August 18, 2021
What is UL 891?
As part of the UL Mark Program, UL 891, the Standard for Switchboards, is widely recognized and applied in the largest markets in North America, i.e., Canada, Europe, the U.S. and Mexico. Applying to switchboards nominally rated at 1,000 volts or less, the Standard is designed for use in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CE Code, Part I); the National Electrical Code® (NEC), ANSI/NFPA 70; European code IEC 60364; and the Mexican Standard for Electrical Installations (Utility), NOM-001-SEDE. It was independently developed using a consensus process accredited in the U.S. and Canada. UL 891 is copublished by Underwriters Laboratories (UL’s nonprofit affiliate), CSA Group and ANCE.
What products does UL 891 cover?
Switchboards are large single panels, structural frames or assemblies of panels or structural frames that may be mounted on the face, back or both, e.g., switches, overcurrent and other protective devices, buses and instruments. In UL 891, the term “switchboard” is intended to refer specifically to a dead-front switchboard, which has no exposed live parts on the front.
The requirements in UL 891 do not apply to the following switchboard types: preset and dimmer control (theater), live-front, railway control or electrification; constructions intended only for receiving motor control center units; or switchboards with short-time current ratings. The Standard does cover switchboards for use on circuits having available short-circuit currents of no more than 200,000 amperes.
What are the benefits of the UL 891 General Coverage Program?
Time and money savings
Leveraging UL 891 General Coverage Program guidelines at the outset for general build designs can help manufacturers save time and money by avoiding extensive mandatory testing, especially for short-circuit and temperature tests. The result can be minimal or no testing and increased flexibility in design. Custom designs that meet Annex G requirements may also prove easier and cheaper to build. Choosing General Coverage Program certification can provide a wider range of overcurrent protection devices, the most compact equipment configurations and potentially lower costs.
Greater flexibility for the end user
Pursuing UL Mark Certification under the General Coverage Program can also help facilitate custom designs by allowing customers to build on reoccurring models and maintain proprietary designs and materials. This process allows an increased degree of design flexibility, making it easier to satisfy the end user’s requirements.
When a custom design does not meet Annex G requirements, customers can easily arrange remote witnessed, on-site or in-person testing at one of our designated UL laboratories. Our ability to provide testing and expertise within Europe makes local delivery easier for our European customers while our global reach makes our solutions accessible around the globe.
Appeal to the trusted name in safety science
Our UL Mark Program for UL 891 General Coverage can be your go-to certification source for switchboards in the three largest North American markets. UL is respected and well established as the global safety science leader, and our services represent relationships of trust among manufacturers, governing bodies and consumers.
UL Certified components can also be listed on our UL Product iQ™ website, promoting global awareness of your products.
Start taking advantage of solutions for compliance with/certification to UL 891
UL provides efficiency, flexibility and trust for switchboard manufacturers. Learn more about our UL 891 General Coverage Program and certification services.