Author Archives: Rachel Boyd

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About Rachel Boyd

Digital Marketing Specialist

A merry DC Christmas!

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Written by Chantelle Lane, Product Manager- Device Connections

Welcome to the last DC blog of 2021.

As this is my first ever blog I’d like to use this time to give you all a brief introduction of myself – although many of you may know me already, albeit maybe only via phone or email! My name is Chantelle Lane and I’ve been with Phoenix Contact for 11 years. I’ve had numerous job roles within the company, starting as an apprentice processing orders at the beginning of 2011 and became part of the DC team in 2015 as internal technical support and customer services, looking after all of the DC customers from an internal point of view and the external sales team – who need more looking after than our customers!

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PLCNext – Limitless Possibilities

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Written by Andrew Ellis – Field Application Engineer, Automation and Renewables

As an automation engineer with nearly 20+ years of experience with multiple automation systems across many industries,  you would think that answering questions on automation products would be easy. However, having recently joined Phoenix Contact, one of the more difficult questions I get asked is how would I describe PLCnext?

My first thought is to equate PLCnext to a blank piece of paper. With a pencil you can draw and create plans. Scissors allow you to cut out shapes, and folding the paper with your hands allows you to build. Tools are what make PLCnext so flexible. With the ability to program in IEC 61131, C++, Matlab, Python, Rust, Node Red etc you can find the right tool for the job. PLCnext provides the flexibility of Linux, with the reliability of a PLC.

Then I think to myself, maybe a better analogy would be with a multitool. PLCnext provides a single platform for small scale systems, through to full scale decentralised systems and also edge computing. Extension modules provide further functionality with PROFIsafe, IO link, Machine learning and of course, compatibility with the full range of Axioline IO modules and remote IO.

Or maybe it should be likened to a mobile phone. The PLCnext store allows you to extend the functionality of the system with pre-built software extension, or you can download fully realised apps directly to your controller. Furthermore, if you have an app you wish to commercialise, then let us assist you to take advantage of our eco-system and sell your app on the PLCnext store. Phoenix Contact also provide a social space to exchange ideas and support each other within the PLCnext community.

For more information about PLCnext, contact Andrew on 07584514958 or email

Or maybe I just need to ask what ideas do you have for your next product? Then we can demonstrate how PLCnext can be open to your automation possibilities, rather than limit your solution.

Happy 13th Birthday Contactron

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Written by Fraser Cowie, Product Manager- Interface

It only seems like yesterday that we launched the 1st iteration of the innovative and unique Contactron Hybrid Motor Starter, but in fact this year sees its 13th birthday.

The Contactron offer has evolved several times since that starter was released – see if you can remember all the different variants that have been produced since that momentous day:

2008 – the very first 4 in 1 hybrid motor starter is launched. This revolutionary 22.5mm wide fixed speed motor starter has forward and reverse, motor protection and emergency stop functionality.

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Connectivity solutions for energy storage systems

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The world as we know it is changing, with our politicians meeting at COP26 to discuss climate change right now, and with it comes new challenges for future-proof connectivity solutions for the all electric society. 

In this new world we find ourselves in, renewable energy is becoming a more commonly used source of power generation and, with it, the need to store energy has never been more relevant than it is today.  We currently create a lot of excess energy from wind turbines and solar farms for example, which is wasted if it’s not stored and it’s only in recent years that energy storage solutions have become available. The advent of these storage systems will not only help to ensure we have reliable renewable energy sources that can power our homes today, we will also have sustainable energy for future generations.  

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How safe is your Machine speed?

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Written by Leigh Jenkins, Product Manager- Safety

Safe motion monitoring has become increasingly important in machine and system design.

Conventional safety technology keeps the operator away from dangerous movement by shutting down the relevant drive when a movable guard e.g safety door is opened. This usually results in the removal of power sources using contactors or other forms of power disconnection. “Safe Switch Off”.

