Copper Connections – Why Settle for Less?

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Have you ever wondered what your current screw terminal block is made of? Does it have copper connections or steel connections?

Rusting car

Similarly, have you ever wondered why a wire is made out of copper? I did a search and Google told me this.

“With its exceptional current carrying capacity, copper is more efficient than any other electrical conductor Because of its superior conductivity, annealed copper is the international standard to which all other electrical conductors are compared . … Another advantage is that copper oxide also conducts electricity.” (www.copper.org)

We know that copper is well-known for its good conductivity; that is why it is used in most electrical components. What about Terminal blocks? You will be surprised that most of the screw terminal blocks in the market are not made of copper. Not convinced? I dare you to take the magnet challenge

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Remote Monitoring via the Mobile Network

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Mobile Network Architecture

We are all available 24 hours a day. We have at least one cell phone, use the Internet on the go every day, and learn about the latest global news through our communication media. Having information at one’s fingertips is now essential to us all and nobody wants to give it up.

Think about the global competition in industrial production, which calls for us to continuously optimize our systems. As a production manager, you need to know at all times what is being produced worldwide on each machine, at what quality level and when the next maintenance interval is due. Such new systems are hardly imaginable today without efficient communication networks, which are essential for reliable system operation. This rapid development in the exchange of information and data that we have experienced in the telecommunications industry in the last few years is about to break into the industrial sector.

Indeed, many of these M2M (machine to machine) applications will be implemented over telecommunications networks. Now is the perfect time to consider these topics, applications, and technologies in the industrial sector.

Therefore I would like to share with you one of our success story implementing remote monitoring over the mobile phone network. The idea is to monitor remotely several paramaters on the oil well that is scattered in locations remotely using the GSM modem.

By doing this customer can get data more effective and efficiently compare to previously that one must go to every site locations and get information on the pressure and temperature at the oil well.

Solar-powered RTU

In this project we even integrate a solar system to power up the RTU and GSM modem since the location is remote and there is no power available. System architecture can be seen in the picture below:

RTU and Solar Power

Our GSM modem has a feature with dual sim cards which means when it detects low signal reception from one provider it can automatically transfer the communication to the other sim card. This is to maintain data availability.

We also set up a VPN tunneling in order to get a secure data transmission.

With this configuration, now customer is able to monitor oil wells data from office directly. They just need to select which location they want to monitor.

If you would like to know more on the remote communication using GSM modem, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.

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

Solar Technology 1500VDC

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Today, solar technology in the Philippines still revolves around 1000VDC, which is more or less 5 years old already.

However, due to increasing number of foreign investors in Solar projects in the country, this has resulted in a growing demand for the latest developments in Solar technology . With this we had received numerous request from System Integrators, local end users, and electrical contractors for 1500VDC technology.

1500 VDC systems will allows installers to reduce installation time, string size, wire costs etc.

Being a provider for solutions and products in the solar energy area for many years, Phoenix Contact has been keeping abreast on this demand.

The 1500VDC string combiner boxes from Phoenix Contact meet these requirements of collecting and distributing string currents, protecting the individual modules against damage from lightning and surge voltages, and monitoring the performance of the system.

Solar Seminar 2017

Solar Seminar Philippines

We decided to conduct a Solar Seminar featuring Phoenix Contact’s new 1500VDC technology to address this demand. Held recently at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City, Philippines, our speaker highlighted and focused on 1500VDC Technology and its derivative products like our String Combiner box.

Solar Seminar Main Group Photo

Solar Seminar Phillipines Group Photo 1

Solar Seminar Philippines Group Photo 2

If you missed out on our seminar and would like to be informed of future seminars or would like to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s 1500VDC Technology, do leave us your contact using the form below and we will get in touch with you soon.

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

Manufacturing Expo 2017

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We would like to invite you to join us in at Manufacturing Expo 2017 located in Thailand, Bangkok, BITEC, from 21 to 24 June 2017. Manufacturing Expo is one of the biggest manufacturing exhibitions in South East Asia. It comprises of 7 sub-shows. We will be located at Automotive Manufacturing, under Singapore Pavilion (3D15)..

One of the most thriving industries in Thailand, Automotive adopts industry 4.0 to boost the production efficiency. Moving with the industry trend, Phoenix Contact would like to take this opportunity to showcase our capability on smart connectivity for smart factories as well as Phoenix Contact very own Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) solution.

Being an innovative company, we strive to increase productivity and efficiency with cutting edge connection technologies. Quick connection technologies were incorporated into our connectors as well.

