International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

IEC e-tech – March 2015

IEC e-tech: March 2013

Enclosures & dependability


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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Morand Fachot

Antoinette Price

Zoé Smart


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The power of protection


The safety, the protection of anyone building, installing, or using electrical and electronic equipment is at the core of IEC standardization and Conformity Assessment work. As is dependability – the “ability to perform as and when required” – a major factor in the evaluation ad acceptance of product and system performance.


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The devil is in the nucleus


IEC TC 45 is the only worldwide body developing international instrumentation and control standards for the nuclear and nuclear power industries and for other industries using nuclear measuring techniques. Its work is also absolutely essential to detect illegal activities and smuggling of radioactive material.


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Hobbyists help shape power tool industry


Buffing, chiselling, drilling, levelling, planing, polishing, routing, sanding and screwdriving: power tools are used across industries such as automotive, infrastructure, construction, woodworking, aerospace, and electrical and electronics, but they are also very popular with lay users.


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Avoiding interference


Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the ability of electric and electronic devices and appliances to operate without interfering when close to each other, is important in a world of increasing electrification. Limiting electromagnetic interference (EMI) from electric tools in particular has greatly improved.


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Motors moving to IE codes


Electric motor systems are estimated to account for 46% of global electricity use. Converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, they rotate pumps, drive compressors, move materials and run fans, blowers, drills or mixers. Electric motors could rightly be called the “workhorses” of industry. The IEC has put in place energy efficiency classes for electric motors, known as the IE code, which are summarized in IEC 60034-30-1.


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Dependable systems for all sectors


Dependability is a crucial consideration in the development and application of technological systems. In today’s global business environment, dependability is a key decision-making factor in the evaluation and acceptance of system performance. It encompasses customer objectives and values and ensures critical system performance so that manufacturer trust and customer satisfaction can be achieved. Dependability is essential in electrotechnology and in many other domains.


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Tools for professionals and hobbyists


Electric tools and appliances have invaded the home environment, making light weight of often tedious and difficult chores and making it possible for amateurs to undertake difficult tasks. As for professionals, improvements in electric tools and the emergence of new ones have greatly helped them in their work. Convenience and safety are keys to the success of electric tools.


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Connecting down the line


The scope of IEC Technical Committees (TC) 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange, has significantly expanded since it was established in 1964. Today, it addresses the urgent need to produce International Standards for communications between the equipment and systems for the electric power process, which has become increasingly complex.


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Staving off the dangers of DIY


In an age of innovation and constant technological evolution, the availability of a wide variety of affordable and easy-to-use power tools enables many people to maintain their homes and gardens rather than calling in the professionals.


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Have you ever been shocked?


Who among you hasn’t at least once in your life received an electric shock, for example while changing a light bulb? In most cases you don’t feel much and it has no serious consequences. So much so that you will not do anything about it once the new light bulb is in place. That’s where the problem starts. An electric shock is a first sign that something may be defective in the electrical installation of the building.


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Containing explosions


More than a century ago, the introduction of electrical apparatus for signalling and lighting in coal mines provoked many electrically-induced explosions of flammable gases and dust. Consequentially, specific types of protection were developed to prevent explosions by eliminating contact between an explosive atmosphere and an ignition source.


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Tiny bursts of energy


Static electricity has been a serious industrial problem for centuries. Today, as devices have become faster and smaller, their sensitivity to electrostatic discharge (ESD) has increased. Because electrical and electronic products contain many components, manufacturers want to be assured that the electronic components used in their products are of the required quality.


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IEC Technical Committee (TC) 36: Insulators, TC 91: Electronics assembly technology and TC 95: Measuring relays and protection equipment all welcome new Chairmen at their helms.


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When everyday symbols become art


It’s not every day that the work of the IEC enters the realms of visual art. The IEC 60417-5009 power symbol is an exception. It is being exhibited at MOMA in New York as part of the "This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good" exhibition.


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Celebrating Ibn al-Haytham


The year 2015 marks the 1000th anniversary since the appearance of the seven volume treatise on optics Kitab al-Manazir written by the Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham. Part of the International Year of Light, ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ is an international educational campaign, which celebrates this 10th century science pioneer, known as the “Father of modern Optics".


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Seven who've made a difference


On International Women’s Day, the IEC celebrated the outstanding leadership shown by some key women in electrotechnical standardization and conformity assessment. At the same time it called for moves to encourage more women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.


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Powering the planet with water


On 22 March, World Water Day will be celebrated with the theme ‘Water and Sustainable Development’. Sustained economic, social and environmental well-being is not possible without water and its inextricable link to energy.


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Upcoming global events


The IEC regularly lends its support to key global and regional industry events allowing them to put forward IEC endorsement on their website and materials. We would like to draw your attention to several IEC-endorsed events that may be of interest to the IEC community.


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New Standards to enhance dependability


Dependability, the “ability to perform as and when required”, applies to any physical item such as a system, product, process or service. It is now central to our lives as it is difficult to imagine a world where things do not work as expected. IEC Technical Committee 56: Dependability has recently published two additional International Standards that will contribute to enhance dependability.


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New EMC Standards as Redline versions


Two important International Standards for EMC have been published as Redline versions. One concerns testing and measurement, the second one, prepared by CIS/F, a Subcommittee of the International special committee on radio interference (CISPR), sets out EMC requirements for household appliances, electric tools and similar apparatus.


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Standards supporting public policy


IEC and ISO have launched a new brochure to make their portfolio of International Standards more visible to policy makers and ensure that their standards address regulators and policy makers’ needs.


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