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The QUINT power supply is 25 years old

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Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear QUIIII-INT, happy birthday to you! 

This year marks 25 years since the first QUINT power supply was released. That’s back in 1996 when just 5 power supplies were released to the market. Fast forward to today and there are more than 100 QUINT products available with the QUINT4 being the most recent iteration.  

So how have we seen the QUINT develop over this time?  

Obviously, they have become smaller and more efficient, for example our second-gen QUINT 40A (only just discontinued) was the size of a small breeze block at a width of 240mm. Compare this to the QUINT4 version which is exactly half the width at 120mm.  

The QUINT now packs many more technical features and benefits that make it the #1 choice for markets and applications where reliability and power resilience is key.  

Some features that have been added and are now the norm are such things as: 

  • Boost Power, both dynamic (short term) or static (permanent)  
  • SFB – selective fuse breaking, a high current boost enabling fast tripping of breakers or even fuses.  
  • Better monitoring & diagnostics with configurable digital outputs and an analogue output 
  • High reliability and long lifetime, typically 15 years. 

QUINT is not just a power supply range (available from 1A to 40 A), the range includes DC/DC converters, redundancy modules, uninterruptible power supplies and energy storage devices including various battery technologies, buffer and Cap modules.   

The complete QUINT solution for maximum plant availability can be seen via the following link. Here you will find info on all the products under the QUINT banner including a live demo showing our intelligent communicative QUINT4 UPS.  

The near future will see more development in the area of communication, including IO Link and easier integration with complementary Phoenix Contact systems such as electronic circuit breakers. I would not be surprised if a fifth generation QUINT is not already under development.  

The QUINT power system is part of the COMPLETE line system. 

For more info contact Mark on 07717 335477 or email 

It’s the right time to try PTV

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Written by Scott Mulholland, Product Manager- Industrial Components

In these uncertain times, now might be an opportunity to look at a different way of doing things.

As the world wakes up and global demand accelerates, many manufacturers are experiencing significant challenges in being able to meet customer’s expectations. It feels like the problems are coming from all angles, global supply chain disruption, raw material shortages, extreme weather disruption. The list goes on.  Phoenix Contact is no different to our peers in seeing the step change in demand. Where we do differ, however, certainly in our din rail terminal offer, is that even if we cannot offer your first choice terminal (e.g a 2,5 grey screw terminal), we very often can offer a near solution that will do the same job with no loss of effectiveness or reliability. We could, in place of the 2,5 grey screw terminal, offer, say, a 2,5 spring, push in or IDC (insulation displacement connection).

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Looking for more flexibility when designing electronic devices?

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Written by Karl Fazakerley, Product Manager- Device Connections

In this blog I would like to bring your attention to our Finalist in the Electronics Industry Awards 2021 – SPT MODULAR PCB TERMINAL BLOCKS. 

Design Engineers are looking for more flexibility when designing electronic devices.  They require highly individualised connection solutions and, at times, with very special requirements.  With that in mind I would like to tell you more specifically about a product range which enhances our own capabilities and also benefits the design engineer. With the SPT modular PCB terminals, moving to a fully digitalised, customisable platform is our first step in this direction.  In order to make the almost unlimited variance manageable and quickly available, Phoenix Contact has, for the first time, implemented a continuous digital process chain of the SPT modular- from configurator to production .   

Today’s world of electronic devices have become more diverse and colourful, so to speak. The product life cycles of these new devices are becoming shorter and shorter, and with increasing technical requirements. 

An example of this is the trend towards higher electrical voltages.   The higher the voltage, the lower are both transmission losses and the required use of copper materials.  In the areas of renewable energies, dielectric strengths of up to 1500 V are now required- in both EV and Solar industries.  

At the same time, the newly developed devices are becoming more compact (by no means more expensive), but the ease of installation and connection is important. 

