Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Electronics / Electrical manufacturing question

  1. #1
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 845 Times in 678 Posts

    Electronics / Electrical manufacturing question

    I am having an argument with somebody regarding who is liable if something goes wrong with a manufactured electronic / electrical product. The argument also goes about whether there is some sort of certification of such products.

    Ok, so lets say I buy an Arduino PLC and I connect a Wifi Controller and a couple of relays to the PLC. I then slap all of that in a box and I call it XYZremote. I take XYZremote to Makro and I try an get it on their shelf:

    Does this product require some or other certification given that it is now a finished product?
    (My friend thinks that it doesn't because the individual components are certified in their own right) I disagree because the manufacturers cannot speak for the finished product.

    Lets say a customer purchases XYZremote, installs it and it can be proved that his house burnt down due to this device:

    Who is liable - Makro, Me or Arduino
    (My friend seems to think that he is not liable because the individual parts were certified) - My contention is that the manufacturer of those parts cannot be held directly responsible because they cannot take responsibility for how those components were connected together)

    What about if I wire up a PLC into a control panel and the control panel burns the place down - surely the PLC manufacturer cannot be held liable.

    What does the law say about such matters?
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

  2. #2
    Full Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    31
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    I also wanna agree with you. But wanna add the following. If it can be proved that the fault lies with the components it is the manufacturer of that component that needs to take the blame. But if the method of installation is wrong ( say for instant overheated due to poor cooling or too small box) then it is the person who assemble all the parts together. You can also add a third party to the mix if you want to and lay the blame on the person who installed the controller. This is what my knowledge is from working for a guy that build complete control panels for factories. So the same but on a bit bigger scale than what you describe. Each panel had to be certified that the components has been selected and installed correctly.

  3. #3
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 845 Times in 678 Posts
    What does the law say?
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Sa
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Difficult questions according to me. If all the comments are approved the by nersa you will be good if you sell it as multiple components, but if you want to sell the product as a single product you will need a new loa or sale permit for the complete product. You will also need certificate from icasa.

    http://www.isert.co.za/safety-testing-nrcs-loa.html

  5. Thanks given for this post:

    adrianh (15-Oct-20)

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Sa
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    *nrcs not nersa

  7. #6
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 845 Times in 678 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Frans400 View Post
    Difficult questions according to me. If all the comments are approved the by nersa you will be good if you sell it as multiple components, but if you want to sell the product as a single product you will need a new loa or sale permit for the complete product. You will also need certificate from icasa.

    http://www.isert.co.za/safety-testing-nrcs-loa.html
    Dang........thank you soooooooo much. This is exactly what I was looking for!!!!!!!!!!!
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

  8. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,485
    Thanks
    114
    Thanked 206 Times in 180 Posts
    Interesting question ... I have built many many small to medium size control panels in my time as a sparkie ... the biggest project ... I built 30 aircon ... control panels (2 per floor) for a commercial building.

    My thoughts ... if you are building something from scratch ... ie designing and manufacturing a PCB ... getting an enclosure specifically designed for the product ... you would need some form of certification ... safety approval.

    If you are building a panel for example and using certified products ... the enclosure is built by authorised panel builder ... the switch gear is certified ... the PLC is a certified ...all the wiring is SANS approved etc ... if I recall ... only if you exceed a 10 KA fault level you would need to be a certified panel builder.

    I have a similar situation ... someone asked me today about a cleaning unit which sprays water ... the question was if you design build and sell the unit ... doest it have to have some form of safety approval?

    The unit is made up of a rail ... an on/off switch ... a pump and a solenoid.

    Its a difficult question ... because think about it ... as a sparkie I build stuff literally every day ... I take a pile of components and create a finished product ... as i am typing ...my thoughts ... I suppose I authorise it by issuing a COC ... part of the COC includes question like ...are all the components SANS approved.

    The joys/risks of being a sole prop or sole member ... I dont think most of us realise the risks involved in being self employed.

    I get a call one night ... one of the building I am working on is on fire ... hundreds of thousands of rands worth of boats in the building ... my first reaction is OH Fock what has happened ... got to site stressed beyond reason to see the damage left by the fire ...to my relief it wasnt an electrical fire ... I could breathe ...something else had started the fire ... I actually stopped doing work for the company shortly after the incident ... and increased my public liablity insurance.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Sa
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    Interesting question ... I have built many many small to medium size control panels in my time as a sparkie ... the biggest project ... I built 30 aircon ... control panels (2 per floor) for a commercial building.

    My thoughts ... if you are building something from scratch ... ie designing and manufacturing a PCB ... getting an enclosure specifically designed for the product ... you would need some form of certification ... safety approval.

    If you are building a panel for example and using certified products ... the enclosure is built by authorised panel builder ... the switch gear is certified ... the PLC is a certified ...all the wiring is SANS approved etc ... if I recall ... only if you exceed a 10 KA fault level you would need to be a certified panel builder.

    I have a similar situation ... someone asked me today about a cleaning unit which sprays water ... the question was if you design build and sell the unit ... doest it have to have some form of safety approval?

    The unit is made up of a rail ... an on/off switch ... a pump and a solenoid.

    Its a difficult question ... because think about it ... as a sparkie I build stuff literally every day ... I take a pile of components and create a finished product ... as i am typing ...my thoughts ... I suppose I authorise it by issuing a COC ... part of the COC includes question like ...are all the components SANS approved.

    The joys/risks of being a sole prop or sole member ... I dont think most of us realise the risks involved in being self employed.

    I get a call one night ... one of the building I am working on is on fire ... hundreds of thousands of rands worth of boats in the building ... my first reaction is OH Fock what has happened ... got to site stressed beyond reason to see the damage left by the fire ...to my relief it wasnt an electrical fire ... I could breathe ...something else had started the fire ... I actually stopped doing work for the company shortly after the incident ... and increased my public liablity insurance.
    Hi Ian

    Can you please tell me how does one become a authorized panel builder?

    thanks
    Francois

  10. #9
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,453
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 845 Times in 678 Posts
    I think that there is a distinction to be drawn between an electrician building a dedicated panel on site and a company selling pre-built electrical panels off the shelf to the public (like those pre-wired db boards found at some hardware shops)

    My really big issues is with a product that is put on a shelf at Macro for the man in the street rather than a panel built by an certified electrician for a dedicated electrical installation.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Similar Threads

  1. Home alterations and electrical plans question
    By adrianh in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-Oct-20, 11:34 PM
  2. Electronics
    By Tang in forum General Chat Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jan-20, 04:35 PM
  3. [Question] Complicated electrical wiring question/issues
    By BeInControl in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-Nov-18, 11:32 AM
  4. General plumbing / electrical / training rates question
    By adrianh in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-Dec-16, 04:33 PM
  5. Electrical and electronics - is this legal ?
    By daveob in forum Technology Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Mar-11, 06:42 AM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •