PV Monitoring

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PV installations are usually installed at remote areas, requiring maintenance teams to spend vast amounts of time to travel to the site. Furthermore, if the cause of problem could not be identified during the first visit or if the personnel did not bring the right spare parts or tools, another trip would be needed. This can be extremely time consuming, causing loss of productivity.

With Phoenix Contact’s PV monitoring system, this can help to minimise the downtime as we are able to monitor the PV plant in real time and obtain comprehensive data. Examples of equipment and readings that can be monitored are: inverters, energy meters, weather condition and even down to every string of the PV panel. If there is any anomaly, an alarm notification would be send to personnel via SMS or email. This is made possible by incorporating a 3G/4G router which can also allow access to the system from other parts of the world.

Samples of data tables

Another reading which has been requested by many owners of solar plants is historical trends with regards to the efficiency of their plant. To store such a large amount of data at the local controller is not a good idea, furthermore security and performance issues which would possibly affect the local controller could arise.  By having the data pushed to cloud storage, it is possible to send the entire plant’s data into the cloud. From the cloud’s database, the data can then be re-organised into trends for further analysis.  The historical trends are useful for optimising the productivity of the solar energy plant. For example, we could see the amount of energy generated with respect to the weather condition. From these sets of data, we will be able to tell if the PV Panel is generating the expected energy output. Any anomalies in the respective PV Panels can then be identified immediately.  With the implementation of such data, the inefficiency of the solar plant would be minimised.

Samples of trend data

Interested to find out more? Feel free to contact me via the form below!

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The Next Gen PLC

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Discover the next generation of PLC TECHNOLOGY

With an imminent changing of generations, one can expect “Generation Y” to outnumber “baby boomers” in the coming years. Where the automation industry is concerned, this means that the Gen Y users who are more familiar with high level languages (e.g C, C++ and C#) will increase gradually while on the other hand, the users of traditional IEC 61131 programming language will decrease in years to come. Therefore a user-selectable environment is needed to cater to the development of both types of users from various generations. With the PLCnext technology, program sequences from different programming languages can now be combined into a few different tasks or one single task. High-level language programs therefore become automatically deterministic like a classical PLC program.

PLCnext Technology forms the basis of the new, open control platform from Phoenix Contact. This solution is future-proof, flexible, and perfectly suited for the requirements of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0, both for existing users who perform IEC 61131 programming and for users using high-level programming languages.  PLCnext technology is the basis of a new, technologically leading generation of Phoenix Contact controls dedicated to the automation business of the future.

Interested to see how this works? Feel free to request a demonstration from us by filling up the form below!

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A Friend in Need

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Season’s Greetings

The date was Friday, 01 Sept 2017 – Hari Raya Haji (A public holiday). 6:45 AM.

The phone rang, and it’s the early morning on a public holiday. I looked at the name on the phone caller display; it’s one of our global key customers! Why on earth would he call me at this timing on a public holiday? I pick up the phone and slide across the mobile phone to answer his call. His name is Lee.

Lee quickly indicated his purpose of calling was that he had an urgent request and was in need of an item from Phoenix Contact that he had forgotten to place an order for in his purchase request. Delivery from his staging area would be on the following Monday, 3pm, in which the forwarder would come and collect the crate to ship overseas. Extremely urgent! He requested a quote from me, following which, he would issue a Purchase Order (PO) on the spot and wanted us to deliver the item to him ASAP.

Let’s put things into perspective. It’s a holiday, very early in the morning; the office is closed for the holiday and the warehouse was not in operation that day. No one was at work. He knew.

I indicated to him that I could give him a quote immediately, in which he could PO us immediately. And our customer service officer could process the order on the following Monday morning and release the item by 2pm on the same day from the warehouse, if there were ex-stock. (Only 1 hour before his delivery window)

I went on to check the stock status and replied him that there were enough Ex-stock for his request. I gave the quote to him and Lee informed us that he would place the order on Monday first thing in the morning via his company buyer. As such, both of us kept in view that this was the most urgent thing and the first thing to do on the morning of the following Monday.

Monday, 04 Sept 2017

I called Lee to confirm that his buyer would release the PO so that we could expedite the process. Just before noon, his buyer released the PO. I instantly informed our Customer Service Officer, Julia, of the urgent request (which I had made known to her prior to the incoming order) asking her to to process it immediately and also to inform the warehouse to release the goods ASAP.

