What the new hazard-based, technology-independent, performance-oriented standard for A/V, Information & Communication Technology Equipment, IEC 62368-1, means to Industry today and into the future…

Burke, Thomas
(UL LLC, San Jose, CA)

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In January 2010 a new international product safety standard was published, IEC 62368-1, Audio/video, information & communication technology equipment – Part 1: Safety requirements. Eventually, it will replace the existing product safety standards for audio/video equipment (IEC 60065) and information technology equipment (IEC 60950-1). What makes IEC 62368-1 different from other product safety standards is the hazard-based safety engineering (HBSE) methodology that was used to develop it, and the associated HBSE process that is involved applying it, resulting in a more technology-independent standard than the standards it will replace. In this presentation, we will review the history and drivers for the new standard, including a discussion of similarity to some drivers for new standards and approaches towards safety being adopted in other sectors, like IEC 60204-33, Safety of semiconductor fabrication equipment. We also will review the current status of IEC 62368-1 being adopted internationally, including the recent publication of a bi-national version of the standard in Canada & U.S. Additionally, we will touch upon how the Standard with its HBSE principles and performance-oriented requirements as a core provides manufacturers with additional flexibility for investigation and certification of innovative products and constructions compared to the legacy standards it will eventually replace. Finally, since other technical committees have already expressed some informal interest in the new standard and its philosophy, we will offer to the audience that it is likely over time other technical committees, maybe even some in wholly different industry segments like semiconductor fabrication equipment, may begin to consider its approach and consider adopting a similar philosophy and set of principles in whole or in part.

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