Monthly Archives: November 2017

HEAVYCON – Worry-free Connection for Field Applications

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HEAVYCON for Field Applications

HEAVYCON with fast and reliable locking latches are suitable for many field applications. The robust metal housings are not only resistant to dirt and water, but also to vibration and high mechanical strain.

HEAVYCON Connection on Pipe Coating Rig

In Manila, a local fabrication company, specializing in pipe coating equipment was facing several issues due to the wrong choice of connector. They were facing issues such as unsecured connection, dirt and water possibly contaminating the contact pins and etc. In fact, these are some of the common problems that plague field applications across other industries too.

However, their major concern was that the existing connector was not vibration-proof, due to the lack of a secure locking mechanism. The connector could be easily detached from the socket when the motor started running.

HEAVYCON Standard Saves the Day!

After evaluating the existing problems with the customer, we proposed the HEAVYCON Standard. Eventually, the customer took our proposal and replaced all their existing connectors with HEAVYCON Standard.

So, what other unique features that the customer loves about HEAVYCON ?

The Right Connection Technologies

QUICKCON technology

  • Fast QUICKON connection
    Save up to 60% of wiring time: for contact inserts with QUICKON displacement connection, connect solid and stranded conductors in a flash without any prior processing. The wire insulation is severed and large-surface, gas-tight contact is made.
HEAVYCON Push-in Inserts

HEAVYCON Push-in Inserts

  • Contact inserts with push-in connection technology
    Easy installation Contact inserts with push-in connection technology allow the user to make connections in no time, even for components already installed in a control cabinet.
  • Fast and cost-effective coding
HEAVYCON Connector Coding

HEAVYCON Connector Coding

  • Quick snap-in plastic coding
    In many cases, a security measure is needed to avoid confusing identical neighboring connectors. Unlike coding methods such as coding bolts, pins or connectors, coding for HEAVYCON contact inserts is provided by quickly snapping in plastic coding profiles.
  •  Reliable EMC protectionThe housing surfaces and seals of the metal series are electrically conductive. Combined with shielded cable glands, they offer you reliable EMC protection.

If you would like to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s HEAVYCON Connectors, you can check out our website or just leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.

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Multi-functional Enclosure – ME-PLC

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Phoenix Contact ME-PLC enclosureIn a recent application design, a customer was looking to replace their standard metal communication rack as they want something more versatile. They needed an off-the-shelf solution but yet offered flexibility to be customized to suit the needs of their customers.

Multi-functional Enclosure, ME-PLC – The Obvious Choice

The ME-PLC was the obvious choice. Together with a large PCB (Printed Circuit Board) assembly area, this multi-functional enclosure system offers a high functionality for a wide range of applications. The ME-PLC enclosure offers enough space for a large PCB so as to accommodate complex circuitries.

Phoenix Contact's ME-PLC in a cabinet

If more PCB cards are required, the din rail T-bus connectors will allow chained connections for different configurations and setup. Moreover, the customer can build standard cards and allow end-users to choose the final configuration.

ME-PLC LED displayLEDs and 7 segment displays can be placed, on the top front of the housing, for identification and notification purpose based on the users design and purpose of the PCB which is critical for customer’s design.

ME-PLC enclosure with leverSince the product is a communication device, the plug-in front connection comes with a lever that enables easy disconnection. This is an advantage especially when there is a need for rewiring in tight spaces where accessibility to the housing is a challenge .

Currently, no enclosure in the market allows for such versatility and high functions in one package.

More Than Just Cost Savings

The customer sees the benefits of using a multi-functional enclosure like the ME-PLC instead of using metal racks to house the PCB cards, as it will help save:

  1. Cost of housing material (8 sets of ME-PLC can bring about 30% saving from traditional metal racks)
  2. Space in the cabinet when din rail mounted
  3. Easy connect and disconnection when troubleshooting

Besides PCB terminal blocks, different connections can be applied on this enclosure such as USB, D-subs, RJ45, etc. All that is required is to laser cut the flat front cover for the opening of the connectors required. The connector options are endless.

