UL Implements New Regulation

The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) regulations are always changing to keep up with the growing electronics industry. As of July 1, 2015, all UL Listed power supply cords are required to show a specific marking on the plug.

There will be three separate markings depending on the region they are used for. For the USA, there will be one Underwriters Lab brand marking. Another branded mark will show a C-UL/UL mark for USA and Canada, and the third mark will be C-UL just for Canada.ul marking

Many products require redesign or modification before meeting the Underwriters Laboratories’ requirements and becoming eligible for the marking. Continue reading UL Implements New Regulation

Flame Rating. Feel the Burn.

In a blog posted a few months back, when discussing test procedures, we mentioned multiple tests that power cords must undergo before being approved by safety agencies. To refresh your memory, some of the tests we talked about were:

  • Grounding test
  • Continuity test
  • Hi-pot test
  • Polarity test
  • Insulation test
  • Pull-test

ul94-testingToday we will be discussing another important test to be done – flame rating (or flame resistance) test. Fire safety is a huge concern when working with all different types of wires, cables, and cords. All safety measures should be taken to make sure your power cord meets fire prevention requirements for the device. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) focus specifically on product safety. In order for your power cord to be approved by UL Standards, it must first go through multiple flame tests.

First, we’ll start with an FT2 horizontal flame test for flexible cords. This test includes a series of cycles. In the course of each cycle, a burner flame burns a horizontal sample for 15 seconds then is turned off for an additional 15 seconds. Or it will burn until the sample stops smoking before 15 seconds have passed and must not go beyond 100mm from end to end. This process is repeated 5 times. Continue reading Flame Rating. Feel the Burn.

International Cord Regulations

EUROPEAN_SEV_OVE_KEMA_CEBECInternational approvals can be difficult to understand. Especially when you see a drawing or a specification sheet and only one end of the power cord is approved and not the other. I mean, how can only one part of a cord be approved while the rest is not? To me, that does not make much sense.

If you look into it, in most cases, a power cord is not approved as a whole but in different sections. The plug, the wire, and the connector are all approved separately. They each have a different set of rules they need to follow. But when all countries are using the same IEC standard connector each approval agency will treat things differently. Such as China and Argentina approving the whole cord set instead of separate pieces.

International_Electrotechnical_Commission_LogoIt all comes down to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and what they consider as standards. While there are many different approval agencies per country they all use the same IEC connectors. That means they all have to follow IEC regulations. According to IEC 60799 5.2.2., it states “The rated current of the plug shall be not less than the rated current of the connector.” This means the connector cannot have a higher rating than the plug attached. Continue reading International Cord Regulations

Put the Power Cord to the Test

Today we’ll be discussing the various “testing” cords must go through in order to be 100% ready to go and meet the requirements for the UL standards (or international safety agency approvals) of cord sets and power cord supplies.

UL generates standards and test procedures for products and equipment focusing on product safety. Power cords undergo some of the most common tests:insulation

  1. A grounding test. The purpose of a grounding test is to protect the consumer from hazards that can be caused by a faulty ground connection. A ground bond test is a high current AC test that measures resistance of the ground path under high current conditions.
  2. The continuity test is carried out under high current, simulating a fault to earth. This test is performed by applying an AC or DC current between the conductive surface and protective earth.
  3. There is a hi-pot test. This is a stress test of the insulation of a device under test DUT (Device Under Test). This means the voltage used in a hi-pot test can either be AC or DC.

Continue reading Put the Power Cord to the Test

Universal 3500 series is now Approved for China!

Universal Approved for China

Universal approvedUniversal 3500 series is now approved for China. We’re happy to announce the new CCC approval. At the moment, Quail Electronics offers the IEC-C14 to IEC-C13 jumpers on the market to be internationally and domestically approved. However, our 3500 series power cord now carries UL, C-UL, VDE and China’s CCC approval. That means you can take it all over North America, Europe and China without ever having to switch a thing. Travel the globe with our 3500 series!

The CE Marking

CE rating 1All electronic devices sold in Europe carry an additional feature, the CE Marking. However, the power cord does not require the marking because it is an electrical component, not the finished product. This mark is the “European Conformity”, or in French known as the “Conformité Européenne.” It is essentially the electronic devices passport that allows it to gain access to Europe. Continue reading The CE Marking

Russian Approval Goes from GOST to EAC

Russian Approval

EAC Russian ApprovalIn early 2013 the Russian approval, GOST R, came to an end and was no longer being issued. The new certification for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is the Customs Union Technical Regulation (EAC). The Customs Union was started in 2010 to make it easier to transport goods in and out of the 3 countries.

The CU TR certification by EAC and declarations will be the new standard for the 3 countries. An EAC logo will now be displayed. This new single certification can be used to replace GOST R, GOST K and STB. Quail Electronics‘ power cords, such as the 8510 series, is currently displaying the EAC marking.

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Brazil Standard

FlagBrazil is a wonderful, beautiful country filled with rich history and culture.  However, previous to 2010, the country was lacking in one major area; electrical standardization. There was no formal Brazil standard for any electrical sockets or plugs.  Since there was no standard, that led to a total of eight different kinds of plugs.  That’s right; eight!  The multitude of options caused Brazilian citizens and tourists alike to have a difficult time connecting different plugs and wires for numerous electronic devices. Continue reading Brazil Standard

RoHS and REACH Compliance

You may have noticed an uptick in the terms “RoHS” and “REACH” compliant.  They seem like technical, foreign terms. In reality, though, they’re there for your protection. Quail Electronics is RoHS and REACH compliant, but that probably doesn’t mean a lot to you unless you know what those terms mean. We’ve included a description of those terms, and why they’re important.

RoHSRoHS stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive.  RoHS regulations were developed in the UK to promote environmental and human safety.  The goal of the RoHS directive is to protect consumers from substances that have been found to be hazardous. RoHS regulations became official on July 1, 2006.  While RoHS regulations were initially only used in the UK, other countries have begun to adopt them. Continue reading RoHS and REACH Compliance

Hospital Grade Lighted Cords

emergencyHospitals are great. Sure, they get a bad rap sometimes, but think about it. Everyone who works in the hospital, from the doctors to the janitors, each works together in unison, to try and save people’s lives. Yes, even the janitor. They are responsible for cleanliness, which is the cornerstone of fighting disease. But with so many people relying on so many different electronic devices, it’s important to guarantee power at all times, from operating room machines to power cleaners.  That’s where Hospital Grade Lighted power cords come into play! Continue reading Hospital Grade Lighted Cords