UL adds new requirements for Industrial Panel Builders

Beginning April 25, 2006,  UL508A  will require all Industrial Control Panels to have short circuit current ratings

Understanding the new UL Labeling requirements:

The requirement of putting a current rating label on a control panel is really quite simple. Simply find the "weakest link" or lowest short circuit rated component on the power side of the control panel and put a label with that value on the control panel. This sounds very simple and to some extent it is. The issue is not that it is a difficult thing to do but more likely the panel builders do not want to put lowest the short circuit protection rating on a control panel for fear that the serving utility will inspect it and "red tag" the control panel. This requirement is forcing the panel builder to do the job the electrical consulting engineer is being paid to do!

What this actually means is that the control panel builders will have to furnish materials, which are rated to match the requirements of the serving utility. The result will be more cost to the end user. The panel builders will simply add money to the cost of the project to make sure they are in compliance. At the same time, the panel builders will put pressure on the component manufactures to test (with documentation) their electrical devices to achieve higher ratings. Again, there will be additional cost to the end user. In order to avoid becoming the watch dog for the electrical design engineer panel shops will simply put in the devices with the highest rating possible which cost more than properly rated devices.

This will be a windfall to the electrical component manufactures that do the testing up front and have the documentation available for the panel builders to supply to the UL inspectors when shop visits occur. UL will see a large increase in revenue as well because there will be additional testing required.




Electrical Engineers

Panel Builders