Relays for every application – nearly!

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Written by Fraser Cowie, Product Manager- Interface

Customers today have a vast choice of relays from lots of manufacturers – so how do they choose the best one for them? Does it really matter, because a relay is just a relay – right?

Relays are used for hundreds of different applications, so it is best to pick the relay and relay range that most suits an application.Phoenix Contact has been making relays for over 30 years, but always with customer applications in mind and always with the best quality materials and clever design.

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Flexible smart building solutions

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Written by Deepan Patel, Industry Manager- Infrastructure

After my last blog discussing the benefits of using our Building solutions, I wanted our readers to realise the great range of modules the ILC 2050 supports. I can’t list them all on here but you can visit the ILC 2050 page and browse the accessories tab to get the full list.

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The new way to connect!

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Written by Scott Mulholland, Product Manager- Industrial Components

Our new PTV terminals offer a new way to connect. If you are a customer using the screw connection method in your terminals, you will of course value the benefit of the conductor/wire entering the terminal from the side. If you are a push in connection method terminal user, you will know the speed of termination and resilience to vibration benefits that ‘push in’ delivers. Well now, you can enjoy all of the above benefits by using our new PTV terminals.

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Try before you buy

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Written by Gary Nelson, Senior Product Manager- Device Connections

When working on a new design and you need to decide which connection technology to use wouldn’t it be useful if you could try before you buy?

With so many connectors to choose from, as a design engineer you may need to try a few products before committing to the one that really fits your needs. If you include the different connection types for the printed circuit board (PCB) and how to connect the wires to the connectors themselves the choice becomes ever greater.

When you have reached an initial connector choice or more one of the main issues you may then face is having to commit to buying a complete box quantity. The last thing you want to do at this stage is start the process all over again because the option of only buying one or two pieces simply isn’t available.

To help ease this burden in the design process Phoenix Contact has launched an online sample service offering in excess of 3000 parts. The ranges include printed circuit board (PCB) terminal blocks, PCB connectors and circular connectors which are all available free of charge. When you are viewing a part on our website if it is available as a sample you’ll see the sample service image. If, however, another product within the range is available instead i.e. a different number of poles or a different colour you’ll be given the option of viewing the alternative part which you can then order as a sample instead.   

We want to ensure that choosing the connectors for your next design project is as straightforward as possible, so you don’t need to register to use the system. In a few easy to follow steps you can choose the connector or connectors you want, complete the required data fields and have them delivered directly to your door, for free. All requests placed before 2pm are ready for shipment the same day and after 2pm they will be processed the following day, so you know your sample will arrive quickly.

For more information, visit our website here

Contact Gary on 07780 483099 or email

Activate the ‘laser’

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Written by Andy Neat, Product Manager- Marking & Installation

Applications for lasers seem endless from medicine to measurement and communication to cutting….Buzz Lightyear had one on his suit and seem to remember Goldfinger shining one between James Bond’s legs in the 60’s! They’ve been around a long time too with Eintstein having an early part to play in developing the first laser and in fact did you know ‘Laser’ is an acronym of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation?… (you’ll sleep better now you know that).

So where do we at Phoenix Contact fit into this? Well like Goldfinger, we use them to cut and burn stuff! And, to be more specific, mark stuff! We have a marking system called the Topmark NEO, and it’s a very good one too.

It’s a class 1 fibre laser etching system which can mark stainless steel, aluminium and multiple plastic labels in seconds! It can also cut custom shapes and labels out of transply ABS and Polyacrolite material with the biggest size being 180mm x 180mm. With the ability to laser etch onto multiple materials it goes without saying that the Topmark NEO is perfect for most applications from panel building to machine building, plant marking and even food & beverage and offshore applications.

It doesn’t stop there either. If you’re used to our old faithful UCT and UC cards for terminal and cable marking, then guess what? It can laser etch those cards and stack them for you too! It genuinely is the complete marking system!

And of course it’s all driven by our Project Complete software to mark directly to the Topmark or to export onto USB stick and import onto the Topmark itself, eliminating the need to use a PC all the time.

But the best bit is we now have a Topmark NEO in our UK office to demonstrate. You can book to come and have a play with it yourself where we can treat you to a biscuit or doughnut or two 😉 and who knows, we may even be allowed some of ‘Becky from Marketing’s’ special coffee! 

For info on the Topmark NEO click here and to book to see the Topmark NEO click here.

Thanks for reading and I hopefully look forward to talking lasers with you soon!

Now excuse me whilst I catch up on what happens to that laser between James Bond’s legs…

For more information, contact Andy on 07786 252414 or email

A new exciting world of EV Infrastructure

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The adverts on TV for full EVs and Hybrids are becoming more widespread- even oil and gas companies have been adverting their clean fuel and EV charging services on prime time TV !

My view on this massive change? I believe it is the same as the change that packaging industry is currently experiencing. The automobile industry and the associated infrastructure needs to make changes for our future on this planet, so we don’t pollute the seas and the air we breathe.

So why am I talking about the planet ?  My last blog was dedicated to renewables- solar– this one is e-mobility. We have been involved in this industry for approximately 10 years and some would say that Phoenix Contact is all about connectors- yes, that’s where we started in the infrastructure of EV charging but we have now developed a full product range and we are, as I see it, the technology behind the charge point.

I have joined the new world of hybrid cars recently and plugged into the charge point at one of my favourite pubs (at the weekend) and was pleased to find I had plugged into a Phoenix Contact socket !

Phoenix Contact continues to develop the range, and during 2020 we will launch new sockets, connectors and controllers which will help support the infrastructure you will need to power your hybrid or full EV in the coming years.

One aspect of this industry which is particularly exciting for me is the different ideas that our customers develop to solve the requirements we will all have in the coming years such as:

  • not having a driveway – leads to the need for on-street charging
  • taxis need to charge during the day – leads to inductive charging for taxi rank parking
  • the need to travel the length of the country – leads to high power charging.

Phoenix Contact has products and solutions to help – please get in touch for further information. Email: or tel: 07584 514958

The humble unmanaged Switch

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

Me, being a cyber security aware sort of guy, the first thing you might say about my blog this time is: why on earth is Phoenix Contact still developing unmanaged switches?

The answer is there will always be a need for unmanaged switches. If you look to the IT sector, they are still using unmanaged switches to connect to the network- but it is all about how you use the switch.

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Monitor and test your surge protection

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Written by Mark Lloyd, Senior Product Manager- Power Supplies & Surge Protection

In the relatively short amount of time I have been involved with the “Dark Arts” that is surge protection, one of the main misconceptions is that a SPD is a kind of fuse that acts once and then needs to be replaced. This is not true. The SPD acts more like a valve that only conducts when a transient overvoltage rises to a certain level, at which point it conducts to earth and limits the voltage the load sees, therefore protecting it. So a SPD is good for multiple transient events- however, the semiconductor components within SPDs will eventually wear out and unless there are regular visual checks or there is feedback to the system in the form of a remote contact, then potentially the SPD will not be doing its job.

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Connectivity behind the meter

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Written by Duncan Nicol, Sales & Marketing Manager- Device Connections

The energy market is changing rapidly as the cost of renewables and battery technology continues to fall. As a result it is becoming more cost effective to generate and store electricity locally to where the demand is.

The connected home
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