2PM, I received the items on my desk, and tallied it against the order and packing list. As always, there was no room for error.

Raced my car down to the customer’s place (within speed limits, of course) and handed over the goods to Lee by 2:45PM, 15 mins before his forwarder’s timing. Lee checked the goods, signed over the items and put the items into the crate together with other items to be shipped on the spot. As if on cue, almost right after he put the items in, the forwarder arrived to collect the crate.

Trust is not easily earned, and even more difficult to give. As a result of this incident, Lee was elated that we were able to meet his urgent request despite the fact that it was over a public holiday and from then on, we have gained his trust in us. Although we do not encourage last minute affairs (especially on public holidays), I believe that you can put your trust and confidence in us to deliver!

PCB Terminal Blocks

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Phoenix Contact is known worldwide as a manufacturer of industrial products where quality is never compromised and reliability is undeniable. One of the “bread and butter” products of Phoenix Contact is the PCB Terminal block. For more than 80 years, with continuous innovation of its products, Phoenix Contact never fails customers and has gained a high satisfaction rate and integrity through the years. From this Phoenix Contact will surely continue to satisfy its customers through innovative products and good services.

Here’s a glimpse of a one-of-a-kind PCB terminal block product range. It consists of metric pitches or pitches in inches from miniature PCB terminal blocks, with 2.5mm pitch through to power-level terminals with 20mm pitch. With easy-to-maintain connectors, from two to 24 positions, the comprehensive COMBICON product range offers the right connection technology for transmitting signals, data or power for almost every application.

Main Features:

  • Varying conductor cross sections from 0.14 mm2 (AWG 26) to 95 mm2 (AWG 3/0)
  • Current up to 232 A (IEC) / 200 A (UL B, C)
  • Voltages up to 1,000 V (IEC) / 600 V (UL B, C)
  • Screw, spring and insulation displacement connection for various connection directions
  • For pitches from 2.5 mm to 20 mm
  • Assembly method: Wave, THR and SMT soldering

If you would like to know more about our products, don’t hesitate to contact us via the form below!

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The First Thing You Should Know about Phoenix Contact (but Probably Don’t)

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Think you know a lot about Phoenix Contact? Maybe you do, or maybe you don’t. Here I would like to shed some light on the first thing you should know about Phoenix Contact.

The birth of Terminal Blocks

Phoenix Contact was founded in 1923 in Essen, Germany.

The world’s first modular terminal block was developed by Phoenix Contact in 1928.

The birth of the terminal block occurred while working with the Rhine-Westphalia Electricity Works (RWE). This led to the development of today’s align-able terminal blocks mounted onto din rails.

As terminal block innovation is the soul of our company, Phoenix Contact never fails our customers with new terminal block innovations until today.

Evolution of Phoenix Contact Terminal blocks

In the early 1950s, our company went into re-engineering and upgrading the RWE terminals. A new generation of Phoenix Terminal series was born, and this proved to be an all-time game changer for us.

1956 was the year that Feedthrough & Disconnect Terminal blocks were developed along with the pioneer of Clipline Complete.

Phoenix Contact never stops developing innovative ideas and solutions for the market.

From the 1970’s onwards, we once again relooked into developing the different connection methodologies for Terminal blocks.

In the year 1978, we developed the ST “Spring Push-in” technology into modular terminal blocks. We created the first modular terminal block with a direct plug-in spring connection, designed to offer installation engineers an easy and safe conductor connection method.

Nearing the late 1980’s, QTC fast connection terminal blocks were developed and added into the Clipline Complete range. This design of connection can save up to 60 percent of the time required for wiring, and it is no longer necessary to strip the wire protection.

2009 is the year we proudly introduced our new PT – Push-in terminal block in a new series with a new design: the integrated push button. PT terminal blocks not only increased the safety standards required; it also allows easy conductor removal with no special tools required.

As a pioneer in electrical connection technology, Phoenix Contact offers Clipline Complete – a comprehensive terminal block system with an extensive range of accessories for industrial control cabinet wiring.

In spite of our universal range of applications, there are regional limitations to consider where acceptance is concerned. With this in mind, Phoenix Contact has closely studied the requirements of current and potential customers in Southeast Asian markets.

