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Thread: ANSI, NEMA, IEC, ISO...

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    ANSI, NEMA, IEC, ISO...

    I am having some trouble delineating the specific differences between all of these standards, particularly ANSI, NEMA, and IEC. Under what conditions does a standardized body have jurisdiction, and when are they optional? When should I know "Ok, I have to follow ANSI/NEMA in this situation".
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    Quote Originally Posted by fifty60 View Post
    I am having some trouble delineating the specific differences between all of these standards, particularly ANSI, NEMA, and IEC. Under what conditions does a standardized body have jurisdiction, and when are they optional? When should I know "Ok, I have to follow ANSI/NEMA in this situation".
    There are standards such as the NEC that are adopted by law and you have to follow or guys with guns and badges will come after you.

    There are other standards that OSHA expects you to follow (as a minimum) such as NFPA 70E that while technically not required by law, you may get fined if you don't abide by them.

    There are other standards that are entirely a matter of contract.
    Bob

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    ANSI (American National Standards Institute) is a North American standards organization, so it applies here. But enforcement is based on local Authorities Having Jurisdiction, some of which will insist on it, some of which will not.

    NEMA (North American Manufacturers Association) is NOT a standards organization in the same way. They publish guidelines for the construction of electrical equipment, but there is no testing or policing, it's just voluntary compliance. However many of the NEMA design guidelines have made it into other testing and listing standards, such as ANSI and also UL.

    IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is an international body similar to ANSI in that they publish standards, but like NEMA, compliance is up to the mfr., there is no independent testing authority associated with it. But again, it is closely associated with various Electrical regulatory bodies, mostly in the EU, who in some cases do have ultimate authority in their respective countries. Cases in point, Great Britain (BS, British Standards), France (CENELEC) and Germany (VDE). For the most part, IEC standards are not recognized by any regulatory bodies in North America.
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    Oh, and ISO (International Standards Organization) is about policies and procedures, not equipment. So for instance when a spec calls for a supplier to be certified to ISO 9001, that is saying that an ISO approved certifying agency has audited the company and all of their facilities for adherence to a set of procedural standards regarding quality control, documentation, data retention and security, safety procedures etc. etc. Whitin that audit, an ISO inspector may look at any applicable equipment standards for the products produced and the policies those standards require, then evaluate the company's performance against those policy requirements. But they do not specifically look at the requirements of the equipment itself.
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