BIRTH OF IEC 62368-1

Demands of today’s customers have no boundaries when the talk is about technology. Manufactures are increasingly challenged to create products that are efficient, innovative and also certified with highest safety standards. This creates a challenge for the safety standard to keep pace with the new products and technology as well. The established safety standards for IT equipment (60950-1) and Audio/ video equipment (60065) are now merged to a single standard i.e. 62368-1.

Product Safety Reinvented

New standard IEC 62368-1 will use the HBSE (Hazard-based safety engineering) approach to specify safety of the product i.e. HBSE methodology determines how safe a product is during the faulty conditions. IEC 62368-1 is a new product safety concept that will become mandatory from December 20, 2020 and will take over IEC 60065 and IEC 60950. This new safety standard makes the product future proof by ensuring that all the possible hazards coming from the product have been taken into account.

Reason for merging the Standard

Historically, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and AV (Audio/Visual) equipment have been regarded as separate products, it used to be easy to differ the two. With continued development in technologies computers, audio/video equipment, and other information and entertainment technology became interconnected and interchangeable. Products originally designed for offices and shops came home and the difference between AV and IT equipment became increasingly blurred – multimedia products are the example of the same. Hence, a single harmonized standard gives a clearer framework to evaluate the safety of these products.

About IEC 62368-1

This new standard applies to the principles that safety was not dependent on the product but based on the energy within the equipment. Unlike 60950 and 60065 the test in this standard are done under both normal and faulty conditions (e.g. Temperature of the device is measured under both normal and faulty conditions).This section specifies safeguards for 3 classes of users: ordinary persons, instructed persons, skilled persons.
It basically has 4 parts:

  1. First, identify all hazardous energy sources in the product.
  2. Second, classify the energy sources by their effect on the human body.
  3. Third, identify the safeguards needed to prevent the damage or injury.
  4. Fourth, measure the effectiveness of safeguards.

Harmful Model

Harmful Model

Safe Model

Safe Model

Conclusion

The IEC/UL IEC-62368-1 is a complicated standard and works on a hazards-based approach measuring safety issues and safeguarding against them, which is very different as compared to previous standards. The basic intention of 62368-1 is to give designers greater flexibility to design the product and at the same time ensure that the product is safe to use and cannot cause any injury to the body or surroundings.

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