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The boss of a leading UK automation and control specialist believes machinery builders should be looking to develop exports outside of traditional European markets.
Tony Hague, Managing Director of PP Electrical Systems, is urging more firms to explore the United States and Canada as a potential source of new leads.
He believes there is a demand out there for innovative systems and machine designs, yet few firms are actually taking the plunge…many being put off by stringent compliance and regulation.
“Naturally, we don’t have to worry too much about culture and language barriers when doing business with the US and Canada, but there is definitely a need to plan your approach to building machines that pass the standards required for the safety of industrial products and equipment,” explained Tony.
“There are several organisations across the pond that create safety standards and also enforce regulation. This is somewhat different to the EU and UK ‘CE marking’ approach, where the usual approach is ‘self-certification’.
“The major ones are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 508A for industrial control panels, NFPA 70 (National Fire Prevention Association), NFPA 79 (electrical standard for industrial machinery) and the Canadian Electrical Code.”
He continued: “Meeting compliance is not insurmountable. We have over 15 years experience in successfully navigating through and meeting regulatory requirements and we even have a US accredited factory here in the heart of the UK.
“This gives us the capability to manufacture industrial control panels that are fully certified to the necessary US and Canadian standards.”
PP Electrical’s expert engineers boast many years experience of working with some of the world’s largest machinery builders to achieve this compliance.
They manage the entire process for the client, taking into account short circuit rating for the panel, enclosure type rating and selection of approved terminals and components.
Thermal overload protection scheme for electric motors is also taken care of, all in accordance with the US National Electrical Code.
Tony concluded: “All safety related components are expected to hold UL or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approval.
“There are several other requirements coming from the safety standards, but we have developed and refined a process for meeting this in a timely and cost-effective way.
“This involves our engineering team designing your entire panel or converting an existing design into one that complies in both the US and Canada.”