Safe Manufacturers Insist on UL 508A Listed Industrial Control Panels

Industrial control panels are purpose-built to control nearly all machines and other equipment.  Purchasing UL 508A Listed control panels helps ensure safety and provides several other noteworthy advantages.

UL 508A Listing: What is It?

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a global safety science company and the largest independent testing laboratory in the U.S. Their mission is to test products and technologies for safety, so a certification from UL (a “UL Listing”) means that a product or component has been rigorously tested to meet or exceed their safety standards.  The UL 508A Standard was developed by UL based on the regulations of the NFPA and OSHA.  It instructs electrical engineers and controls engineers in the selection and sizing of all control panel components, conductors, grounding, circuit protection, etc., as well as ingress resistance, fire protection, workmanship, and hazardous environment considerations.  Industrial control panel manufacturers pay UL to train their employees to follow the UL 508A Standard, and UL conditionally grants those employees and manufacturers with licenses to apply UL Listings to their control panels.  UL regularly, randomly, and strictly inspects their licensees for any variances or deviations from the UL 508A Standard.

Please note that a UL Listed industrial control panel is still subject to inspection and approval by the electrical inspector (a.k.a. the “Authority Having Jurisdiction”) of the city/county/state where it is finally installed.

The requirements of UL 508A cover the following:

  • Enclosures: The enclosure must provide adequate protection against dust, water, corrosion, fire, arc flash, electrocution, and the entry of unauthorized personnel.
  • Components: All components and conductors within the control panel must be UL Listed and sized appropriately for the application, although some components are allowed to be merely “UL Recognized” instead of UL Listed.
  • Wiring Method: Conductors in control panels must be correctly sized, insulated, colored, organized, labeled, and supported.
  • Overcurrent Protection: Devices such as fuses and circuit breakers must be sized and located correctly.
  • Grounding: Any exposed conductive components must be properly grounded to prevent electrical shock and provide reliability by reducing electrical noise caused by induction.
  • Electrical Clearances: There must be adequate space around components and devices to prevent overheating, arcing, and excessive induction.
  • Marking and Labeling: The control panel must be properly marked and labeled with its manufacturer’s name and information, its serial number, its drawing number, the UL “Type” rating of its enclosure, the incoming voltage, the Full Load Current, the Short Circuit Current Rating, and other electrical rating information.

What are the Benefits of a UL 508A Listed Industrial Control Panel?

Inspection and Insurance ApprovalsElectrical inspectors and insurance providers typically require the UL 508A Listing to ensure that all the components and manufacturing methods meet the highest safety standards to reduce the risk of electrical shock and fire, thereby reducing the risk of accidents, insurance claims, and losses, often resulting in lower insurance premiums.
ReliabilityThe UL 508A Listing provides assurance that all parts and construction meet the strict safety and reliability requirements set forth by UL for maximum control panel longevity.
Safety accountabilityA UL 508A Listing on a control panel guarantees that it has been designed, built, tested, and approved by a UL licensed manufacturer who will be held accountable for any errors or defects within their scope of work on that control system.

Maximize the safety, reliability, longevity, and regulatory compliance of your control system while guarding against insurance claims and minimizing insurance premiums by purchasing UL 508A Listed industrial control panels.

For more information on UL 508A Listed industrial control panels and the benefits they can bring to your application, please contact JHFOSTER.