IEC 62368-1: Introduction (The International Safety Standard For A/V and IT Equipment’s)

A decade ago, it was quite easy to distinguish between the Information technology (IT), audio-visual (AV) and communication products. It was easy to determine the product category and the purpose of the product.

But with the advancement and convergence of technology and change in the lifestyle, the market of multimedia devices is rapidly changing and we get products like i-pod and Alexa as an outcome of the blurring boundaries separating the AV products from ICT products.

Let’s see an example of a Laptop (product that covered under the scope of IEC 60950), previously the laptop was considered as a system that allows you to use the Internet but nowadays the same can be used to watch movies and series as well. Thus, we can say that it is also used as an AV entertainment (may be Television was earlier device for this purpose and was that covered under the scope of AV safety IEC 60065). Similarly, we can surf the internet on Smart TV.

Considering the rapid evolution in the technology, the safety standard for both Information technology equipment’s (IT safety, IEC 60950) and Audio/Visual equipment (AV safety, IEC 60065) have undergone the numerous modifications intended to make it more secure and risk-free which resulted in the single standard IEC 62368-1 covering the scope of both IEC 60950 and IEC 60065 under the same standard.
However, it is simply not a merger of legacy standards rather it is a new standard that covers the older standards IEC 60065 and IEC 60950, which will be replaced in due time.

About IEC 62368-1

IEC 62368-1 is a hazard-based and performance-oriented standard that works on the principles of hazard-based standard engineering (HBSE). Unlike previous standards, it is not dependent on any product and technology but based on the energy within the equipment.

Progression of Standard

IEC 62368 is developed by the IEC technical committee TC108 which is a unified merger of two former technical committees, i.e. TC74 who developed the safety standard for IT equipment’s and TC92 gave the safety standard for audio/video equipment’s.
In 2010, the first edition of the standard was released which was followed by the 2nd edition in 2014. Though, TC108 worked around to make the standard more secure and reliable and proposed the 3rd edition of IEC 62368-1:2018 which will come into effect from December 20, 2020.

Scope of IEC 62368-1

  • It is applicable to the safety of electrical and electronic equipment within the field of audio/video and IT technology with a rated voltage upto 600V.
  • This applies to the units installed inside the product such as chassis mount power supplies as well as to the external power supply and adapters that are procured along with the equipment.

 Further, a provision in the sub-clause 4.1.1 mentioned in the standard enables companies to continue using their inventory of 60950-1 or 60065 certified parts in the products comply with IEC 62368-1. The clause states:

“Components & subassemblies that comply with IEC 60950-1 or IEC 60065 are acceptable as part of equipment covered by this standard without further evaluation other than to give consideration to the appropriate use of the component or subassembly in the end-product.”

  • The new term of “Energy Source” is introduced in the standard. Fundamentally, HBSE (hazard-based standard engineering) seeks to identify the degree of hazard as an energy source that is classified in 3 categories as Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 (where Class 1 is the lowest and Class 3 is highest) which may cause injury or impact to the user or combustible material. For which it allows to identify the suitable means of safeguard to preventing such means of energy transfer.
Energy SourceEffect On The BodyEffect On Combustible Materials
Class 1Not painful, but may be detectableIgnition not likely
Class 2Painful, but not an injuryIgnition possible, but limited growth and spread of fire
Class 3InjuryIgnition likely, rapid growth and spread of fire

How IEC 62368 is different from IEC 60950 and IEC 60065?

  • IEC 62368 is technology independent which helps minimizes the need for regional/ national differences.
  • It works on the principle of hazard-based instead of risk-based which makes the equipment more secure to use by identifying the hazards and testing the effectiveness of safeguard as per the energy source.
  • It is based on the research and field data that leads to the design and manufacturing of safe products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *