Withstanding Demanding Environments: How a power supply & terminal block went against the elements

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floating production storage and offloading

Onboard a floating production storage and offloading unit


  • The client, a Japanese international conglomerate specializing in electrical engineering and software systems, needed a compatible power supply that would complement their new I/O system.
  • The I/O system would be built specially for Maersk Oil, for their Culzean project – a gas field located in the UK Central North Sea.
  • Given the scale of the project and the cost incurred, the client needed a solution that is reliable – to withstand even the toughest of environments.
  • The power supply that the client requires would be used for a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) tanker hence it must be able to meet specific requirements, without spending too much on cost and installation.

Project Profile

Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company owned by the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, based in Denmark.

On 31 August, 2015, the UK Oil And Gas Authority approved a consortium headed by Maersk Oil going ahead with production at the Culzean oil and gas field about 150 miles southeast of AberdeenScotland in the North Sea.

The high-pressure, high-temperature field held the equivalent of about 300 million barrels of oil and, when it reached peak production in 2020 or 2021, was expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of the UK’s needs.

Challenge: Building an I/O system that could endure demanding environments

The Culzean Project, upon its completion, would meet 5% of the total gas demands in the UK.

Because of the potential high expectations, the project is estimated to be costing 3 billion pounds.

With the project’s valued cost, it was challenging to identify suitable hardware that could meet the client’s cost requirements.

The client wanted a reliable power supply, which could sustain harsh environments, and to install those power supplies with dependable accessories – all of which is to support the I/O system.

Finding a robust power supply is key because a shutdown of the I/O system would restrict operations. In a project such as Culzean, mistakes could spell disaster.

Industrial power supplies which meet such demands are uncommon in the market.

Moreover, in order to reduce cost, the power supply would also have to be packaged together with its set of complementary accessories which must also adapt to physically demanding environments.

Read more on how we solved the issues faced in the Culzean Project and the feedback

Phoenix Contact’s PLC: Water Pump Control for Junction Square, Myanmar

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Junction Square, Yangon

Junction Square, Yangon

Do you know that Phoenix Contact has an office incorporated in the heart of Yangon?

If you were not aware, where were you!

Not only have we worked with clients all throughout Myanmar but we’ve also successfully sold our controllers (ILC 131 ETH) for a water pump application use in Myanmar’s Junction Square.

Read more on how we’ve helped Junction Square, Yangon

What is Industrial Automation: How IIOT & Automation are related(Part 3)

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In the last two articles, we discuss the basic definition of automation as well as the advantages of running an automated system.

For this final article, we will be looking at the different types of Automation Systems and also case studies of the clients who have automated their manufacturing and production plants with great success.

Through this final part on automation, we hope that if you will consider automating your business and if you require assistance, help is on your side!

Read more on the Types of Automation System and Actual Case Studies here

Drive the Automotive Industry with Phoenix Contact’s Data Connectors

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Automative Assembly Line
The Automotive industry is one of the highest revenue-generating industries in the world. In 2016, about 95 million cars were manufactured. Thailand is the biggest country for the automotive industry in South East Asia and the 12th largest in the world as of 2015.

About 2 million vehicles are manufactured annually in Thailand.

Automotive manufacturers are adopting automation for a more cost-efficient way to make vehicles. By replacing human with robotic technology, the company would be able to save on wages and related costs such as insurance, medical leave, employee’s benefits as well as taxes. This shifts the labour intensive production to a data-driven production.

Phoenix Contact solution to secure data transmission

Push-pull Advance Connector

Push-pull Advance Connector

Phoenix Contact’s Push-Pull Advance data connector is 360 degree shielded and is able to transmit data up to 1 Gbit/s. Field assembly without special tool is possible with QUICKON connection technology. It also has production indicator for traceability.

Push-Pull Advance data connector is equipped with a locking system to increase the security of the connector. To lock/unlock, use a screw driver to shift the orange catch to the respective indication.

Push-pull advance connector handling

Keen to find out more? We will be having a booth (3D15) at Manufacturing Expo in Bangkok, Thailand, where we will be showcasing more products on smart connectivity.

