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From October 2017 manufacturers of fuseholders and electrical appliances must comply with the following updated standards:
Europe: Fuseholder Standard IEC/EN 60127-6
USA & Canada: Fuseholder Standard UL 4248-1; Household Appliance Standard IEC/EN 60335-1
Other product types affected by the new legislation are IEC appliance inlets, as well as power entry modules (with or without EMC filters) if they have a fuse drawer.
Why are the changes required?
The original IEC standard (04/1994) focused specifically on contact protection and did not pay much attention to fire safety. As a result, unsupervised appliances like dryers, high-speed heaters and coffee machines caused fires regularly and repeatedly. These tended to be triggered by current overloads, faulty connections, defective parts or electrical arcs when switching contacts.
The fourth edition of the IEC/EN 60335-1 Household Appliance Standard improved fire safety back in May 2001 with the introduction of the requirement for components to pass a glow-wire test (according to IEC/EN 60695-2-12 and -13). Now these requirements are also being applied to the Fuseholder Standard, with an additional increase required to the glow-wire resistance of the product material. In addition, components now have to be endurance-tested vertically as well as horizontally (previously testing was only required horizontally and in the intended installation position).
What does this mean for manufacturers?
Anyone who manufactures fuses and/or appliance inlets that have integrated fuseholders need to test the glow-wire resistance of all materials used and replace unsuitable materials with new glow-wire resistant materials where necessary.
If changes are made to materials to achieve the increased temperature requirements, products will need to be re-tested and authorised in accordance with the relevant updated standard. In addition, manufacturers are required to change production, documentation, and material logistics accordingly.
Timescale for changes
The transition period runs until the beginning of October 2017 by which time manufacturers must only supply tested and authorised products according to the new standards.
Schurter supplies a wide range of fuseholders to RS customers and guarantees that beginning no later than October 2017 it will only supply products that have been approved according to the latest fuseholder standard.
Schurter has developed a microsite to provide an overview of affected products and detail the status of compliance with the new standard. About 80 product types are affected and are in the process of being converted to conform with the standard.