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European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/27/2008 9:38 AM

Does anybody know if there is an existing comparative analysis of european standards vs. american concerning electrical infrastructure? I'm currently engaged in a project where we have to select equipment but client doesn't know which standards to choose. Thanks

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#1

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/27/2008 10:56 AM

I am not very sure, but DIN (German Industrial Standards) are the inspiration for American Standards. Anyways, from the bureaucratic point of view, Europe bits the pants off any American equivalent

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/27/2008 11:53 AM

Would you give me a few examples?

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/27/2008 12:24 PM

Thanks. These shouldo not a deep and detailed comparative explanation of each standard. Only a brief comparison/relation of each standard. For example:

1. Power transformers

2. Substation switchgear

3. Motors

4. Cables

Hope this clarifies something my query.

Note: I have seen in the web an example made by Appleton regarding classified areas. See www.appletonelec.com (IEC/NEC).

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#4

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/28/2008 9:50 AM

Does your client know as to what voltage the equipment must eventually work on? If European voltages then buy European to DIN standards, if US voltages, it does not matter so much.

I was in the computer industry for many years and of the 5 major US manufacturers I worked with, none were good at building anything to work on European voltages.....we basically did the final design here in the field on the customer site, completely unprofessional to my mind. The only good point was that I fully understood the problems and mostly the fixes were both swift and relatively cheap - till the next newly designed machine arrived with the same faults as before, they simply never learned!!!

There is an old US custom that fixes can only come from the new country, never from the old one!! Our fixes were simply not wanted by any of the design teams, but it paid me well to continue to do the work for them for well over 30 years, so I should not really complain!!!

We even had to replace power supply fans with quality products as soon as the equipment arrived here as the parts from the USA were of such poor quality (and deep inside the machine) that after a year or less they stopped running and proceeded to "over" heat the part they were supposed to cool. I still have a large box of these low quality ventilators, I still use them in areas where they do not get so hot, they last years then!! But above 30°C, thes simply were not good enough......the design team in the USA simply did not believe us and the extra cost was for the Mother company too high. Our view was that we were selling 100% reliability and the only way to do that is to have superior parts and not save a $, and be cheap and unreliable!!

I have dozens of examples in my memories of where US companies I worked for saved cents or a few Dollars in production to cost us 1000's of $$$$ at the customer.......as well as image loss!!!

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/28/2008 10:01 AM

To Andy G. Thanks for the comments. I agree with you 100%. Most of the time the following applies: "He who puts the gold selects the marbles...", that is to say if the project is being financed by german banks it will mostly be that all equipment is from german origin, of course complying with the country's voltage standards.

Regards

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#6

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/28/2008 11:53 AM

We work on large yachts , typically 100ft~200ft (30~60m), the engine rooms of which have much in common with industry. Our clients are 70% European spec and 30% U.S. spec so I feel confident that I have a good grasp on both systems. Andy's comment is good. If it is being supplied with 50Hz use the DIN / En standards, if to a 60Hz then use U.S. standards. It is not impossible to mix them but it will make life difficult, we know as we frequently have no choice. US suppliers are often very insular in their designs and making their equipment match DIN can be problematic. This is understandable when you consider the size of the US market.

Andy's comments about quality I think are unfair as that issue must be addressed company by company. If the company is led by an accountant you will probably get what you pay for, if led by an engineer then hopefully you'll get what you want!

Best of luck,

Chas

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

12/01/2008 6:29 AM

GA from me.

Your comments about who leads the company are spot on, I should have mentioned that point myself, many thanks for the reminder!!

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#7

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

11/28/2008 2:57 PM

Hi everyone,

Interesting comments, but let's not lose sight of the fact that normally it is not up to the manufacturer to decide which standards he will use. The final authority is the local jurisdiction. Regardless of the quality or content of any pet standard, these folks will have the final say. In North America, you must comply with either ANCE, UL, MSHA or CSA standards. If a product has European approvals only, it must still be evaluated and approved to either the US, Canadian or Mexican standards.

We are heading towards a set of common standards and we're actually not doing all that badly. Give it another 5 to 10 years and there will be just one set of IEC or ISO based standards with minimal national differences.

In answer to the original post then, ask your client in which country the equipment will be installed or used. Then, contact the National Body or any of the Recognized Certification organizations in that country and ask them what standards are required.

Grae

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#9

Re: European Electrical Standards vs. US Standards

04/15/2012 8:44 PM

Spam: This post was deleted because it contained advertising outside the Commercial Space forum. Please review Section 14 of the CR4 Site FAQ about advertising.

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