Monthly Archives: December 2016

Maximize Your Year End Performance Review

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Happy Staff at meetingAs the year of 2016 is ending very soon, it is also the time to review the year’s performance, there is a growing trend that many companies are abandoning the traditional performance reviews. However recent researchers found that formal performance reviews still hold an important aspect for both supervisor and subordinates to make sure that they are on the same page about each other expectation. Instead of ditching the performance appraisal process, more importantly, how do we make the process more purposeful? The guidelines as follows:

A self-evaluation

Employee must be honest with themselves about how they have performed in the role. Take for example, an employee must be able to take note of the accomplishments when they exceeded expectations or have gone below and beyond the job description, and also to look at areas where they need to improve in term of performance.

Review of job description

Job description can be changed over the time, especially if there are changes in the organization structure. It is a great time to discuss the addition of responsibilities that may help employees to grow and achieve more fulfillment in their work.

Focus on outcomes

Supervisors must be able to evaluate objectively by focusing on the subordinate’s performance result, in this case, KPI scores can be a good base to measure an employee’s achievement; it is more like a black and white result, whether he/she met the given objective or scores.

Do not get defensive

The reason of having a review in the first place is to give and receive the feedback that will help to improve job quality and productivity. Avoid going on the defensive mode or blaming others for the performance failures. In fact, do not discuss about other teammates at all and focus solely on individual performance.

Plan ahead

Performance review is a good opportunity to discuss the goals for next year and beyond. Before the review, employees should be encourage to write down their goals, or if he/she has any skills gaps where supervisor may be able to provide additional training, resources, or guidance to help him/her achieving the goals.

Keep in mind that your performance review, whether overwhelmingly positive or somewhat disappointing, is always a great opportunity to learn, grow, and move forward in your career.

Till next year, Happy New Year!

Here’s A Tip On Choosing A Power Supply For Your Project

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Phoenix Contact Power Supplies

Phoenix Contact Power Supplies

What are the differences between these power supplies and which one should you buy to suit your applications?

UNO Power Supply

UNO Power Supply

If you are looking for just a power supply…………..choose the UNO Power.

TRIO Power Supply

TRIO Power Supply

If you are looking for more than just a power supply with dynamic boost power reserve for reliable starting of difficult loads with 150% of the nominal current for 5 seconds………..choose the TRIO Power.

QUINT 4 Power Supply

QUINT 4 Power Supply

If you are looking for a power supply that can do more in terms of Comprehensive Diagnostics that enable reporting of critical operating states of the power supply before failures occur, LED display of the output power plus the option to enable the Magnetic Tripping of Circuit Breakers selectively via the Selective Fuse Breaking Technology (SFB) with 6 times the nominal current for 15ms……….choose the QUINT Power.

If you would like to know more about Phoenix Contact’s range of Power Supplies, Click here.

Predictive Monitoring of Protective Devices for Continuous Protection and Availability of Signals

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Lightning strikes over city skyline

Lightning strikes over city skyline

Plant safety in the chemical and petrochemical industries must satisfy high demands – reliability and availability are crucial factors for continuous production processes. Signal interfaces are at far greater risk of surge voltages than power supply systems. This is a result of the numerous cables laid in parallel and the more sensitive input and output interfaces. Based on the risk potential and safety level required for the interface, a variety of surge protective devices are used. These are installed directly before the signal inputs to be protected. The circuits of these protective devices are adapted to the relevant signal types.

Have you thought of what would have happened in the event when any existing non-pluggable surge protective devices (SPDs) are overloaded without any sign of status indication? Continue reading

Phoenix Contact in the Rail Industry in Southeast Asia

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High Speed train

High Speed Train

For years, Phoenix Contact has been a reliable partner of the rail industry and offers products for use in rail vehicles and signal technology.

Presence in Europe & US

In rail vehicles, we are one of the trusted suppliers for the main global rolling stock manufacturers such as Bombardier, Alstom and Siemens because our railroad specific products meet relevant standards such as EN 50155, EN 50121, and EN 45545. Our products can be found in various applications in the driver’s compartment, data transmission & ‘info-tainment’, door control and carriage connection.

