SEMI Works to Change AWM Section of NFPA 79 (February 2009)

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SEMI Works to Change AWM Section of NFPA 79 “Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery”

NFPA 79 Standard

SEMI member companies have a long history of utilizing consensus safety standards in the design of their products. One such Standard, NFPA 79, focuses on the safety of electrical systems in industrial machinery.

Prohibition on use of Appliance Wiring Materials (AWM)

For many SEMI members, the 2007 edition of NFPA 79 includes language which is potentially troubling. Specifically, Section bans the use of AWM except under the condition of use in a listed assembly. Since equipment produced by SEMI member companies is typically custom-designed, highly specialized, and manufactured in low volumes, the AWM ban has a potential significant negative impact.

SEMI Activities to Address AWM Section

The SEMI International Compliance and Regulatory Committee (ICRC) recently set up a Task Force to address the industry’s AWM concerns. As part of these efforts, SEMI Senior Director, Aaron Zude, submitted a letter to the Committee responsible for changes to the NFPA 79 Standard, informing them of our concerns. The letter is below:

In May, SEMI will likely submit a proposal to the NFPA 79 Committee to alter the language of the AWM section. If you would like to assist SEMI in these efforts, please contact Sanjay Baliga (SEMI Senior Manager) by email at or by telephone at 1.408.943.6957.

More Information

For more information, please contact Sanjay Baliga at

Besides the AWM issue, the ICRC addresses other critical electrical and product safety concerns. These include circuit breaker choices, short circuit current ratings, and field label evaluation expectations. More information about the ICRC is located here: