All the sbRIOs are officially Class 2 only as far as I can see. We have been trying to get a bit more information about this from NI as we really need class 3, but so far it has been difficult to get any details about it.
From other manufacturers we use we often see that they design and manufacture according to class 3, but only offer that classification if we pay for the additional tests/inspections needed. Which is fine. Knowing that, we can also choose to inspect according to class 3 ourselves, to satisfy the requirements.
The class 3 requirement is fairly new in the oil and gas industry (got introduced in the latest API-17F), but I would assume lots of other industries dealing with NI has requested the same for years now, or?
Currently NI doesn't provide any additional service offerings to manufacture beyond our standard Class 2 certification. Given that, I think inspecting to Class 3 compliance on your end is the best option at this point.
However, given the new requirements that are out there I agree that this may be an increasingly common concern. I'll forward your feedback along to the right people on our end to help inform our decisions about future IPC compliance.
Good to hear. The optimal solution would be to have sbRIOs available as class 3 directly from NI, even if it was at an added cost.
We can inspect according to class 3 ourselves for now as long as there is nothing in the design itself that violates such a classification. Would that be an issue with for example sbRIO-9607?
Off the top of my head I don't believe the 9607 has design-specific issues that you'd run into, but I'm not positive. I'll check into it for you and let you know when I have something more concrete.
Thanks for your patience with this. I've spoken with some of our manufacturing and compliance folks. There may in fact be some design-related factors that prevent Class 3 compliance since we design exclusively with Class 2 in mind. Ultimately, our guidance is to expect this level of IPC compliance. It likely wouldn't be fruitful to attempt self-inspection.
Ok, that's too bad. I really hope NI will offer class 3 products in the future, it is getting increasingly difficult to use anything less.
Is there any of these design-related factors that you can describe?
Unfortunately it's not just a matter of which specific design elements within the product are non-compliant. Rather, the whole design is exempt from class 3 compliance since all of our design guidelines (in addition to tooling and processes) are based on class 2. Ultimately this means I can't reliably point to one design element over another to identify it as less class 3 friendly.
Sorry for the disappointment. I've made sure your feedback got to the right place. I'll reach out directly if I hear any new info.