In the year 2015, BT Barrier Terminal blocks were developed and integrated into our Clipline complete. This is where a cultural aspect comes into play – and not just in Japan but also across much of Asia, most particularly Southeast Asia: the importance of tradition, customs, and the approach to decision making.

With our ever growing Clipline Complete range of Terminal blocks, we have the different connection technologies available for each application and the answers to all your market requests.

There are many more things to find out about Phoenix Contact and if you are interested to know more, please feel free to contact us!

 

 

 

Safe and Reliable Power

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Upon mentioning PCB connection or PCB connectors, one of the first things that usually come to mind is an Electronics board for various applications. When electronics are involved, most manufacturers of connectors cater their designs to digital applications for modern devices such Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, LED TVs, Set-Top Box and simple remote controllers.

For the above mentioned, design engineers, electronics designers, field application engineers, sales engineers and module designers often overlook the challenges or requirements needed for Industrial Electronics.

Most PCB or Industrial Control boards in Industrial Electronics are required to take-in high levels of in raw current, for the heavy duty tasks of operating motors, sensors and measuring equipment needed on modern devices.

New generation versions of Vision Inspection, Test System, Pick & Place, Bonding, Dicing, Conveyors and Ovens, utilizes loads that go up to 60A and 80A AC Voltage.

Typically, such high current capacity demands stringent safety features and equipment to be rigorously tested in high temperatures to ensure reliability and safety, in order to prevent catastrophic breakdowns of such systems.

From Phoenix Contact’s vast array of devices, Combicon Power is tried and tested to be the most suitable and reliable High Power Connector available in the market. Phoenix Contact’s Combicon Power are certified in UL, VDE and EAC, to ensure standards are in place giving customers ease of mind when adopting Combicon Power.

Combicon Power

Phoenix Contact’s MKDS 10, MKDSP 10HV, IPC 16, PC 16, PC 4, PC 5, HDFK and UW, were all adopted and used in two of the most notable Test and Management MNCs in Malaysia, in the Test and Measurement Systems produced by these MNC.

When your applications, products or modules are Power Hungry, and yet you need a safe, proven and reliable Power Connectors, Combicon Power is the answer to your needs and concerns.

Feel free to contact us via the form below to find out more!

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Remote Monitoring of Recloser in Rural Areas

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In the electric power distribution network, a recloser is a circuit breaker that can be closed automatically after it has opened due to an electrical fault. It is common to find reclosers in overhead transmission/distribution lines to clear commonly occurring electrical faults. Thus, a recloser is able to restore the power automatically to the line without human intervention.

Recloser

Recloser

The status of the reclosers is critical to utility companies. In large country like Vietnam, there are thousands of reclosers installed throughout the country, many of which are found in rural areas. Maintenance engineers have to travel hundreds of kilometres periodically to check the status of individual reclosers.

The utility company in Vietnam had rolled out a project to upgrade their control system to centralize the monitoring of the recloser in a common location so as to reduce manpower cost and time as well as to improve productivity and efficiency. We recognized that laying hundreds of kilometres of copper or fibre optics cables to gather all the information from the various installed reclosers will cost a lot of time and money. The best solution to this problem: wireless applications. There are several wireless solutions available in the industry; however, using mobile connection is the only solution due to the large territorial distances and areas. We decided to propose our new TC Router.

TC Router

TC Router

We presented and tested our TC Router with the system integrator highlighting the following points:

  1. Extended temperature range, -40 °C to +70 °C (Ensures reliable operation even in the most extreme temperatures)
  2. VPN connection and integrated firewall (Ensures secure connection)
  3. Fallback to 2G (Ensures reliable connection)

Our customer was very pleased with our solution and had gained approval from the end user. Subsequently, we were awarded with the first batch of orders for 100 units of TC Router. Beside the energy industry, our TC Router can also be implemented in other industries such as Process, Water and Waste Water treatment as well.

If you are interested in learning more about our TC Router, feel free to fill up the form below and we will get back to you!

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HCS Handheld Housing

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The housing for portable devices

HCS is one of the devices from Phoenix Contact’s housing series. The ergonomic and lightweight design is suited for mobile operations such as real-time measuring of data, inspection and scanning devices.

Membrane keypads and display screens can be easily integrated into the HCS housing for ease of operating. HCS comes in many shapes and sizes, so customers can choose a suitable design, depending on the intended function and PCS sizes.

