Monthly Archives: November 2018

Harsh Environment PCB Enclosure

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Selecting an enclosure is simplified by reviewing the sizes of the components & the PCB board that is to be enclosed, followed by the aesthetic look. However, when choosing an enclosure suitable for a harsh environment, the requirements become complex. Several things need to considered, such as how the enclosure is going to be mounted, whether the enclosure needs a vent, what is the degree of protection, what kind of test needs to be performed and many more.

Making a wrong choice can be extremely destructive, brand damaging and it also signals the end of the product.

What we can offer

Phoenix Contact presents new housings for electronics, for especially harsh ambient conditions. The robust housings of the Environment Case System (ECS) series with IP69 degree of protection are suited for a broad temperature range of -40°C to +100°C, and reliably protect the integrated electronics from physical influences.

  • Ideal solution for applications both indoors and outdoors
  • Protection class IP66/69
  • Protection against dust, water and UV-radiation
Main features Customer benefits
Vented or Unvented Enclosures Using the vented version allows pressure to escape to reduce the stress on the seal and also allows any condensation built up to escape, protecting the valued electronics inside the enclosure.
Tamper Protection Allows manufacturers or installers to add tamper evidence security in the latch areas to tell if anyone has opened the product in the end application.
Accepts 1.57mm and 2.36 mm thick PCBs

 

Customers are able to choose which thickness they want to use for their PCB design.
Pole Mounting (Accessory) Using our pole mount accessories the customer can easily mount their device on a pole (mast) or frame.
PCB Lock Integrating this accessory allows technicians to only pull the PCB out of the enclosure to a set length. It can also prevent the PCB and faceplate from falling out of the enclosure when unlatching.

Heavycon Evo

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*Sigh*

I believe that many of us have experienced similar problems with plugs and sockets as pictured above, especially while travelling. Due to poor designs, some of our bulky charging equipment for our phones, laptops or cameras may not be able to charge. This creates massive inconvenience for us as we are unable to use our devices when we need them. In times like these, being able to adjust the wall plug orientation would solve the problem.

Surprisingly, such problems also arise in factories and warehouses that usually utilise heavy machinery. However, having such problems with heavy machinery will bring about more inconvenient repercussions such as having to move your machine to another location or adjusting your wall plug so that the socket can be plugged into it. These will bring about higher costs and also more tedious work.

The Phoenix Contact team has thus come up with a solution to overcome these problems.

Our Heavycon Evo is a heavy duty connector which allows the cable gland to be connected vertically or horizontally depending on the site conditions and requirements. The housing offers range from B6 to B24 and cable gland sizes of M20, M25, M32 and M40. Because of how customisable the product is, using it reduces the inventory in stock. Heavycon Evo is particularly useful when it comes to installation of cables in rather tight spaces. This also helps create a more compact setup which saves space. In cases where the wiring and connection points between cables are in obscure and inconvenient positions, the Heavycon Evo allows the user to alter the orientation of the sleeves from horizontal to vertical or vice versa. This feature also allows the wiring to last longer as the wires will not be in positions where they are under high tension.

Besides fulfilling its original purpose, the Heavycon Evo has additional benefits. When told that the Heavycon Evo is made up of plastic, many have the impression that it is not very durable. However, the fact that the Heavycon Evo is made of plastic brings about many benefits. The Heavycon Evo is made of high grade polyamide plastic that has gone through stringent quality checks such as IP and Nema degrees of protection, vibration, temperature shock, shock resistance, roll-over test and the dynamic load special test which verifies that the Heavycon Evo bayonet locking and double latch do not open independently or malfunction even in the case of extremely high static loads. Furthermore, the high grade plastic of Heavycon Evo will drastically lessen the load of machinery as it is significantly lighter than its metal counterpart by up to 50%.

Heavycon Evo enables the multiple connections of data, power and signal in a single housing with up to six difference combinations. We have also implemented our state of the art push-in technology in our inserts to allow easy, fast and secure connections in every application. Lastly, there is a common misunderstanding that plastic sleeves cannot match the applications of metal sleeves. However, this is not true as our Heavycon Evo is compatible with all existing setups of up to 24 positions with existing metal setups.

In conclusion, Heavycon Evo is compact to be installed in tight positions, cost effective, light weight and compatible. Hence, it will be your number one choice when buying heavy duty connectors.

Interested to find out more? Feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

Do you like to be Monitored?

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In today’s world, people appreciate monitoring because we would be happy to observe and check on the progress of something over a period of time. For example, we install CCTV at home to check on our family’s safety; we keep our phone GPS turned on to keep our loved ones informed of where we are; we join different social media platforms and post crazily to keep ourselves “alive” and keep others “alerted of our presence”.

In the industrial world, condition monitoring is also a trendy topic. It is the process of monitoring a parameter of conditions in machinery (vibration, temperature etc.), in order to identify a significant change which is indicative of a developing fault. The ultimate objective of condition monitoring is to achieve predictive maintenance to avoid a burst of the operating cost and to increase productivity and efficiency.

Phoenix Contact is embarking on Industry 4.0 in order to provide the solutions that focus on the value and ease of preventive and predictive maintenance. Below are a few monitoring solutions for different industries for your kind consideration.

Pump and Motor Monitoring System for Water Industry (PumpMonitor)

To minimize maintenance and repair costs, reduce energy consumption and increase system availability.

  • It is an installation-ready control cabinet solution
  • Bearing and machine vibrations are recorded by the integrated sensor module
  • Standard communications (PROFINET, OPC etc.)
  • Online status monitoring with colour visualization
  • Option to integrate into the Cloud

PV Monitoring System for Solar Industry (SOLARCHECK)

To maximize the energy yield and help to reduce operation and maintenance cost.

  • It measures the current using Hall sensors
  • The conductor feeds through the openings in the measuring module and connects to the communication cable
  • Contact-free measurement with safe isolation and no contact resistance
  • Option to extend the system with a voltage measurement of up to 1500 V DC

Remote Control and Monitoring System for Railway Industry

To save labour and maintenance cost through remote access and to improve system reliability.

  • Able to control many interlinked components of various systems
  • Easy to integrate the controller into existing networks
  • License-free wireless technology for I/O signals and serial data transmission
  • High availability with redundant power supplies
  • SPD protects the system against switching surges and lightning strikes

Lightning Monitoring System for Lightning Prone Zone Infrastructure (LM-S)

To be informed online of the lightning strikes to determine whether any checks or maintenance are required.

  • The sensors can record the magnetic field (based on the principle of the Faraday effect) due to the lightning surge current
  • The typical parameters recorded are maximum lightning current strength, lightning current rise time, charge and energy
  • It can be integrated in standard network systems via the RJ45 Ethernet interface
  • Internal web server is used to access data and configure the system

Your system will be safeguarded by Phoenix Contact because we can help you to put it under close monitoring before the developing of faults (predictive maintenance) or immediately right after the faults occur (preventive maintenance). If you are interested to find out how our monitoring system can contribute to your operating expenses (OPEX), feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

IP Ratings

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I accidently dropped my phone into the water during my last swimming session. Luckily, my phone is waterproof and I studied the specifications. It is a smartphone with an IP67 rating. So what does IP67 mean? What do the two digits represent?

IP rating is known as Ingress Protection or International Protection ratings, which are defined to the international standard of IEC/EN 60529. IP ratings are used to define the levels of sealing effectiveness of the product against intrusion of dirt and water. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solid particles while the second digit represents protection against ingress of liquids.

First Digit

Level Protection against Description
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50 mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5 mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5 mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1 mm Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact

Second Digit

Level  Protection against Description
0 No protection against water
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
2 Dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 Splashing water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
7 Immersion up to 1m Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8 Immersion beyond 1m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.

With the information from both tables, we can now interpret the ingress protection of equipment. For example, a product with an IP66 rating means that the product is dust tight and protected against powerful high-pressure water jets from all directions.

IP rating is a critical parameter for industrial equipment that is intended to operate in dusty environments and are exposed to the risk of water ingression (outdoor application, offshore application, etc). In Phoenix Contact, we have several products that designed to fit into such extreme environments.

  • CLIPSAFE Enclosure

Phoenix Contact CLIPSAFE enclosure product range is IP66 rated, providing comprehensive protection for your application in harsh industrial environments. Thanks to the high quality sealing design, CLIPSAFE enclosure protects your equipment from the risk of dust and water ingression.

IPX6 All Directions Water Jets Test

IPX6 Water Jets Test

IP6X Dust Test

  • HEAVYCON Industrial Connector

With the combination of the robust IP66, IP67 and even IP69K (highest rating till date) rated HEAVYCON industrial connectors, we have a reliable housing that can connect the equipment within CLIPSAFE enclosures to external devices.

  • WLAN Module

Not a fan of wired communication?

Phoenix Contact offers wireless communication modules, which features protection up to an IP68 rating. It can be directly mounted on enclosures (CLIPSAFE for instance), providing a complete industrial solution with high IP protection.

DataTrab

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Better Sealing, better availability

In most cases, whatever we install inside a control cabinet, we are confident of its protection against external factors. This could be true if certain levels of sealing effectiveness were defined.

An example: Data SPD was installed inside the control cabinet, the gap between the housing and the RJ45 port is an easy entry point of foreign material or even an Insect. Thus, leading the SPD to immediate failure.

In comparison,

DATATRAB, DT-LAN-CAT.6+

Your advantages

  • Reliable transmission speeds of up to 10 Gbps
  • Protective adapter for eight signal paths via RJ45 connector
  • Suitable for category 6 high-speed data networks
  • Can be installed in a control cabinet.

Better sealing, no GAPS between housing and RJ45 port.

Wireless Technology: the Industry 4.0 Backbone

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Industry 4.0 is the 4th generation industrial revolution. This world-changing principle enhances productive efficiency in smarter and faster ways by utilizing the state of the art technology of data analysis software alongside powerful computerized hardware capabilities.

The key to the success of Industry 4.0 is to connect thousands of devices to the central system in order to allow exchanging of various parameters to the processing unit, such as humidity, temperature, status, level, etc. Not only is data transmitted, but devices also receive commands for further actions.

