Electricity is a powerful form of energy. Following electrical safety standards’ highly important, especially that there is electricity involved which is dangerous and deadly if not properly respected.
Presidium will help build a proper multimeter to protect anyone against electrocution, arc explosion, and other unnecessary incidents. A well-built-multimeter will carry a Measurement Category III rating and third-party certification of an independent test lab.
Furthermore, if the meter is not regularly rated and doesn’t have proper certification, no protection is guaranteed and it will eventually lead to insulation breakdown or arc explosion.
The main reason why Presidium carries out Fluke Industrial Group tools and Fluke Calibration is that it takes the process of measuring and performance of products very seriously. All Fluke’s test and measurement tools are of high quality and exceed the expectations and safety requirements of a Product Compliance Laboratory.
To be simplified by Mr. Thomas Smith, A Product Compliance Manager, “We put the tools through a variety of foreseeable use and misuse scenarios replicating the conditions we’ve learned from our customers and Once we know the tools demonstrate sufficient safety margin and robustness here, we can be confident in knowing they’ll provide a high level of protection in the real world.”
Fluke Products undergoes a series of performance and safety tests and is certified by a third party. All of the products are either baked, frozen, dunked in water, choked by dust clouds, rattled with vibration, bashed on the floor, and zapped with electricity repeatedly.
Testing for safety and reliability
The Fluke Product Compliance Laboratory is filled with different workstations jutting out from the ceiling, walls, and down to the center of a large bright room. Safety engineers’ experts who are testing protocols and safety standards push Fluke tools and instruments to its limit and even up to its breaking point. “We test at least one level beyond the standard. Additionally, our work in foreseeable misuse has led to the development of new standard requirements.” Smith, added.
Fluke takes advantage of a variety of tests just to find design weaknesses and errors that can be arranged and fixed for the final instrument, providing and utilizing protection as much as possible to avoid dangers of working with electrical systems.
Presidium PH Corporation is an authorized distributor of Fluke Industrial Group and Fluke Calibration products in the Philippines. Having said that Fluke Corporation is the world leader in the manufacture, distribution, and service of electronic test tools, biomedical equipment, and networking solutions. Fluke Product Compliance Laboratory is accredited through CSA to test and certify products for their certification mark. Test procedures are laid out in detail and adhered to rigorously. Once a product has passed the appropriate tests, documentation is sent on for approval and registration.
Fluke works with all nationally recognized test labs (NRTLs) such as the: CSA (Canadian Standards Association), The Fluke Products are accredited through CSA to test and certify products for their certification mark. The test procedures are laid out in detail and adhered to rigorously and once a product has passed the appropriate tests, documentation is sent on for approval and registration.
Fluke is also in partnership with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories), TÜV (Technischer Überwachungs-Verein), and ETL/Intertek. The Fluke lab is frequently audited to ensure that testing meets the requirements imposed by the national and international authorities and standards. All tests are precisely calibrated and set up to meet the requirements of the relevant standard.
All high-quality test instruments should undergo similar testing. Let’s talk about the example approaches of Fluke testing:
The first test is the impulse test that simulates a transient on an electrical installation from nearby lightning strikes or other large electrical disturbances from the switchgear. To test it a meter is placed in a chamber and injected with a pulse of thousands of volts of electricity, to verify whether the meter protection will breakdown, tear up, or arc over. For this testing, a special test machine is used to generate the high voltage transient and fault current as defined by international and national standards.
Multi-Functional overload test
A test instrument should also undergo an inspection to make sure that it is able to withstand accidental overloads associated with the various functions of the meter. This is written into the current safety standards and is a very important protocol. Fluke does this by utilizing the multi-functional overload test. This test involves injecting a high percentage of energy voltage into non-voltage measurement functions, testing for a case in which an operator mistakenly sends voltage into a non-voltage meter function. This mostly occurs if the user leaves the leads in the amps input jacks and then accidentally connects the leads across a voltage source: they have just created a short through the test instrument.
