Eaton is helping those wishing to export machinery or control cabinets to the North American market save time and avoid risks with detailed advice outlined in its ‘Exporting electrical equipment for industrial machinery to North America’ white paper.

As a manufacturer of low-voltage switchgear, the power management company has decades of experience in global export, and a strong presence in the USA. The company is now passing on its expertise in this comprehensive white paper.

Each year a large amount of electrical machinery is exported to North America (USA and Canada) from Germany, Europe and the rest of the IEC-governed world. Without strong market-specific knowledge and adequate preparation, things can go wrong. In the North American market, local codes and standards (NEC, CEC, UL 508A, NFPA 79) are used exclusively instead of international standards.

Additionally, special, rarely documented market and usage practices, that differ significantly from international practice, must be observed and applied. For example, in North America it is mandatory for an independent institution (third party) to approve machinery and equipment, by contrast to IEC countries, where the manufacturers themselves take responsibility for approving industrial switchgear for sale (documented by the CE mark).

In this practical white paper, author and engineer Wolfgang Esser, uses a number of examples to explain potential pitfalls in exporting electrical equipment to North America and how best to avoid them. By pointing out common mistakes and presenting case studies, he demonstrates what North American exporters must take note of in order to seamlessly commission their components and equipment at the place of use.

In addition to the white paper, Eaton supports machinery and control cabinet manufacturers with other services on this subject. This includes personal consultation during project planning, special seminars and practical help in achieving UL certifications through an appropriately accredited and independently operated test laboratory in Bonn, Germany.

Those interested can find current dates for one-day practical North America seminars “Switchgear construction compliant with UL508A and NFPA79” at Those who wish to find out more about what to consider when exporting electrical equipment to North America can download the white paper for free from There are also additional subject-specific publications available.

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