Monthly Archives: August 2017

IIOT Connectivity Made Easy – PICs

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As industries advance towards future technology, businesses have to constantly keep themselves up to date. Failure to comply may result in two major repercussions:

  1. Slow adopters will see themselves lagging behind competitors
  2. Late adopters may see a rise in the prices to install these new technologies

IIOT, or the Industrial Internet of Things, is not a new term. Regrettably, many companies are still not developing sound approaches to adopt them.

Take for example refineries. Traditional data analytics such as spreadsheets are still being used to analyze processes and trends; using historic data to make operational decisions.

Interior of process plant

Refineries store millions of databases and at times it becomes challenging for engineers to extract information from a cesspool of data. To make matters worse, varying branches of the organization may utilize foreign systems which proved difficult when systems needs integration.
As a result, refineries are considered to be data rich but in hindsight, information poor.

I’ve got 99 problems

In a traditional data-analytic methodology, it is acceptable for engineers to find themselves stranded with missing data. The solution? Most rely on “Experience” or so-called intuition to solve their engineering woes and make “informed” decisions. Guilty as it might seem, ask any engineer who have worked in refineries and they might just confess to using this ‘archaic’ technique.

Refineries of the future (or refineries who will sustain in the future) will need to change a different tack towards how they organize their data. Engineers can employ advance data analytics to analyze and make comparisons to several vital parameters (such as temperature, pressure reading and flow data) that makes use of varying systems that have diverse data formats, all in real time.

Smart factory

Advance data analytics can run audits and identify data correlation among the different results and in any case if a deviation in the results of the data were to emerge, engineers will be notified immediately, in real time.

For example, it is common for an instrument’s pressure reading to fluctuate. Instrument’s pressure reading could also irregularly plunge due to ordinary situations such as a spike in production. However, leakages along the pipeline could also cause pressure readings to drop.
With advance data analytics, engineers are able to determine if such major shifts are justified.

Easier Said than Done?

Adopting new technology always come with anxieties. It is always easier said than done. Although the idea of running advanced data analytics may seem ideal, it is not without its challenges.

In order for all the varying hardware to get connected, it has to comply with a single universal format that allows data to be unified. This might be expensive if you need to hook up current legacy hardware to new technologies that may not have the compatible specifications to begin with.

IIOT Connectivity Made Easy

IIOT structure

Now, who says out with the old and in with the new? With Phoenix Contact’s revolutionary IIOT Connectivity (PICs) Box, we can assist clients by saving the hassle to consolidate hardware from different manufacturers and get them connected to new technology, within seconds. Our PICs combines new technology such as Controllers and Sensors and affix them with your legacy equipment so that data could be read by our software, how you want it, the way you want it.

Who says connecting to IIOT needs to be expensive and complicated?
With our PICs box, you’ll convert your backward refineries into Smart Refineries of tomorrow. Don’t believe us? Request a free trial of our PICs box by leaving us an email at and experience IIOT connectivity made easy for you today!

Delivering a Memorable Experience

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Delivering a Memorable Experience is not just a fantasy, it is our vision.

Being in an engineering company does not mean we’re all work!

Okay, great. The task of writing for a blog on the Company’s official site is confirmed and there is no running away from it.

The migraines of writing an article

Writing an article for the Company’s official blog is not a walk in the park. Especially on top of the personal commitment and work responsibilities, blog writing does require some effort and most importantly, inspiration. That, I thought could be challenging at my “young” age but I know that somehow our readers would appreciate the company’s input on the industry and I shall “be inspired”, somehow.

I pondered over a couple of nights, and over numerous cups of coffee thinking what could possibly be a good article that may interest people to visit our blog. Afterall, we are an Engineering company and like it or not, it’s mostly technical articles.

(Very dramatic. Not the actual picture but you get the idea)

With my dark eye bags and highly intoxicated with caffeine, it got me contemplating– what should be an article that’s worth reading.

For an engineering company such as Phoenix Contact, it is expected of us to pen articles on products which could get a tad too technical. Perhaps I should be writing something that’s not so product-oriented or perhaps something that would get our company noticed by the next face featured on “The Peak” or “Forbes”.