Actually, the powerful hardware and advanced software capabilities have existed for over 20 years. However, the increased number of devices connected to the system means a higher cost of investment. In the past, the only reliable connectivity was through wired cables, which investment cost was directly related to the complexity of the number of devices.

This key obstacle has been rapidly resolved by the advent of reliable wireless technology. Today, various applications of wireless technology have been proven and widely used, such as:

NFC: Near Field Communication

RFID: Radio-Frequency Identification

Wi-Fi: Wireless Fidelity

What makes people trust wireless technology?

Security: New advancements in data encryption technology protects data from intruders.

Speed: The new standard of network 802.11ac helps increase data transmission speed to 10 times faster than the old standard which is sufficient for industrial control systems.

Savings: All stakeholders follow the wireless markets trend. Therefore, new hardware for wireless technology has been introduced daily. This brings significant reduction in the price of wireless devices which mean tremendous savings during investments.

Phoenix Contact offers a huge portfolio of products under the category of wireless technology, as shown below.

Why Wireless?

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In the conventional method of data communication we often use wired systems. In the setting up of such systems involving data communication, we would need to plan the cable routes very carefully, and it is often very costly when the wires are required to be routed up and down such that obstacles are avoided in order to get connected. Usually the cost of the cables, labour, special tools for terminating etc. would be a considerably huge amount.

Besides the significant installation cost, physical degrading of the cable is a common issue faced (for example, wear and tear due to weather conditions, accidental cuts, scratches and bites by animals such as mice and ants). Especially when the system is down as a result of this, nobody would know which part of cable is broken or damaged.

In wireless technology, we could eliminate such worries and the less hardware used means that the risk of a breakdown would be lower. Aside from this, wireless technology has the following advantages:

  • More flexibility
  • Interference-free communication
  • Mobility and freedom of movement of participants/devices.
  • No wear and tear of the transmission medium
  • Able to bridge long distances and problematic areas
  • Neat looking

Applications of Wireless Techonology:

Some of our Industrial Wireless products are shown below:

An example of a typical setup:

Radioline Wireless Network

Wireless HART Network

Bluetooth Wireless Ethernet

7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Part 1)

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Do you sometimes feel lousy, sluggish and lethargic? Recently, I was telling myself, “Hey, I need to do something to better improve my mind-set and be more productive”.

One fine afternoon as I was walking past our in-house library shelf, a prominent book caught my eye, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. I picked it up and, deciding to step out of my comfort zone, started reading.

There are 3 parts to this book, and in this series of blog articles, we will be covering part 1. It speaks of the private victory that needs to be inculcated as a personal habit. Private victory means to have self-mastery in our personal life and to become independent with 3 pointers, the first of which is shown below.

  1. Be Proactive

Imagine 2 sales people, one of middle age who is only ever complaining about how tough it is to do sales today and how customers are ever demanding and always comparing prices. Moreover with the high cost of living, the stress level is overwhelming. His habit: always reactive.
The other, a young chap who understands and seeks to improve the situation by finding ways to gain more commission from his sales, in order to generate passive income to better provide for his family. His actions: always proactive.

Being the first guy is the easy way out, it requires less effort and all that is needed is to be negative and compliant. On the other hand, being the young chap requires the spending of countless hours to understand the customers, to propose solutions to upsell to them and research on the best options that can allow him to make passive income to the best of his abilities.

Responsibility – ‘response ability’ is the ability to choose your response. With this ability, the freedom to choose based on self-awareness, imagination, independent will and conscience, our proactive response will be determined.

Recently, taking over a key customer from the previous sales person, there were many gaps and unknowns such as:

  • No customer part number tag to manufacturer part number
  • No project names of existing orders
  • No project names of upcoming models
  • Uncertain about the allocation of the awarded parts.
  • No annual usage
  • No account plan

Two options were available, to sit there and complain about the missing information and put the blame on everyone else who is and was involved for not doing a good job, or to take the initiative to go to the customer and fill up the gaps and missing information.
Coming up with a proactive plan in mind to understand the customer, giving customers the assurance and security that we are interested in their business and to provide the best support that they can get, is the game plan.
It is not an easy path, but the rewards will be reaped after we sow the seeds.

Finally, I will leave you with some food for thought.

Stay tuned for the other 2 habits in my future blogs.

CLOUD IoT GATEWAY – The Smart Gateway for IoT Solutions

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The CLOUD IoT Gateway is designed to allow users to integrate their existing systems into the cloud. Machines and physical infrastructures can now be connected to the digital world. This will allow users to implement applications such as big data, condition monitoring and comprehensive data analysis. With protocols such as Modbus/TCP supported, the IoT gateway enables an easy process of connection.  No additional engineering software is required as the parameter configuration can be easily carried out at the gateway using web-based management.

Key benefits to users

  • Direct connection to the cloud for data analysis
  • No learning of new software – configuration is done via web-based management
  • Existing devices with Modbus/TCP can be connected to cloud
  • Robust hardware for usage in industrial environment
  • Secured transmission using TLS encryption (Transport Layer Security)

Interested to see how this works? Feel free to request a demonstration by dropping us an email at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!