So now you understand how a Phoenix Contact customer in communication device will benefit from the ME-PLC. Other suitable applications for ME-PLC include:

  1. Driver cards
  2. Alarm and remote control systems
  3. Measurement systems

Look no further as there is no other housing like the ME-PLC. Check out our website to find out more or leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.

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Product identification – Can you survive without any?

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The need for product identification is not new. Since the early days of civilization, due to a lack of technological advancements, products traded and sold were identified in different ways. Clay jars, crates and sacks were distinguished through the shape of the vessels or unique markings made on them for identification purposes.

Dating back to 6000 BC, barter trading was the main system for the exchange of goods and services; this was before the invention of money.

By F.S. Church, published in Harper’s Weekly, January 17, 1874, p. 61. [Public domain]

The Need for Product Identification

Over time, the situation then transitioned into exchanging money for goods. With the evolution of business into mass production, previous methods of identification were not sustainable as  products now needed to be identified through category, name and description.

Similar to the evolution of street names, housing numbers, or even zip/postal codes, the invention of such identification allowed people to easily identify where they were going. Consequently, with ever-increasing inventories of parts and products, manufacturers and stores required new control mechanisms to track their status. Product identification became important in business in terms of logistics and data analysis.

After knowing the brief history for production identifications, we have seen these requirements for marking and identification evolve tremendously and can be found in almost every aspect of our modern day life or business.

What is tagging and marking like these days?

Today, our tagging & marking typically need to serve 5 key purposes

  • Product Identity
    The most basic and important purpose of labels is that it has to convey information on its identity mainly for tracking and tracing purposes. This can be in the form of descriptions, revisions, serial numbers or lot numbers. Another key identification purpose, especially in the Food & Beverage Industry, is to state the Manufacturing Start/Expiry date. Some labels would also need to include specific types of information as required by government legislation.
  • Security Risks
    Labels play a crucial role to reduce security risks due to the proper identification written on it. When there is a need to prevent any unauthorized opening of the packaging, there can also be tamper resistance labels to avoid such happenings.Labels could also have authentication seals such as serial number, barcodes, RFID, to reduce the risk of forgery or tampering.
    Product Identification - Tamperproof EMLS Label
  • Marketing
    The use of labels can also be for persuasion to encourage potential buyers to purchase a product. This is usually done with the use of graphic designs, attractive words and titles to entice the buyers. Most commonly, designed to reflect the brand’s message and speciality.
    Product identification - Stainless Steel self-adhesive label
  • User-Convenience
    Labels can contain information that could help the user/buyer by conveying instructions on handling, usage, display or sale.
  • Quantity Information
    Quantity is another important piece of information that would typically be required on labels. It tells the buyer or user the number of item in a covered packaging without the need to open up the package.

An ideal label concept would allow a product to be able traceable from the hands of an end user all the way backwards through delivery, manufacturing, raw material processes and to the point where supplies of raw material are identified.

With these said, if you require such a labeling system, Phoenix Contact has the perfect solution to provide you such printing mechanics. Our range of printers can provide the optimal labels that you require. “Clip Project Marking”, our labeling software, allows you to create your own product identifications by adding letters, numbers, barcodes, symbols, logos and pictures!

From there, you can print with the range of printers and over 3000 different materials catered for different uses and surfaces! Leave us your contact details to learn more about Phoenix Contact Printing system.

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FL 2000 Managed Switch for Railway Applications

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Highspeed commuter trainFor many years, Phoenix Contact has been a reliable partner of the Railway Industry, supplying products such as Power Supply Unit, Terminal Blocks, Heavy Duty Connectors for railway applications. In the recent years, Phoenix Contact has invested a significant amount of effort to create innovative products such as controllers and ethernet switches for automation applications.

Ethernet-based communication medium/protocols are becoming the norm in modern automation environments. Traditional serial-based communication medium/protocols are unable to support the requirements for transmission speed and data size; especially for time-critical applications.