Venue: BITEC
Date: 21- 24 June 2017

* Manufacturing Expo is Thailand largest manufacturing exhibition. It consists of 7 sub-shows
InterPlas Thailand, for plastics parts production
InterMold Thailand, for mold and die manufacturing
Automotive Manufacturing, for Automotive Parts Manufacturing
Assembly and Automation Technology, for Automation and Assembly Technology
Surface & Coatings, for Surface Treatment, Paints, & Coatings
NEPCON Thailand, Assembly, Measurement and Testing Technologies for Electronics Manufacturing
Mfair, Business Matching Platform for Manufactures’ Network in Asia

We hope to see you there!

Case Study: Retail Giant, Aeon, Automates Lighting System With Phoenix Contact Solution

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  • Aeon, the biggest shopping center in Johor, Malaysia, needed a solution to centralize their  Existing Car Park Area, Extended New Car Park Zone & Shopping Mall Corridors Lighting Monitoring & Control system. Previously, their lighting controls were operated manually by switching the lights via a “ON/OFF” switch.
  • The client was also searching for an alternative to reduce operational cost without compromising on safety and reliability.
  • Phoenix Contact’s Malaysia team met their needs by producing a complete solution that reduced cost without substituting on safety and reliability.
  • By utilizing Phoenix Contact’s solution, the client could now control their lighting centrally using pre-programmed scheduler to automatically switch the lights on or off without the need of additional manpower and monitor the system for lighting breakdowns or power outages.
  • The client also achieved a decrease in energy consumption, essentially lowering the cost of operations.
  • Overall, besides reducing their electricity intake and operational time, our solution allowed them to save cost in complex installations, hardware purchases, and future maintenance.

Customer Profile

Image result for aeon

The client, AEON, is the largest retailer in Asia with a retail network comprising around 300 consolidated subsidiaries and 26 equity-method affiliated companies ranging from convenience stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls.

One of their subsidiaries is located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Officially opened in 2006, the shopping center is the biggest mall in Johor to date. It boasts the biggest hypermart and is located at Johor’s affluent area, making it the most visited mall especially on weekends.

Being a premium shopping center in Johor, they needed to explore options towards electrical efficiency and ensure this undertaking do not dampen the experience of their visitors.

Challenge: Improve energy and system efficiency without disrupting shopper’s experience

The client needed a Lighting Monitoring & Control System to reduce the operational expenditure of running a shopping mall. Since they operate from 10 am to 10 pm (which means that they’ll be switching the lights on at 8 am and will close later than 10 pm), they will have electricity running almost more than 12 hours a day.

Read more on how we’ve helped AEON Malaysia save more while doing less

The NEW Universal Electronics Housing: Embedded System Smart Packaged

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The new UCS Housing

The Universal Case System, by Phoenix Contact

Specific solutions often require very specific housing designs.

The concept for the new universal electronics housing (UCS) from Phoenix Contact makes it easy for equipment manufacturers to source for suitable packaging for their embedded system.

Trends such as industry 4.0, Internet of Things, LTE (Long Term Evolution – 4th generation mobile communications) and Smart Home are increasingly utilizing the networking of electronics.

The devices used are based on embedded systems.

New application fields create a large number of electronic assemblies. Because of this, it is often difficult to find a suitable housing.

With its flexible PCB mounting system, the new UCS by Phoenix Contact helps device manufacturers to implement the application quickly and hassle free.

Find out why you should consider our latest UCS in your embedded projects

What is Industrial Automation: How IIOT & Automation are related(Part 2)

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In the last post, we explained the basics of Industrial Automation and why industries are shifting towards this new concept.

This week, we will be diving on the advantages of Automation and the hierarchies of an automation system, to provide fundamental knowledge regarding this concept that is taking over at a fast pace.

Why are industries turning towards Automation? (Advantages of Automation System)

Because of the evident benefits that businesses have seen when they migrated towards automation, there is no reason not to adopt these technologies.

