Most cities require electrical field evaluations to protect the inhabitants of their city from disasters that can result from faulty electrical equipment. They are enforcing the NEC (National Electric Code) that states: All “conductors of electricity” must be “approved,” “identified,” “listed” or “labeled”. The code allows for a capable third party (LBIES) to perform an electrical evaluation of your product.
Field labeling is a safety review. Although its main area of interest is electrical, other important aspects of machine and operations safety are also covered in the labeling/permitting process. There are particular codes that are followed by all 3rd Party Inspectors, which do not vary.
These codes are as follows:
Risk of Fire
Risk of Shock
Risk of Mechanical Hazards
To ensure the electrical safety integrity of equipment, field evaluations focus on a number of key areas of the equipment construction.
The following summarize the fundamental methods of field evaluations:
A breakdown of what is tested and the procedure followed are listed below so your team can determine if your equipment will meet all the codes.
In addition to relevant construction evaluations, the equipment will also be tested for compliance to safety requirements. The tests may vary depending on the type of equipment.
You can also learn more about what to expect during a field label evaluation from this blog here.
Some of the most common tests are:
Grounding Continuity Test:
Testing for proper grounding and bonding of the whole equipment.
Dielectric Voltage Withstand Test (Hi Pot Test):
Testing for adequate spacing between conductive parts. The test is performed between primary and ground and primary and secondary of the unit.
Input Current Test:
Measuring the input current of the unit during maximum load operation and evaluating the suitability of protection mechanisms such as fuses, circuit breakers, etc.
Strain Relief Test:
Measuring the strength and suitability of strain relief through push and pull tests.
Tests the suitability and performance of all interlocks giving access to live parts and moving components.
In 1984 Lewis Bass International performed the very 1st Third Party Electrical Equipment Evaluation required in California. It was conducted on semiconductor tools for AMD – Sunnyvale, California.
Other cities adopted 3rd Party Evaluation requirements for all unlisted and custom equipment. It’s included requirements to industrial manufacturers, R&D, and medical devices. LBI was at the forefront and has evaluated thousands of different types of equipment.
Lewis Bass International Engineering Services is proud to continue offering this service to our clients as an approved Third Party Inspection Agency. We are known for being cost effective and minimizing turnaround time in completing the inspection(s) and getting the reports to the city so you can get equipment up and running.