For use in signal technology such as control & protection technology, switch heaters and tunnel operation, Phoenix Contact products are being appreciated due to it meets increased requirements and excels through quality, reliability and robustness.

Here in South-east Asia, the penetration of the railway industry is still at the elementary stage in comparison with Europe and US region. However, we are catching up due to booming of the railway industry especially the mass rapid transit (MRT) projects in SEA region such as the construction of Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) MRT in Singapore; the construction of Klang-Valley MRT (KVMRT) Line 1 and Line 2 in Malaysia; the Blue Line, Green Line and Purple Line MRT Extension in Thailand; and the construction of Jakarta MRT North South Line Phase I.

Let’s explore where you can find Phoenix Contact in the SEA railway industry and how our products have already been deployed as shown in the examples below.

So where to start looking?

  1. Rolling Stock
  2. Automated Fare Collection System (AFC)
  3. Platform Screen Door (PSD)
  4. Signalling
  5. SCADA System
  6. Environmental Control System (ECS)
  7. Communication & CCTV System
  8. Traction Power System

Rolling Stock

Push-in (PT) Terminal Block

Push-in (PT) Terminal Block

Bolt Connection (RT) Terminal Blocks

Bolt Connection (RT) Terminal Blocks

High Current (HV) Connectors

High Current (HV) Connectors

RJ45 Plug-in Connectors

RJ45 Plug-in Connectors

SACC Connectors

SACC Connectors

Platform Screen Door (PSD)

Push-in (PT) Terminal Block

Push-in (PT) Terminal Block

Marking Materials

Marking Materials

Signalling

Shielded SACC Connectors

Shielded SACC Connectors

Spring-cage (ST) Terminal Blocks

Spring-cage (ST) Terminal Blocks

Universal (UK) Terminal Blocks

Universal (UK) Terminal Blocks

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

QUINT 4 Power Supplies

QUINT Power Supplies

SCADA System

Universal (UK) Terminal Blocks

Universal (UK) Terminal Blocks

Spring-cage (ST) Terminal Blocks

Spring-cage (ST) Terminal Blocks

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

Printer Systems

Printer Systems

PLC Relay Modules

PLC Relay Modules

Mini Analog Signal Conditioner

Mini Analog Signal Conditioner

Environmental Control System (ECS)

TRIO Power Supply

TRIO Power Supply

Modular Controllers (ILC 151) and Inline I/O Systems

Modular Controllers (ILC 151) and Inline I/O Systems

Industrial Ethernet Switches (FL SWITCH)

Industrial Ethernet Switches (FL SWITCH)

PLC Relay Modules

PLC Relay Modules

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

Signal Surge Arrestor (MCR-PLUTRAB)

Signal Surge Arrestor (MCR-PLUTRAB)

Communication and CCTV System

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

FLASHTRAB Power Surge Arrestor

FLASHTRAB Power Surge Arrestor

Surge Arrestor for Transceiver System

Surge Arrestor for Transceiver System

SACC Connectors

SACC Connectors

Traction Power System

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

VALVETRAB Power Surge Arrestor

PLC Relay Modules

PLC Relay Modules

QUINT 4 Power Supplies

QUINT Power Supplies

As you can see, Phoenix Contact offers a diverse suite of products for a wide range of applications in the Rail Industry. If you are interested to find out how our products can fit into your system or contribute to your project, please contact me at eexinchong@phoenixcontact.com.sg

Redundancy: QUINT DIODE VS QUINT ORING

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In my previous article, I shared on how to improve the efficiency and prolong the lifespan of our power supplies by maintaining a 50% loading and how you can use the LED display of Phoenix Contact’s Quint 4 power supply as a visual indication of the output power in order to achieve that.

This display is also useful in redundant power applications to ensure power supplies are of 50% loading without the use of multi-meter to measure and check.

When it comes to redundant power supplies, diode modules will be used as a de-coupling function but how about balancing of the output power loading between the 2 power supplies?

Usually you will need 4 multi-meters to balance the voltage and the current at the output side during Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) and Site Acceptance Test (SAT).

