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Jun 22, 2021 — Jun 24, 2021
  • Digital Live Event

Industrial Automation Safety Summit

Join our virtual event to learn from UL’s leading experts about industrial control panels, the components specified within them, robotics and machinery.

Robots putting cars together in a factory

Date & Time


Jun 22, 2021 9:30am CST


Jun 24, 2021 3:00pm CST


Virtual event

Day 1: June 22, 2021
Industrial Control Panel Track
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST

Day 2: June 23, 2021
Industrial Control Panel Track and Robotics Track
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST

Day 3: June 24, 2021
Machinery Track
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST

Industrial Automation Safety Summit 

Industrial automation has brought significant benefits to the manufacturing process, including improvements in productivity and quality, reduced errors and waste, and increased safety. More and more companies are moving to increased automation based on the current trends in the manufacturing community. While the benefits of these innovations can be significant, developing them with safety in mind is critical in order to mitigate risk. 

You are invited to the virtual Industrial Automation Safety Summit taking place June 22-24, 2021. At this event, you will learn from UL’s leading safety experts about industrial control panels, the components specified within them, intricacies of the short circuit current rating, robotics and machinery. You will also have the opportunity to virtually meet with our engineers, network with various like-minded professionals and UL’s experts. When registering, you will have the chance to schedule a one-on-one session with a UL engineer to address your unique application challenges, questions about safety standards or project needs.

This three-day virtual event will feature informative sessions given by UL safety experts, providing a clearer understanding of regulatory requirements, helping alleviate confusion around component selection, and enabling you to define a plan to achieve compliance and broaden market access.

Throughout the event, we will be discussing a variety of topics within three tracks:

  • Industrial control panel (ICP) track - Understanding and applying current UL 508A requirements is essential to meet your customer needs, regulatory requirements and market demands. Learn how our Panel Shop Program allows maximum flexibility in panel design, understand the benefits of the new UL 508A Manufacturer Technical Representative (MTR) program and how specifying the right components can help you optimize the design of ICPs.
  • Industrial robotics track - As industrial robotics continue to gain popularity on a global scale, it is critical that they meet the highest standards for safety, reliability and performance. Gain a better understanding of current UL industrial robotic safety standards, including automated mobile platforms and industrial trucks, and learn tips for first pass certification as well as functional safety considerations for advancements in robotics.
  • Machinery track - The complexity of today’s automated machines establishes a new workplace environment with additional risks and hazards. Learn workplace safety risk mitigation techniques for industrial machines, how to overcome the challenges of functional safety implementation for machinery, and understand the regulatory framework of the EU Machinery Directive. 


Keynote – Karine Johnfroe, Senior Director and Regional General Manager, Energy & Industrial Automation, Americas

Welcome and introduction – Brian Spera, Engineering Manager, Factory Control Systems, Energy & Industrial Automation

Industrial Control Panel Track

Tips and Techniques to Maximize Efficiencies from UL’s Industrial Control Panel Program – John Kovacik – Principal engineer

This session will cover various practices that will allow you to make more efficient use of UL's Industrial Control Panel Program. When designing and building a control panel, you not only need to satisfy a customer's needs, but you also must confirm compliance with the requirements of UL’s panel program. Navigating the necessities of the panel program in an efficient and expeditious manner will help to minimize the time and resources devoted to designing and building a panel that is able to bear the UL Mark. The presentation will focus on the core requirements of the panel program, providing techniques for successfully navigating the elements of the program with tips to avoiding pitfalls along the way. Attendees will learn how to be better positioned to navigate UL's Industrial Control Panel Program resulting in faster time to market for control panels bearing the UL Mark. 

Gain a Competitive Advantage with Personal Qualification from the UL Manufacturer Technical Representative Program for Industrial Control Panels – Tony Robertson – Business development manager

In today’s highly competitive world, how do you differentiate yourself from others? What makes your resume and qualifications stand out to a prospective employer? How does an employer help ensure competencies, critical skills and knowledge for their workforce?  This presentation will explore the various benefits to individuals and employers through personal qualifications by an independent third party. We will cover the fundamental requirements for any personal qualification program integrating these fundamentals with a detailed review of the UL 508A Manufacturer Technical Representative (MTR) program for industrial control panels (ICPs).  This program was recently introduced and applies to all current and new UL Listed industrial control panel shops. The knowledge and skills assessed in the program are directly applicable to industrial control panel builders providing a transferrable skillset sought by employers. This presentation provides guidance to individuals and employers on obtaining the UL 508A qualified MTR status. 