FL 2000 Managed Switch

Phoenix Contact's FL 2000 Managed SwitchThe new FL 2000 Managed Switch was officially launched in April 2017 during the Hannover Fair. This new series of Ethernet Switch was specifically developed to bridge the gap between simple unmanaged switches and complex managed switches which are already available within Phoenix Contact product portfolio.

In railway applications, data integrity is especially critical to ensure the smooth and safe operations of the system. Transmission distances from various subway station control systems to the main control center are often in the range of kilometers, which conventional copper-based medium cannot handle. The only way to transmit the data over long distance is via Fiber Optic technology.

Our sales team spotted an opportunity to propose our FL 2000 Switch in one of the railway system upgrading project in this region. We managed to overcome several challenges despite facing strong competitions from various industrial giants. The main unique selling points of our FL 2000 Switch that met with approval of the end user and system integrators were:

  • Feature important automation features with attractive price/performance ratio
  • Easy/Flexible Configuration/Setup
  • Comprehensive approvals to meet stringent industry-specific approval requirements
  • Various connection port options: Copper and Fiber Optics; Gigabit network possible

In addition, we are also able provide a bundle offer including our UPS and Power Supply Unit.

If you would like to find out more about our FL2000 switches, check out our website or you can leave your contact and we will get in touch with your as soon as we can.

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BC Enclosure – Flexibility and Ease of Design

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Phoenix Contact's BC Enclosure

Phoenix Contact’s most flexible and easy to design electronic enclosure series – The BC Enclosure

Phoenix Contact is well known for terminal blocks and connectors. However, many customers do not know that Phoenix Contact offer solutions for enclosure for PCB. As a matter of fact, Phoenix Contact offers 13 series of electronic enclosures ranging from basic to IP-rated field enclosures.

As for this article, I would like to highlight one of Phoenix Contact’s most popular and easy-to-design enclosures, the BC Enclosure. This BC enclosure is very suitable for many building applications like door access, alarm systems, HVAC controllers, etc due to its modular, easily customizable design. Despite it is widely used in Building Automation applications, we also have customers from other industries utilizing the BC enclosure for their devices.

Due to its flexibility in design, a Malaysian OEM for Remote Terminal Units (RTU) has opted to re-designed new compact RTU to replace bulky first generation RTU.

Old Design (bulky system)

Remote Terminal Unit

We approached the customer when they were in the initial design phase of a compact RTU that is Din-rail mountable. Initially, the customer did not know that Phoenix Contact offers enclosures. It was during one of our roadshows where we showcased all our enclosure series that they became interested in the BC series.

As Phoenix Contact is able to provide various customization, this customer requested for the BC enclosure to be in red colour ; their corporate colour.

During the entire design phase, we engaged the design team to provide all the necessary support in terms of datasheets, installation manual, 3D diagrams, etc.

The final Din-rail mountable, compact RTU is shown in the photo below.

 

New Design (with Red Corporate Colour)Building Controller Enclosure RTU Design

Building Controller Enclosure RTU in Panel

If you are interested to know more about Phoenix Contact’s BC Enclosure, check out our website.

(You can also type the webcode #0310 on our website to search for BC Enclosure)

Alternatively, leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.

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Phoenix Contact – Your Partner in Safety and Reliability for Railway Industry

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RailwayPhoenix Contact has been serving the railway industry for decades, especially for rolling stock and signalling. Safety and reliability has always been our number one concern when developing products for railway applications.

Safety on Board

The basic requirement for safety and reliability is standard compliance. Phoenix Contact has been certified by the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) since April 2008 and this standard is based on the quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9001, which has been extended with international railway-specific requirements. The ongoing tests during the development and production cycle of the products are essential to guarantee the product quality.

On top of that, all rail-specific products from Phoenix Contact fulfill the standards of DIN EN 50155, an international standard covering rolling stock; DIN EN 50121 electromagnetic compatibility; and EN 45545, fire protection on rail vehicle. Besides, shock and vibration test, material test and other fire protection is also critical for the railway application.

