If you spend any amount of time around a facility’s control panels, you’ve probably seen a label that says UL508A on it. But depending on your background or role within that facility, you might not know what that stands for. Today, I’m covering what the UL508A Standard is, and what it means to be compliant with that standard.
What is the UL508A Standard?
UL508A is the standard for the construction of Industrial Control Panels. The standard provides guidelines to panel builders on various issues including component selection and wiring methods. Only panels constructed to meet the full construction requirements and recommendations defined in UL508A can be labeled as such. And UL508A, along with a whole list of other standards, are set by Underwriter’s Laboratories.
About Underwriter’s Laboratories
Underwriter’s Laboratories, the “UL” in UL508A, is a global organization with over 120 years of history. They’re known as a third-party tester who certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits, and educates. They have developed thousands of standards that are used and followed all around the world in various areas of industry. UL has a standard for just about everything under the sun. But here at KEI, we primarily deal with two UL standards:
- UL508A – Standard for Industrial Control Panels
- UL698A – Standard for Industrial Control Panels Relating to Hazardous (Classified) Locations
UL has set these guidelines and testing standards for devices that go into industrial control panels with the objective being safe implementation. A long time ago, before UL standards, it was difficult for people to know if the electrical panels they were having made were safe. And we can thank UL for providing the standards and processes to prevent those safety issues.
UL Compliance at KE
When we build control panels, our customers need them to be UL508A Certified, and in some instances, UL698A Certified. So, as a company, we’ve gone through the UL508A certification process (and the UL698A certification process) by working with UL for training and certification.
At KE, we design control panels and create the drawings, and once our panel builders build out the panels, they go through a testing procedure. Only after a panel has been tested against all components of the UL standard it needs to comply with does our Head Engineer apply the corresponding UL label to the panel.
UL inspects facilities at our level a handful of times each year. During inspections, they check to see if we have the right tools and procedures in place, and they also spot check a few panels to ensure they meet standards.
When it comes to complying with UL508A and UL698A Standards, I want the people who work with us to know we have the process down to a science. At KE, we take compliance seriously, and we take safety seriously. When you work with KE to design and build your control panels, you can rest assured that they’re going to be built to standard.