Technical Information

Temperature range ( C) -20 to +80
Protection degree IP54
Material ABS
Flammability rating UL 94 – V0
HCS Handheld Housing Devices

Straight and graduated designs

Market applications

  • Logistics
  • Distribution
  • Process technology
  • Building automation

Advantages at a glance:

Perfect membrane keypad fit available

Easy integration of displays

Standard variants for different device interfaces

Interested to find out more? Contact us via the form below and we’ll be in touch!

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Cable Entry System – CES

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Have you ever left your earphones in your pocket and when you wanted to use them again, they emerge as a tangled ball of mess? Annoying, isn’t it?

Well, the wiring of current and conventional electrical panels brings about a similar problem. The above picture shows its set up and at a glance, three words pop up in my mind: Complex; Costly; Time-consuming.

So why is this so?

Firstly, in the current system, multiple holes of different sizes need to be drilled in accordance with the cable sizes. Imagine the hassle having to drill ten holes of different diameter just to see messy wires intertwined together.

Next, a common occurrence to such wiring systems is the need to add additional cables. If you are lucky, there will be enough space on the flange plate to drill the extra holes. However, if the space is insufficient, or if you need larger holes for new cables, you would most likely have to replace the entire electrical panel and redo the entire wiring system from scratch. Not only does this add on to the hassle, it also adds on to labour and cost.

Lastly, conventional wiring systems require more time to rectify problems in communication. This is due to the difficulty in identifying specific cables especially when they are bundled together. The troubleshooting process thus leads to longer downtime which means financial losses for the company.

The Solution

Phoenix Contact has thus come up with a solution to eliminate this problem. Our Cable Entry System (CES) comes with specific features to tackle the hassle of the conventional system.

Firstly, only one or two holes would have to be cut to enable installation of up to ten cables in the system, greatly reducing the set up time. Furthermore, the CES can cater to different cable diameters ranging from 2mm-24mm. All these can be easily installed by mounting the sleeves of varying sizes on to the robust metal reinforced frame.

Next, additional cables can be installed by removing the blind sleeves from the extra cable holes provided by the CES. In the event that the existing cable configuration has to be amended, the CES allows for easy reassembly just by replacing the sleeves with those of different cable diameters. This eliminates the trouble of cutting out new holes on the flange plate.

Lastly, the CES allows cables to be easily identified as the rectangular frame organizes the sleeves holding the cables in an orderly manner that is easy on the eyes.

Besides tackling the inconveniences of the conventional electrical panel wiring, the CES offers protection class of IP54, making it suitable for harsh environment conditions.

If your current electrical wiring system reminds you of your ball of tangled earphones, it‘s about time you switch to Phoenix Contact’s Cable Entry System. Our CES will be the solution to increasing your productivity and cost saving to your electrical panels wiring.

Interested to find out more? Contact us via the form below!

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System Cabling Solution for Process Industry

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One of the challenges which panel builders in the process industry face would be space saving on control cabinets. Many Process retrofitting jobs require panel builders to ensure the quantity of cabinets remain even though additional I/O’s are added. System cabling is one of the best solutions to save space in control cabinets.  One of our panel builders solved their problems by replacing terminal blocks with our VARIOFACE Interface Module for the project.

Problems:

  • Additional 150 I/O’s on current system
  • Additional Controller Module
  • Cabinet Quantities need to be remained

After going through the product technical information, panel builder engineers decided to replace most of the signals with our VIP Interface Module due to space constraints. There are a total of 115 units of VIP-3/SC/D37SUB/F installed in this project. Photos of the panel are shown below.

Control Cabinet

Fig 1: Control Cabinet

VIP Interface Board

Fig 2: VIP Interface Board

Features of Interface Module:

  • Compact design of control cabinet space
  • I/O marking for field wiring clearly identified
  • Flexible marking of modules
  • Metal mounting foot allows for easy installation and removal on din-rail
  • Allows flexible module mounting positions

In addition to the space saving advantage, the site engineer shared that it is also time saving and fault free during the wiring termination. When the panels are delivered, the end user saves valuable time when installing and troubleshooting

If you need any technical advice on your current project, feel free to contact us or drop us feedback below. I believe we can be your trusted partner to provide suitable solution to fit your application!

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