Earthquake qualification of electrical and mechanical components

Since the founding of the company in 1971, we have been working on the design of structures and components based on the load case earthquake. As Germany is not an earthquake prone country, this type of specialized knowledge was only applicable to a limited number of sectors. However, the importance of the load case earthquake has been steadily growing as the end customers / machine and systems operators want, and must, have it demonstrated that the purchased machine/system adhere to the country specific norms/regulations, i.e. that the machine is operable even after an earthquake. As a company with an international customer base, we provide our clients with an earthquake check of their products, making sure that they live up to the specified norms. The primary requirement to be fulfilled is stability. A product is classified based on the analysis of its stability in the situation of an earthquake. Other aspects to consider are the integrity (water resistance) and functionality during/after an earthquake.

Our range of services includes:

  • Support with incoming earthquake data
  • Seismic detection with:
    • Calculations
    • Shake tests (test planning, test specifications, test support, test evaluation)
    • Analogous observations
  • Advice on design optimization
  • Proxy before auditors and authorities
  • Training courses (earthquake seminars in Hoechberg or in-house seminars)
  • Design of client specific software for the processing / analysis of (earthquake) signals:
  • Timing, range of responses

Earthquake test for valve actuators

Earthquake detection methods

Typical methods of analysis that may be implemented here:

  • Calculation (in most cases FE-calculation: linear / non-linear, quasi-static / dynamic with the Time-History Method or RSMA-calculation)
  • Shake test (uni- or multi-axial, electric or hydraulic shake table)
  • Plausibility / observation analogy

With shake tests, we set the parameters of the test, administer the test, and deliver the final results, unless desired otherwise. Any issues that arise during the analysis or calculation are attended to together with the client. Beyond the calculation and shake test, we also implement the observation analogy if the circumstances allow, as it is a frequently used and cost-effective method.


Listed are some of the standard products for which we conduct seismic qualifications:

  • E- and process control-products
  • Switch gates /electrical enclosure
  • Electric motors
  • Generators
  • Transformers
  • Gas insulated switch gears (GIS)
  • Gas insulated lines (GIL)
  • Valves
  • Pumps
  • Battery racks
  • Transducers
  • Cable carrier constructions
  • Other electrical and mechanical equipment

Rules and regulations

During the qualifying process, special attention is paid to project specific requirements. They are derived from (inter)national conventions or nuclear and earthquake regulations, for example:

  • KTA 2201.4 – Design of NPP against seismic influences, part 4: plant components
  • RCC-E – Design and construction rules for electrical equipment of nuclear islands
  • IEEE 344 – IEEE Standard for seismic qualification of equipment for nuclear power generating stations
  • IEC 68-3-3 – Environmental testing - seismic testing methods for equipment, guideline
  • IEC 980 – Recommended practices for seismic qualification of electrical equipment of the safety system for nuclear generating stations
  • IEEE 693 – IEEE Recommended practice for seismic design of substations
  • ASCE 7 – Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures
  • ICC-ES AC 156 – Acceptance criteria for seismic certification by shake-table testing of non-structural components
  • DIN EN 1998 (EC 8) – Earthquake resistant design of structures, part 1-6.