Curious to know how automation can help your business like the countless of other businesses? Read on

The Open World of Automation

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Designed for Future Ready

PLCnext Technology: open control platform for future-proof automation

In recent years, automation technology has undergone rapid changes.

Examples of this include the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 or the constantly growing threat posed by unauthorized access attempts and malware.

What does all this mean for manufacturers and users?

And what opportunities could arise from such technological developments?

The new PLCnext Technology for the up-and-coming controllers from Phoenix Contact provides practical answers.

Like its customers, Phoenix Contact as a traditional manufacturer and a driving force for innovation in automation technology is constantly trying to determine which future trends are really relevant and which solutions the current and future market will expect.

It is important to identify the individual aspects of new technological trends and to then determine their impact on the daily work of developers and the needs of users.

In order to identify the key characteristics of a modern control architecture, the specialists at Phoenix Contact have examined the requirements of both long-term users and sales partners.

Phoenix Contact Relationships

Continuous partnership means forging trust and reinforcing value.

One thing that these target groups are concerned about is how they can bring solutions to market faster than their competitors.

They also want to be able to offer an ever-increasing number of product versions with minimal effort and to meet the IT security needs of as many different applications as possible.

Can the challenges of the forward-looking Industry 4.0 project be met?

In any case, the relevant approaches will contribute to successful business operations.

“One thing that these target groups are concerned about is how they can bring solutions to market faster than their competitors”.

Hardware-independent platform

In order to meet these requirements, PLCnext Technology will be redeveloped from scratch.

For all of these activities, the focus is on users. It became clear at an early stage that openness and consistency were important features.

Through the use of Linux as the operating system, PLCnext Technology can use a standard basis on virtually all hardware architectures.

Linux is not only absolutely real-time capable, it also offers Phoenix Contact – and therefore its customers – quick participation in the latest developments of the Linux community.

However, it is only one operating system and so does not yet meet the needs of all existing and future challenges.

With PLCnext Technology, Phoenix Contact is now offering a hardware-independent platform which uses Linux and makes it easy to benefit from the advantages of this system.

At the same time, it offers all the stability and functions expected of a modern control concept.

Unlike other solutions, with PLCnext Technology the developer no longer has to worry about which PLC will actually later be used.

At the end of the project, the developer simply selects a controller with PLCnext Technology in the relevant performance class. This means that the application can be scaled flexibly and complete solutions can be reassembled repeatedly.

PLCnext Technology Fast

Just select a controller with PLCnext Technology from the relevant performance class. Fast & Hassle Free

Any language

PLCnext Technology

Adaptable and Flexible with any programming language

The basis of PLCnext Technology is an intelligent layer between the application program and operating system, which all system components use to exchange data synchronously and in real time, and also provides easy access to system services such as Ethernet sockets.

Due to their open interfaces, the user can use the intermediate layer to integrate and install their own programs (Apps) without problems and to communicate with all other system components and the operating system.

This is true regardless of whether the programs are created conventionally in IEC 61131-3, in high-level language – such as C# or C/C++ – or via Matlab Simulink.

The developer decides on the most suitable software tool for the relevant application or can even combine various tools.

While an IEC 61131-3 programmer can use the new PC Worx Engineer software or generate and upload models directly in Matlab Simulink, a high-level language programmer can choose between Visual Studio and Eclipse.

This means that every employee is developing in their preferred tool, which eliminates any costs for training in other programming tools.

So PLCnext Technology can be used to create all the specified programs. They can be executed both in cyclic and in event-based tasks.

Multi-core systems are also supported. Stringent real-time requirements with minimal jitter can also be met. This means that developers can create solution modules and then freely reuse them, which leads to shorter development times and modular system concepts.

“every employee is developing in their preferred tool, which eliminates any costs for training in other programming tools”.
PC Worx Programming Software Solutions

Example of PC Worx application

Supporting current and future transmission standards

While the developer decides on the programming languages and the necessary tools, the controller must conform to the communication landscape and directives of the end customer or industry.

It is, therefore, important for it to support key transmission standards and to be open for additional protocols.

One relevant standard is OPC UA. Increasing numbers of industrial components exchange data flexibly and securely via this non-proprietary protocol and thus create intelligent and networked systems.

