If You Have Anything to Do With Power Supplies, Here’s What You Need to Know About EN 62368

left-icon left-icon If You Have Anything to Do With Power Supplies, Here’s What You Need to Know About EN 62368
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Electronics technology is changing rapidly and safety standards are being updated to stay relevant. The new standards are technology independent, hazard-based and performance-oriented. According to UL, a nationally recognized testing laboratory, that’s a less prescriptive approach, which will help by letting “manufacturers make their own decisions and follow their own pace on the road toward hazard-based safety standards.”

The First Thing You Need to Know

EN 62368 is the new safety standard for information technology equipment and audio/video equipment. It replaces EN60950, EN 60905 and EN 60065 as well as IEC 60950-1. 

First published in Europe during 2Q-2014, the Date of Withdrawal (DoW) of the standards to be superseded (EN 60065 and EN 60950-1) was assigned to be June 20, 2019; however, the Official Journal of the European Union has yet to be updated to include EN62368 as mandatory and formally associated with the low voltage directive (LVD) – this is expected to be updated soon. However, UL has in fact assigned June 20, 2019 as the date of new equipment certification and UL/CSA 62368 will be the law of the land in North America at that time.

Why Did UL Revise the Standard?

Thirty years ago, it was easy to tell the difference between an audio visual, consumer electronics and a computer or test instrument, and many things such as digital signage did not even exist. Today, it’s hard to tell where a computer ends and AV or test instruments begin. Thus, 62368 is designed to be applicable to a wider variety of products and technologies. It also minimizes national/regional certification differences. The new standard is not just a simple merger of EN 60065 and EN 60950-1. It’s being replaced because technology is changing, and EN 62368-1 is technology independent. 

There’s more. The increased flexibility of EN62368 will allow design engineers to identify and eliminate safety hazards in the early product development phase. It’s also provides more performance options for demonstrating compliance.

Here’s More to Keep You in the Know

The PSMA safety and compliance committee that I chair provides free resources to help you keep up with the changes in regulatory safety and compliance activities. The PSMA power technology roadmap for this year will again include a section on regulatory issues, including updates on 62368 presented by TUV, another nationally recognized testing laboratory. This will occur in January. 

Also, if you are interested in an in-depth update and participating in Q&A which will become a part of the Power Technology Roadmap, check here for updates.

To get educated on this topic, you can not only participate in the live PTR event with PSMA and TUV and get your questions answered in real time by TUV, you can:

  • View the archived UL presentation from Thomas Burke from UL. Thomas is a subject matter expert on 62368. His presentation is archived and available online here.
  • View standards update information from UL here.
  • A brochure from UL is also available from UL.
  • Review, join and participate in the 62368 LinkedIn group which has over 2000 members currently participating. Feel free to ask questions and join in the discussions.
  • I recently co-authored an article about 62368 in the November 2017 How2power.com newsletter. You can read it in its entirety here.

Version 2.0 of 62368 is already in review for 2018 and this space should be watched closely to make sure compliance is understood. The good news for our customers is we are always looking forward, with the goal of having our products be “future-proofed” to meet and exceed not only today’s standards but also to meet standards on the horizon.

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Kevin Parmenter • Advanced Energy

Kevin Parmenter, head of low power applications for Excelsys, an Advanced Energy company, has a career spanning over 30 years in the electronics and semiconductor industry. A long-time IEEE member, Kevin frequently speaks at technology tradeshows and has authored many technical articles and guest columns for industry publications. Currently, he is Chair of the PSMA’s Safety and Compliance Committee and is a past president of the organization. He also was General Chair of APEC 2009.

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