This session will:

  • Discuss the benefits of personal qualification for individuals and employers
  • Highlight parallels between formal personnel certification and licensure programs with MTR personal qualification
  • Define the rationale for personal qualification in the industrial control panel industry
  • Examine program requirements for the UL 508A MTR
  • Review the available resources and methods for obtaining UL 508A MTR qualification

How to Avoid Mistakes in Determining Short Circuit Current Ratings for Industrial Control Panels – John Kovacik – Principal engineer

This presentation will provide a brief review of the core elements of UL 508A Supplement SB to provide a better understanding of the requirements for determining the short circuit current rating of an industrial control panel. Compliance with the requirements of Supplement SB is a key component of designing and building a panel that is able to bear the UL Mark. Understanding how to interpret and apply the requirements of Supplement SB can be challenging. Quite often, mistakes are made that result in incorrect ratings or ratings that are not compliant with UL 508A, the Standard for Industrial Control Panels. This session will focus on the core elements of the process for determining a short circuit current rating, providing tips for successfully navigating the requirements of Supplement SB. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the process involved in determining the short circuit current rating of an industrial control panel and be better positioned to satisfy their customer’s needs relative to a short circuit current rating.

How to Achieve Flexibility when Designing and Manufacturing Control Panels for Hazardous Locations – John Chambers – Staff engineer

Special considerations are necessary when designing and manufacturing equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. These locations are found in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and power generation. Traditional certification models add significant cost to control panels, which are often custom-made for each application on an individual basis. UL helps solve this problem through our Custom Control Panel Program, which allows manufacturers flexibility (within specific guidelines) to build custom panels, even when they are for use in explosive atmospheres. Learn about the types of panel constructions permitted by UL’s hazardous locations panel program and overviews of UL 698A, panels installed in Division 1 or Division 2 locations and ATEX/IECEx.

Understanding Motor Drive Requirements to Help Optimize Industrial Control Panel Design – John Carrigan – Senior staff engineer

This presentation will review the impact of how selecting motor drives and motor drive components that have been evaluated for additional requirements can help you optimize the design of industrial control panels and broaden market access. 

Attendees will gain a better understanding of:

  • Evaluating drive and drive components to IEC 61800-9 for energy efficiency
  • Selecting input filters for use with drives that have short circuit current ratings, per recently added UL 508A requirements 
  • Markings for output conductor protection, per 2020 National Electric Code® (NEC®) revision

How to Maximize Usage of Power Supplies for Industrial Applications – Anil Patel – Staff engineer

Power supplies are designed to connect to numerous types of sources. Various outputs for use in industrial applications are essential for continuous operation of all types of monitoring, switching and communicating devices.  

As the need for operating numerous devices in different applications increases, so does the demand for specialized power supplies certified to the appropriate requirements. UL 508, the Standard for Industrial Control Equipment, and the Canadian equivalent, CSA C22.2 No 107.1, have been primarily used for North America. However, with today’s growing global needs, requirements for power supplies has shifted from basic U.S. and Canadian requirements to standards harmonized with international IEC standards, specifically IEC/UL 61010 Part 1 General Requirements and IEC/UL61010 Part 2-201, Particular Requirements for Control Equipment. This session will cover the selection and benefits of an industrial equipment power supply and alternative standards harmonized with IEC that will help prepare you for successful market entry.


  • Understand the UL and harmonized IEC Standards applicable to power supplies
  • Learn how to address U.S., Canada and international certification requirements
  • Learn how power supplies are integrated into existing commercial and industrial applications
  • Understand the benefits of using a power supply evaluated for industrial equipment applications
  • Identify how to source UL Certified power supplies 

Understanding Current Limiting Fuses and Circuit Breakers and How They Can Increase the Short Circuit Current Rating of Industrial Control Panels – Danish Zia – Principal engineer

The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) 70, NEC Article 409 requires that industrial control panels (ICPs) are installed where the available fault current does not exceed the marked short-circuit current rating (SCCR) of the ICP. Short-circuit current ratings of UL Listed industrial control panels are determined by UL 508A, Supplement SB. Current-limiting fuses and circuit breakers installed as the feeder protection can be used to increase the short-circuit current rating of an industrial control panel, where the rating is otherwise limited by components in the branch circuit. This presentation will focus on current limiting overcurrent protection and how it can be utilized in UL 508A, Supplement SB to increase the short-circuit current rating of an industrial control panel.  

