Monthly Archives: September 2018

An Answer to your Pain Point

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I believe everyone agrees with the statement: ‘There is no need to push your products to your customer. Solve their pain point’. This sentence resonates even more with me, as I was once a user of heavy duty connectors. I used this product so often that I have developed a love hate relationship with it. I LOVE it because of the convenience that this product has to offer, in terms of consolidating all wires from and into a panel. With this product, all the cables will be very organized, enough to make a person with OCD smile simply by looking at it. As for why I HATE it, it is the pain point that I am about to share.

The Art of Wiring

Before going into that list of HATEs, it is certainly useful to get the generic terms right. Otherwise everyone will start calling them their brand name, much like how I used to call them back then.

Housings and Base (with cable gland)

Housings and Base (with cable gland)

Contact Inserts

Contact Inserts



The NUMBER 1 in my list is definitely none other than the tedious procedure required to re-do the wrongly inserted pins/sockets. First of all, the incorrect pins/sockets have to be ejected out. This is when the ejector comes in handy, if and only if it is inside your toolbox. For my case, it was usually not inside my toolbox and I had to go through all sorts of hassle to get the pins/sockets out.

Push-in Connection Inserts

Push-in Connection Inserts

If you are a huge fan of Phoenix Contact, PUSH-IN technology is probably the most familiar term to you. YES, we incorporated that technology into our inserts and that made life easier for people like me. The only thing you need to eject out that pin/socket is just a screw-driver, or perhaps a pen.

So assume there is no wrong-doing in the wiring and everything goes smoothly until the day the panel is delivered to the end user’s place. During installation, you find that the space allocated for your panel is so limited. Worse, the space is not sufficient for the heavy duty connector because of the top cable entry direction. Squeezing it into the panel will result in over bending of the cable. This brings us to the number 2 in my list of HATEs.

Inter-changeable cable entry outlet

Inter-changeable cable entry outlet

With Phoenix Contact EVO series housing, this is no longer a problem anymore. All you have to do is just twist that cable entry outlet gland and face it to the lateral direction or vice versa according to your space constraints. It provides flexibility, allowing the user to interchange the cable entry between top entry and side entry without having to remove the entire cable from the housing.

The one last thing in my list is the lack of flexibility of the contact inserts. Imagine you have different types and sizes of cables and wires that you want to consolidate into/out of a panel. In addition to that, it is just a few of every type and size of cable that you do not require the whole 16 poles or 24 poles heavy duty connector. I experienced that before in one of my projects whereby the panel requires 5 units of 1.5mm2 cable, 3 units of huge power cables, 3-4 units of Ethernet cables and finally, a few pneumatics hoses. Due to such a “high mix low volume” scenario, I was left with no choice but to make several cut-outs on the panel in order to accommodate all these cables and hoses into the panel.

This is what team-work looks like

This is no longer a hassle if different types and sizes of cable can be accommodated into one single heavy duty connector, and this is the fundamental concept that brought us to the birth of modular contact inserts. With these revolutionary contact inserts, users can now choose different contact insert modules and assemble it into a frame to make it into a contact insert. As for the housing and base, you can choose to use the standard housing or the EVO series because they are both compatible.

The above are just my pain points about this product based on my experience and Phoenix Contact Heavycon offers the right solution to every hassle that I have with heavy duty connectors. I believe you too have other problem with your current heavy duty connector, so do contact us with your feedback or queries and we will solve that pain point of yours. Cheers!

Choosing the Right Signal Conditioner

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Basic 4-20mA current loopSensors and other devices with 4-20mA current loop output are very popular in industrial fields. We can find them from Process Control to data logging systems. A basic current loop has parts as stated below:

  • Sensor: a device which draws current from its power source in direct proportion to the value it measures (level, pressure, etc.).
  • Power source: supplies DC power to sensors or any device in the loop.
  • Reading devices: a PLC, a controller or data logger which reads the current value provided from the sensor and uses it for the next step of controlling or data logging.

In order to isolate, convert, filter and amplify or duplicate control signals we use signal conditioners. Signal conditioner makes a simple 4-20mA current loop into a field loop and control loop like below:

The devices in both the field loop and the control loop need to be powered. They can be powered by a DC Auxiliary power supply or by another active device in the loop. That being said, we have many types of Signal Conditioners (According to how it is powered or can it supply power for other device) that can be used in this scenario.

Types of sensors

The most common 4-20mA sensors in industrial fields are 4-wires sensors and 2-wire sensors. The difference lies in how they powered.

A 4-wire sensor is an active device which has a separate power supply for itself (from DC or AC power supply).

4-wire sensor

4-wire sensor

On the other hand, a 2-wire sensor is a passive device which draws power from a DC auxiliary power supply in the loop or from other active devices in the loop (like a repeater power supply signal conditioner)

2-wire sensor

2-wire sensor

Types of 4-20mA Signal Conditioners:

  • Passive Signal Conditioner: A passive signal conditioner doesn’t need a separate power supply for itself. It draws power from the field loop or control loop. This means there are 2 types: one powered by a field loop and one powered by a control loop. As passive signal conditioners can cause a drop in voltage in the loop, if there are too many passive devices in loop it could lead to inaccuracies in the measured values. In the picture below is a field loop powered signal conditioner with 2-wire sensor, where the devices in the field loop are powered by an auxiliary power supply.

  • Active Signal Conditioner: This type of signal conditioner is powered by a separate power supply so it doesn’t cause voltage drops in the loop. It can also provide power for the control loop. For example, an active mini MCR Pro signal conditioner can drive up to a 600 Ohm load in a control loop. The field loop still needs an auxiliary power supply when using a 2-wire sensor. Pictured below is an active signal conditioner and 4-wire sensor. In the control loop is a passive analog input controller.

  • Repeater Power Supply Isolator: This type of signal conditioner is powered by a separate power supply and it can supply power for the sensor’s loop and also for the control loop (with a maximum load of 600 Ohms). It can be used for 2, 3 or 4-wire sensor without the need of a power supply for the field loop.

So depending on the type of application, we can choose the right 4-20mA signal conditioner. Based on information about the type of sensor, whether the field loop has an auxiliary power supply as well as if the control loop has a passive or active controller, we can choose the suitable 4-20mA signal conditioner.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

Radioline Signal Strength

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FAQ About Radioline

Question: Which wireless technology is used in the Radioline devices?

Answer: A proprietary wireless protocol is used in the Radioline wireless system. The wireless technology is called Trusted Wireless and is specifically designed for the reliable transmission of data and signals over long distances. The new Version 2.0 offers adjustable data rates, encryption, extended diagnostics, and parallel operation of multiple networks.


Question: Is Trusted Wireless really suitable for industrial use?

Answer: The frequency hopping spread spectrum enables reliable data transmission even in industrial environments and in the event of interference.


Question: What range can be achieved with the Radioline wireless system?

Answer: Depending on the set data rate and the antenna used, the following ranges can be achieved with a line of sight:

  • 4 GHz: up to 5 km
  • 868 MHz: up to 20 km
  • 900 MHz: up to 32 km

The above specifications is according to the product design, but sharing with you the test made in point to point configuration, having trees and structure as obstructions between two points.

At no line of sight, Radioline still transmits and receives analog and digital signals. Thus, Radioline works!

Phoenix Contact Bluetooth

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Wireless connectivity replacing rotary slip ring technology

The Rotary Slip Ring is the oldest technology used to transfer power and signals between stationary and rotating structures/equipment. The Rotary Slip Ring allowed free rotation even when the rotating side was at high speeds. Many machines that involve rotation movement, for example in the cable, packaging, paper & tissue industries have utilized slip ring to transmit & receive power and signals.

Rotary Slip Ring is made up of stacks of several rings which are normally made from copper in the rotary side, with a carbon brush touching the ring on the fixed side. This combination allows electricity to flow between the fixed side and the rotating side.

Rotary Slip Ring technology was the only solution in the past for transferring power & signals from rotating equipment, but at the same time, it also brought about the consequences of higher maintenance effort & cost.

The carbon brushes will erode during the operation and need to be replaced regularly. Any impurities such as dust and oil on the surface of the ring will caused greater resistance or even will prevent electrical current from flowing.

Signal transmission requires a stable and constant flow of electrical current. Due to this reason, the digital signal will have a pulse effect when impurities are present and analog signal will have a voltage/current drop.

Factoryline Bluetooth EPA in combination with ILC series can become the solution to these problems. Signal transmission from the rotary slip ring can easily be retrofitted with a short implementation time. Customers can forget about maintenance and the analog & digital signal will flow seamlessly 24/7.

The Bluetooth EPA modules enable fault-free parallel operation with other WLAN systems, thanks to efficient use of frequency gaps. In addition to the automatic coexistence mechanism of Bluetooth, the EPA modules also offer the following:

  • Low emission mode: for low interference emissions when establishing connections
  • Black channel listing: allows configuration of up to three WLAN channels whose frequency ranges will not be used by the EPA module

The Ethernet port adapter is the simple solution for enabling the Bluetooth capability of industrial automation devices with Ethernet connection quickly and easily. The IP65 turnkey solution is installed directly in the field and connected to the automation device via an M12 Ethernet cable.

Your advantages:

  • Compact IP65 module with integrated antenna
  • M12 connections for Ethernet and power
  • Easy installation in the field

Axioline E – fast, robust, easy

Axioline E is the I/O system with a block design for field installation. Open to all Ethernet-based communication protocols and available in two different housing versions, Axioline E offers maximum flexibility.

The SPEEDCON fast locking system ensures quick and

easy installation, thereby minimizing assembly times. Axioline E is particularly robust when it comes to mechanical loads, EMI, and environmental influences. The M12 power connector simplifies installation thanks to the reduced number of terminal points and 2 x 12 A in just one cable.

Extend Axioline E in a distributed and flexible way in the field using IO-Link I/O boxes.

If you would like to find out more, feel free to contact us!

Lightning Protection Systems

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Lightning is the process of discharging the electrical charge in a cloud. Lightning energy released can produce a series of light, heat, and a very strong sound, it can damage buildings, kill humans, blow up trees and impair electrical equipment. The average speed of lightning is 150,000 km/sec and it usually arrives with a jarring sound.

The process of the lightning occurring is due to differences in electrical charges between the clouds with the earth or between other clouds. As the electrical charge in the cloud moves continuously and on a regular basis, during its movement it will interact with other clouds so that the negative charge will congregate on one side (top or bottom), while the positive charge is assembled on the opposite side.

In the event of such a large potential difference between the cloud and the earth, as well as clouds with clouds, there will be a discharging of electricity from cloud to earth or vice versa to achieve the balance of electrical charge (discharge).

In accordance with IEC 61024-1 standards concerning protection against lightning strikes and IEC 1312 on protection against electromagnetic impulses, the general concept of a lightning protection system according to IEC 1024 – 1 and IEC 1312 standards is as follows.

A functional protection system consists of 2 parts:

  1. External Protection System
  2. Internal Protection System

Integration Ring Grounding with Bare Copper (BC) 50 mm2

External Protection System

External protection systems are tools installed on the outside of the building which serve to protect buildings and people against direct lightning strikes.

3 parts of an External Protection System:

  1. Finial (air terminal/copper tapered rod) mounted at the top of the building which serves to catch the lightning strike directly.
  2. Down Conductor (minimal conductor cable BC 50 mm2) mounted on the outer wall of the building which serves to distribute the flow of electrical charges from the finial to grounding.
  3. Grounding of copper installed in the ground serves to discharge an electrical charge from the conductor cable to the copper rod embedded in the ground. All grounding should be connected directly, or Spark Gap can be used. The smaller the grounding value is, the more quickly the discharge of electric charge from lightning to the ground will be absorbed into the ground (maximum grounding value = 1 Ohm)

Bounding Grounding

Internal Protection System

Internal protection system is a device installed on the inside of a building which serves to protect electrical equipment (electronics) against lightning induction (a momentary but large spike in voltage)

Internal protection system consists of 2 parts, namely:

  1. Equipotential Bonding (EB) is the connecting of all metal/grounding cables to the internal copper plate (PEB = Potential Equalizing Bar), which is to be connected to the main grounding outside the building. This is useful for removing the potential difference in the equipment when they are exposed to lightning induction.
  2. Installation of Arrester in Main Distribution Panel (MDP) with Arrester type Over Current, Sub Distribution Panel (SDP) with Arrester type Over Voltage and in equipment with Arrester type Fine Protector

Lightning protection zone concept

The lightning protection zone concept described in international standard IEC 62305-4 has proved to be practical and efficient. This concept is based on the principle of gradually reducing surges to a safe level before they reach the terminal device and cause damage. In order to achieve this situation, a building’s entire energy network is split into lightning protection zones (LPZ = Lightning Protection Zone). Installed at each transition from one zone to another is a surge arrestor for equipotential bonding. These arrestors correspond to the requirement class in question.

Lightning protection zones concept according to IEC 62305-4 (EN 62305-4)

Lightning protection zones concept according to IEC 62305-4 (EN 62305-4)

  • LPZ 0A: direct lightning strikes & high electromagnetic fields occur
  • LPZ 0B: no direct strike but high electromagnetic field
  • LPZ 1: without direct strike, the electromagnetic field is weak
  • LPZ 2: areas with weak electromagnetic fields
  • LPZ 3: protection area inside equipment

Any electrical, telecommunication, data, and other equipment undergoing a zoning change should be equipped with an arrester. 

Lightning protection zones and comprehensive protection measures

Surge protection devices are classified into lightning current arresters, surge arresters and combined arresters according to the requirements of their installation. Lightning current and combined arresters which are in LPZ 0A to 1/LPZ 0A to 2 fulfill the most stringent requirements in terms of discharge capacity. These arresters must be capable of discharging partial lightning currents of 10/350 μs wave form several times without destruction, thus preventing injection of destructive partial lightning currents into the electrical installation of a building.

Surge arresters are installed at the transition from LPZ 0 to 1 and downstream of LPZ 1 to 2 and higher. Their function is to mitigate the residual currents of the upstream protection stages and those generated in the installation.

Choosing the right surge protection devices

The classification of surge protection devices into types can be matched to different requirements with regard to location, protection level and current-carrying capacity. The table provides an overview of the zone transitions

Zone transition Surge protection device and
device type
Product example
LPZ 0 B to LPZ 1 Protection device for lightning protection equipotential bonding in accordance with VDE 0185-305 (IEC 62305) for direct or close lightning strikes.
Devices: Type 1 (Class I), e.g. FLT-SEC
Max. protection level according to standard: 4 kV
Installation e.g. in the main panel/at building entry

FLT-SEC Item no.: 2905421

FLT-SEC Item no.: 2905421

LPZ 1 to LPZ 2 Protection device for lightning protection equipotential bonding in accordance with VDE 0185-305 (IEC 62305) for direct or close lightning strikes.
Devices: Type 2 (Class II), e.g. VAL-MS 230
Max. protection level according to standard: 1.5 kV
Installation e.g. in the distributor panel/at building entry

VAL-MS 230 Item no.: 2838209

VAL-MS 230 Item no.: 2838209

LPZ 2 to LPZ 3 Protection device, designed for surge protection of portable consumers at sockets and power supplies.
Devices: Type 3 (Class III), e.g. MNT-1D
Max. protection level according to standard: 1.5 kV
Installation e.g. on the end consumer

MNT-1D Item no.: 2882200

MNT-1D Item no.: 2882200

Arrester type over current (level 1) is an arrester that serves to cut a very large lightning current (maximum 100 kA) and quickly (100 ns) directs its flow to grounding, but there is still a return voltage generated.

Installations of level 1 arresters are typically on the outer side of the power grid (before the meter PLN/parent panel or Genset)

Arrester type over current (level 2) is arrester that serves to cut over voltage (20 kA) from lightning induction and reverse voltage and even more quickly (20 ns) drain it by grounding, Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) has the ability to cut the lightning voltage inversely with its sensitivity level.

Arrester type Fine Protector (level 3) is an arrester that serves to cut the remaining voltage from the 2nd level arrester (3 kA) and directs its flow to ground within 25 ns.

If you would like more information on the products we have to offer, feel free to contact us and we will be in touch!

