IEC 60204-1: Electrical equipment of machines

Last edit: 24/03/2024

IEC released the new edition of the Standard, IEC 60204-1, on 13th October 2016. It gives prescriptions for the electrical equipment of machines. Its previous version dates back to 2005. The standard is a reference document, dealing with Electrical Safety, for Machinery Manufacturers.

In February 2020, the first meeting to update the IEC standard was held in Frankfurt. The main objective of the meeting was the drafting of an Amendment to align IEC 60204-1 with EN 60204-1 of 2018.

The Amendment was published in September 2021. We did not succeed in aligning the IEC to the EN version completely, unfortunately. However, in the Amendment there are some clarifications regarding what parts of the machinery have to be bonded. Today’s languange in 8.2.1 and 8.2.2 is very unfortunate: it seems that all metal parts of the machinery have to be bonded: or, more precisely, “all conductive structural parts“. That sentence is now removed in the Amendment! More will be corrected in the seventh edition, that will see the light around 2026. In the meantime, we recommend you do not follow the rule: “IF IT DOES NOT MOVE, THAN GROUND IT!”

In April 2020, EN 60204-1: 2018 was included in the List of Harmonised Standards published in the Official Journal of the European Union: from 02 October 2021 the Presumption of Conformity related to the old EN 60204-1:2006 ended and from that day a 30 mA Residual Current Device is mandatory for the protection of all service sockets.

IEC 60204-1 provides requirements and recommendations related to the electrical equipment of machinwriy so as to promote:
–    Safety of persons and property;
–    Consistency of control response;
–    Ease of operation and maintenance.
The Standard does not specify additional and special requirements that can apply to the electrical equipment of machinery that:
–    Are intended for use in open air;
–    Use, process, or produce potentially explosive material;
–    Are intended for use in potentially explosive and/or flammable atmospheres;
–    Have special risks when producing or using certain materials;
–    Are intended for use in mines.