Monthly Archives: October 2017

Importance of choosing the right PCB enclosure

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What is considered important when it comes to choosing the right PCB enclosure. Let us guide you through the process.

Price? Style? Service & support? Reputation of the supplier?

In the matter of fact, all of above are essential. The engineers should select the enclosure at first and then choice the mechanical & electronic components to suit the enclosure.
We need to consider

Material
The 3 common plastic enclosures are ABS, Polycarbonate, Polyester which are high functionality, light weight, flexible in design.

The Ingress Protection
The ingress protection classification DIN EN 60529 determines and rates protection against solid particle (e.g. dust) as well as liquid incursion.

The letters IP (ingress protection) is followed by a two-digit number; the first digit indicates the level of Solid particle protection and the second digit indicate Liquid ingress protection. IP Code

Environmental Considerations
How the enclosure will last over many years of operation depends on how well you evaluate the environmental impact of elements such as UV rays, temperature, airborne debris, etc.
Different materials offer varying degrees of impact resistance.

Dimensions
The internal and external dimensions of a PCB enclosure is extremely important. Sadly, in many cases, the PCB is chosen first and this makes it difficult for the engineer to source the best fit enclosure solution.

Modification of Standard Enclosures
The enclosure supplier may need to support modifications with value-added services that include drilling, milling, printing, color, etc. Some suppliers can even provide advance services like fitting membrane keypads, displays on the enclosure, etc as a complete solution.

Ease of Assembly
A complex PCB design may make it difficult to assemble electronic and mechanical components in the enclosure, which make is an important point to consider when selecting an enclosure.

Range of PCB Enclosure

Check out Phoenix Contact’s range of enclosures here

 

We, at Phoenix Contact, understand your problems and offer a wide range of options for shape, color, and function when it comes to choosing the right enclosure. Whether on a wall or on a DIN rail, from light gray to sky blue, narrow or wide, many many to choose from. With the two new enclosures, Universal case system (UCS)  and Environment case system (ECS) added into the selection, it is much easier to choose your enclosure.

Please view the Enclosure brochure.

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Phoenix Contact IIOT – Overcoming Challenges Together

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In the last few months, we have shared on how IIOT is useful for Power, Oil and Gas and Water Industry: In Power Industry, IIoT is intricately linked to the implementation of Smart Grid and IEC61850. In Oil and Gas where profitability is a bigger concern than ever, IIoT can help to reduce operations cost and minimizes downtime by allowing for predictive maintenance. For the water industry, we shared a possible scenario whereby IIoT is adopted by a facilities manager to understand about his systems.

If you have not already read those articles, click on the images below.

Products for IEC 61850

IIOT for Power

Reservoir

IIOT for Water

Process Plant

IIOT for Oil and Gas

How Phoenix Contact IIOT can help you get started

After engaging our customers in this topic, we have gained further insights and in this article, we will like to share some of these concerns and how we have helped customer overcome them.

  1. How do we know for sure that we will have returns of investment from implementing IIoT?
    There are indeed risks when it comes to Industrial Internet of Things, especially when data mining (finding patterns from database of data with no seemingly no use) is involved. Compared to traditional engineering methods where an engineer spot a problem or area of improvement and work to improve it, Big Data and IIoT is very much about not knowing problems, not knowing areas of improvements, yet hoping for some “miracle” to happen.

    Phoenix Contact reduces this risk in several ways:

    1. We provide free demos for customers to try.
    2. We provide data analytical and preparation services for customers to greatly enhance the odds of IIoT succeeding. This may seem easy, but data preparation and combination from disparate sources with different formats and different headers is really a tougher challenge than many expected. At least that’s what we gathered from feedbacks anyway
    3. We encourage our partners to start with a system that is well known to benefit from IIoT. For example: Energy Savings, Predictive Maintenance and we help our partners along the way to achieve it.
  1. How do I collect data from many sources and combine them together! It’s so complicated. How about reliability, cybersecurity, electrical surge ……
    Phoenix Contact addresses this by:

    1. Our Phoenix Contact IIOT Connectivity Solution (PICS à link please) is a portable, plug and play box including softwares that are able to ingest data of any format.
    2. PICS is fully customizable, which means that you can add Phoenix Contact reliable and extensive range of products to form a solution just right for you. This includes a wide range of data connectors including IP67 rated connectors for wet/dusty/oily industrial areas!
    3. Phoenix Contact will partner you along this journey and overcome these difficulties with you!
  2.  

  3. IIoT is expensive!!

    Phoenix Contact products are not only inexpensive, but the ROI it provides is way more than the initial cost! And as explained in point 1, we even provide you with full working demo and data analysis so you don’t have to spend till you are convinced!

To help you get started, we have a Phoenix Contact IIOT Quick Start Guide. Get your copy today!

If you will like to consult with us with regards to implementing IIoT, leave us your contact and we will get in touch with you shortly.

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Solar Power Energy – Standalone System (PLTS)

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A solar power plant, also known as Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Surya (PLTS) in Indonesian, is a power generation system that uses solar cells (photovoltaic, PV) to convert sunlight into electrical energy.

Indonesia has vast landmass, a lot of which are remote areas. Thus, it is not possible for all to be connected to the grid (PLN = Perusahaan Listrik Negara = State Electricity Enterprise). However, with abundant sunshine all year round, Indonesia has the ideal setting with a high potential for solar power.

Currently, there are hundreds of small islands in Indonesia that have been installed with a Centralized PLTS. For islands or remote areas that receive general government assistance, the standalone PLTS have an output capacity of 5, 10, 15 and 30 kWp.

Solar Power Energy – Standalone PLTS

Example of a 2KW standalone solar power system

Image by Free Sun Power (http://freesunpower.com)

Called a standalone System or Off-Grid System because the system relies solely on solar energy as the main energy source. It utilizes a solar module circuit to generate electrical energy in accordance with the needs that have been planned.

Solar energy can be converted into electrical energy through the use of solar cells (photovoltaic). Solar cells are components that can convert solar light energy into electrical energy using the principle of the Photovoltaic effect.

The working principle of the photovoltaic effect is the emergence of an electric voltage due to the connection or contact of two electrodes connected to a solid or liquid system when obtaining light energy.

Image by University of Calgary – Energy Education (http://energyeducation.ca/wiki/images/1/11/Photovoltaiceffect.png)

Benefits of using Solar Energy :

  1. Solar energy is abundant and free
  2. Environmentally friendly
  3. Long life time period of use around 25 – 30 years
  4. Cheap maintenance costs
  5. Not Noise (Silent)

Disadvantage of using Solar Energy :

  1. Dependency on the weather
  2. Requires large area for installation of solar modules
  3. Big investment for initial installation solar energy

Efficiency of the PLTS (commonly around 80% – 93%) is determined by the degree of irradiation of the sun (the greater the irradiation value, the greater the power it can generate), the environmental (mountain or sea) temperature, dust and type of solar module, controller, inverter, losses of long cables.

So what makes up a PLTS Standalone System/Off-grid system:

  1. Solar Module
    Solar ModuleThe main function of a solar module is to convert solar energy into electrical energy. A Solar module consists of a number of silicon cells which when illuminated by the sun, will produce photons that can generate electrical current. A set of Solar Panels in one system is called an Array. Generally the most widely used solar modules are crystalline type either Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline. While thin film solar modules are still rarely used (in Indonesia). A solar cell can produce a voltage of approximately 0.5 volts. So a 12 volt solar cell consist of about 36 cells.PLTS Off-grid will consist of several solar modules according to their capacity. For example, a 10 kWp PLTS will consist of 50 units of 200 Wp solar modules or 100 units of 100 Wp solar modules. These solar module is arranged in series and parallel with certain configuration.
  1. Combiner Box
    Combiner BoxIn a solar power plant, solar panels can be arrayed in parallel to produce a larger current. Combiner boxes are  used to connect the positive foot of solar panels to one another. Similarly, for negative legs. The positive foot end of the solar panel is connected to the positive charge controller leg and so is the negative leg. The resulting solar panel voltage will be used by the charge controller to charge the battery.
  2. Fuse
    The fuse is a component to protect PLTS / PV network system. In the event of a short circuit or over-current on the circuit or other load, it cuts the flow of electricity.
  3. Charge Controller
    A tool to regulate the current and voltage both to the incoming current and voltage of the PV panel as well as outflow / used load currents. The voltage and current entering the battery should be as intended. When either is larger or smaller than the specified range, then the battery or other equipment will be damaged. In addition, the charge controller also serves as a guard to ensure the resulting output power remains optimal, in order to achieve Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).
  4. Inverter
    Inverter is a converter that will change the DC voltage (48VDC, 24VDC or 12VDC) on the battery into AC voltage (220VAC or 120VAC) at the output will be channeled to the load. Off-grid inverter can adjust the amount of output power based on the amount of load. so it can be used to turn on household electricity such as lamps, fans, television, etc.
  5. Battery
    In a standalone system , the battery serves to store the solar energy generated during the day so that the energy can be used both in the day and night.The voltage on the battery bank PLTS is generally 48VDC, 24VDC or 12VDC. The battery type that is widely used for such applications is usually a Lead-Acid type, either OPzS (wet battery) or OPzV (dry battery). Batteries used in the PLTS system are a deep cycle type  which means the battery can be discharged up to 80% capacity (80% DOD).In addition to Lead Acid, the other battery type that can be used on a PLTS system is the  Lithium battery. As with any battery on our mobile phone, lithium batteries are known as batteries with high energy density which means the same volume of energy that can be stored by lithium batteries larger than other batteries.
  6. AC Breaker
    The AC Breaker is required to limit the power of the inverter so that the power being injected does not exceed the existing load, resulting in a fire.
  7. KWH Meter
    To measure the amount of electrical energy that has been produced by solar panel can be used kwh meter.

If you would like to know more about which of our products are suited for solar applications, leave me your contact and I will be in touch shortly.

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Quint Power – 4G Power Supply with NFC

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QUINT Power - 4G Power supplyHave you heard of Phoenix Contact’s QUINT POWER range of power supplies?

If you have not, where were you!

Our QUINT power supplies have been consistently making waves as THE power supply fit for any industrial use.

It is that good that Phoenix Contact has released the fourth generation of the high-performance QUINT POWER range, only this time it’s spearheading the industry by embracing the spirit of IIOT.

Tell us MORE about this QUINT

Our QUINT POWER is the one and only power supply in the market to incorporate Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

This feature is the latest addition to the already proven power supply unit that comes with SFB (Selective Fuse Breaking) technology, preventive function monitoring, high noise immunity as well as Power Boost.

Wait, What’s Power Boost?

QUINT 4 Power Supplies dynamic boost

The Power Boost technology allows the power supply unit to withstand indefinitely 125% or tolerate up to 200% of its maximum rated output current for 5 seconds without malfunctioning.

You heard that right, up to 200% of its maximum output current unlike others who would be fried to a crisp right about now.

Not just a Power Boost but empowering People too!

This technology allows users; engineers or technicians, to read and download configuration data of the power supply with any NFC enabled devices such as smartphones or tablets.

All you need is an Android device and you’re good to go.

This will also be handy at industrial sites during commissioning or maintenance where more often than not, there will be unforeseen circumstances where configuration cables are misplaced or worse laptops are not downloaded with the configuration software.

Another practical advantage is that the NFC technology allows configuration to be done in places that have low accessibility.

Examples are hard to reach places such power supply units that are installed at tight, very high or very low positions where it is difficult to carry a laptop.

Laptops can be bulky and requires a power supply to read power supplies (oh the irony). With smartphones and NFC, you could read data through the palms of your hands.

The QUINT POWER configuration App can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.

Say goodbye to legacy multi-meters and expensive devices!  Who says you can’t use your phones on the job.

I’m super excited now! Tell me more…..

Configuration data such as device details, output voltage, output characteristics, signalling and control input mode can now be read, configured and then be downloaded without any need for physical cabling to the power supply.

Surely with the QUINT you’ll be seeing increase in productivity.

Without the access baggage -laptop and configuration cable – it reduces the time needed for configuration especially for projects with large quantities of power supply units.

The QUINT POWER power supply range can be used in various industries such as oil and gas, transportation, water, marine, power and chemical facilities as well as in the factory automation and manufacturing facilities where reliability and technical superiority are highly valued.

So if you’re looking for POWER SUPPLIES, look no further.

Our QUINT 4 is your answer.

With NFC enabled you’ll be giving your business the power of electricity, in your hands.

If you are interested to find out more about our Power Supplies, check out our website or leave us your contact and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.

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5 Reasons to Consider an Industrial PC

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In most companies, the Information Technology (IT) departments are usually the team responsible for hardware configuration, physical implementations, software installation and many other services in relations to PCs within the company.

As a business, having downtime and substandard quality in their PCs or IT-related infrastructure could affect overall performance.

This may not bode well as lacking behind could open up advantages to competitors and slow reaction time to meet customers’ demands.

To ensure that your business keeps up with the Joneses or perhaps even outperforms against competition, you need to rely on Industrial PCs.

Why, you asked?

Simple! Because off-the-shelf solutions may not work for some as there could exist limitations.

Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Form Factor
    Industrial PC is an option you should consider because it comes in multiple form factors. If a 19” rack mount solution is required, various options are available.

    Rack-mounted PC

    Rack-mounted PCs

    In instances where a smaller cabinet or tight space limit the size of the PC, you can utilize a 6-slot/8-slot Wall Mount or Desktop.

    If space and air flow both play a major factor in your decision-making, you can go with a Din-Rail, Stand mount or Wall mount Embedded PC. If you’d like to combine a HMI with the Embedded PC, there are a myriad of 4:3 and widescreen touch/multi-touch solutions available.

    If a stand-alone HMI is preferable, you can configure a Touch Panel ComputerPanel PC or Industrial Panel PC to meet your specific requirements.

    For Phoenix Contact, we offer varying types of PCs and HMI to suit different applications. Again, because it’s designed to be space saving and comes in different form factors, you won’t have any issues selecting the right solution for the right task.

 

Industrial PC

Industrial PC

  1. Performance
    There is a common misunderstanding that Industrial PCs can’t run as fast as some of the off-the-shelf PCs.In reality, performance is the forefront of most Industrial Computer manufacturers. The majority of industrial computer manufacturers partner with CPU providers (such as Intel) to continuously develop product lines based on CPU trends and long-term availability.Our CPU comes suited for the application, with the latest generation of high-performance and energy-efficient Intel® Atom™, Celeron® or Core™ i processors.
    Not to mention, running on operating systems for every application from Windows® 7 or 10 and even Windows® Embedded Standard 7.

 

Panel PC

Panel PC

 

  1. Endurance & Durability
    Industrial computers are characterized by long hours of operation, resistance to vibration and shock from occasional thumps.Commercial-grade computers are not designed to withstand long operating hours without overheating and potentially damaging its internal components.On the other hand, industrial grade computers have integrated cooling “fans” or device to help dissipate heat efficiently. In fact, the most common reason for failure in consumer-grade computer is the low grade power supply and electronics used.
    If you plan on acquiring commercial grade computers for your industry to be used more than 25 hours per week or even 24 x 7, you should definitely reconsider an industrial PC.

    Designline PC

    Designline PC

  2. Display Technology
    Display is one key technology that is most often neglected. A display that is suitable for indoor use is not necessarily suitable to be used in the outdoor environment.One might argue that you can increase the brightness of the display to the maximum when used outdoors, however it will never be enough to compensate for the brightness of the sun. Thanks to optical bonding, the displays of our outdoor HMIs and industrial PCs can be read effectively at any time.In addition to this, they are provided with an anti-reflection coating (AR coating) and can therefore even be read in dazzling sunlight. An integrated UV and IR filter also ensures a long service life for the industrial PCs.

    Designline PC

    Designline PC

  3. Customization
    The ability to customize your Industrial PC configuration to tailor exactly to your application’s specifications is valued more than everything else.Many, if not all, of the off-the-shelf PCs are limited in customization and although they provide the minimal performance, they generally do not allow various customizations.
    Users require configuration flexibility due to the multiple CPUs, varying amounts of memory and multiple I/O card required.With an Industrial PC, you could provide hundreds of “one-off” solutions that can enable you to fulfill your every requirement; for each task without costing you additional on hardware/software configuration.If you still doubt the quality of our HMI, you can watch the physical test we ran (*We highly advice you not to try such stunts as we won’t be responsible if you hurt yourself).

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