Hazard Based Safety Engineering Drives New IEC62368-1 Safety Standard

Advanced Energy Industry News

Design and compliance engineers developing products for industrial applications sold in many global markets will need to meet a new safety standard. IEC62368-1 is a single standard that supersedes standards IEC60950-1 and IEC60065, beginning December 20, 2020.  

While change can be disruptive, in this case this is good news for end-users as well as AE customers. I’ll first provide the details on IEC62368-1 in terms of design, then explain why it’s win for users and what AE is doing to save time and control costs for our customers in regard to design and procurement. 

Here’s the abstract on the standard, pulled from IEC’s website:  

“IEC62368-1:2018 is applicable to the safety of electrical and electronic equipment within the field of audio, video, information and communication technology, and business and office machines with a rated voltage not exceeding 600 V.”

Considering the ubiquitous presence of information and communication technology in today’s electronics, it’s safe to say the change has a broad impact.  

Impact on Product Release and Availability  
How the change affects marketability of products for which IEC62368-1 applies is different in North America from Europe. In the U.S., as of the UL effective date, only new products (new submissions) are required to be tested and certified. However, in Europe, the outgoing standards are being withdrawn and replaced by the new standard. Meaning, all products sold must be compliant on the effective date. The difference is expected to be temporary. Eventually, all products sold in North America should be IEC62368-1 compliant, although that date hasn’t been determined. 

Service TechnicianIndustrial automation equipment, test and measurement products, laser marking equipment, as well as the many devices that fall under the general description provided above are included. If you consider just three types of products – computing and networking, telecommunications products, and consumer electronics – you can get a perspective on the breadth of impact.

  • Ordinary person: Those who may have access to the equipment or who may be in the vicinity of the equipment. Under a single fault condition, ordinary persons should not be exposed to parts comprising energy sources capable of causing injury. 
  • Instructed person: Those who have been instructed and trained by a skilled person, or who are supervised by a skilled person. Under normal operating conditions, abnormal 
    operating conditions, or single fault conditions, instructed persons should not be exposed to parts comprising energy sources capable of causing injury
  • Skilled user: Persons who have training or experience in the equipment technology, particularly in knowing the various energies and energy magnitudes used in the equipment, and should be able to recognize potential energy sources capable of causing pain or injury and to take action for protection from injury from those energies. Skilled persons should also be protected against unintentional contact or exposure to energy sources capable of causing injury. 

As you would expect, IEC62368-1 addresses testing as well and many other product development best practices with a spotlight on hazards-based safety. It applies to product components and subsystems, including power supplies, which is of particular relevance to AE’s team and, of course, our customers.  

Impact on Design and Procurement 
AE engineers and customers know that standards changes can cause significant headaches. Fortunately, we’ve been preparing for this turn of events, anticipating how we can help future-proof designs. For example, the Advanced Energy CoolX® series, which represents our latest designs, has been conceived and tested at every stage with IEC62368-1 compliance in mind. Our XGen and Ultimod product lines have recently been fully certified compliant with IEC62368-1, and the rugged and reliable XSolo series is currently undergoing IEC62368-1 certification. 

AE customers can use the same part number when specifying our solutions, which directly translates into significant time and cost savings. They can rest assured that they will be able to integrate certified power supplies protecting all operators now and for years to come. 

Find the full standard on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s website – webstore.iec.ch/publication/27412.

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Dermot Flynn • Advanced Energy

Dermot Flynn is the Director of Strategic Marketing, HV/LV at Advanced Energy. In his 20 years in the power supply industry, Dermot has held a number of senior roles in product development, product & technical marketing, and sales. Dermot holds BAI in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and BA in Mathematics from Trinity College, Dublin, as well as a Higher Diploma in Management & Marketing from University College, Cork, and H-Dip in Education from Trinity College, Dublin.

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