Technical Articles

What is IEC 62368?

IEC 62368 is a product safety standard that applies to information technology equipment (ITE) and audio/video equipment. It replaces two previous standards: IEC 60065, which applied to audio and video equipment, and IEC 60950, which applied to ITE. IEC 62368 is a more technology-neutral standard that covers both categories of equipment.

The standard is based on a hazard-based approach that IEC 62368 is a safety standard for audio, video, and information technology equipment. It replaces the previous standards IEC 60065 (for audio and video equipment) and IEC 60950 (for information technology equipment). 

IEC 62368 is designed to provide a technology-neutral, performance-based approach to safety. The standard focuses on the safe design of devices and systems rather than prescriptive requirements. It evaluates the safety of equipment by considering its foreseeable use, misuse, and environmental conditions.

The key principles of IEC 62368 are:

  1. Hazard-based safety engineering: The standard identifies potential hazards and requires manufacturers to design their products to minimize or eliminate them.
  2. Flexible approach: Unlike its predecessors, IEC 62368 is technology-neutral, meaning it can be applied to a wide range of products and technologies. It also allows manufacturers to use alternative safety methods, as long as they can provide evidence that their solutions are safe.
  3. Enhanced risk assessment: IEC 62368 requires manufacturers to conduct an in-depth analysis of the risks associated with their products. They must also provide clear instructions, markings, and warnings to help users avoid potential hazards.

To comply with the standard, manufacturers must conduct a thorough risk analysis of their products and document their findings. They must then design their products to minimize or eliminate identified hazards. This may involve using materials that are less flammable or less toxic, incorporating shielding or barriers, or providing safety features such as overload protection or shut-off mechanisms.

IEC 62368 also requires manufacturers to provide clear and concise instructions, markings, and warnings for their products. This includes information on how to use the product safely, specific hazards to be aware of, and what to do in the event of an emergency. Markings and warnings must be legible and understandable and must be placed in a prominent location on the product or in its documentation.

The standard also requires manufacturers to perform ongoing compliance testing and to keep careful records of test results. This is to ensure that products remain safe and compliant with the standard throughout their lifecycle.

The goal of IEC 62368 is to provide a consistent and future-proof approach to product safety that can adapt to new and emerging technologies. It is also designed to streamline the process of bringing new products to market, as manufacturers can use the standard to design products that are safe, compliant, and efficient. Compliance with IEC 62368 is mandatory in many countries, including the European Union, Japan, and Canada, and it is expected to become the global standard for information technology and audio/video equipment in the coming years.

In summary, IEC 62368 is an important safety standard that helps ensure that information technology and audio/video equipment are safe for consumers to use. It provides a comprehensive, hazard-based approach to product safety, and compliance with the standard is mandatory in many countries. By following the standard, manufacturers can design safe and efficient products that comply with regulatory requirements and meet the needs of consumers and businesses.



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