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Do you (your company) use any electrical equipment/methods based on IEC standards?
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 Post subject: Do you use equipment/methods based on IEC Standards?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:37 am 
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This week’s “Question of the week” is coming from Frankfurt, Germany. This week I have the privilege of attending the International Electrotechincal Commission’s 80th General Meeting as the International Chairman of IEC TC78 Live-Working which has 35 standards/publications including Arc Flash Protection.

The IEC prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. Since the Arc Flash Forum is an international community, here is this week’s question:

Do you (your company) use any electrical equipment/methods based on IEC standards?
Yes
No
Not sure


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 Post subject: Re: Do you use equipment/methods based on IEC Standards?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:42 pm 
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To be fair unless you use IEC standards on a regular basis, most end users may not even be aware that they are using them.

IEC standards are meant to be sort of umbrella or international consensus standards. This means that in many cases there is already a local standard in place so many people may not even be aware that they are using an IEC standard. For example, IEC 61010 which defines category standards for meters is commonly referenced as UL 61010 in the United States. NEC "Zone" classification for hazardous locations is also an IEC standard. There is also overlap between protection methods used in hazardous locations.

In contrast, the Class/Division standard for hazardous locations in the U.S. which is also available under NEC is not an IEC standard, and the IEC standards for motor starters are significantly different from the NEMA standards commonly used in the United States.

Similar overlaps exist with BS (British Standards), EN (European) standards, ans AS (Austrialian) standards.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you use equipment/methods based on IEC Standards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:23 am 
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PaulEngr wrote:
Similar overlaps exist with BS (British Standards), EN (European) standards, ans AS (Austrialian) standards.


IEC standards are adopted as harmonized standards by other certifying bodies such as BSI (United Kingdom), CSA (Canada), UL & ANSI (United States), SABS (South Africa), SAI (Australia), SPC/GB (China) and DIN (Germany). IEC standards harmonized by other certifying bodies generally have some noted differences from the original IEC standard.

An IEC Standard that is harmonized for European Standards is proceeded by "EN" as an example: IEC 60034 would be EN 60034. "BS" for British Standards.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you use equipment/methods based on IEC Standards?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:17 am 
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It's relatively easy to tell when a European or British Commonwealth country is using an IEC standard (a harmonized standard). It is not so easy to tell in the U.S. We went through several hours of trying to figure out how to "harmonize" U.S. and Canadian corporate standards so that they both complied with CSA Z462 and NFPA 70E. It took a little while to figure out that except for the numbering format and a few of the Annexes, CSA Z462 and NFPA 70E were word-for-word identical. Trying to draw equivalents between CSA M421, CEC Part I, NEC, and MSHA Part 56 was much harder to do since although the subject matter is identical, there are a lot of small nuances that make the four codes quite different.


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