Technical Articles

What is the IEC 62368 safety regulation?

In today's highly interconnected world, electronic devices play a crucial role in our daily lives. However, the increasing complexity and diversity of these devices, coupled with emerging technologies, necessitate a comprehensive safety framework. The IEC 62368 safety regulation, developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission, addresses these concerns and provides a consolidated approach to safety testing for audio/video and information technology equipment.


IEC 62368-1, the core standard of the safety regulation, replaces two previous standards, IEC 60065 (audio/video) and IEC 60950 (IT equipment), thereby bridging the gap between traditional consumer electronics and information technology devices. The regulation applies to a wide range of equipment, including home appliances, information technology equipment, audio/video equipment, professional equipment, and telecommunications equipment.


The regulation stresses a hazard-based safety approach, focusing on the identification and management of potential risks. It combines both prescriptive and performance-based requirements to ensure comprehensive safety assessment. Key provisions include risk assessment, device documentation, circuit design, power supply, protection against electric shock, thermal management, mechanical strength, and fire resistance, among others.


Implementing the IEC 62368 safety regulation can present several challenges. Firstly, transitioning from existing safety standards to the new framework may require significant changes to product designs and manufacturing processes. Adherence to the hazard-based approach demands a comprehensive understanding of potential hazards specific to each product category, necessitating updated risk assessment methodologies and documentation practices.


Furthermore, meeting the regulation's performance-based requirements calls for enhanced testing and validation processes. Manufacturers may need to invest in new equipment and testing facilities to ensure compliance. Additionally, the regulation strives to address emerging technologies, such as wireless charging and power over Ethernet, requiring continuous adaptation and updates to keep pace with technological advancements.


Complying with the IEC 62368 safety regulation offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it enhances product safety, reducing the risk of accidents, malfunctions, and associated liabilities. By adopting a hazard-based approach, manufacturers can proactively identify and mitigate potential risks, resulting in improved product reliability and customer trust.


The harmonization of safety requirements across different product sectors simplifies compliance efforts for manufacturers, eliminating the need for multiple testings and certifications. This streamlining process reduces time-to-market and overall costs, fostering innovation and competitiveness in the industry.


Furthermore, the regulation aligns with global safety standards, facilitating international trade and market access for manufacturers. By adhering to a unified safety framework, manufacturers can effortlessly penetrate new markets, benefiting from increased consumer confidence and regulatory acceptance.


The IEC 62368 safety regulation serves as a comprehensive and harmonized safety framework, addressing the evolving needs of the digital age. It amalgamates the safety requirements for audio/video and information technology equipment, providing manufacturers with a consolidated set of guidelines to ensure product safety and reliability. However, implementing the regulation can be challenging, requiring significant changes in product design, manufacturing processes, and testing methodologies. Nonetheless, the benefits derived from compliance – including improved product safety, market access facilitation, and enhanced consumer trust – far outweigh the challenges, making adherence to the IEC 62368 safety regulation a vital consideration for manufacturers across various sectors.



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