go into effect when the SEC hammers out the details, sometime before June 2012.

Manufacturers are struggling to do this tracking, although the limited number of global smelters helps.  Peggy Fowler, Walmart’s Senior Director of Corporate Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance, says companies should demonstrate due diligence steps, even if not all information is known.

Here are key points from a presentation on standard development:

A risk assessment looks at the frequency of an injury and its severity.  Also, who is at risk? The EU RAPEX approach is a good model.

Don Talka, UL VP, gives an example of hair dryers:

  • Frequency of injury: low
  • Severity of injury: high (death)
  • At risk: children
  • Injury probability: high if device falls into bath tub
  • Perceived cost of implementing fix: high – sometimes doubling cost of product
  • Resolution: multiple steps were taken to safely allow full immersion

Have a thorough understanding of issue:

  • Accept there is a problem
  • Do a root cause analysis based on HBSE principles
  • Discuss in a balanced group (STP or task group)

If you are at ICPHSO, meet with us there.  If not, feel free to contact us to discuss any product safety issues.

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Electromagnetic Compatibility Compliance Engineers Use These EMC Resources

by admin on Feb.15, 2012, under EMC

In follow up to our post on product safety web links, here are the Internet resources we use to keep current with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulations and industry happenings. 

What are we missing?  Leave a comment with a link to it.

STANDARDS & REGULATORY
North America
FCC OET  Federal Communications Commission Office of Engineering and Technology for compliance with Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

U.S. Military Standards  ASSIST Quick Search provides direct access to Defense and Federal specifications and standards available in the official DoD repository.

FDA Electromagnetic Compatibility  U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards and regulations for radiation-emitting medical products.

ANSI  American National Standards Institute is the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system.

Verizon NEBS  The telecom leader in Network Equipment Building Systems requirements.

Industry Canada  Oversees Radio, Spectrum and Telecommunications regulations for Canada.

Health Canada Electromedical Standards  Canada’s version of FDA. 

European Union
CENELEC  The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization.  It creates voluntary European electrotechnical standards (ENs).

UK Defence Standardization  UK Defence Standards – registration required.

NPL Electromagnetics  UK National Physical Laboratory Electromagnetics division.

GOST  Russia Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology.

AFNOR  French National Standards Institute.

AENOR  Spanish National Standards Institute.

SFS  Finnish Standards Association.

Asia
CNCA  Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation and Applying China Compulsory Certification (CCC) Mark.

RRA  National Radio Research Agency, Korea’s regulatory agency for KC Mark.

BSMI  Bureau of Standards, Metrology & Inspection is the authority responsible for standardization, metrology and product inspection in Taiwan.

VCCI Council  Japanese EMC regulation and certification.

ACMA  Australia EMC Compliance and Labeling.

New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development  Radio Spectrum Division.

Global
CB Scheme  The international certification program managed by the IECEE, with over 60 countries participating.

IEC CISPR  The International Electrotechnical Commission International Special Committee on Radio Interference.

Ecma EMC & EMF  Ecma International is dedicated to the standardization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE).

ISO  International Organization for Standardization is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards.

IEEE-SA  IEEE Standards Association.

SAE International  Standards for aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicles.

ETSI  The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) produces global standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).

RTCA SC-135  Produces the international de facto standard (RTCA/DO-160) for environmental testing of commercial avionics.

ITU  International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

NIST  Directory of Electromagnetic Compatibility & Telecommunications Laboratories

IHS Standards  Has a wide variety of standards available for purchase.

EU Directives  Includes link to harmonized standards references.

PUBLISHERS: MAGAZINES & BLOGS
Interference Technology  Trade publication dedicated to EMC/EMI issues.

EMC Journal  UK-based bimonthly publication.

IN Compliance Magazine  Covers EMC along with other compliance disciplines.

Evaluation Engineering  Magazine includes coverage of environmental simulation and EMI.

Test & Measurement World  Covers EMC occasionally.

Electromagnetic News Report  U.S.-based bimonthly publication.

Compliance Today Blog  The latest news and resources to help electrical product manufacturers comply with regulatory and buyer requirements, from MET Laboratories.

Certification & Test Blog  Information, from TRaC Global, on testing and certification services, ranging from telecoms & radio and environmental, through to analysis, safety and EMC.

Directive Decoder Blog  Analysis of European legislation.

NEMA Currents Blog  From the Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Equipment Manufacturers.

TRADE GROUPS
IEEE EMC Society  The world’s largest organization dedicated to the development and distribution of information, tools and techniques for reducing electromagnetic interference.

Electrostatic Discharge Association  A professional voluntary association dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of electrostatic discharge (ESD) avoidance.

Electrostatics Society of America  A nonprofit professional society devoted to the advancement and improved understanding of electrostatics.

EMCIA  The Electromagnetic Compatibility Industry Association is a UK association for companies and organizations which have a vested interest in EMC and associated European directives.

EMC Test Labs Association  UK group that works to ensure a commonality of approach to EMC testing.

