The Comprehensive Guide to NEMA Ratings Part 1

The existence of technology nowadays in form of electronic and electrical products have been essential in our daily living. It is hard for us to live in today’s time without the aid of these technologies. 

With this in mind, it is of essential that the consumers are educated about the safety of a certain product. Any gadgets powered by electricity can be potentially harmful to humans, animals and also for other equipment. A properly shielded components from any ingress of foreign objects, even from human or animal touch is of essence because it provides safe use for everyone. 

Because of this fact, electrical engineering and manufacturing companies have several choices and options when setting standards and best practices. There are also several industries that formed associations and organizations that will help them set the standards across all manufacturing plants. These standards and guidelines will help them manufacture quality products and it will also protect the customers from any possible harms.  

However, the majority of the consumers are only familiar with the acronyms on the product information seen on labels of their tablet, television, or laptop. The worst part is they only have a little understanding what these acronyms really mean and how it can help them to use the product efficiently. 

Most of the gadget users have seen the UL logo. But there is a small chance that majority of electronics users are knowledgeable of that these acronyms really mean. Underwriters Laboratories have set the standard for electronic products. 

The organizations like the Underwriters Laboratories have paved the way to establish standards and qualities for product safety. Here’s a trivia: UL’s research and directives resulted to durable plastic enclosures seen on power tools. This great innovation has led the way to change of metal enclosures to plastic ones and it has provided protection for personnel from fatal electrical shock. 

But when it comes in industrial applications and commercial uses of enclosures, there are two established organizations that comes to mind. These are the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The first one is responsible for establishing the IP ratings while the later one is responsible for setting the NEMA standard for electrical enclosure. Both organizations are purely devoted in establishing quality standards that will result to safety and good quality. 

However, there is a difference on where these ratings are used. For IEC, it has set the standard for the world’s manufacturers of electrical enclosures. While the NEMA only serves as a US standard for electrical enclsoures. For Canada and Mexico, they also have independent organization that set the standards for the manufacture of electrical enclosures. 

If you are from these countries, it is important to consider your enclosure options. Being knowledgeable about the differences of IP and NEMA ratings brings great advantage. According to IEC 60529 standard coding, the standards are set on these factors: 

  1. The level of protection from solid ingress. Hand fingers and other body parts are not included.  
  1. The degree of protection against liquid ingress. 

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