Safety should not be limited to the big ticket items and should even be extended to the passive component level. For example, the cable markings like shrink sleeve should be halogen-free and fulfill DIN 5510-2 with an oxygen index of 34.9%. besides being halogen-free, the cable ducts should enable individual bars to be broken without using any tools or resulting in any burr through defined breaking points according to EN 45545-2 (R22/R23:HL3). Behaviour in fire is another key concern and the plastic used for Phoenix Contact’s terminal blocks is halogen-free polyamide PA 6.6; which meets the highest safety requirement of UL 94 V0.

Push-in Terminal Blocks and Marking

Push-in Terminal Blocks and Marking

Cable Management

Cable Management

Network on Board

Nowadays, commuters demand for “Internet on board” has made the information and infotainment systems essential in trains. The M12 network connectors with a mechanically robust design, in compliance with IEC 61076-2-101, together with high quality cables meeting the requirement of EN 45545-2 will ensure reliable communications. The heavy-duty connector, compliant with IEC 61373, with modular contact inserts form a flexible and safe transmission of signal and power circuit on rolling stock carriage connection and simultaneously ensures comprehensive protection in the event of electromagnetic interference fields.

Halogen-free Polyamide PA 6.6

Halogen-free Polyamide PA 6.6

M12 Network Connector

M12 Network Connector

Surge Protection

Surge voltages and lightning strikes are common issues in signalling, hence the surge protective device (SPD) become significantly important to maintain reliable signal transmission. Phoenix Contact’s SPD has been tested according to IEC 61643-21 and the plug can be disconnected for test and maintenance by using the portable test laboratory. According to IEC 62305-3, the SPD must be tested regularly and the test values should be documented and traceable. Additional features like multi-stage monitoring (green – operating, red – fail and yellow – reach performance limit) for predictive maintenance and remote signalling for early detection of overloaded SPD can help to further enhance reliability.

HEAVYCON HPR

HEAVYCON HPR

HEAVYCON Modular Inserts

HEAVYCON Modular Inserts

Signal SPD with multi-stage monitoring (PT-IQ)

Signal SPD with multi-stage monitoring (PT-IQ)

Signal SPD with remote signalling (TTC)

Signal SPD with remote signalling (TTC)

Power Supply

The power supply unit (PSU) is used to convert main AC to low-voltage regulated DC power and it should at least be compliant with EMC Directive 2014/30/EU, IEC 60950-1, DIN EN 61558-2-16 and UL 508. To ensure smooth operation and maximum uptime, the redundancy setup of the power supply cannot be overlooked.

A redundant system can made up of two power supplies and a diode or Phoenix Contact’s O-RING to prevent back flow of current. An ORING being a more advanced and modern redundancy module compared to the diode, comes with auto-current balancing (ACB) technology which ensures the power supplies work equally hard. This enables the power supplies to have a longer and more consistent lifespan.

The redundancy status as well as the status of the ORING can be monitored, whereas this cannot be done with a DIODE. The PSU becomes more reliable and dependable when it is capable of sending analogue signals to control system on measurement values such as real time current, voltage and power for early detection of operational fault as well as critical information to the user.

QUINT 4 Power Supply With Diode

QUINT 4 Power Supply With Diode

QUINT ORING with ACB

QUINT ORING with ACB

Transporting You into the Future

Phoenix Contact will continue to develop the products or solutions that suit railway application and safety and reliability will always be the top concern on top of ease of installation, operation and maintenance.

To find out more about the solutions that Phoenix Contact has for the railway industry, check out our website or leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.

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QUINT4 Power SupplyQUINT ORINGQUINT DIODEPT-IQ SPDTTC SPDHEAVYCON HPRHEAVYCON Modular InsertsM12 Network ConnectorsPush-in Terminal Blocks and MarkingsCable Management ProductsIRSE ASPECT Conference 2017Monitoring SystemsEMProPower Meter

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Display Carrier System: Enclosure for Display system

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Display Carrier System
The Display Carrier System protects mobile and stationary displays from mechanical impacts as well as from dust and water spray. Typical areas of application include laboratory and analysis technology as well as healthcare and building automation.

