Control Panel Standards for North American Markets

Count on Siemens as your trusted partner for North American standards

Several organizations dedicated to promoting technical safety exist in the United States and Canada. The National Electric Code (NEC) NFPA70 (National Fire Protection Association) covers the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment in the United States. Underwriters Laboratories’ UL508A for Industrial Control Panels is also relevant in the US. In early 2015, the standard “CSA C22.2 No. 286-15 Industrial control panels and assemblies” (Canadian Standards Association) was published. Learn more about the relevant standards for the United States and Canada below or read our white paper on the recent changes. Questions on industrial control panel standards for the United States or Canada? Get in contact with one of our experts for personalized consulting on your industrial control panel application.

North American Electrical Standards by Region

Industrial Control Panel Standards for the United States

The NFPA70 for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment is the only code for industrial control panels that is recognized under US law. However, due to its broad umbrella of topics, NFPA70 does not explicitly state the requirements for industrial control panels. It does mention industrial control panels and refers to UL508A as an accepted standard for reference. It is therefore important that control panel builders abide by UL508A as dictated by NFPA70 when building industrial control panels in the US. As standards must be accepted by each individual state before going into effect, it is also important to be aware of the locally accepted standard in each state. The NFPA website keeps an up-to-date adoption map indicating which NEC edition is currently accepted in each state.

NFPA79, the NEC Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery, applies to the entire machine assembly. NFPA79 does not affect the industrial control panel itself, as it covers only up to the point of connection to the panel.

Copies of NFPA70 and UL508A can be purchased on the NFPA and UL websites respectively. Siemens has published a guideline on Industrial Control Panels for North America to help interrupt these standards. You can also contact us for individual standards consulting for your control panel application. Our guide, Control Panels for North America, covers all the most important aspects of these standards.

For information on key aspects of US standards, read our white papers on control circuits, short circuit current ratings (SCCR), and Type 1 and Type 2 coordination according to UL.

Illustration of UL 508A panel builder standareds and NFPA 79 Machine safety standards

Industrial Control Panel Standards for Canada

Prior to 2015, the only requirements for an industrial control panel to be accepted by an ESA inspector in Canada was for it to contain components approved for the Canadian market and to meet the relevant requirements of the Canadian Electric Code (CEC) and the product standard CSA C22.2 No. 14.

However, this changed in February 2015 when the CSA published the standard CSA C22.2 No. 286-15 (Industrial control panels and assemblies). The CSA then followed up in January 2016 with CSA C22.2 – No. 301-16 (Industrial electrical machinery). In 2017, the CSA updated the standard for industrial control panels and assemblies with CSA C22.2 No. 286-17. These standards are not legally binding.

Like the US, Canada has a legally binding Canadian Electric Code (CEC). The CEC was last revised in 2015, before the release of the first CSA standard on industrial control panels and assemblies. Therefore, the currently accepted version of the CEC does not make mention of the new standards for industrial control panels or machinery, which means these standards are not officially recognized in Canada. Read our white paper on the recent changes to North American standards.

A new version of the CEC is expected to be released in 2018 at which point it will make official reference to the new CSA standards. With changes coming to Canadian standards for industrial control panels, it is essential that those exporting control panels to Canada stay up-to-date. For questions on Canadian standards for industrial control panels and how they may impact your business, contact one of our experts.

Ilustration of North American standards for Canada CSA and CEC

Effectively apply North American standards with Siemens as your trusted partner

At Siemens, we are here to help you with the control panel acceptance process by providing certificates that you can easily download using the CAx Download Manager. With the CAx Download Manager, you can quickly select and download different data types for a single component, or an entire bill of materials, in just a few steps. Data types such as product images, 2D dimensional images, 3D models, wiring diagrams, EPLAN macros, manuals, curves, operating instructions, certificates of compliance, and product master data are all available at your finger tips with the CAx Download Manager. Additionally, SCCR data is readily available for component ratings and tested combinations.


Did this information help you?