For example,

Push-in

Push-In Connector

Insulation Displacement Connection (IDC)

Insulation Displacement Connection (IDC)

Piercecon for high density (up to 17 positions)

Piercecon Connection

Besides signal, M12 connector is also used in transmitting data such as Ethernet and Profinet as well as power (AC/DC). Phoenix Contact is able to provide a complete solution from device connectors to field cablings.

Signal, Data, Power

Industry 4.0 requires the transmission of more signal, data and power than ever. Phoenix Contact circular hybrid connector provides an All-in-One solution.

HEAVYCON Modular

Using Heavycon Modular, signal, data and power can be mix and match easily in one connector. It also provides the flexibility for future expansion and modification

HEAVYCON Surface Mount

Besides copper based data connectors, we also have a complete solution for fibre optics according to your requirements.

Fibre Optic Data Connectors

Interested to know more about the applications of the products mentioned above? Come join us at Manufacturing Expo. Our sales team will be happy to assist you. Express your interest by helping us to fill up the survey form to receive a mystery gift.

Where do you implement IIOT for Power Industry?

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Many industries such as Building Automation (analysing of building operating parameters across various premises), Automotive (predictive warning for luxury vehicles), Land Transportation (think ERP 2.0 in Singapore!) has/will be implementing Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) in its’ various forms for the different benefits and uses cases it provides.

If you are still confused about IIOT vs IOT vs Industrie 4.0 and other terms? Check out this link here.

The results have been intriguing and allowed those who have implemented such systems to stand out from their competitors amidst increasing competitiveness of their market.

In critical infrastructure (such as power industry), such a movement has been much slower. This is because a failure in critical infrastructure systems will have far reaching consequences unlike other industries. For example, an unnecessary power trip caused by a data packet not being received in time can affect hundreds or even thousands of residents in a large neighbourhood. Compare this to having a car breakdown in the middle of the road because the predictive warning for car servicing was not triggered!

IEC 61850 – What data can we track?

For Power Industry (Power generation, power grid operations, contestable energy market consumers etc.), we are in the infancy of a huge change, led by IEC61850 to achieve internet of things for power industry (commonly known as Virtual Heat & Power plant (VHP), Smart Grid or other variants).

IEC 61850 allows for

  1. Interoperability: with systems and products from different manufacturer designed and
    communicating in the same way, Power grid operators, Power Generators, Power Consumers can their own systems to communicate with other systems easily.
  2. Industrial hardening of equipment: Components of systems needs to comply with IEC61850-3 which require hardening of industrial components, able to withstand the harsh condition of power industry, such as high Electromagnetic Interferences.
  3. Common system architecture and easy naming nomenclature of data points, allowing for integration into one BIG virtual network to be much simpler.

And these in terms allows for some pretty cool things in line with IIOT:

Predictive maintenance

Imagine knowing exactly when to replace the switchgear/transformer parts and knowing when it will fail! Switchgear/transformer spare parts usually require lead time. Knowing in advance before the electrical assets needs replacements allows power grid operators/ power generators to prepare for the spare parts in advance, minimizing risk for downtime.

Proactive maintenance

Instead of waiting for something to happen before we fix it, there is an increasing trend that engineers worldwide are always studying and trying to understand their system better!

Increased productivity

At present, checks on health of systems and electrical assets are periodically conducted. Unfortunately, there is no real good reason why a monthly period is chosen over a bi-annual check. This is a waste of precious resources as manpower is conducted to do meaningless checks.  This time can definitely be better spent implementing a strong IIOT system that cuts down on these wastages and allows for a more advanced form of maintenance!

With these building blocks in place and obvious advantages, the last remaining challenge will be to adopt IIOT for Power Industry, i.e. where should we start to monitor and collect data from?

IIOT for Power Industry

For this, IEC is in the midst of a technical review for IEC 61850:

Part 90-3: Using IEC 61850 for Condition Monitoring Diagnosis and Analysis

This part of the standard will provide standardization for information modelling, exchange and configuration techniques for Condition Monitoring & Diagnosis for Power Utility Automation. What this mean is that in this part of the standard, there will be explicit description of how you can use IEC61850 to achieve predictive/proactive maintenance and increase productivity! There will be guides on which part of the switchgear/transformer/cables you should monitor and how exactly you should be monitoring them.

At Phoenix Contact, we have summarised IEC 61850 with regards to the portions it recommends condition monitoring and we are glad to share the summary below:

IEC 61850-90-3: Using IEC 61850 for Condition Monitoring

At Phoenix Contact, we also have a wide range of reliable IEC61850-3 industrial hardened components necessary for implementing of IEC61850 systems. Products include Network Switches, Ethernet to Fibre Media Converter, Parallel Redundancy Modules, Bus Couplers/IOs and Power Supply (AC to DC or DC to DC).

Products for IEC 61850

Do you want to know more about IEC61850/IIOT or how exactly condition monitoring can be done to stay ahead of IEC standards? Leave us your contact and we will be inb touch with you shortly.


To download our IIOT Informational Booklet (which contains our IIOT starter guide via PDF) submit your email below and we'll send you a copy via email, absolutely free!

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By signing up, you'll be the first to receive exclusive updates and articles regarding IIOT technology from Phoenix Contact.

You will also be invited to our invitation-only seminars on IIOT, onsite demonstrations, and a sample of our PICs (Phoenix Contact IIOT Connectivity Solution) box for a limited period.

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Terminal Blocks – Aren’t they all the same?

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When I visit Myanmar, customers would often ask me, “Why is it that Phoenix Contact’s Terminal Blocks considered a premium product?”

They will look at me, waiting for an answer, hoping that they did not say anything to offend.

“Aren’t all Terminal Blocks the same?”, after a brief moment of silence.

Well, the answer to this questions is definitely, no. They are not one and the same.

And that was how I sparked their curiosity. “Tell me more”, they said.

Look of disbelieve

The same look my Myanmar customers gave when they ask me about OUR terminal blocks

A Market Leader since 1923

I would go on and explained that the reason why Phoenix Contact has been the leader in such a simple yet sophisticated product, that today, it is trusted around the world.

So trusted, that projects in Southeast Asia, even big government projects, are using them.

If I have interest you, just like my Myanmar customers, then read on.

click here to read on about why our Terminal Blocks are that famous

Introducing IIOT to your Clients – The PT Functional Terminal Blocks

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When you introduce IIOT to your client, one of the first questions your client will ask you is “What is IIOT?” (Yes, we get that a lot).

Confusion in IIOT

The typical look our clients are giving us when we talk about IIOT

Many manufacturers are baffled when they were asked to implement IIOT in their plant.

Well IIOT is not as complex. Here’s a sentence to explain what IIOT is:

“Using smart machines to consistently capture data in order to improve inefficiencies.”

See. It’s not that hard, is it?

When we further explain the sentence above, “smart machines” are simply referring to intelligent products like PLC or sensors that are able to help you in generating or gathering data.

 

Smart Machines

Smart Machines are getting smarter by the day

Smart machines allow data to be aggregated and analyzed in real time. With more accountability and control over equipment, workers can better predict maintenance issues and make faster decisions.

Not forgetting the ultimate motive “to save cost”.

 

Rain Money

Feel like a million bucks when you automated your business, and save half the installation cost. (Courtesy: Red Granite Pictures)

If you’re wondering how we can save you the effort and cost in installing IIOT systems, read on

Safety is by Choice, Not by Chance.

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Phoenix Contact's Safety RelaysAre you selecting a safety relay just to meet the SIL3 requirements?

Who will be responsible for conducting the Proof Test to ensure it is still safety relays are still safe to use?

Which is critical? Safety relays without diagnostics or the Safety relays with diagnostics?

Safety is a Choice, Not by Chance

The graphics below explains the functional principle of the force guided /positive driven contacts in the event of a welded contacts and that’s where the normally closed contacts come into action to provide feedback to inform the system of the failure in relay contacts.

In this case when the relay is de-energized, the normally closed contact cannot close properly having a gap of 0.5mm.

Animation of how Force-guided relays work

Click the image to see the animation of how Force-guided relays work

Safety relays for ESD-Emergency Shut-Down Systems should have:

1) Force guided relay enables a feedback path just in case of welded contacts eliminate the need for and simplifies Proof Testing. (ESD-Emergency Shut Down and F&G-Fire & Gas systems)

Emergency Shut Down System Circuit

Emergency Shut Down System Circuit

Safety relays for F&G-Fire & Gas Systems should have:

The diagram below shows connection details for a safety relay used by Fire & Gas Systems. The Fire & Gas System is always on standby mode and it becomes more important to have multiple diagnostics to make sure the Fire and Gas System Safety Relay is still functional and all wirings are connected.

Fire & Gas System

Fire & Gas System

  1. Diagnostics for lost power input to field devices: Beacons, Solenoid Valves, Fire Alarm Bell.
  2. Field devices disconnection diagnostics.
  3. Short circuit field device diagnostics.
  4. Diagnostics for any welded contacts.
  5. Proof Test points (TP1, TP2, TP3) without the use of external power.
  6. All diagnostics via the same cable (A1,A2) by the use of test pulse filtering.
  7. Option for redundant connection (A1’, A2’).

If you have sales enquires to know more about this product, please feel free to send me an enquiry and a sales visit can be arranged to discuss in more detail.

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

 

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

Summary

  • 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 received

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