Topics will include:

  • Overview of types of fuses and circuit breakers
  • Options for current-limiting protection
  • Identifying current limiting fuses and circuit breakers
  • Determining the peak let-through current and I2t for fuses and circuit breakers
  • Using current limiting overcurrent protection to increase the short-circuit current rating (UL 508A, cl. SB4.3.2(a) and cl. SB4.3.3(a)) 
  • Substituting overcurrent protection by comparing peak let-through current and I2t (UL 508A, cl. SB4.2.3, exception No. 1, 3 and 4)

Understanding Connector Certification Levels for Industrial Control Panels – Chuck Kurten – Principal engineer

This presentation will review the impact of selecting connector components based on certification of industrial control panels. 

Attendees will gain a better understanding of:

  • Certification options for connector components
  • Differences between UL 19771, UL Subject 22372 and UL 22383
  • The criteria for selecting connector components based on certification

1The Standard for Component Connectors for Use in Data, Signal, Control and Power Applications

2Multi-Point Interconnection Power Cable Assemblies for Industrial Machinery

3The Standard for Cable Assemblies and Fittings for Industrial Control and Signal Distribution

Robotics Track

Tips for First Pass Certification for Industrial Robots to UL 1740 – Eric Bull – Staff engineer

This presentation will cover various practices for certification of industrial robots according to UL 1740, the Standard for Robots and Robotic Equipment. Attendees will learn how to be better positioned to get their industrial robots to market faster.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of:

  • Scope of UL 1740 and what products can/cannot be certified by UL as an industrial robot
  • Proper component selection
  • Initial certification approach – preliminary construction review versus full certification 
  • The need for functional safety and how to effectively incorporate it into the overall certification

Clarification and Overview of UL 3100 for Automated Mobile Platforms and UL 583 for Industrial Trucks – Joe Bablo, Principal engineer and Michael Fanta, Staff engineer

Automated devices are becoming more and more popular to optimize efficiency. With the increased use of these automated machines, overall safety concerns are also increasing. In order to address the safety concerns associated with autonomous movement and the increased use of battery power sources, UL has developed requirements that currently fall into one of two Standards based on product type. These standards include UL 3100, the Outline of Investigation for Automated Mobile Platforms (AMPs), and UL 583, the Standard for Electric-Battery-Powered Industrial Trucks. These two Standards share a common approach to the overall technology concept, but the requirements are split between the two documents based on the scope of each document. 

This presentation is intended to assist in the overall understanding of these two documents, how they coexist and how they should be applied. This will help alleviate confusion around which document applies to which product type and will provide a path forward for product certification that will help the design engineer by removing the guess work. 

Additionally, we will discuss the overall technical approach used to show compliance with these documents and how that is to be implemented. Lastly, we will detail the future steps for these standards and what is expected in the next round of development. 

Key topics include:

  • Overview of the scope of UL 3100
  • Overview of the scope of UL 583
  • The application of each Standard
  • High level technical approach 
  • Utilization of controllers for both applications 
  • Future plans for these Standards

How Functional Safety Helps You Prepare for the Advancement of Industrial Robotics – Nicholas Alexiades – Engineering manager

As the demand for automated and autonomous technology increases, industrial robots are rapidly changing. So, it is essential for safety to stay in step with innovation. Functional safety has been used to help prevent hazards and help ensure the safe function of various fixed robots, collaborative robots, automated guides vehicles (AGVs) and automated mobile platforms (AMPs). 

Legacy industrial robot applications have used safeguards such as light curtains and other technology to prevent access to this potentially hazardous equipment. As technology advances, this responsibility will start moving away from external safeguards and move to the control systems on the robot to allow for safer interactions with bystanders. 

In this session, we will discuss the legacy protection measures, how UL helps ensure industrial robotic safety today, and what the next steps are as these robotic operations become more automated and more autonomous. 

We will also cover standards such as ISO 12100, ISO 13849, IEC 61508 and UL 4600, the Standard for Evaluation of Autonomous Products.

Machinery Track

Workplace Safety Risk Mitigation for Industrial Machines – Safeguarding and Functional Safety – Ken Hackworth, Senior safety engineer and Peter Loelkes, Engineering leader

This presentation explains the essential requirements for machine risk assessment in accordance with ISO 12100 and ANSI B11.0. As part of this process, the Hierarchy of Controls is presented as a framework for applying risk reduction methods. Fundamental requirements for machine guards and functional safety systems are also presented.

