Portable appliance testing – ensuring electrical safety around the world, one piece of equipment at a time

21 March 2013

Testing electrical equipment before it leaves a manufacturing plant or calibration facility is paramount these days.  With increased interaction between world markets and safety standards needing to be met around the globe, companies are looking for ways to not only cut costs, but ensure safety.

Although the United States is thought of as a litigious society when it comes to electrical safety, Europe is the one setting the trends.  Many regulations and enforcements are in place in Europe ranging from building wiring to individually operated pieces of equipment - all of which must be tested and certified before being used.

Over the years, the instrumentation industry has adapted to these rules and regulations, producing instruments that are easy to use and test quickly and reliably while adhering to the strict specifications required by authorized agencies.  It has become readily apparent that the knowledge of the application of, and instrumentation for, appliance testing is useful. A stringent testing regime using an accurate testing instrument helps to eliminate dangerous products on the market, identify potential trouble spots in the design and manufacture of products as well as enhance the quality of products being placed on the market.

Megger's PAT320 portable appliance tester set

Such instruments, like Megger’s PAT320 portable testing unit, can help to streamline testing of products for broader international use.

Think about it this way, many companies located in the United States have subsidiaries or offices in European countries. These companies must share test data with each other, even to the extent of employing the same model of tester.  Products being sold in both the US and European markets must adhere to each country’s regulatory demands.

By using the PAT320 the process of testing becomes more simplified. Megger’s PAT320 is a portable bench-top appliance tester used to evaluate the safety of electrical equipment by performing a variety of tests including a ground bond test, insulation test, specific ground leakage tests and operational VA tests to international standards.

This portable tester supports all regulatory requirements including Class I (grounded) and Class II (non-grounded) equipment as well as IEC power cords and extension leads. Megger’s PAT320 is ideal for use on the production line at manufacturing facilities for final verification of electrical safety prior to general sale or export to the European Union (EU) because it is able to identify faults or problems with equipment before it is exported.  This ultimately saves companies both time and money.

The PAT320 is also suitable for use in repair shops and calibration facilities.  Equipment can be checked on receipt in a facility prior to the technician powering it up to ensure his own personal safety.

As anyone in the industry can attest to, it is not always known why a piece of equipment needs to be repaired so testing it first before turning it on is one of the safest things that can be done. The unit is also used to check equipment before dispatch from a repair facility to make sure that the ground bond remains good and the phase connections remain isolated from the chassis following a repair.  Taking these precautions helps to ensure that the equipment has maintained its full integrity during the repair prior to the customer receiving it back. Portable appliance testing up to international safety and performance standards helps to facilitate the incorporation of products into a global market.

For more information about Megger’s PAT320 click here