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New Safety Standard IEC 61010-1 since 1.1.2004

After 1 January 2004, manufacturers will no longer be permitted to put multimeters into circulation which do not fulfill the new revision level. Please keep this in mind when purchasing measuring instruments in the future!

To the multimeters click here.

Approvals, certificates, declarations of conformity, validations – these terms are appearing more and more frequently in invitations to bid and technical data. The significance of the various approvals may differ greatly, but they nevertheless have one thing in common: They are decisive for the use or non-use of a given product – on the national as well as the international level.

In the case of multimeters, the CE declaration of conformity confirms that European regulations
- low-voltage directive and EMC directive
- are adhered to.

This declaration is a prerequisite for
putting products into circulation within the European Community.
Adherence is substantiated by fulfilling the following standards:
- IEC 61010-1 (international),
- EN 61010-1 (German version) and
- VDE classification VDE 0411-1.
Safety requirements for electrical equipment for measurement, control and laboratory use are described in this standard.

The IEC standard was first issued in 1990. After various amendments and addendums (A1-1992, A2-1995), the most recent revision (the so-called second edition issued in 2001) has come into force. This revision level has been adopted into the second issue of the German version: EN 61010-1. The currently valid revision level is 8/2002.

Which changes have taken place?

1. Fully revised subdivisions
2. Modified insulation requirements 
    -clearances and creapage distances
3. Expanded test requirements

The currently valid revision from 1995 will be withdrawn as of the 1st of January, 2004, and the 8/2002 revision will come into force.

How will that effect multimeters?

After 1 January 2004, manufacturers will no longer be permitted to put multimeters into circulation which do not fulfill the new revision level.

What does “put into circulation” mean?

Putting into circulation is the first time a product which is subject to CE directives is placed at the disposal of a third party, either free of charge or for a fee, for the purpose of sale.
The term “putting into circulation” indicates the point in time at which the product makes its initial transition from its manufacturing phase from the region within the community, or its import from another country, to the sales or utilization phase within the community's markets.
Storage of a product by the manufacturer, or by his agents located within the community, is not deemed “putting into circulation”, because it is not made available to a third party. On the other hand, delivery to dealerships or sales partners is deemed “putting into circulation”, even if these parties place the product into storage, because dealerships are considered third parties in relationship to the manufacturer (ZVEI).

Measuring Category
The following measuring categories have been established by the EN 61010-1 standard.

   

Measurements in electrical circuits, which: 
Are not directly connected to the mains
e.g. batteries
Are directly
connected to the mains
via plug, e.g. in household, office and laboratory applications 
Measurements in building installations:
stationary power consumers, distributor terminals, devices connected permanently to the distributor
Measurements at 
power sources for low-voltage installations
:
meters, mains terminals, primary overvoltage protection

Transients, resulting for example from lightning strikes or load switching, become greater and more energetic as the distance from the point of measurement to the power source for the low-voltage system decreases.

These overvoltages represent a hazard for persons who are operating the measuring instrument at the mains. Operator error may result in damage to the instrument, or, in the worst case, in injury to or death of the operator. Design and testing in accordance with this IEC/EN standard protects the user.

Measuring Instrument Safety
Above all one specific point (chapter 16.2) must be observed in the EN61010-1 standard:

“Multimeters and similar devices may not be the source of any danger whatsoever, regardless of the utilized combination of specified input voltages, function settings and range selections. The term danger includes electrical shock, fire, sparking and explosion.
Conformity is substantiated by means of the following test:
The highest specified, rated voltage for any of the device's functions is applied to each pair of terminals, one after the other, in every possible function and range combination. ...
No danger may occur either during or after the test.”

Thus every range must now be protected in accordance with the specified measuring category and input voltage (e.g. 600 V CAT IV).
This was not required in the past. It was permissible to reduce the overvoltage strength of individual measuring functions (e.g. resistance measurement).

Our multimeters comply with this standard and protect you from injury, even in the case of operator error, in accordance with the current state-of-the-art!

  Independent institutes test our instruments for adherence to national and international standards. Testing is substantiated for the customer by means of certification issued by the VDE (German Organization for Testing and Standardization).
It is of course permissible to continue using older multimeters, but maximum safety is only assured through the use of instruments which comply with the latest version of IEC61010-1.

According to paragraph 3 of the German work safety law, employers must act in accordance with the following basic principles:

1. Work must be performed such that ... life and health endangering risks ... are avoided ...
2. Hazards must be eliminated at their root source.
3. The state-of-the-art ... must be taken into consideration where safety measures are concerned.

For this reason, manufacturers will only be permitted to put multimeters into circulation which comply with the revised standard as of 1 January 2004.