Features
Protection degree: IP54

Membrane keypad

Membrane keypad

Temperature range: -20℃ to +50℃
Display size: 5.7”, 7” and 15”
Material: shock-resistant ABS plastic
Color: light gray (RAL 7035)
Advantage for customer
Easy integration of displays

LCD Display

LCD Display

Direct entry possible via membrane keypad
Convenient handling
Battery integration
Customize versions for special requirement
Market Applications
Building automation Phoenix Contact Panel PC
Industrial
Monitoring System

If you would like to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s Display Carrier System, check out our website or leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you soon.

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PTSM – Phoenix Contact’s most versatile and powerful low pitch connectors

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PTSM Connector

PTSM Connector

Phoenix Contact is well known for the high current terminal blocks and connectors which are widely used in the power devices such as frequency converters, inverters, power supplies & many more.

These connectors are able to support large size wires such as 10mm cross-section, 10mm pitch and high current capabilities. However, many are not aware that in the market of 2.5mm pitch connection, Phoenix Contact has a versatile product family, PTSM, and they are available as  Terminal Blocks and Plug-able Connectors.

The PTSM series offer

PTSM PCB to PCB Connection

PCB to PCB Connection

PTSM Wire to Wire Connection

Wire to Wire Connection

PTSM Wire to Board Connection

Wire to PCB connection

Furthermore, it has Through Hole Mounting and SMD mounting as well. So what is so special about this series of connectors? When should you choose such connections?

  • PTSM are the only 2.5mm pitch connectors capable of handling up 6A/pole.
  • These are small connectors, only up to 5mm in height.
  • The small size is critical when there is limited space on the PCB.
LED Lighting Application

LED Lighting Application

The PTSM series was initially developed for the LED Lighting market in 2012. Since then, the product has seen much improvement and has expanded its range within this Product family.

Recently, we managed to introduce the PTSM to a multi-national OEM company in Penang, Malaysia. They used to produce Test Measurement system that was well known globally. But have since re-focused their products to the areas of Life Sciences/Health and Medical solutions.

Every year, Phoenix Contact Sales personnel will arrange product road-shows to our existing and potential new customers. With 15 sets of sample boxes and 8 pieces of Demo PCB, I paid this customer a visit.

During the roadshow, one particular customer showed a specific interest in the PTSM. Which prompted him to ask what was this connector developed for? According to our product brochures, the PTSM was designed for T8 lighting or down lights.

Instinctively, I continued our probing and explored ideas with that R&D Specialist.

Eventually, he began to share his worries and concern for his design, and now that he has found the PTSM, he was relieved. He had been looking for a 3~6 pin connections to a DC Stepper encoder board that he was developing. This DC stepping solutions would be used in certain robotic functions in the Medical/Healthcare solutions.

He had been looking at conventional connectors of most of the known brands. All of them only offered up to a max current of 1.5 or 2 A per pin and were also not designed for reflow process.

This customer had been under the impression that we only had the FK-MCP or SPT series which they have been using in their solutions. The Road-shows has proved to be effective in bringing the new products and solutions to the customer.

The PTSM provided the solutions to this customer’s problem despite being originally designed for lighting applications. Finally, this connector has become a standard library solutions, that is adopted in this MNC for most of their DC Stepping/Encoding application.

The message I’m sharing is that, opportunities are created by having the right product and the right attitude. Even if the product was not develop for a particular industry, it does not mean that there will not be a demand for it. Create the Demand!

If you would like to know more about Phoenix Contact’s PTSM connector, check out our website or leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you shortly.

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STRIKE – Leveraging on a Structured Sales Process

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I would like to share something I learned on a sales course I attended quite some time back hosted by a world renowned Tech Company, Hewlett Packard.

Although the course is mainly targeted at retail sales, we are able to relate some pointers back to corporate B2B sales.