Comprehensive Solutions from Phoenix Contact

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In today’s market, customers are looking for vendors who can value add, making them stand out in the sea of competitors. One of the orders we often receive is to supply a complete package system from the cabinet to the components level.

Our collaboration with local partners makes Phoenix Contact the preferred solutions provider. Backed by comprehensive components from Phoenix Contact, control cabinets supplied and superior engineering services are the root of our initial success in the Process market in Indonesia.

Problems which the customer faced before are as follows:

  • Having to contact several vendors for the different scopes of supply, such as electrical components, control cabinet, wiring and installation
  • Managing the delivery time for each and every vendor
  • Complexities during the project management
  • Uncompetitive prices

With a complete solution provided by Phoenix Contact & our partners, customers will only have one point of contact related to all cabinet and components project requirements. This will ease the difficulties faced in terms of project management and therefore will ultimately reduce their overall cost.

Take a look at the example below of our recent success at this comprehensive solution.

Application: Metering Systems

Scope of supplies:

  • Control cabinet 800W x 800D x 2000H (in mm) & cabinet accessories
  • Redundant power supply system by Quint Power (QUINT-PS/1AC/24DC/10)
  • I/O Surge protection system with indicator: Termitrab Complete (TTC-6-1X2-F-M-24DC-UT-I)
  • Current splitter: MACX MCR-SL-RPSSI-2I
  • System cabling: Varioface (FLKM-D25 SUB/B + CABLE-D25SUB/B/S/100/KONFEK/S)
  • Front mounting industrial power socket and RJ 45 socket IP65
  • Interposing relay: PLC relay series (PLC-RSC- 24DC/21)
  • Accessories: fuse terminal block, AC socket power, cable duct, terminal & device marking, etc
  • Engineering services: wiring and installation, FAT supports

Below are the images of our solution:

Front mounting AC socket & RJ 45 socket

Front mounting AC socket & RJ 45 socket

Control Cabinet and wiring/installation services

Control Cabinet and wiring/installation services

Varioface system cabling

Varioface system cabling

Redundant power supply, interposing relay, fuse terminal block

Redundant power supply, interposing relay, fuse terminal block

TTC Surge protection with indicator and MACX current splitter

TTC Surge protection with indicator and MACX current splitter

If you would like to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us!


From |

Dear readers, customers, colleagues and netizens. If you have been following Phoenix Contact SEA Blog closely, you would’ve seen very in-depth writings/sharing about Industrial I/Os, top class Surge Protection, systematic Solar Solutions, super reliable Power Solutions, best in class Connectors and durable Markers/Labels.

If we were to name each and every product, it would probably span a few telephone directories worth of entries to display all the products that Phoenix Contact can offer.

But, I’m here to share the very one thing that sets Phoenix Contact apart from others. It is just one simple word: “SINCERITY”.

From our viewpoint, Phoenix Contact products are to help our customers to be successful in their Applications, Solutions, Projects and Designs. With a product developed sincerely with the purpose of being able to easily, efficiently and elegantly be adopted in your designs, we will definitely ensure your solution is applicable for the future demand of technology.

In many sales-motivated seminars, the best sales person wins the order. But in reality the greatest salesperson wins the respect of the customers, with the sincere attitude to provide a win-win proposition to customers.

Also only the greatest salesperson retains the customer whenever that person pursues his journey. The main principle behind this attitude is once again, SINCERITY.

In reflection, the word “SINCERITY” reflects the attitude of Phoenix Contact’s aspiration, mission and focus in helping our customers to continue to lead in their fields of expertise such as manufacturing, infrastructure, oil & gas, mining, power distributions, marine, agriculture, solar, lighting, medical and aerospace.

Over the years, customers work hand in hand with Phoenix Contact, because we offer the best and effective technology and we understand the needs of our customers. Phoenix Contact is the leading example of technology developed in sincerity with the main goal of easing customer’s application.

If we ponder deep into our connectors and terminal blocks, it was developed with considerations on ease of use, reliability, accuracy and practicality. The millions of terminal blocks shipped every year is a reflection of the millions of connections we have from helping customers.