In the midst of the coffee-induced reverie, I accidentally spilled my cup all over the “Company’s Mission Statement” that was lying haphazardly on my desk. That was when I got my revelation. I just had to write something about our mission statement!

I’m not sure what I’m doing

Often times we read about how a company’s products and services could land huge contracts but it is uncommon to read an article that encapsulates the true essence of the company. What truly made the core values of Phoenix contact?

Our Mission Statement

By understanding the goals and vision of a company, every essential member of the company could work towards in the same direction and thus influence our external stakeholders to follow suit.

Our mission statement goes something like this:

“To provide the most Sustainable Solutions in Industrial Control & Automation,

backed up by Class-Leading Customer Service and Operational Excellence,

led by a Motivated Team to deliver Memorable Experiences

This is going to be on our mugs, walls and even on our customized t-shirts

Recently, while renovating my humble abode, I managed to find a supplier who could refurbish bathroom tiles at a compatible price. Being in the Sales myself, I know I am not an easy customer. I fuss about quality, time and seeking answers and solutions to my problems just like any other customer out there. I found myself complaining incessantly, like a typical Singaporean.

Yes, Customers are “always right”

It set me thinking about what actually mattered to a customer?
“Was it the service rendered?”
“Was it the awesome solution that took the trouble away?”

Service + Price = Happy Customers

To me when I look for a supplier, it is about a reasonably priced solution being paired with excellent customer service. With those values aligned, I can almost say it will be a memorable experience levied and I will not wait to share the good experience and give my positive recommendations and feedback to my colleagues and friends. I would think many would feel the same way as I do.

Honestly, one can do no wrong when their customers feel that they have had a great experience because ultimately, an unforgettable experience could turn into a lifelong relationship.

Feeling like a superstar when all my customers like me

Henceforth, when you are looking for an item, say a PCB terminal block, do remember it’s not always about the dollars and cents that are tied to it. The true value lies in the solution that Phoenix Contact can provide in connection with a memorable experience you do not want to miss.

Just like our mission statement, we deliver more than just customer service. We build relationships! For every product you purchase, we see you as a lifetime partner in our business

When was the last time you spoke to a Phoenix Contact representative?

Give us a call. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the team.


You can contact:
<b>Anita Heng</b>
Mobile: +65 9239 6333 / Email:

Shunt Reactor Controller

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Shunt reactor controller

Shunt reactor

What is a shunt reactor controller? I recall having the same question running through my head when a customer told us about what he was trying to do. Well, before knowing what a shunt reactor controller does, let us look at what exactly is a shunt reactor?

Some of you might wonder “Why does it look like a transformer?”. Yes, you are right, to a certain extent, because a shunt reactor does have similarities with a transformer in terms of its construction. However, they are both very different in terms of their functionality.

While a transformer is used to efficiently transfer power from one voltage system to another to cater for the application required, a shunt reactor absorbs reactive power generated from the source i.e. motors, generators etc.

Active and Reactive Power

What is reactive power and why do we bother to absorb? That might be the next question to ask. Before going into that, we need to understand that in an AC circuit, there are both active power (or real power) as well as reactive power, in which the active power is used to power up a system. To understand this from another perspective, think of it as a pint of beer where the beer is your active power and the reactive power is the foam.

The Beer Analogy of Active and Reactive Power

Reactive Power Analogy with Beer

Image from Electronics Tutorials (

Let’s put water piping system as an analogy to electric circuit, and voltage is the ‘water pressure’. A certain level of water pressure is required in order for the water to travel across the piping system to the designated location to perform certain task, such as flushing your toilet bowl. Similarly, voltage plays the same role in an electric circuit to ensure that active power can be supplied to run any equipment or device. In this case, reactive power is the key element to maintain the voltage level in a circuitry.

The Water Analogy of Electricity

Water Analagy of Electricity

Image by: Paul Evans (

Hence, instead of using the word ‘absorbing reactive power’, shunt reactor is rather used to stabilize or compensate the level of reactive power in an electric system.

