February 5, 2021
To stay relevant in the marketplace, international trade is a must. As trade requirements with respect to functional safety are continually evolving, you may find it overwhelming to achieve multiple national certifications for your product to make trade easier.
However, with the IEC System for Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE) recently enhanced Certification Body (CB) Scheme’s functional safety requirements, UL, a global safety science leader, can now help simplify the process. Under the new IECEE CB Scheme, issuance of test reports and certificates with functional safety evaluations are now included.
To develop the functional safety program, IECEE welcomed experts from UL to participate in the Certification Management Committee (CMC) working group to help define the program requirements. Then in October 2018, IECEE introduced a new program for Functional Safety into the CB Scheme.
Once the program was launched, the laboratory operating under UL Demko National Certification Body (NCB) at UL’s headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois, was one of the first laboratories accepted as a Specialized Testing Laboratory (SPTL) to operate the functional safety program for IEC 61800-5-2 and IEC 60947-5-5 standards. As underlying requirements, competency in IEC 61508, IEC 62061 and ISO 13849 standards were required.
What exactly is functional safety?
Functional safety refers to part(s) of a system that must function correctly to maintain safe operation of the overall system. Examples of functional safety in machinery include emergency-off devices, interlock systems, electronic motor drives and programmable logic units that control any type of machinery, production line or power plant. It could also be the electronic throttle control in your passenger vehicle.
Functional safety can be provided by electronics, software and other technologies, including hydraulic or mechanical. While not usually thought of as such, electromechanical devices such as emergency-off switches, interlock switches and circuit breakers, are functional safety devices as they ensure the safety of their overall system. Functional safety has become closely associated with electronics and software because they are now often replacing safety devices that were based on mechanical or other technologies. With that, more attention is being paid to functional safety since electronics and software have a reputation of sometimes failing to do what they are supposed to do.
With this Functional Safety CB Scheme addition, UL can help our customers obtain multiple international certifications from a single certified testing body — giving them a passport to travel to global markets. Bundling services helps to accelerate time to market, reduce costs, improve product safety and overcome market risks and complexities.
Ready for the next step? Visit the UL Global Market Access Configurator to learn more.