An MCB or miniature circuit breaker is an electromagnetic device that embodies complete enclosure in a molded insulating material. The main function of an MCB is to switch the circuit, i.e., to open the circuit (which has been connected to it) automatically when the current passing through it (MCB) exceeds the value for which it is set. It can be manually switched ON and OFF as similar to normal switch if necessary.

MCBs are of time delay tripping devices, to which the magnitude of over current controls the operating time. This means, these get operated whenever overload exist long enough to create a danger to the circuit being protected. Therefore, MCBs doesn’t respond to transient loads such as switches surges and motor starting currents. Generally, these are designed to operate at less than 2.5 milliseconds during short circuit faults and 2 seconds to 2 minutes in case of overloads.