Building automation- the future is already here

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Written by Karl Fazakerley, Product Manager- Device Connections

First and foremost I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope it turns out to be a successful one for you all. 

For this year we are focusing into the world of building automation, the big trends which we are beginning to see come in to play and of course where Phoenix Contact and our vast range of products and solutions sit in this arena.

Building automation has been around for some time but it is evolving rapidly.  Communication between devices, communication between protocols, and communication between whole cities is here and moving fast. We are lucky that we now have the technologies to diminish many of the shortcomings we have had and make great leaps and bounds forward.

Cities are undergoing what could only describe as a wave of digital transformation.  To understand the needs, we have to manage our ecosystems.  It is estimated that by 2050, 66 percent of the global population will be located in cities, that is an additional 2.5 billion people to our current number.  With rapid population growth and urbanisation transforming the way we get on with our day to day lives, we need to find methods of improving and maintaining our current quality of life by using our resources more efficiently.

Smart cities work by using IoT sensors, actuators, and different protocols to connect components across the city.   With these devices, which monitor everything from the air to the street to the Underground,  cloud based IoT applications receive, analyse and manage data in real-time to help businesses and the general public make better decisions that can, in turn, work towards making their (and our) lives that bit easier.  Another huge benefit is that smart cities also benefit the environment. Pairing devices and data with a city’s physical infrastructure and services cuts costs and improves sustainability with both water and energy usage, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions.

A massive step forward will be the further deployment of 5G technology.  This will be a turning point to propel smart city technology and development into the mainstream.  5G will allow larger amounts of data to be communicated across networks much faster than we have been able to achieve so watch that space.

Where do we fit in? At Phoenix Contact we have a vast range of products that are perfectly suited to manufacturer’s who specialise in this arena.

Everything from BMS control system solutions right down to the Printed Circuit Board, we have something that will help you with your design of a complete system down to the design of a device.  For example, if you are looking into board to board connectivity for high pole counts, look no further than our robust Finepitch range of connectors with both shielded and unshielded options.  It is the perfect solution to use when designing future proof devices suitable for use in building automation device applications.

For more information, contact Karl on 07919 005153 or email

Keep up to date with product changes

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Written by Darren Hack, Distribution Manager

I recently passed 16 years with Phoenix Contact and as you can imagine there have been a lot of changes within that time.  The waistline has expanded, the hairline is fighting a losing battle, at least my football team continue to be frustratingly average! 

However we are here to talk about the changes at Phoenix Contact, and specifically with our products.  In this area there are always plenty of changes, something you would expect from a company that prides itself on innovations!  An example being our Quint power supplies, where we are currently on our 4th generation- a PSU you can now program using NFC!   In addition to technical innovations there are also many changes made to products to improve design, streamline manufacturing processes and the additions of approvals.

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Smart solutions for a smart world

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Written by Rachel Boyd, Digital Marketing Specialist

The first Monday of a new year isn’t usually everyone’s most favourite day of the year, so to ease you into the first full working week of 2020 take a look at what we have in store through-out the year.

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Maximum protection for your electronics

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Written by Gary Nelson, Senior Product Manager- Device Connections

When the weather is so challenging how do you ensure your outdoor electronic device remains protected?

It’s the most commonly discussed subject and the main ice breaker in conversations and yet it can cause significant issues when designing electronics based products to be used outdoors. If you are looking at protecting a printed circuit board (PCB) based electronic device, finding an enclosure to house your product can be even harder. The location and access to the unit needs to be taken into account for maintenance and you may need wall mounting  fixing points or to be able to mount it on a pole.

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Compact industrial PCs

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

An industrial PC is normally the last thing on many developers’ / integrators’ minds when designing an application. The process of selecting an IPC can also be a daunting task when selecting the specifications- this is where our knowledge of industrial computing can help you to decide the correct unit for you.

With more decentralised systems becoming more prominent within the automation community and EDGE/FOG computing, Phoenix Contact launched a new range of IPCs at the SPS show in Nuremburg in November. Our new range of IPCs are designed with high performance for its class and the usual Phoenix Contact rugged quality.

Introducing the BL2 BPC 1500:

  • Metal compact housing
  • Intel Celeron N3350 processor
  • Microsoft Windows 10 and Linux are supported
  • M.2 Storage options
  • Serial Port (optional)
  • WLAN 802.11 (optional)

With the size of the housing 97 x 95 x 49 mm (without the optional COM ports) there are a huge array of applications this can run within.

The BL BPC 1500 industrial PCs will be available from 1st of January 2020.

Phoenix Contact has a wide portfolio of industrial PCs that can help you in your application. If you have any questions regarding the BL BPC 1500 or need help in your selection of an IPC that will fit your project please contact us.

For more information, contact Gareth on 07946 757375 or email

Building automation “How to”

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After a successful Smart Buildings Show at Olympia in October, we had a number of questions asking how to integrate further IO modules into the ILC 2050 BI Controller for different functions. Deepan has created this video to show how to do this.

The ILC 2050 BI controller from Phoenix Contact runs the Niagara Framework software and we have many IO modules you can choose from that offer a small footprint, enabling you to achieve a lot in a small space. This was one key factor which grabbed the attention of the visitors to our stand.

Watch out for more upcoming How To videos based around our ILC 2050 BI (Niagara) controller.

If you want to know more on our Building solutions please contact Deepan on 07908 485011 or email

The machine safety lifecycle

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Written by Andy Maskell, Product Manager- Safety

A simple guide to Functional Safety for machines.

Ok, I do not want to make out that machine safety is simple…I would be out of a job! The reality is we have to take some essential steps in order to arrive at the correct safety solution and put it into action.

That is where we can help.

Phoenix Contact defines Functional Safety as a Safety life cycle. The safety lifecycle shows 8 phases dependent on whether safety related software is used or not.

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Duplicon is retiring…

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Written by Scott Mulholland, Product Manager- Industrial Components

All good things must come to an end, time moves on etc…..

Phoenix Contact have always been proactive in bringing innovative ways of distributing power in the field. Back in the day (to coin another cliché) our Duplicon range was our solution for distributing power for LV applications.

The time has come for Duplicon to be retired after years of solid service. It will be phased out mid 2020. The successors to this system are our Heavycon, QPD and IPD installation systems.

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Top 5 tips for marking systems

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Written by Andy Neat, Product Manager- Marking & Installation

Morning and welcome again to one of my Monday morning blogs! Today I’m going to talk about ‘top tips’, which is very topical in the Neat household at the moment as I have a 5 week old baby. So all hints and tips for a full night’s sleep are gladly welcome at the moment!

So if you use Phoenix Contact marking systems or are looking at using them in the future then with out further a do, please read on where I’m going to jump straight in and give you my low down on top tips for using Phoenix Contact marking systems:

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