PLCnext Technology therefore features an integrated OPC UA server as standard. In this context, the connection of all components to the intermediate layer is a particular advantage.

In conjunction with integrated synchronous data loggers and the OPC UA server, a comprehensive data acquisition and signaling solution can be created in a few minutes without any programming. 

In addition, PLCnext Technology works with proven PROFICLOUD services and also supports the integration of proprietary cloud solutions.

This represents a step toward preventive diagnostics and IoT.

Conventional fieldbus systems – such as PROFIBUS, CAN, Modbus/RTU, and INTERBUS – as well as real-time Ethernet standards –  such as PROFINET and Modbus/TCP – are, of course, also supported.

PLCnext Technology is therefore consistently designed for the later integration of additional protocols so that users can respond flexibly to future developments.

Programming software bundles

The success of a project will depend not only on the controller and its basic technology, but also on its optimal integration into development tools.

While developing PLCnext Technology, the team at Phoenix Contact, in addition to providing the best possible engineering support, has concentrated on ensuring that the developer can use their own methods when necessary.

As a result, all PLCnext Technology components are modular, and all important parts can be configured. This ensures that the user has full control of the system.

Thanks to the bundling of all functions, in most cases the new PC Worx Engineer software can be used for programming and configuration of the PLC.

Its interface also focuses on the user and is therefore consistently designed for user-friendly operation.

“The success of a project will depend not only on the controller and its basic technology, but also on its optimal integration into development tools”.

In addition to IEC 61131-3 programming, all functions – such as web visualisation, functional safety, and the modularity of PLCnext Technology – are included in this tool.

PC Worxs Tools

Tools and features packed into 1 system

Due to the central configuration, data can be shared for example with synchronous data loggers, the OPC UA server or the web visualisation with just a few clicks of the mouse.

PC Worx Engineer also has integrated safety functions so that safety controllers can also be programmed directly.

PC Worx

Integrating all features into a single software

Access security

Now and in future, industry-specific requirements for IT security should be added to the existing functions.

Network security and remote maintenance are undoubtedly important, but there is more to IT security than this.

Demands on modern systems include integrity, availability, and above all the confidentiality of all data.

This is only possible with a deep integration of different mechanisms and procedures on all levels of PLCnext Technology, as well as the PC Worx Engineer development environment.

PLCnext Technology therefore offers security by design, so that security aspects can be implemented according to IEC 62443.

IT security is, therefore, no longer an obstacle, but is the key to new project ideas based on PLCnext Technology.

With PLCnext Technology, Phoenix Contact meets the needs of developers and users in a simple manner. This makes it possible to shorten development times, minimise costs, and enables the people involved to focus on the project and their core tasks.

“shorten development times, minimise costs, and enables the people involved to focus on the project and their core tasks”.
Article first appeared on: http://www.controlengeurope.com/article/133015/The-open-world-of-automation.aspx
Author: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Frank Walde, Competence Center Automationworx, Phoenix Contact Electronics GmbH, Bad Pyrmont, Germany.

Cost Savings Through Optimising Space Usage

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Trying to save cost by using less cabinets or smaller junction boxes in order to better optimize your plant in terms of space as well as maximized the energy and cabling installation cost for signal conditioning?

Phoenix Contact MACX Phoenix Contact Mini Analog Pro

Phoenix Contact’s MACX / MINI Analog is your solution.

Phoenix Contact has an Innovative way to maximized space, wiring installation and energy cost for better return of your plant investments.


First and foremost, Phoenix Contact has…

Slimmest worldwide with width of 12.5 mm
User Benefit: Space saving in the cabinet up to 30% space

MACX Space saving

Lower power consumption using Low loss Technology (Patented)

User Benefit: Longer operational lifetime of the devices and less ventilation of the cabinet required resulting in savings in energy cost.

Mini Analog Pro Heat Signature

Mini Analog Pro Heat Signature

Power bridging from “bottom”

User Benefit: Reduced wiring for power distribution, fast installation, hot-swap replacement, expansion-options by bridging and saves time and money!

