UL 62368-1 is a safety standard that covers audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment. It is designed to ensure the safety of various electronic devices used in consumer products, commercial systems, and industrial applications. This technical article explores the scope and requirements of UL 62368-1.
Scope of UL 62368-1
UL 62368-1 replaces two earlier standards, UL 60950-1 and UL 60065, bringing them together under one unified standard. In doing so, it expands the covered categories to include not only traditional IT and A/V products but also newer technologies such as Wi-Fi-enabled devices and internet-of-things (IoT) devices. The standard emphasizes hazard-based safety engineering principles, focusing on energy management, functional safety, and protection against electric shock, fire, and mechanical hazards.
One crucial aspect of UL 62368-1 is that it shifts from prescriptive requirements to performance-based requirements. Rather than specifying every technical detail, the standard sets out primary and secondary circuits' safety objectives, allowing manufacturers to choose their preferred solutions. This approach promotes innovation while ensuring that the same level of safety is achieved. However, it also places responsibility on manufacturers to thoroughly assess potential hazards and design appropriate safeguards.
The standard includes specific requirements for product marking, instructions, and documentation. Manufacturers must provide clear and accurate information about potential risks, usage guidelines, and methods for safely handling and disposing of the equipment. Compliance testing includes evaluations of electrical, thermal, mechanical, and functional aspects of the product, ensuring that it meets the prescribed safety criteria.
Transition Period and Benefits
A transition period was provided to give manufacturers time to comply with UL 62368-1, which became mandatory on December 20, 2020. This harmonized standard presents several benefits. It simplifies the accreditation process for test laboratories, eliminates redundancy in testing for products covered under both UL 60950-1 and UL 60065, and facilitates the introduction of new technologies into the market. Consumers can have increased confidence that the electronic devices they purchase have undergone rigorous safety testing.
In conclusion, UL 62368-1 is a comprehensive safety standard that covers a wide range of audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment. Its scope has been expanded to include the latest advancements in technology, resulting in safer and more innovative products. By shifting from prescriptive to performance-based requirements, manufacturers are encouraged to develop customized solutions while maintaining a consistent level of safety. As we continue to rely on electronic devices for both personal and professional use, compliance with this standard becomes increasingly important in ensuring our well-being.
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