Industrial Control Panels and the Panel Shop Program
July 7, 2020
By maintaining close relationships with authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), UL’s program offers unique flexibility for panel manufacturers, enabling you to label either mass-produced or custom-built ICPs without needing their examination of each design.
Overview of industrial control panels
Industrial control panels (ICPs) are defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC) Section 409.2 as an assembly of two or more power circuit components, control circuit components, or any combination of power and control circuit components. These components are typically switches, terminal blocks, contactors, motor drives, transformers, overcurrent protective devices and the like.
Similar to other industrial equipment, ICPs can be evaluated as open type or enclosed. Open-type equipment is ultimately installed in an enclosure before being put into service. Enclosed ICPs can be rated for indoor use or any type rating, such as 3R, 4, or 12. In addition, these can be certified for use in classified areas, e.g., hazardous locations.
As an expert in certifying ICPs, UL maintains close relationships with authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs). This partnership allows manufacturers to label either mass-produced or custom-built ICPs without needing our examination of each design. Often called the Panel Shop Program, it offers unique flexibility for panel manufacturers. The program covers certification for U.S. and Canadian markets. Also unique to this program is the required training for panel shops that want to be a part of the program.
Industrial Control Panel Shop Program
UL’s Industrial Control Panel Shop Program allows manufacturers who custom-build or mass-produce ICPs to apply the UL Marks for the U.S. and Canada at their factories. Their program makes it convenient to receive a UL certification while allowing maximum flexibility in panel design. When regulators, specifiers and end-product certifiers see the familiar UL Mark, they can be confident that the panel has met the certification requirements.
UL provides certification of industrial control panels to UL 508A, the Standard for Industrial Control Panels. The third edition of UL 508A becomes effective on July 1, 2020. So, understanding and applying current requirements is essential to meet your customer needs and market demands.