IEC vs. NEMA push buttons

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The globalization of industrial manufacturing has resulted in a convergence of electromechanical operator interface device styling and performance standards. That convergence is evident in the design of push button products.

A common misconception holds that any operator manufactured or designed in Europe is, by definition, an IEC push button. Another is that IEC push buttons are manufactured only in IEC countries. Neither belief is true. Conversely, not all NEMA operators are designed, manufactured, or even sold in the United States or Canada.

What is factual is that the traditional target markets for IEC and NEMA rated devices were Europe and North America, respectively. These traditional markets are expanding with the globalization of product manufacturing, product support and product sales.

An industrial operator interface device can be described by four general characteristics: ingress protection, electrical performance, panel opening size and styling.

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