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Why UL certifications are important for industrial computing deployments

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Why UL certifications are important for industrial computing deployments

By Robert Lu is the VP of Engineering at Premio Inc.

Underwriter Laboratories, also known as UL, is a global safety certification organization renowned for its emphasis on product safety testing and development of industry standards. Vast amounts of products sold in North America are submitted to UL to undergo testing and achieve a highly sought after certification that tells customers about a product’s key safety features.

When it comes to industrial computing deployments, UL certifications play a crucial role in ensuring safety, reliability, and compliance. Industrial applications are constantly exposed to conditions that are not suitable for many pieces of technology. Harsh external factors such as dust, debris, temperature, shock, vibration, and even chemicals can dramatically affect a system’s ability to operate in these environments. Utilizing UL-certified equipment is the catalyst to ensuring these systems and deployments can operate reliably and safely, reducing risks of malfunction, fire, or electrical hazards.

As the productivity revolution continues to advance and grow, UL and other safety compliance certifications are becoming a standard in many products used around the world. Most industrial applications and deployments require a form of safety marking to ensure competent operations in mission-critical markets such as:

  • Industrial/Factory Automation
  • Medical inferencing
  • NVR Surveillance
  • Smart Kiosk Machines
  • Vehicle Fleet Telematics & more

The lack of a safety mark(s) on devices should serve as a warning that the company in question has not opted to have their products tested for safety compliance. System failures that occur due to safety compliance can have a costly effect and create unnecessary downtime and problems. Obtaining safety marks provides many system integrators with peace of mind knowing their products have been fully inspected and tested by a world-class certification lab

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the field, understanding UL certifications is essential to selecting the right components that will fit into your overall deployment.

UL certification FAQs

How does UL Testing work?

UL conducts rigorous tests on products, examining factors like electrical safety, fire resistance, and environmental conditions. Manufacturers submit their products to UL for evaluation, and if the product meets the standards, UL grants certification.

Are there different variations of UL safety certifications?

Yes. Within the testing, there are varying degrees of safety marks that UL offers. The most commonly seen are UL Listed and UL recognized. UL Listed means that a fully functional standalone product has been tested and meets safety standards and guidelines. On the other hand, UL Recognized applies to components or materials that are intended to be integrated into a complete system. UL Recognized marks are useful for system integrators who are seeking validated components to construct their complete system.

Is UL certification mandatory for industrial computing equipment?

No, UL certification is an entirely voluntary process, although highly recommended. Many industries and regulatory bodies, however, will often select a UL certified product as it ensures the overall safety of their operations.

What UL certification is needed in Industrial computing?

Most, if not, all industrial computing equipment and devices, including our industrial computers, will follow the UL 62368-1 standard. This safety standard applies to Audio/Video, Information and Communication Technology Equipment, also known as AZOT. UL 62368-1 is a national standard for the North American market, and adheres to the international standard, IEC 62368-1.

What is the difference between IEC and UL?

The IEC is the International Electrotechnical Commission. They operate globally to set standards and guidelines for safety requirements that cover a variety of audio, video, and information technology equipment in commercial, residential and industrial settings. Whereas, UL, is a North American testing organization that is primarily known for safety testing and certification services. UL follows the IEC standards and may make minor adjustments to be better tailored to the respected market. Both organizations play an important role in safety standards but each focuses on a different scope and area of influence.

Where Is UL certification accepted?

UL is primarily associated with products intended for use in North America, but UL certifications also have a global presence, as UL collaborates with international bodies and standards organizations. Each UL certification mark is region-specific to meet both the requirements of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards and the respective national standards of the target region.

What types of tests does UL conduct?

A variety of tests involve a way to ensure safety from hazards and risks. Some of the tests that are conducted for industrial PCs include electrical safety, fire hazard, and mechanical testing. Each one of these tests involves a comprehensive checklist that UL has classified to ensure devices are safe from potential accidents and failures.

How do I check if a product has UL certification?

You can check if a product has a UL certification with two methods – by checking the product’s website and specification sheet for the listed certification or by checking the physical product for a UL sticker where many certification stickers may be located. Once located, you should also verify the UL certification code through UL’s official search tool (UL Product iQ) to ensure its legitimacy.

Why is UL certification important to Premio and its ruggedized computing products?

UL Certification is an important factor when selecting an industrial PC for your ruggedized deployment. For Premio, we also recognize operational reliability as a top priority when it comes to edge deployments. Adoption of UL certification signifies that product design utilizes Hazard Based Safety Engineering (HBSE) requirements, which enables safety design within products (through material usage) to prevent risks and ensure safety of the product operator. Premio’s flagship industrial computers have been submitted, tested, and validated to adhere to UL 62368-1 safety standards that are aligned with the IEC and North American markets.

Navigating the world of UL certifications for industrial computing doesn’t have to be daunting. By understanding the significance and basics of UL certifications, you can make informed decisions when selecting equipment for your industrial deployments. Remember, UL certifications offer peace of mind, ensuring that your industrial computing systems operate safely and efficiently, even in the most demanding environments.

About the author

Robert Lu is the VP of Engineering at Premio Inc. Premio is a global solutions provider specializing in the design and manufacturing of computing technology from the edge to the cloud.

DISCLAIMER: Guest posts are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Edge Industry Review (

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