With the particularly flexible product architecture of the SPT modular line, Phoenix Contact offers the possibility of adapting PCB terminals specifically to the design and technical requirements of the device. So, for example, the dielectric strength of each individual connection terminal can be individually defined by inserting spacers at any point. In this way, the above-mentioned dielectric strength of 1500 V can also be achieved.   

On request, even hybrid blocks are available in which different terminal sizes are combined in one block. This saves up to two manual assembly processes in PCB production. 

To blend in visually with the device-Design and, at the same time, facilitate device installation, each individual element can be coloured with a choice of 25 different colours. Thanks to the proven and advanced push-in technology, the actual conductor connection is efficient, safe and error-free. 

The configurator serves as a control for the downstream processes. It can be operated intuitively, and it guides the user through the various options as part of the configuration logic. The 3D visualised configuration is fast and fluid.  When configuration is completed, all article data is available. 

Just like you were shopping on Amazon, more and more industrial customers are starting to use online ordering options for components.  So far, however, this has been used almost exclusively for “catalogue goods” like articles without any customer-specific characteristics.  With SPT modular, Phoenix Contact goes one step further: As soon as a logged-in customer has completed the described configuration process and placed the article in the shopping cart, it is pronounced in the background in the IT subsystems and made orderable. 

For the efficient and error-free control of variant production, a certain degree of digitisation as well as automation is indispensable, especially when implementing special customer requirements, sources of error can be effectively avoided by the “human factor”. The order from the above process arrives as a digital production order in the paperless smart factory. 

The digital chain must not break off after delivery to the customer, especially with a varied article. For this reason, there is a QR code on every PCB terminal.  If you read it, you will be redirected to a technical article detail page where you will find all technical information. The QR code is an important element to close the gap between the physical and the digital world.  

What began as a vision with buzzwords such as Industry 4.0 and digitisation has long since arrived and established itself in industrial business. The SPT modular configurable PCB terminals make an important contribution to the electrification and digitisation of many areas of life such as industry, infrastructure and buildings due to their individuality and diverse application possibilities.   

For more information, contact Karl on 07919005153 or email

Fancy a bit more time?

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Written by Andy Neat, Senior Product Manager – Marking & Identification and Toolfox

Morning and welcome to another Monday morning Blog from myself. I hope you’re all well and that life has started to normalise for you slowly. 

What takes the most amount of your time daily? Assembly? Picking? Wiring? Marking? Testing? Well, if the answer to that is wiring then we can help you out with some time saving tools to help streamline your processes. 

The tools listed below are not only huge time saving pieces of equipment but also on a special offer for the rest of this year. 

The CF 3000 will strip and crimp your wires in less then 2secs… 1.2secs to be precise! The time saved on this machine is approx. 4x over a minute. The CF 3000 will strip and crimp wire sizes of 0.25mm, 0.5mm, 0.75mm, 1mm, 1.5mm and 2.5mm that are supplied on a strip of 50pcs. 

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Visit us at DTX Europe

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Written by Gareth Chamberlain, Product Manager-Cyber Security & IT Automation

Phoenix Contact are still committed to bringing the IT world into Industry and giving insight to what is needed from the IT sector and vice versa from OT.

Everyone will have access to some form of data that comes from an industrial application, even if it’s just supplies from energy companies. This data needs to be securely delivered to and from the application. These technologies are already used within IT, Edge computing, cloud technologies and Cyber Security while using Open-Source resources. The show will also be the first Introduction of PLCnext to the UK IT world!

So now that the world is getting back to normal and we can start seeing friendly faces again, we are excited to be exhibiting at DTX Europe on the 6-7th of October 2021. The show prides itself in giving customers access to the newest technologies within the world of IT. We have had great success with IPEXPO over the last few years, talking to IT companies about what can be accessed from the industrial world.  

So, come and visit us on stand B20 at the London Excel Arena on the 6-7th of October. Tony Deane and I will be happy to speak about technologies that can help your business meet the needs of many industrial applications that IT needs to be involved with.

For more information, contact Gareth Chamberlain on 07946 757375 or email