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11 September 2014

As of the 1st November 2014, the new IEC61439 series of standards will come into effect throughout Europe replacing the existing IEC60439 series of standards. The outgoing IEC60439 series is the basis of the current AS/NZS3439:2002 series currently in force within Australia and New Zealand. With AS/NZS3439:2002 now being 12 years old, it will be replaced by the incoming AS/NZS 61439 series of standards which have recently been released in draft format by Standards Australia for public comment.

The draft series of AS/NZS 61439 standards includes most aspects of the new IEC standard which will replace the existing standard AS/NZS3439:2002. The most significant changes include:

1. The end user and the assembly manufacturer will be required to use checklists to form an agreement for the purpose of defining the construction of the switchboard. 

Once the end user has specified any arrangements, characteristics or functions particular to the switchboard, the switchboard builder will be responsible for:

  • the design of the switchboard
  • ensuring it complies with all relevant clauses within the new AS/NZS standard
  • take all responsibility to ensure compliance with the end user requirements

2. The switchboard builder will be required to complete routine verification (currently referred to as ‘routine tests’ in AS/NZS3439:2002) of the completed switchboard to prove compliance with the standard. This procedure requires that the board builder validates the Design Verification of the final assembly.

The draft series of AS/NZS 61439 standards also retains many of the existing AS/NZS3439:2002 in-country requirements such as maximum bus bar operating temperatures, forms of separation and arc fault containment requirements as defined in Annex ZD.

The release of AS/NZS 61439 series of standards will ultimately result in highlighting the importance of defining a clear agreement between manufacturer, contractor and end-user. In addition, the new standard will highlight the importance of following manufacturer’s design and assembly manuals in relation to vendor supplied type tested assemblies such as the CUBIC Modular Switchboard System available from NHP.

NHP continue to emphasise the need for appropriate training and stringent compliance with manufacturer’s design and assembly manuals to ensure compliance to AS/NZS standards. In addition, NHP also fully support and encourage the participation in accredited training to ensure ongoing compliance.

CUBIC Training from NHP

Don't be left in the dark! To ensure you're across these latest standards revisions or to top up on your knowledge of the CUBIC range, NHP offer a range of valuable training courses. To view NHP's comprehensive CUBIC training offering, click here!

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