Monday, March 9, 2015

Should power supply manufacturers adopt IEC 62368-1:2014 early to replace IEC 60950-1 and IEC 60065?


In 2014 the IEC introduced edition 2 of the Hazard-Based Safety Engineering (HBSE) IEC 62368-1 standard.  Intended to replace new submittals for IEC 60950-1 and IEC 60065 in June 2019, it covers hazards and hazard prevention for ITE (Information Technology Equipment) and audio and visual equipment.
UL & CSA published the 2nd edition of the IEC 62368-1 standard on December 1st, 2014, following Europe’s publication in September 2014.

The current standards are known as “prescriptive” and closely control product design.  The new standard retains some of those design rules, but offers performance options that might allow some design flexibility.  It must be stressed that unlike IEC 60601-1, a formal risk analysis is not required.  It is also not a simpler merger of 60950-1 and 60065.
No date has been set yet for when “grandfathering” of the 60950-1 and 60065 standards ends.  It has been recommended by some test authorities that if a product is going to be removed from the market by 2018, then do not proceed with certifying to IEC 62368.  As there may be some regions that have not accepted the new standard, products that will be on the market after 2018 should look at obtaining certification to IEC 62368, but keep the existing 60950-1 and 60065 certifications.

Does this mean that power supply manufacturers should start transitioning over now?  No, the IEC committee recognizes this would impose a huge burden on everyone’s resources, including the certification bodies.  Clause 4.1.1 states that “Components and subassemblies that comply with IEC 60950-1 or IEC 60065 are acceptable as part of equipment covered by this standard without further evaluation other than to give consideration to the appropriate use of the component or sub-assembly in the end product.”
One snippet of information I found this week; ever wonder where the numbering convention of standards comes from?  If a standard is IEC 50xxx it is based on a standard of CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) origin.  If it is IEC 55xxx, it is based on CISPR (Special international committee on radio interference) origins.  For standards IEC 6xxxx, they originate from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).
Power Guy

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