In practice, this is not only tedious but also a waste for time because the moment the output load current changes or the output voltage has a difference of more than 0.3 V, both power supplies will be unbalanced, resulting in one power supply undertaking 100% load and the other is in the “sleeping” mode.

When this happens, power redundancy as well as the life span of the power supply is compromised.

 

Redundant Power Supply

Redundant Power Supply Application

Phoenix Contact’s QUINT ORING resolves this issue of unbalanced loading using our proprietary Auto Current Balancing (ACB) Technology and the QUINT 4’s Bar graph LEDs display; reducing the requirement from 4 multi-meters to only one.

A Simple Tip to Help Ensure Your Power Supply Is Running Efficiently

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The power supply is typically the largest processor of power in the cabinet and therefore power efficiency is an important factor.

Low-efficiency power supplies translate into extra heat in a control cabinet, which necessitates the need for a larger cooling system, resulting in higher energy consumption.
Engineers need to be aware of the efficiencies of the power supplies they design into their control systems.

Power Supply Efficiency

Power Supply Efficiency

The typical temperature within a control cabinet operating at 80% nominal power measures approximately 30°C; assuming the power supply is 92% efficient. However, if the power supply is 2% less efficient (90%), it may increase the temperature in the cabinet by as much as 10°C.

Most power supplies today have an efficiency rating above 90% but there is still room for improvement in terms of energy efficiency by the way we load our power supplies.
The best practice is to ensure that the power supply has only 50% loading.

If your project requires 5A of power, choose an efficient power supply that is able to offer 10A. This ensures that at the maximum operating capacity of the design, you are always running at 50% loading (assuming no additional loads were added to the system). But how do you know if your power supply is supplying 50% to the load? You can always use the tried and tested way of using the multimeter.

QUINT 4 LED Display

QUINT 4 LED Display

Phoenix Contact’s new QUINT 4 power supplies have onboard power LEDs displays that will let you know at what level of output your power supply is performing. The LEDs will let you now if the DC supply is “On“, performing at “>50%“, “>75%” or “>100%“. Even without a multimeter, you will be able to determine the current loading of your power supplies in real time.

In my next article, I will show you how to create a redundant, balanced power supply system that will provide you with adequate power efficiently and also extend the life of your power supply.

Click Here to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s QUINT 4 Power Supply.

Need An Affordable Custom Housing For Your Raspberry Pi Project?

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We are living in a fast paced society whereby information is moving at a incredible rate. The  infrastructure has evolved from traditional mail to fax to email. Despite its speed, the device is still shrinking in size. Gone are the days when people were buying big and bulky devices.
I still remember that my first personal computer was the 486 Compaq (It was the state of the art at that time). It came with a huge CRT monitor.

I could never imagine over the course of 20 years, the computer could shrink even further to a pocket size. Enter the new generation of micro-computing, the Raspberry Pi; the single board computer.  Since its introduction in 2012, Raspberry Pi devices has sold over 10 Million set.

Raspberry Pi Logo

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi’s application is limited by our own imagination. This could range from hobbies to professional applications which require high-quality, functional enclosures and connection technology (e.g Home Automation).

The professional devices need to be assembled and used in installation distributors or control cabinets in a safe way and in accordance with the applicable standards – especially if they are part of a commercial building or industrial automation solution. It is also essential to have simple and reliable wiring – when connecting sensors to the general purpose IO (GPIO), for example – if the Raspberry Pi is being used in a production environment. Furthermore, wiring should be completed quickly, and connecting GPIOs to expansion boards should not require additional time-consuming steps, especially during assembly.

Raspberry Pi Housing Solution

Raspberry Pi Housing Solution

To cater for such needs, Phoenix Contact produced the RPI-BC, the Raspiberry Pi enclosure solution.

Advantages such as

  1. Plug and Play. Tool-free mounting
  2. Spacious for additional PCB boards
  3. GPIO strip can be used with compact size PTSM series connectors
  4. Easy module-to-module connection via bus connector and DIN rails

Please click for more info about Raspberry Pi enclosure
If you would like a sample, please drop me an ivanang@phoenixcontact.com.sg or text @ +65 6435 9801.