Industrial Control Panels and the Panel Shop Program
January 10, 2023
Overview of industrial control panels, and what the Panel Shop Program offers
Industrial control panels (ICPs) are defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC) Section 409.2 as an assembly of two or more power circuit components, control circuit components, or any combination of power and control circuit components. These components are typically switches, terminal blocks, contactors, motor drives, transformers, overcurrent protective devices and the like.
Similar to other industrial equipment, ICPs can be evaluated as open type or enclosed. Open-type equipment is ultimately installed in an enclosure before being put into service. Enclosed ICPs can be rated for indoor use or any type rating, such as 3R, 4, or 12. In addition, these can be certified for use in classified areas, e.g., hazardous locations.
As a global provider in certifying ICPs, the Panel Shop Program offers unique flexibility for panel manufacturers, where they may label either mass-produced or custom-built ICPs without needing UL’s examination of each design. The program covers certification for U.S. and Canadian markets. Also unique to this program is the required training for panel shops that want to participate in this program.
Industrial Control Panel Shop Program
UL’s Industrial Control Panel Shop Program (ICP Program) allows control panel manufacturers who custom-build or mass-produce ICPs to apply the UL Marks for the U.S. and Canada at their factories. The ICP program makes it convenient to receive a UL certification while allowing maximum flexibility in panel design. When regulators, specifiers and end-product certifiers see the familiar UL Mark, they can be confident that the panel has met the certification requirements.
ICP Program benefits include:
- Increase your competitive advantage — Offer your customers UL certified general use, industrial machinery, elevator control, service equipment, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, fountain control, irrigation equipment, crane and flame control, and marine use panels and bid on jobs that specify UL certified ICPs.
- Cover all requirements — UL’s ICP Program covers proper component usage, enclosure environmental ratings, wiring and motor protection, safety markings, and conformance to the National Electrical Code (NEC) and Canadian Electrical Code (CEC).
- Greater efficiency — help to minimize red-tagged panels at the job site, along with the resulting delays and extra cost.
- Widespread acceptance — Benefit from the widespread acceptance of the UL Mark by regulatory authorities in every jurisdiction in the U.S. and Canada.
- Increased component sourcing — UL permits acceptance of specific components for use in end products, including ICPs. This provides manufacturers with even more flexibility when sourcing components used in UL certified panels in addition to UL certified components already permitted under the scope of the ICP program. More information regarding component acceptance is available within UL 508A Supplement SA Specific Component Requirements.
- Training and workshops – UL shares their expertise through technical training and workshops focused on the needs of ICP builders. Attend one of these custom panel builder workshops and hear from their technical experts who can provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary so that you can ‘build safety in’ while meeting the requirements set by regulators and customers.
The UL 508A Industrial Control Panel Shop Program is a part of UL’s General Coverage programs, which offer control panel manufacturers flexibility to apply UL Certification Marks to a wide range of industrial control panel designs. The control panel manufacturer’s level of knowledge and quality control measures are important elements of these programs.
Control panel manufacturers initially entering the Industrial Control Panel Shop Program are required to complete mandatory training on the UL 508A industrial control panels Standard and then maintain qualified staff knowledgeable of the requirements of the Standard. Each manufacturing location must maintain at least one UL 508A qualified manufacturer technical representative (MTR) on staff who can effectively interpret and accurately apply the requirements of the UL 508A industrial control panels Standard.