Overcoming the Field Labeling Challenge

Salus Engineering International provides Field Labeling services for many companies nationwide. Depending on the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), Field Labeling (also sometimes called Field Evaluations) of equipment is required.

How can my company overcome the Labeling obstacle quickly to get equipment up & running?

This is an important question to consider if you have run up against the field labeling road block. When you meet this problem and look at the essential elements of field labeling you will come to the conclusion that Salus Engineering International is the solution.

What is field labeling?

Local electrical inspectors have the responsibility to ensure the electrical installations in buildings within their jurisdiction are built according to code and therefore do not present an undue risk to the community. But even if all buildings are up to code, large industrial machinery can often present just as big a risk of fire or electrical shock as substandard building wiring. In order to address this concern they often require a third party (sometimes known as a Field Evaluation Body, FEB) that they approve as competent to evaluate industrial equipment to recognized electrical standards – usually NFPA 79 or another appropriate ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. When the third party determines the equipment complies, they provide a report to the electrical inspector and put their “label” on the equipment.

Does the equipment need to fully comply with the standard to be field labeled?

No – the risk of fire and electric shock needs to be reduced to a level that is consistent with the evaluation standard, but the third party is permitted to make engineering judgments to accept alternative constructions that may not strictly comply but result in adequate risk reduction. That is why the guidance standard is NFPA 791 “Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment” rather than a code document. Ultimately, by requiring field labeling, the objective of the electrical inspector is to ensure that there are no electrical equipment that can cause serious problems in his jurisdiction. It is not to stop new industrial facilities from being built in his jurisdiction.

Why is field labeling often such a problem when installing equipment?

Companies purchase industrial equipment because they need it to run a given production process in order to conduct their business. But when field labeling requirements are placed on them, they become responsible for the internal design, construction, and function of this equipment. It is like an individual purchasing a car because they need reliable transportation, but discovering that they are being held accountable for its internal design and must answer a lot of questions about it and make changes to it before they can use the car for the purpose for which it was bought in the first place – getting to work. This requirement can often be a major obstacle for a new manufacturing facility that wants to get up and running within the shortest possible time.

What is the real challenge of field labeling?

From the perspective of the industrial facility that purchased a piece of equipment and must get it up and running as soon as possible, this challenge can be stated as follows:

To identify the quickest and easiest way to reduce the risk of fire and electrical shock to an acceptable level so that the equipment can be field labeled.

Salus Engineering International can help you meet this challenge.

Field Labeling Fundamentals

The fundamentals of field labeling are primarily addressed by sound engineering design.  Oftentimes the process of field labeling is simply verifying that these design principles are present on the equipment in question. When these concepts have not been integrated in the design, the next question is “how can the system be quickly and easily upgraded to meet these requirements?”  Aid in finding the shortest path to resolution can be invaluable in getting new equipment on line and field labeled as quickly as possible.  Below are some of the basic requirements that need to be addressed.

We invite you to work with Salus Engineering International on your next field labeling project so we can improve your field labeling experience