After completion of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the requirements for an ISO or ANSI compliant machine risk assessment
  • Recognize typical workplace hazards presented by industrial machinery
  • Identify risk reduction methods within the Hierarchy of Controls
  • Identify basic requirements for machine guarding
  • Recognize essential elements of functional safety
  • Define safety functions for a control system
  • Determine the required performance level for a control system

How to Avoid Common Pitfalls for European Union Market Access with the EU Machinery Directive – Peter Loelkes – Engineering leader

This presentation explains the regulatory framework for machinery, or a partially complete machine, to be placed on the market in the European Union (EU). Attendees will learn the requirements needed in order to achieve compliance.

The presentation will help attendees:

  • Identify products that are within the scope of the Machinery Directive
  • Understand the relationship of the various EU directives
  • Understand responsibilities and what “placing on the market” means
  • Categorize products and analyze the need for a Notified Body assessment
  • Understand the importance of harmonized standards in relation to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements
  • Define a plan and the tasks needed to achieve compliance and provide the necessary evidence to place the product on the European market

Overcoming Challenges of Functional Safety Implementation and Machine Safety Validation – Ken Hackworth, Senior safety engineer and Peter Loelkes, Engineering leader

This presentation guides you through the principles of functional safety to help ensure the safe operation of control systems and which resources and capabilities are required to achieve the challenging target.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify the principles of functional safety management
  • Explain the most common causes for systematic failures
  • Understand the need for a systematic approach in software development
  • Define the approach to control the reliability related hardware failures
  • Navigate through the landscape of applicable standards
  • Ask critical questions to avoid the failure of a functional safety project
  • Understand key steps for a successful machine safety design project
  • Define roles and responsibilities in performing verification and validation (“V/V”)
  • Describe common methods of verification
  • Recognize complete, compliant machine safety validation reports

UL Speakers

John Kovacik photo

John Kovacik, principal engineer, industrial controls and machinery, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

John Kovacik is UL’s technical expert for industrial controls and machinery and a William Henry Merrill Society, UL Corporate Fellow. Kovacik’s 40 plus-year career with UL includes many years of experience with codes and standards. He represents UL on numerous technical committees covering a broad range of subjects for NFPA, NEMA and IEC. He is UL’s principal member on the National Electrical Code (NEC) Correlating Committee and a member of NEC Code Panels 12 and 13. John is also UL’s principal member on the NFPA 79 Committee for Industrial Machinery and the NFPA 20 Committee for Stationary Fire Pumps. He serves as the technical adviser for the U.S. National Committee for IEC SC 121A and TC 94. Kovacik serves in the prominent role of NFPA Standards Council member. He has received the IEC 1906 Award, the NFPA Committee Service Award, the NFPA Richard G. Biermann Award, is an NEC 25-year honoree and an NFPA Life Member.

Tony Robertson Photo

Tony Robertson, business development manager, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Tony Robertson is the program manager for the UL 508A Manufacturer Technical Representative (MTR) requirements. He is responsible for the development of services and growth initiatives for industrial categories including automation, industrial equipment, wiring devices, electrical distribution equipment, machine safety and risk assessment services, as well as customer training solutions. His career has spanned over 21 years with UL in various training, sales, human resources and operations roles.

John Chambers Photo

John Chambers, staff engineer, hazardous locations, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

John Chambers is a UL staff engineer in the Energy and Industrial Automation division with over 23 years of hazardous locations (HazLoc), oil and gas experience in conducting research, testing, and conformity assessment. He is an expert in ATEX, IECEx and division-based HazLoc requirements. He is a participating member of TC31 IECEx committees.

John Carrigan Photo

John Carrigan, senior staff engineer, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

John Carrigan currently serves as a senior staff engineer for the Energy and Industrial Automation Division of UL. His experience spans 24 years in industrial control equipment products, covering both component and system levels. His primary role as a senior staff engineer is to provide technical mentorship to staff that encompasses conducting technical reviews, ensuring technical and quality consistency, making engineering decisions, as well as handling complex projects. He provides technical trainings and support for the understanding and application of safety requirements to staff, as well as external customers. Carrigan also participates in technical and quality group meetings, addressing new technology and safety risks and has strong knowledge in certification and testing schemes for global markets, including country specific marks.

