Electrical safety testing improved at industrial lighting company
Published: 3 August 2012 - Heather Ramsden
A UK designer and manufacturer of weather and vandal resistant and security lighting has improved electrical safety test standards using the advanced ClareHAL 104 from Seaward.
Designplan, which designs, assembles and distributes a range of linear and bulkhead LED and fluorescent lighting fittings, has been using two HAL 104s on the production lines at its factory in Sutton, Surrey to test upwards of 5,000 lighting control gear tray assemblies each week.
The HAL104s perform a range of tests to ensure compliance with EN 60598 and guarantee product quality, performance and reliability. These include 10A earth continuity; a 500V DC insulation test, which uses a DC test voltage to protect sensitive electronic components during testing, and a 1500v AC flash test if required.
Function testing is also undertaken as part of the test programme to check that each unit switches on/off and lights correctly and that any ancillary equipment works in accordance with technical specifications.
This is enabling Designplan to ensure its products are safe to use after leaving the factory gate and that damage to delicate components is avoided in line with the company’s quality assurance programme.
The digital HAL104s, which replaced manually operated test equipment, are fast, high performance automatic instruments which record test results and ensure accurate testing is carried out in line with relevant product standards at all times.
Designplan is seeing strong demand for its products from customers in the public housing, prison, and municipal transport sectors.
So, in a move to further secure product quality and reliability, the company will be introducing a third HAL104 as it gears up for expansion following new investment in the Sutton factory by Swedish parent company, Fagerhult. This will see the unit primarily used for testing tailor-made luminaires for special projects and bespoke systems.
Alan Dack, technical manager at Designplan, said: “The HAL 104 is an excellent instrument, which works extremely well providing fast, accurate and reliable testing.
“We considered a range of instruments but went with the HAL104 because, among many other benefits, it provided function testing – the only one we could find that would do this and meet our specific test requirements.
“Another advantage is that it's technologically advanced; so its future proof, enabling us to meet unexpected test requirements as we introduce more production line improvements in the coming years.
“Features like the barcode scanner, which improves data logging and traceability, and the ability for the test results to be networked will be particularly beneficial.”
The HAL 104 combines the performance of a multi-function production line safety tester with load and power factor measurement for product energy consumption and ratings assessments.
The instrument meets the end of line electrical safety compliance tests required by the majority of national and international product safety standards, including EN 60335, EN 60745 and EN 60598 and others.
As well as load and power functional tests, the new tester incorporates AC/DC Hipot (flash / dielectric strength), insulation, ground/earth bond testing to programmable up to 40A, load switching to 26A with measurement to 20 milliamps and leakage to 100 microAmps.
The new tester has widespread applications in production situations where high resolution performance measurements are important and can be used as a manual stand alone tester with simple push button test activation.
Alternatively, it can be fully integrated into automated manufacturing systems with selectable sensors and enclosure interlocks, or by ultimate control using remote PCs and PLCs.
A large, clear full graphic display presents information either in a numerical or analogue format and a powerful internal memory allows the storage of up to 6,000 test results and up to 50 configurable test routines. The instrument can also be interfaced with a variety of accessories ranging from bar code scanners to pass/fail label printers.
The HAL 104 meets all of the requirements of the various British and European standards in relation to high voltage testing and incorporates fully isolated high voltage outputs to ensure the highest levels of operator safety.