Contract manufacturers are responsible to build quality products at an affordable price and provide solutions to their customers. In addition, CM’s have an intangible duty to foresee challenges and roadblocks in time to implement solutions and prevent setbacks for their partners. This especially rings true when constructing a reliable supply chain or navigating the regulatory environment.
One such piece of regulatory legislation affecting power solutions is the IEC 62368-1 safety standard certificate. This affects power supplies contained within or packaged with electronic devices across a variety of industry segments.
Three key features drive market acceptance and the success of embedded and external power supplies: size, cost, and certification compliance.
Typically, size and cost are key features in power supply selection. However, uninterrupted certification compliance is perhaps the most important long term consideration. This is because power supply efficiency and safety standards are in a perpetual state of evolution.
New Safety Standard
The most notable update for power supplies in 2020 is the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) move to 62368-1. This affects all power supplies used with Information Technology Equipment and Audio/Video Equipment.
The new standard has a harmonized implementation date of December 20, 2020.
Additional IEC 62368-1 Hazard-Based Safety Engineering (HBSE) principles
The new standard will supplant two existing safety standards: 60950-1 and 60065.
The new standard will supplant two existing safety standards: 60950-1 and 60065
The hazard based standards of the IEC62368-1 safety certificate focuses on shielding product users from harm. The end device must not have any potential to transfer energy to the user that can lead to pain or injury. Reliable safeguards must be integrated and proven within the circuit design to pass HBSE testing.
What does this mean for power supply manufacturers?
Power supply manufacturers need to have all active models in compliance prior to December 20, 2020. This means retrieving new CB test reports and certificates conforming to the 62368-1 standard.
It is crucial for power supply manufacturers to proactively complete IEC 62368-1 testing and avoid setbacks for their partners
The timeline is relatively short if no design changes are required in order to meet the added IEC 62368-1 HBSE standards. The process for CB report filing and completing testing on the power supply is approximately 6 - 8 weeks.
Power supplies not conforming to the IEC 62368-1 standard’s HBSE requirements will need to be redesigned. Consequently, this could void existing power supply certifications, force new global safety testing, and take 20 weeks or longer to complete.
It is crucial for power supply manufacturers to proactively complete IEC 62368-1 testing and avoid setbacks for their partners.
What does this mean for hardware organizations purchasing power supplies?
Now is the time for hardware organizations to locate IEC 62368-1 certified power supply models and begin qualification testing.
It is important to select a partner who is proactively monitoring and adapting to a changing regulatory environment.
Keep in mind that external wall and desktop adapters are user facing. Therefore, any changes to those types of power supplies may require additional changes to the entire product package. For example, packaging materials, product manuals, and marketing collateral may need to be updated to reflect the power supply change.
In addition, the end device and new power solution will need to be tested as a complete system. This testing is to ensure FCC standards for conducted and radiated emissions are met.
As stated earlier, standards governing power supply performance are constantly in flux. For this reason, it is important to select a partner who is proactively monitoring and adapting to a changing regulatory environment.
The importance of the new standard
Any injury incurred by a product is awful for the person involved. It can also cause a bad reputation for the product and its company. The new IEC 62368-1 standard is important in that it requires better safeguards to reduce injury to those using the equipment.
Following standards set by technical committees and organizations like the IEC allows the product to maintain a level of high quality. Additionally, it ensures the end-user is able to safely use the device. Keep ahead of regulatory changes and confirm that your product is in compliance with the IEC 62368-1 standard today.