Southco Is First Access Hardware Component Supplier To Earn UL Recognition Certification FTTA2/ FTTA8

June 12, 2018

Southco, Inc., the globally recognized leader in engineered access hardware solutions and a key supplier of enclosure accessories, recently collaborated with UL to complete testing of a select portfolio of its hinge and latch products according to the newly released FTTA2/FTTA8 Recognition Certification, which evaluates these components’ resistance to corrosion and performance degradation due to environmental conditions and usage over time.

Southco is the first access hardware component supplier to earn the FTTA2/ FTTA8 Recognition Certification for select product classes tested by UL, which includes a selection of products from Southco’s E5 Cam Latch and E3 VISE ACTION® Compression Latch series, TL and V7 Draw Latch series, ST Constant Torque Positioning Hinges and M3 Multi-Point Compression Latching System, spanning over 100k product configurations based on finishes, materials and panel preps.

UL (www.ul.com) is recognized worldwide for helping companies demonstrate safety, confirm compliance, deliver quality and performance and build workplace excellence through services such as: inspection, advisory services, education and training, testing, auditing and analytics, certification and marketing claim verification.

Released in 2015, UL FTTA2/FTTA8 is a new Recognition certification for the U.S. and Canada. This new Recognition certification for enclosure accessories assists manufacturers who wish to utilize Type rated hinging and latching accessories in enclosures complying with UL 50E.

Many of Southco’s products already meet Type ratings for electrical enclosures. With the new certification, UL is testing to the same standards, but also adds important environmental factors. This will make it much easier for enclosure manufacturers to create solutions that fully satisfy the requirements of UL 50E.

UL 50 applies to enclosures for electrical equipment intended to be installed and used in non-hazardous locations in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, CSA C22.1, the provisions of the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70 and the provisions of Mexico's Electrical Installations. UL 50 is a tri-national standard harmonized with CSA C22.2 No. 94.1-07 and NMX-J-235/1–ANCE-2007. UL 50E covers additional environmental construction and performance requirements for these types of enclosures.

With the new FTTA2/FTTA8 certification, enclosure manufacturers may be able to reduce significant time and costs associated with having to put their enclosure through all facets of UL 50E testing, which includes solid and water ingress, corrosion resistance, gasket integrity, and plastic concerns such as UV resistance, water exposure and immersion, and flammability requirements.

By properly and pre-emptively selecting registered components under FTTA2/FTTA8 and leveraging exemptions for other materials used to construct the enclosure, enclosure designers can achieve their desired Type Rating with a final hosedown test of the end-item. 

“Southco’s work with UL will allow us to provide greater value to our customers, by helping them to bring their products to market faster with our FTTA2/FTTA8 Recognized products,” said Chris Waite, Engineer, Diversified Technologies, Southco, Inc. “By pre-qualifying the enclosure access hardware for indoor and outdoor applications, it’s been estimated the manufacturer will save at least 50 days of testing time, including fees associated with testing, and the cost of test samples.”

UL leads the research and science needed to understand complex safety issues and brings the right stakeholders together to develop consensus-based standards, playing a key role in developing and harmonizing national and international standards.

“UL works with manufacturers from the outset to help them address challenges and achieve compliance,” said John Kovacik, Principal Engineer, UL. “Not only do we excel in research and science, but we understand our customers’ market needs. So, we are uniquely skilled to help them with testing, certification, and analysis of the results and explain, if needed, why there is a failure, in order to help them revise and retest.”

UL posts information about products that have received the FTTA2/FTTA8 Recognition Certification in the UL Online Certifications Directory. Products that have received the Recognition are listed by company and categorized by product category, and the Type rating for which the components can be used. Once an enclosure manufacturer establishes a need for a UL 50E Type rated access hardware accessory, they can review the available options in the online directory by searching FTTA2 or FTTA8 in the UL Category Code field. 

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