The Not-So-Distant Future of IT and AV Equipment

Preparing Now for IEC 62368-1

16 August 2016

IEC 62368-1, the electrical safety standard for IT and A/V equipment, is not a merger of IEC 60065 and 60950-1, but a new standard that will replace its predecessors as of June 20, 2019, in Europe. While that date seems well into the future, when considering both shelf life and product lifecycle, it's clear to see that the implications of this standard are starting to be felt.

Products being developed today for a 2017 launch and expected to stay on the market for a length of time will likely need to comply with the new standard. And products early in the design phase now are likely to be manufactured at a point in time where the new standard is required and the old standards will not fit.  As such, it's important to get to familiar with the requirements it sets forth.

A "hazard-based" standard, IEC 62368-1 covers products where IT and AV functions intersect and  is concerned with the hazards related to energy including: electric shock, fire, thermal, mechanical, radiation and chemical hazards. The requirements include the identification and classification of energy sources in the product, identifying the needed safeguards to protect the sources from causing injury or damage and qualify the safeguards as effective using given compliance criteria.

To achieve these core requirements it will be necessary to:

  • Show compliance of materials, components or subassemblies through inspection and review of published data or test results.
  • Illustrate that manufacturer's instructions for the installation, relocation, servicing and operation were taken into account during evaluation.
  • Consider all orientations of transport for applicable equipment.
  • Take into account specified ambient temperature range when assessing temperature concerns.

To prepare for the upcoming changes, familiarize yourself with the requirements of the new standard and consider the shelf-life of your product. Do not assume that products that comply with IEC 60950-1or 60065 will comply with the new standard. Instead, consider a dual certification that will not only ensure products comply with the current, more familiar standard but also the newer standard, particularly if you intend your product to be manufactured and sold in three years.

For more insights into this new standard, check out our online information and resources.

Anuj Kumar is a member of US TAG to Technical Committee 108 (TC 108) for Standardization in the field of safety for audio/video, information technology and communication technology equipment and a member of UL Standards Technical Panel (STP) for , UL 60950-1 and UL 62368-1. Anuj has been with Intertek for over 15 years and is currently Director of Operations for the West Region Electrical Labs.