From Component to Solution

Rewinding back a little on how this shunt reactor controller came about. It started with a normal enquiry sent in, asking for a voltage transducer. We followed up with a visit to the customer to understand further.

He showed us the solution that he was going to implement for his end user who runs a palm oil refinery. This was an existing solution in another plant where it was used to control the output of power that being transferred back to the grid from the bio-gas generation using the effluent of palm oil.

  • During the day, when most of the equipment in the plant is running, the whole electric system is highly loaded and more reactive power is consumed. Thus the causing the voltage to drop.
  • However, whenever there is less equipment running, less reactive power is consumed and hence the voltage increase.
  • This is the time when a shunt reactor has to be switched on to compensate the reactive power in order to maintain the voltage level at a particular rating.
  • Each shunt reactor has a fixed rating. Hence, putting several shunt reactors together and adding controls to it can achieve different reactive power compensation at one time, depending on the system load.
  • This whole solution is the basic working concept behind a variable shunt reactor, however cost is always a concern when it comes to such solution.

His idea was to duplicate the same solution in his project. Looking at the pictures he showed us, we believed that it was possible to be implemented with the range of products that Phoenix Contact has to offer. Hence we came up with the solution concept diagram with a brief program flow.

Customized solution from Phoenix Contact

We finally secured the project after a few rounds of discussion and modification to suit best to his application. The list of products that are put into this solution includes:

  1. ILC 171 controller – The processing unit to control the shunt reactor via relay and contactor.
  2. MCR voltage transducer – The main component to take in voltage from the system and convert it to readable value for the controller.
  3. UNO power supply – Main power source to the controller and other peripherals.
  4. TP 3150 Touch Panel – Serve as a HMI for the user to control the shunt reactor controller and display of current value of the system.
Shunt reactor operation concept

Basic operation concept of shunt reactor controller

Shunt reactor display panel

Shunt reactor controller

Shunt reactor

From a simple transducer enquiry to a shunt reactor controller project, we believe that with the available resources and wide range of product that we have, Phoenix Contact is able to customize the solution that is fit for your application.

Want to know more about how we can help in your next solution to your customer?

Feel free to drop us a feedback or send us an enquiry at Who knows, your simple component enquiry for your project could be our next solution to you!

Hybrid Motor Starters – CONTACTRON

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Phoenix Contact’s Contactron is a range of hybrid motor starters that is engineered and design to replace the traditional way of starting, stopping and managing the motor. And with that, it comes with numerous advantages and benefits to the system integrator, contractor and end user.

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The most obvious advantage is the space savings it brings if one chooses to use Contactron instead of the using the usual contactors and thermal overload relay. The space savings can range from 50% to 89% depending on the motor configuration.

With space savings, one can design their panel or cabinet to be smaller. This is useful for sites where space is limited such as on top of a shipping port cranes. An even more remarkable savings can be achieved by using the Contactron to shrink the size of an Ex d explosion proof box by replacing the contactors and thermal overload relay.

Contactron comparison with traditional motor starter

Contactron setup compared to traditional motor starter setup

Secondly, the Contactron can very much reduce the downtime of a plant or factory as it can perform on average 10 times the typical service life of the traditional contactors. This is because, rather than depending on the ‘prone to failure’ nature of mechanical parts of the contactors, the Contactron uses a combination of solid state and electromechanical relay. Therefore, for motors that are subjected to frequent start stops, the Contactron is an obvious winner.

Besides that, the Contactron can be connected and communicated to a higher level control and monitoring system. This allows crucial information on statuses of the Contactron to be sent to the control system using common protocols such as Modbus, Profibus and Internet IP. This is crucial for visibility and productivity of the plant or factory operators. The traditional contactors with no intelligence have no possibility of being connected to a control system.

Besides, the above, there are many more advantages of using Phoenix Contact’s Contactron over traditional motor starters.

You can click here find out more about our Contactron Hybird motor starters

However, it will be best to be able to feel and learn about this with a face-to-face direct demonstration and presentation. If there is any interest, please feel free to leave us your contact at and we will arrange a visit to your office.

