Panel Builder System Integrator

PBSI CSA logo 400

February 6, 2019

If you produce industrial control panels (ICPs) for installation in the U.S. and/or Canada, you know how critical it is to confirm their safety and reliability. Workers, businesses, and communities depend on it.

Your customers also want to be assured that your panels will be approved by inspectors upon installation. Red tags, costly repairs, and delays are unacceptable.

But just as critical to your success as a manufacturer is a safety evaluation process that supports the way you do business – whether you are mass producing a single panel model, producing individual control panels or short runs of panels for intermittent delivery, or have another production and delivery approach.

Choosing the best evaluation process for your business starts with understanding all the options.

A Guide to Your ICP Evaluation Options

Recognizing the unique challenges and business models in the industry, the ICP evaluation team at CSA Group created a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best model to support your business.

Also covered are key North American safety requirements and the unique role U.S. and Canadian Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) play in approving installed panels for start-up. Whether you produce panels for North America today, or are just entering the market, the information and insight in this paper can help you optimize the way you confirm safety compliance.

Identifying the Best Option

Leading ICP safety evaluation organizations like CSA Group have developed a range of options to serve widely varied ICP manufacturing business models. These include on-site safety evaluations for individual products, evaluations at your production facility or in an independent testing laboratory, evaluations for limited production runs or for intermittent production of panels as they are ordered, evaluation for mass production of ICPs of a fixed design, and more.

Bottom line, you have a wide range of options to choose from, one of which can offer the flexibility and cost-efficiency your business requires.

ICP Safety Requirements for North America are Unique

Of course, getting compliance right is not optional. There is no substitute for in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of, and experience with, all the North American safety requirements your products must meet. And those requirements are uniquely complex.

Your evaluation program will have to confirm ICPs conform with the requirements of specific U.S. and/or Canadian safety standards depending on where the panels will be installed. The type of installation also makes a difference. ICPs for hazardous locations must meet the same safety requirements as panels for ordinary locations, plus additional requirements to manage the potential for ignition caused by an electrical spark in an explosive atmosphere. The components you use in the construction of your ICPs must also be tested and certified for compliance with applicable component safety standards.

Finally, depending on where they will be installed, your panels will have to meet the specific installation safety requirements contained in the U.S. and/or Canadian national electrical codes. Safety approval in North America isn’t final until compliance is confirmed by Authorities Having Jurisdiction at the point of installation.

On-time start-up of your customer’s equipment or system is important, so understanding the applicable requirements and the evaluation options is necessary to help you succeed in the final on-site inspection.

Finding the Right Third-party Provider

Understanding and properly applying the North American requirements can be challenging. It’s essential to work with a third-party that has reliable expertise in this field and the appropriate accreditations to conduct the required testing and certification activities. This helps protect safety and security, increase your flexibility, efficiency and predictability, and reduce wasteful expense across your product’s lifecycle. CSA Group is an accredited provider of ICP evaluations, and its services can be tailored to meet your specific business needs.

Download White Paper HERE

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