EMC Society of Australia  A technical society of the Institution of Engineers Australia. The Society operates to promote the science and practice of electromagnetic compatibility in Australia.

MISCELLANEOUS
PSES Email Forum  Listserv made up of about 700 product safety and EMC engineers and technicians.  Sponsored by IEEE.

Testing Equipment Suppliers  Published by IECEE.

iNARTE  Certifies qualified engineers and technicians in the fields of Telecommunications, EMC/EMI, Product Safety, ESD and Wireless Systems Installation.

What are your favorite online EMC/EMI compliance resources?  Please leave a comment with a link to it.

Need testing?  Get EMC testing cost and lead time here.

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UL1604 to Be Replaced by ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 for Hazardous Locations Certification

by admin on Feb.07, 2012, under Product Safety

On July 31, 2012, UL 1604Electrical Equipment for Use in Class I and II, Division 2, and Class III Hazardous (Classified) Locations – will be withdrawn.  It will be replaced with ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000Nonincendive Electrical Equipment for Use in Class I and II, Division 2 and Class III, Divisions 1 and 2 Hazardous (Classified) Locations.  ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 is similar to UL1604, but more stringent.

Following are some of the key changes:

Clause 1: Scope
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 expands the nominal ambient from to -25°C – 40°C, from 5°C – 40°C in UL 1604.

Clause 5: Requirements for Class I, Division 2 equipment
Unlike UL1604, ANSI/ISA 12.12.01 specifically calls out standards UL 50 and NEMA 250 in the case where the unit needs to be considered for weatherproofing and general protection from corrosion.

Clause 7: Non-incendive circuits and non-incendive field wiring
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds the concept of evaluating non-incendive field wiring apparatus (entity parameters) to the Class I Division 2 evaluation. Sections 7.4 -7.7 discuss how this evaluation is to be performed and how to establish limits for these parameters. This is similar to the entity concept used in both UL 913 and UL 60079-11.

Clause 9: Marking
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds a section on markings for non-incendive field wiring apparatus.

Section 10: Surface temperature requirements
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds small component exception for when components under a certain size exceed the temperature code. This exception is similar to the exception in UL 913 and was not present in UL 1604.

Section 12: Evaluation of non-incendive components
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds additional detail to the non-incendive component test. It is essentially the same test, just includes more information on how to perform the test.

Section 13: Evaluation of sealed device
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds an alternate air leakage test where the test sample shall be shown to leak less than the required leak rate with a suitable leak rate detector. This test method is in addition to two other test methods that were in UL 1604. Passing one of these tests is sufficient for compliance.

Section 14: Evaluation of enclosures for Class II and III
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds an alternate method for testing dust tight enclosures – the circulating dust method. This test method is again in addition to two other test methods that were present in UL 1604.  Passing one of these test methods is sufficient for compliance.

Section 15: Drop tests and impact tests
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds an impact test to the standard that is not included in UL1604. This is a standard impact test that uses a 25mm steel ball.

Section 16: Manufacturer’s instruction manual
ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000 adds this section to outline what is to be included in the manufacturer’s instructional material to emphasize the precautions required when operating the equipment in a Division 2 location. Among various warning markings, is a table that details the safety-related components and a warning marking that states that substitution of the components may impair suitability for Division 2.

After July 31, 2012, new U.S.-bound products will need to be tested and certified to ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000.  Existing UL1604-certified products may remain listed until a significant technical change is made to the product.

Find out more about requirements, cost, and lead time for Hazardous Location testing and certification.

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Russia and Customs Union Postpone New Low Voltage Safety Regulations

by admin on Feb.03, 2012, under Product Safety, Russia

This Compliance Today blog post is supplied by MET Labs Russian partner Elmas Group.

The new Russian Technical Regulation (TR) “On the Safety of Low Voltage Equipment” which was to come into force on January 1, 2012, was postponed again. Originally, this TR was scheduled to become effective from December 30, 2010 and was postponed until December 27, 2011. The second displacement of the effective date happened on December 12, 2011 (Federal law #426-FZ). The next planned enforcement date of “On the Safety of Low Voltage Equipment” is January 1, 2014.  

These actions of Russia’s regulators were due to delays in the implementation of Technical Regulation for the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union.  The Customs Union Technical Regulation “On the Safety of Low Voltage Equipment”, which was to come into force on July 1, 2012, was postponed (Decision of Customs Union Commission #884 at December 9, 2011).

This decision was made because of the adoption of the Customs Union Technical Regulation “On Electromagnetic Compatibility” (Decision of Customs Union Commission #879 at December 9, 2011).

Both Technical Regulations of the Customs Union (CU) for electrical products – “On Safety of LVE” and “On Electromagnetic Compatibility” – will be in effect from February 15, 2013.

National Russian certification system GOST R concerning electrical products remains until February 15, 2013.

All issued early GOST R certificates (declarations) and CU certificates of transitional period are valid until March 15, 2015.

Find out more about requirements, cost, and lead time for product compliance in Russia and CIS countries.

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