Highly accelerated lifetime test (HALT)
To guarantee the lastingness and permanence of its tools, Fluke uses HALT. This test is a combination of using a high-frequency 6-axis vibration at more than 150 GRMS (root-mean-square acceleration) with extremely fast temperature swings to simulate a lifetime of wear and tear. The chamber has the capability of going from -100 °C (-148 °F) to 200 °C (392 °F) in minutes, testing the tool’s ability to withstand elevated and combined stresses.
Transport under rugged conditions
Another important test to be done is to simulate meters when they are being transported in rugged and rough conditions, such as in off-road vehicles used by the military. To test this, engineers place the meter on a vibration table where it is shaken at over 3 GRMS for at least 30 minutes per axis, repeatedly. At Fluke, one test is never enough that’s why meters are tested in several positions to account for all circumstances.
Other tests to be done are:
- Anechoic chamber lab test – To withstand radiated electromagnetic interference without displaying erroneous readings, and do not emit disruptive radiation.
- Drop test – To withstand surprises of breaking even at the lowest temperature rating of the product.
- Electrical static discharge (ESD) – To withstand static electricity.
- Ingress Protection (IP), Dust, and Water tests – To test resistance to dust intrusion and water (dripping, spraying, and submersion depending on the rating), respectively.
- Temperature/humidity/altitude chambers – To test resistance to atmospheric extremes.
Safe handling, bringing safety home.
The first thing to avoid is the industrial outage that could affect hundreds of employees, terminate equipment worth millions, and bring production and revenue to closure. It is highly important to have a maintenance team to rely on especially with tools that are tough enough to survive the dust, water, falls, and impacts common in industrial settings. All professionals would demand to see the same level of accuracy, performance, and reliability form their tools. The main reason why Fluke test and measurement tools are designed to be.
Safety standards to live by
The Switzerland-based International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) 61010 has established the Measurement Category or what you’ll be familiar with (CAT) and they also have voltage ratings for electrical environments. These CAT ratings are based on how high-energy transient travels through the network resistance of the electrical installation. The ratings will help determine what electrical test tools have been designed to withstand voltage transients for the specific job type.
- CAT II – A single-phase receptacle-connected loads such as appliances and portable tools.
- CAT III – The 3-phase distribution including single-phase commercial lighting and equipment in fixed locations such as switchgear and polyphase motors
- CAT IV – The 3-phase at the utility connection, outdoor conductors, electricity meters, and service entrances.
To be exact, a high CAT number will refer to an electrical environment with higher power available and higher energy transients. Thus, a multimeter designed to a CAT III standard is resistant to higher energy transients than one designed to CAT II standards.
Forensic investigations have determined that without a Measurement Category rating of interior test equipment that does not match the task will lead to an explosion if not used properly. Therefore, making sure that your electrical testing tools have been independently evaluated to survive voltage transients and certified to meet safety standards is a must. Standardization bodies, such as the IEC and NFPA, are not responsible for enforcing their test tool safety standards and any test instrument you use should be labeled to indicate it has been certified by at least one independent testing agency.
Let’s admit that even the most careful person can make mistakes that’s why electrical safety standards are important. Test instruments should help back you up with a margin of protection if an inappropriate voltage is applied. To meet the demands of today’s high-energy, high-hazard workplace, quality manufacturers like Fluke continue to improve their test instruments to make them safer and more reliable. Fluke goes a step further in designing and building our test tools with stout input protection, our test instruments are built to survive and is also focused on your safety.
Here are five mistakes to avoid in the field:
- Don’t use outdated or defective test equipment.
- Never neglect to properly inspect test instruments and test leads for damage or
- Don’t use the improperly rated test tools for the job.
- Don’t replace original fuses with inadequate ones.
- Don’t work on a live voltage without proper preparation.
It’s vitally important to take safety precautions when working with electricity. Safety must not be compromised and some electrical safety must be followed. Organizational measures and safety standards help avoid and prevent harmful and dangerous circumstances.
We at Presidium Corporation are ready to support you with highly qualified products and trained specialists! We carry the latest technology products and can cater to most industries in the Philippines. Want to know more about our products? Contact us now +632 82515165. Or visit our website at www.presidium.ph