STRIKE

The course is known as Sales STRIKE. Given the name of the course, in short, it shares a simple sales process that we can adopt.

“S” – Sell with Knowledge = Positioning / Key Selling Messages / Upsell

Knowledge is Power

(U.S. Defense Department graphic illustration by Jessica L. Tozer/Released)

Selling with knowledge is the first step to be taken by all sales personnel. It is a step of preparation for the sales personnel to know the products, solutions & market position.

Most importantly, selling without knowledge usually leave your customers a negative impression which will eventually increase the chances of losing the deal and this is definitely not the kind of impression i want to give to the customer. All Phoenix Contact sales representatives are trained with the relevant product knowledge within the first few months, and this includes me, which puts me at ease to sell a PxC product with confidence.

“T” – Tailor to Customers’ Needs = Ask the Right Questions.

Classic sewing machine

photo by: Uberprutser

This part of the STRIKE process is closely linked with the first step “S”. It means to understand your customers’ needs by engaging them with the right questions at the right time. Only then will you really know what they want. Customers these days are not only looking at your products; they are also expecting good service; someone who will understand them correctly. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they feel that their needs are all being addressed by your solution offered.

Hence, identifying customers’ needs is all about asking the right questions @ the right time.

“R” – Recommend a relevant Solution = Good / Better / Best.

Porposal wooden tiles

Photo by: Nick Youngson (http://nyphotographic.com/)

Now that you have uncovered their needs, the next step is to provide a solution that fits their needs. Always go with an angle of benefits, not just features. And you will have opportunities to Up-sell at this point by providing a ‘Good’, ‘Better’ or ‘Best’ solution as sometimes, the solution that your clients choose initially may not answer their needs fully.

But many would ask, “How do you up-sell?” You can do so by following the basics below,

  • Understanding of the products
  • Always relate the up-sell to the customers’ needs you uncovered in the previous step.

Doing so, you will be able to raise your services to the level of ‘Solution Provider’, not just a product sales.

Remember, it’s the Benefits – Not the features!

“I” – Initiate a Demonstration = The “WOW Factor.

Singapore Black Knights Aerobatics team

Photo by Zexsen_Xie (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Knight_Singapore_1_(12537881585).jpg)

It will come to a point where the right solution is proposed, but some customers will still be dancing Cha-Cha; being indecisive. That is most probably due to the missing “WOW” factor to give them the push they need to commit to the purchase.

Now, Initiating a demonstration to show them the solution you have proposed; to show them physically how it will address each need they are looking at, will help in creating a “WOW” factor for your customers.

“K” – Know how to close in any situation = How to handle Objections

Spartan Race

Photo by: Deveion acker (https://www.flickr.com/photos/draphotography/14750262951)

This portion of the process will be on how to handle objections which, on some occasions, may arise from opinions injected by a third party with no need for the solution or even from someone who does not even understand what you and your customer are working on. In most cases, these objections come from your customer’s own apprehension on some features or functions which they might not be sure whether it is critical to their work.

In such cases, what’s the best way to convince them again?
Lead them to answer their own questions. Provide relevant scenarios and pose those questions back to them for them to answer themselves. To which I will then say – “There you have it. You have answered your first questions yourself! Come let conclude this deal then….”

Now, this is a beneficial soft skill to gain by practicing and through experience. You can even try it out on your fellow colleague while convincing them to purchase a Watch / Phone / TV / Computer and you will realize it is actually quite a fun learning this process.

 

“E” – Explain the Need for Accessories

Euro

This final step in Strike is to cross-sell your services / add-on products that complement the solution you have already sold.

It can be a maintenance contract / accessories bundle that adds value to the solution even more.

Conclusion

These are just some simple lessons I have learnt that is helpful to me in my course of duties.

And I hope it does benefit everyone in some way or another that are reading this.

Happy Selling Everyone!

Let’s STRIKE !!!

You can contact:
Randal Chia
Mobile: +65 9223 4001 / Email: randalchia@phoenixcontact.com.sg