Let there be Light

From |

Let there be light: Phoenix Contact Components for Reliable Power Grids

On 7 July 2017, Phoenix Contact Singapore Team organised a’ Dining in the Dark’ event as part of Corporate Social Responsibility.  In the short 2 hours without our sight, we experienced a range of emotions such as fear and helplessness. This event also allowed us to understand the challenges that persons with visual impairment faced daily. It is truly a meaningful event that we are thankful to be able to experience with the friends we made from work.

Phoenix Contact's 'Dining in the Dark' CSR Event

Phoenix Contact’s ‘Dining in the Dark’ CSR Event

In today’s world, it might not be an exaggeration to say that we will feel the fear and helplessness if we do not have access to electricity. For a start, life-sustaining equipment in hospitals will not be in operation. Many of life’s conveniences such as lights, entertainment, air-conditioning etc. will be stripped from us. For this, electrical grids are always considered critical infrastructure all around the world and efforts are made to ensure the grid is always operating. Phoenix Contact contributes to this reliability with our products. Below are some examples:

    1. Terminal blocks (Clipline Complete)Clipline terminal blocks
      Our terminal blocks are widely used in power industry. For quick installation in Marshalling/Pilot panel, our customers prefer the use of

      • Push-in connectionThis connection method is fast, do not require special tools, safe, ensure consistent and good connection for every insertion and ideal for areas with high vibration. Most importantly, unlike screw connection, over time, push-in connection does not loosen.
      • QTC connectionThere is no need to strip the wire using QTC connection, making it the fastest way for wire installations. Moreover, Phoenix Contact QTC terminal blocks do not require special tools!
    2. Protection terminal blocksURTK-6 Test Disconnect Terminal Block

      Especially for CT testing, where you have to make the testing circuit before breaking the transformer circuit, it is important to ensure that the “make-before-break” is done properly! Failure to do so results not just in power outage, but often death.

      Our solution is our range of test disconnect terminal blocks, clearly labelled to ensure operators know exactly what is being done. There are also ample spaces for accessories for you to do the necessary bridging and testing.

      Offering inspiring innovations, Phoenix Contact has come out with a test disconnect system. Instead of manually doing the switching, why not let our system take care of it for you with Fast And Modular Energy system (FAME).

    1. DC/DC Converter and Power SupplyQUINT DC/DC converter and Power Supplies

      Usually in substations, there will be 110VDC power supply. However, most electronics components (remote IO, network switch, RTU) requires 24VDC/48VDC power input.  For this purpose, many substations around the world choose Phoenix Contact Quint IV Power Supply.

      Your advantages

      • SFB Technology selectively trips standard circuit breakers, loads connected in parallel continue working
      • Preventive function monitoring indicates critical operating states before errors occur
      • signalling thresholds and characteristic curves that can be adjusted via NFC maximize system availability
      • Easy system extension thanks to static boost; starting of difficult loads thanks to dynamic boost
      • High noise immunity, thanks  to integrated gas-filled surge arrester and more than 20 ms mains failure buffer time. Moreover, Phoenix Contact Quint IV Power Supply comes IEC61850-3 certified. This means that the unit can be used even for IEC61850 applications!
    1. Interposing relays
      With a wide range of relays, Phoenix Contact has the right solution for all standard relay applications, such as interposing relays.

      Your advantages

      • Easy handling, thanks to modern wiring and potential distribution concept
      • Easy extension to a timer relay, thanks to plug-in special function module
      • Complete product range covering all standard relay applications
      • Reliable system for high machine and system availability
      • Available as a complete module or modular system
Easy Wire Termination  Easy Power Distribution  Complete Product Range

Test Disconnect Push-in Connection

Our relays with push-in termination technology provide fast and easy tool-free wiring. Simply push the wire into the terminal , using very little force. Remove the wire by pushing done on the release button, using a screwdriver or ballpoint pen.

Test Diconnect Terminal Block Jumper

Reduce your wiring time up to 70 percent by using our modular terminal block plug-in bridges. These time-saving bridges ensure a reliable connection and reduces the possibility of wiring errors.

