What UL Has To Do With Quality Control Panel Building

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March 8, 2022

By UCEC

We’ve noticed an alarming trend with companies contacting us for urgent help with panels made overseas or by a different control panel manufacturer. Their crisis? Their panel has failed its inspection and their operations are shut down until it passes.  

UCEC stands apart from other OEM control panel manufacturers as one of the few companies that has passed the most recent, stringent UL MTR exam. 

WHAT IS UL?

UL, previously Underwriters Laboratories, is a global safety certification company that has been in operation for nearly 130 years. UL tests and evaluates components and products to their UL standards. If the components and parts pass, they’re eligible for a certification mark that can be placed by the manufacturer. Most common are the “ULRecognized” and “UL Listed” marks.

UL Recognized is the mark applied to individual components within a larger product that could be eligible for UL Listing. Circuit boards or power supplies are examples of components that often bear a UL Recognized mark. Often created by another manufacturer, the UL Recognized mark means the power supply could be used in a UL Listed control panel.

UL Listed means that the product (such as the control panel) has been tested by UL to nationally recognized safety and sustainability standards. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE UL CERTIFIED?

Manufacturers can undergo UL’s Manufacturer Technical Representative Program (MTR) to become UL certified. UL certified manufacturers are able to build UL Listed products without undergoing inspections by UL for every product they create. Instead, these manufacturers are authorized by UL to test the products themselves and apply the UL Listed label. UCEC is a UL certified manufacturer for the following UL Standards: 

UL508A: Standard for building and construction of industrial control panels.

UL698A: Standard for intrinsic safety for control panels in hazardous locations

ULNNNY: Standard for cover purged and pressurized as well as non-incendive control panels. 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UL AND NEC?

National Electrical Code (NEC) is the standard most inspections will examine when approving your control panel. Article 409 of the NEC provides the minimum requirements to ensure safe installation and inspection of industrial control panels.

NEC standards are created through public inputs from organizations, companies and even individuals. UL has helped update and maintain the NEC since its very first edition in 1897. 

NEC article 409 references UL508a as the standard defining approved methods to be used in the manufacturing of industrial control panels. After 2005, individual states began to incorporate the NEC requirements into their state building and construction codes, though legal enforcement and inspection is regulated differently state to state. Safety and inspection standards are becoming more stringent all the time. Having your panels built to UL standards regardless of the requirement can save OEM’s time and money and ensure business continuity.

BENEFITS OF UL 508A LISTED CONTROL PANELS

UL508A is the standard for the building and construction of industrial control panels. Our UL 508A certification ensures your control panel complies with nationally recognized safety standards and impacts how your control panel is designed and manufactured. UL508A’s construction requirements include:

  • Proper component selection

  • Calculation of short circuit current rating (SCCR)

  • Wiring methods

  • Use and location of E-Stop buttons

  • Label information indicating system voltage and moto full-load amps

  • “As-Built” drawing set inside the control panel when shipped

  • Labels indicating proper size and type of fuses to be used for maintenance

  • Grounding and bonding methods

Having a UL 508A Listed control panel can give you peace of mind and show your commitment to public safety. A UL listed panel ensures you’re compliant with national and local electrical codes.

UCEC BUILDS ALL CONTROL PANELS TO UL STANDARDS

When we build control panels, we always build them to the UL standard. This standard ensures that even if your project doesn’t require a UL Label, you’ll be sure to pass your inspection and avoid operational delays or costly re-inspection fees. At UCEC, we’ve been committed to building quality control panels for more than sixty years. As a UL Certified manufacturer, we can continue to deliver on that decades-long promise of quality.

UL Listed Control Panel Labeling

If you do need your panel to be UL Listed, the only difference is the cost of the labeling. Since we’re already building all of our panels to UL standards, you don’t face any additional markup for UL quality industrial control panels.

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