Applications Consulting / 1 Day
March 2019

Locomotive Railrods

A company specializing in manufacturing switch rods, gage rods and gage plates, used in the building and repair of rail tracks, was looking for training on their Hipot testing. They were very new to safety testing since their products were not bound by any standard. Their customers required them to hipot test due to client’s specifications which created the need to begin safety testing. They have 3 facilities where they perform hipot tests – Tennessee, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Each facility only has one Hypot III series, ranging from 3705-3770.

Consulting Visit

The customer’s current testing procedure was missing a valid daily verification method. Since they don’t test to any specific standards it was not imperative to suggest a device to meet UL requirements but emphasizing the importance of internal standards does merit recommending a TVB-2. They were also trained on FailCHEK® and it was suggested to potentially integrate known bad products into a quality procedure to verify that their system can catch bad units. There was no uniformity on test procedures or equipment and some procedures called out for tests which their instruments were not capable of. This is where we sat down to review all their requirements and identify the best test system for their respective application. Again, with no uniformity in procedures, there was a lack of consistency in their testing methods, so we discussed the safest method to keep operators safe while maintaining uniformity. Zero Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was being utilized so we recommended they acquire an insulation mat and some signage or tower lights to create a safe workstation.


  • Basics of Electrical Safety Testing/Safe Work Station
  • Setup and Programming of Hypot Series
  • Daily verification method
  • Testing repaired units
  • Train Operators and Staff with Safe Workstation Practices
  • What to Avoid When Testing

Consulting Notes

No tests were performed on products that return to the customer’s facility for repair. This could be an area which exposes the manufacturer to liability, so we recommended looking into this and potentially incorporating Insulation Resistance tests for repaired units. Another pertinent discussion was considering environmental specifications. The temperature within the building gets very hot/humid on the production floor during the summer consequently, we mentioned to regulate the temperature as best as possible because the humidity and other conditions may cause the Hipot tester to perform out of specifications.