RIFLINE Complete

Switch currents up to 16 A. From coupling relays to a replacement for small power contactors; the product range offers the right relay for every application. Benefit from a uniform and consistent system

  1. Heavycon (Heavy-Duty Connector)
    Substations have high EMC and electrostatic interferences. They are also generally not places that people like to hang around in! Heavycon can help to reduce installation/maintenance time and at the same time, ensure reliable power/data/signal transmission. With a modular system, you can combine Fibre, Ethernet, Serial, signals, power all in 1 connector!

HEAVYCON Modular Connector

For example,

  1. the Local control cabinet can be connected quickly to the bay cabinet
  2. The Circuit breaker compartment can be easily disconnected/connected to the switchgear

Refineries of The Future – IIOT for Oil and Gas

From |

The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIOT, is revolutionising the way industries do businesses. Firms have to embrace automation and new technologies in order to keep up with a dynamic globalised environment.

By adopting IIOT at an early stage, it prevents a firm from lagging behind its competitors. Late adopters may see a rise in installation costs to implement these new technologies.

Current Practices are Outdated

From an industrial standpoint, many oil & gas refineries are still utilising traditional data analytics such as spreadsheets to analyse processes, as well as relying on past data to make operational decisions.

Refineries store millions of databases and thus it becomes a challenge for engineers to extract information from a cesspool of data. Additionally, for the sake of organising data, the organization may make use of foreign information systems that are not user-friendly.

As a result, refineries are considered to be data-rich but in hindsight, information-poor.

Process Plant

Using traditional data analytics, engineers often find themselves stranded with missing data. Typically, one would rely on past experiences to solve their engineering woes and make “informed decisions.” Just ask any engineer working in a refinery and they might just confess to using this prehistoric technique!

Refineries of The Future need to change how they organise data.

IIOT can help engineers analyse and compare their data in real-time. Vital parameters such as the temperature of a heat exchanger, flow rate of a valve or pressure of a pump can be monitored on the spot.

Advanced data analytics can perform audits and identify data correlation among statistics. If a deviation of results were to occur, the engineers will be notified immediately, in real-time. For instance, it is common for an instrument’s pressure reading to fluctuate. This could also be due to ordinary circumstances such as a spike in production. However, emergency situations such as pipe leakages could also cause abnormally low pressure readings. 

Engineers are able to justify these values with predictive analytics and thus determine the root cause.

Easier Said than Done

Adopting new technology is not without its challenges. In order for all the varying hardware to get connected, it has to comply with a single universal format that allows data to be unified. This might be expensive if you intend to hook up existing hardware to new technologies that may not be compatible.

PICS for Oil & Gas

How can PICS help?

With Phoenix Contact’s revolutionary IIOT Connectivity Solution (PICS), we eliminate the hassle of consolidating hardware with new technology. Furthermore, get everything assembled within seconds!

PICS combines new technology to drive your controllers and sensors and affixes them with your legacy equipment. This enables compatibility with our software, so that you can read your data the way you want it.

Who says IIOT technology needs to be expensive and complicated?

With PICS, you’ll have the ability to convert your backward refineries into Smart Refineries of tomorrow.

Don’t believe us? Request a free trial of PICS by leaving us an email at and experience what IIOT can do for your company today!

Cable Harnessing Process – How To Improve in Quality and Productivity

From |

Cabinet CablingIn the Cable Harnessing Process, there are several steps such as Cable Cutting, Stripping, Crimping, Looming and Assembling (Tightening).

Today, most harnessing process are still done manually.

With a manual process, we will need more people, time and quality is also a concern due to human error.

Cable Connections

To improve this process, Phoenix Contact can now offer you solutions in Cutting, Stripping and Crimping with Automated Machines.

Manual VS Automated

Cutting Process

In a manual process, the operator will have to measure the cable length and cut by hand.

It’s fine for small number of cable, but can you imagine if the operator needs to measure hundreds, if not thousands of cables of the same length. There will invariably be inconsistency of lengths during the measurement and the cutting process.

Phoenix Contact's Automated tool Cutfox 10


To address this, Phoenix Contact has a solution with the CUTFOX 10. You only need to input the length and quantity of cables and this machine will measure and cut automatically; precisely with expected length and quantity. So the operator can leave the machine and do other process.