Anil Patel Photo

Anil Patel, staff engineer, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Anil Patel is currently a staff engineer for Energy and Industrial Automation at UL. His experience spans 32 years in various product categories including consumer technology equipment and industrial equipment. His expertise includes various designs and functions of power supplies used within equipment and systems. He provides technical training and support for the application of safety requirements. Patel also participates in technical groups addressing new technology and safety risks, and has strong knowledge in certification and testing schemes for global markets, including country specific marks.

Danish Zia Photo

Danish Zia, principal engineer, overcurrent protection technologies, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Danish Zia is the principal engineer of overcurrent protection technologies and is UL’s technical representative in UL and IEC standards committees covering overcurrent protection devices. He is also a member of the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) Code Making Panel 10, which has purview over Articles 215, 225, 230, 240 of the National Electrical Code.  Danish has been with UL for more than 15 years in product safety, working in the power distribution area certifying a wide range of products, including fuses, circuit breakers, switchboards, panelboards and busways.

Chuck Kurten Photo

Chuck Kurten, principal engineer, wiring devices and components, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Charles (Chuck) Kurten is the principal engineer for wiring devices and components at UL. He is a member of both domestic and international wiring device technical committees, including those of UL, NFPA (Principal member Panel 18), CSA, CANENA, NEMA, IEC (Chair of SC 23G), IECEE CB CTL Task Force Expert and International Association of Electrical Inspectors.. He holds an A.S. in engineering science, B.S. in electrical engineering and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).

Eric Bull Photo

Eric Bull, staff engineer, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Eric Bull currently serves as a staff engineer for the Energy and Industrial Automation division at UL. His 25 years of experience spans across areas including consumer technology and industrial equipment. His primary role is as a senior engineer with expertise that includes various designs and functions of industrial robots, industrial control panels and factory automation equipment. He provides technical trainings and support for understanding and application of safety requirements. Bull also has strong knowledge in certification and testing schemes for global markets, including country specific needs.

Joe Bablo Photo

Joe Bablo, principal engineering manager, e-mobility and energy storage, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Joe Bablo has been with UL for 25 years. Joe is UL’s principal engineering manager for the e-Mobility and Energy Storage team and the principal engineer for automotive equipment and associated technologies. Joe is responsible for many mobility categories including unmanned aerial vehicles, electric vehicles, robotics and automated mobile platforms.

Michael Fanta Photo

Michael Fanta, staff engineer, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Michael Fanta has over 14 years of experience in product safety certification devoted to electric and internal combustion industrial trucks and components. In his current role, he is responsible for the application of technical requirements and standards for products certified within his expertise. As one of the senior subject matter experts and technical reviewers in this area, Fanta works with the Principal Engineering team for testing products that occasionally go beyond the scope of existing standards or that involve unique features. He studied at Purdue University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering technology.

Nick Alexiades photo

Nick Alexiades, engineering manager, functional safety, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Nick Alexiades holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.. He is a technical and commercial leader for functional safety within UL. At UL, Alexiades has supported the founding of UL 4600, the Standard for the Safety Evaluation of Autonomous Products. He is also a member of the SAE working groups for ISO 26262 and SOTIF, the On-Road Automated Driving Committee and others. He has supported technical audits to various functional safety and autonomy standards and understands the technical nuance of working directly with OEMs and suppliers.

Peter Loelkes Photo

Peter Loelkes, engineering leader, functional safety, Energy and Industrial Automation, UL

Peter Loelkes is based in Frankfurt, Germany, and has more than three years with UL in functional safety for various industries, including energy, industrial, automotive, appliances, and medical. He has been involved in a variety of standards, such as UL 991, UL 1998, UL 60730-1, IEC 61508, ISO 13849, IEC 62061, EN 50129, EN 50128, ISO 10218 and ISO 26262. Peter is a graduate of Technical University Darmstadt (TUD) in electrical engineering and has more than 25 years of experience in system engineering, safety analysis, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and project management in aerospace, railway and industrial environment.

Ken Hackworth Photo

Ken Hackworth, senior safety engineer, industrial controls and functional safety

Ken Hackworth has more than 25 years of experience in industrial controls and functional safety systems and is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in Ohio, a certified functional safety engineer and a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals. Ken is a participating subcommittee member of ANSI B11.19 and ANSI B11.26 safety standards. Ken is experienced and certified in U.S. and international safety standards, including OSHA, ANSI, NFPA, RIA and ISO/EN and specializes in machine safety engineering and compliance in the United States.


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