IEC 61439

Compliance for peace of mind

The implication of the standard

The IEC 61439 standard establishes the rules and regulations governing low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies (known collectively as Assemblies). It was introduced in 2011 to make requirements and checks more rigorous and consistent. In particular, the standard distinguishes between the responsibilities of the original manufacturer and those of the assembly manufacturer:

The IEC 61439 standard specifies responsibilities of each party, by differentiation those of the original manufacturer from those of the assembly manufacturer.

Main objectives

01 Guarantee of operation of the electric installation downstream of the assembly
02. Electric current conducting capacity
03 Resistance to short circuits
04 Electromagnetic compatibility
05 Protection of persons against electric shocks
06 Protection of persons and the assembly against fire
07 Resistance to mechanical and climatic environment
08.Protection of the assembly against power surges
09 Maintenance and modification capability
10 Ability to install on site

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The essential

01 Clarification of responsibilities
and engagements of each stakeholder in the project

02 Clarification of requirements
of the specification

03 Systematic verification
of each assembly

04 Identification of the assembly
through marked labels

05 Traceability of documents
and test certificates

Responsibilities

Original manufacturer

  • Designs the system
  • Issues system check principles to assembly manufacturer

Assembly manufacturer

  • Manufactures the assembly according to the original manufacturer's rules
  • Becomes the original manufacturer if any chnage is made to the original system
  • Carries out routine tests of the final assembly (tests, calculations, rules)

FAQ

How can I get a training on the standard?

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What is a design verified system?

12 mandatory verifications

For each assembly it produces, the original manufacturer must carry out 12 verifications to ensure it meets the standard.
This is a rigorous process, requiring a combination of tests, calculations/measurements and evaluations before each verification can be fulfilled. Only then will the system be approved as IEC 61439 compliant.

No Features to check Articles or paragraphs Tests Comparison with a reference Evaluation
01 Resistance of materials and parts: 10.2      
  corrosion resistance 10.2.2 yes no no
  Properties of insulating materials: 10.2.3      
  Thermal stability 10.2.3.1 yes no no
  Resistance of insulating materials to abnormal heat and fire due to internal electric effects 10.2.3.2 yes no yes
  Resistance to ultraviolet radiation (UV) 10.2.4 yes no yes
  Lifting 10.2.5 yes no no
  Mechanical impact 10.2.6 yes no no
  Marking 10.2.7 yes no no
02 Degree of protection 10.3 yes no yes
03 Clearance and creepage distances 10.4 yes no no
04 Protection against electric shock and integrity of the protection circuits: 10.5      
  Continuity between the grounds of the assembly and the protection circuit 10.5.2 yes no no
  Resistance to short-circuit of the protection circuit 10.5.3 yes yes no
05 Integration of connection devices and components 10.6 no no yes
06 Internal electric circuit and connections 10.7 no no yes
07 External conductor terminals 10.8 no no yes
08 Dielectric properties: 10.9      
  Power-frequency withstand voltage 10.9.2 yes no no
  Impulse withstand voltage 10.9.3 yes no yes
09 Heating limits 10.10 yes yes yes
10 Resistance to short-circuits 10.11 yes yes no
11 Electromagnetic compatibility (CEM) 10.12 yes no yes
12 Mechanical operation 10.13 yes no no

How to manage systematic verification?

9 routine checks

As the assembly manufacturer, you are responsible for the systematic verification of each assembly based on the below 9 routine checks:

01 Degree of protection acquired through the covers
02 Clearance and creepage distances
03 Protection against electric shocks and integrity of protection circuits
04 Integration of incorporated components
05 Internal electric circuits and connections
06 Terminals for external conductors
07 Mechanical operation
08 Electrical properties
09 Wiring, electrical operation and function of power-frequency withstand voltage

What should be delivered for each assembly?

Documentation and labelling

Also you must be able to identify each assembly with one or more labels, marked in a lasting manner and placed at a location allowing easy visibility and legibility when the assembly is installed and in use.

  • Identification labels
  • Handling, installation, operation and maintenance instructions
  • List of individual checks
  • Declaration of compliance