Stripping Process

Stripping process looks simple and not critical, but this process will affect to crimping result.

With manual stripping, normally we do not pay attention with the length of the insulation we need to strip.

If the stripping is too long, the wire will be showed outside the cable lug insulation.

And if the stripping too short, the cable lug will not crimp the wire in crimping area properly.

Phoenix Contact's Automated Tool - WF 1000

WF 1000

WF 1000 is the solution for this stripping process.

We can set precisely the stripping length, cable size and stripping mode.

With 0.3s stripping process, we can boost the output yet maintaining high quality.

Crimping Process

Crimping is the most critical process where it will affect the connection between the cable and crimped connector.

With manual crimping, crimping results defer from operator to the operator.

Stability and consistency will depend on the individual operator.

Phoenix Contact is able to provide this consistency though automated crimping machines for  cable lugs, ferrules, and other crimped connectors.

Phoenix Contact's CF 500 Crimping Machine Phoenix Contact's CF 3000 Crimping Machine Phoenix Contact's CF 1000 Crimping Machine
CF 500 CF 3000 CF 1000

These machines will produce fast, consistent and high quality crimping.

Cable harnessing process setup

This cable harnessing process setup was created for one of our customers and it has increased their productivity and quality tremendously compared to the manual process.

If you would like more information and support, please contact email me at witonosurya@phoenix and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Convert Relays into a Programmable Logic Controller

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Convert relays with Phoenix Contact PLC Logic

Convert relays into a programmable logic controller with PLC Logic.

Carry out small automation tasks with the highly compact PLC logic from Phoenix Contact using the combination of the advantages of our existing Plug-in Relays, Programmable Logic Modules and Software. This modular structure offers reliability and system availability of the individual components used. Wiring to the relays is tool-free with the use of Push-in Connections. Our PLC relays saves cost and space because terminal blocks are no longer necessary.

PLC Logic Software

Watch a video on how PLC Logic Module works.

PLC Logic Video

Interested in trying out our PLC logic?

Buy our PLC Logic Starter Kit now!


Imagine Darkness – An Unique Dining Experience

From |

Dining in the Dark SignOn 7 July 2017, Phoenix Contact SEA invited a total of 50 participants including customers and staff  to an unique dining experience, where they dined through ther sense of touch, sound and taste in complete darkness. This unconventional ‘Dining in the Dark’ experience was made possible with the support of Singapore Association of the Visual Handicapped (SAVH). It is an association that helps the visually handicapped to lead an independent life not only through education, and also by providing training for employment opportunities and mobility as well as ensuring that their welfare is being addressed.

Dining in the Dark - Massage

The event started with a massage session by visually handicapped masseurs and tea reception for all the guests, followed by introduction and briefing on ‘Dining in the Dark’ before all guests were led and seated by trained visually handicapped SAVH staff into the dining rooms.

Dining in the Dark - Registration

Dine without Sight

Throughout the dinner, our guests were served by visually handicapped waiters/waitresses who have been specifically trained to offer guidance and reassurance to our sighted guests throughout the 2 hours event. In the past, there have been guests who were overwhelmed by the total darkness. Imagine having to live through your whole life in darkness.

In the end, many of our guests found the whole dining experience a truly unique one. Not only did they had a great time spent with colleagues and business partners communicating purely through sound, they also experienced a reverse of roles where the blind become their ‘eyes’.

Customers recounting their dining experience

Customers recounting their dining experience

Customer group photo

It was an experience that can change the perspective of a sighted person, where they came face-to-face with some of the difficulties that a visually handicapped person has to go through in their daily life. It takes great courage and a strong positive attitude for a blind person to learn the ability to carry out tasks that many assume to be easy.

Group Photo with our customers

Thank you all for participating

We know that it is not easy when one loses his/her ability to see. Hence, through this event, in partnership with SAVH, Phoenix Contact would like to raise the awareness of the life challenges that a visually handicapped person faces.

Mission Complete group photo

Mission Complete

To find out more on how you can make a difference, please visit SAVH website at