Conventional Daisy Chain Power Distribution

Conventional Daisy Chain

Conventional Daisy Chain

Power Bridging using T-BUS connector and Supply Module


MACX Supply and Error Message

From highly compact 12.5 mm signal conditioners and functionally safe signal conditioners to signal isolators for intrinsically safe circuits in hazardous areas, Phoenix Contact signal conditioner range offers a solution for all applications in Analog signal conditioning.

User Advantages:

  • Space savings in the cabinet up to 30% space.
  • Longer operational lifetime of the devices and less ventilation of the cabinet required resulting in savings in energy cost.
  • Reduced wiring for power distribution, fast installation, hot-swap replacement, expansion-options by bridging and saves time and money!

 If you would like to know more about this product, please feel free to send me an enquiry and a road show can be arranged to discuss in more detail with your team.

What product(s) would you like more information on? (required)

What is Industrial Automation: How IIOT & Automation are related(Part 1)

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What is Industrial Automation: Part 1

Industrial Automation Phoenix Contact

Increasing competitiveness in the market over demands for high quality and consistent products remains a challenge for many organizations in the near future.

With protectionism and directives to ensure sustainable employment rates in countries such as the U.S, competitive pricing would also be the factor that is contributing to the industrial woes.

To address this challenge, a number of industries have considered alternative manufacturing techniques such as the usage of automated devices or IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things).

In Part 1 we shall explore what automation is all about, providing a reference for readers who are intending to switch over to the future.

Key Drivers for Automation:

  1. Demands for High Quality
  2. Consistent Products
  3. Affordable Pricing on Goods

Lessons from History

Consider the historical shift of the Industrial Revolution. Industrial 1.0 was all about water and steam powering companies to succeed against their competition.

Industrial 1.0 was all about water and steam powering companies to succeed against their competition.

In Industrial 2.0, Henry Ford’s Mass Production principles allowed Ford to produce affordable automobile at the fraction of the time and cost through assembly lines.

For Industrial 3.0, it focusses on robotics, enterprise resource planning, and lean production. Each and every process is accounted for to reduce wastage and unnecessary man-hours.

Industry 4.0

The four phases in industrial revolution

In today’s digital age, automation and big data would be the key aspect in determining business continuity for the foreseeable future. We call this age the Industrial 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Key Pointers for the Growth of Industry 4.0:

  1. Historically, as economic issues arise, there will be creative ways to manage the issue.
  2. Industrialization has shifted to the next phase with every new technology introduced.
  3. While it has always been about speed and consistency, with automation, cost will be the major determining factor.

Birth of Industrial Automation

Industrial automation facilitates the increase in product quality, reliability, and production rate while reducing production and design cost by adopting new, innovative and integrated technologies and services.

What is Industrial Automation?

We are all familiar with mechanization – using machinery to aid human operators when performing a certain task.

Examples would be tools such as the modern excavator, tractors or forklift, to ease the workload and complete a task much faster.

The problem with mechanization is that it is highly depended on the human decision-making process to operate.

For automation, everything would be done via logical programming commands and sophisticated machinery, eliminating human error and achieving consistency.

An example of automation using Phoenix Contact products

An example of an automated laser marking system controlled by the robotic arm but programmed by Humans via PC/PLC

In brief, industrial automation can be defined as “the use of technologies and automatic control devices that result in the automatic operation and control of industrial processes without significant human intervention, achieving superior performance than manual control”.

These automation devices include PLCs, PCs, PACs, etc. and technologies include various industrial communication systems.

Power Plant Automation

With the usage of automation, Big Data and also interconnectivity (IIOT), power plants can see significant results. (Credits: Siemens)

The above is an example of automation carried out in a power plant. It provides total integrated automation (TIA) by automating every section of the power plant with efficient control devices, field sensors and actuating devices.

In this example, PLCs are used as control devices while using Phoenix Contact’s PC Worx software to provide the graphical programming.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 as we explore the hierarchy and levels of an automation system.

Otherwise, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get the latest and exclusive updates on our newest products for automation & IIOT.

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