Monthly Archives: April 2019

Finepitch Product Range Part 2

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Missed the first article in this two part series? Read it here!

Stringent requirements

As the number of participants in the field increases, so does the need to network them using information technology, equip them with appropriate electronics and interfaces for signal, data and power transmission, and shield them from harsh environmental conditions. Electromechanical interfaces play an important role here: they are the key to exploiting further miniaturization potential and making devices more reliable and flexible in industrial applications. However, dirt, vibrations, high temperatures and electromagnetic radiation place high demands on passive components.

Phoenix Contact responds to these requirements with a newly developed series of board-to-board connectors with 0.8 and 1.27 mm pitch. Both product families are ideally suited for the device-internal connection of several printed circuit boards. Thanks to horizontal and vertical variants, device manufacturers can implement mezzanine, orthogonal or coplanar PCB arrangements and thus offer flexible electronic layouts for different device applications.

Maximum freedom: Horizontal and vertical female connectors allow mezzanine, orthogonal and coplanar PCB arrangements

Full flexibility

All board-to-board connectors are designed for currents up to 1.4 A and voltages up to 500 VAC; and they offer solutions for 12 to 80 connection poles. Reverse polarity protection is particularly important in the compact pitches to prevent damage to the contact metals when they are mated and to ensure long-term stable connections inside the device. All board-to-board connectors are therefore polarized accordingly – the special geometry of the insulating housing reliably prevents female and male connectors from being mismatched.

Up to 500 mating and withdrawal cycles

The double-sided contacts of both product families make contact on the gold-plated rolled surfaces of the metals and thus guarantee an optimum contact force at all times, even under high shock effects of up to 50 g. Another advantage of the robust design: up to 500 mating and withdrawal cycles are possible without impairing electromechanical stability.

ScaleX contact system: The double-sided contacts provide high stability and allow up to 500 insertion and withdrawal cycles.

The unshielded Finepitch 1.27 series is suitable for stacking heights from 8 to 13.8 mm and, thanks to pre-assembled female connectors with flat ribbon cable, also enables wire-to-board applications, for example for larger PCB spacings.

The Finepitch 0.8 mm series offers particularly compact solutions for high-speed data transmission at up to 16 Gbps. Depending on the application and the required degree of protection, unshielded versions and versions with lateral shielding metals are available for maximum data integrity. Mechanically robust thanks to ScaleX technology. The hermaphroditically designed contacts of the more compact product series allow stacking heights from 6 to 12 mm. The newly developed ScaleX contact system not only guarantees particularly high mechanical stability. It also permits high tolerances for male and female connectors positioned differently for production or assembly reasons. The catch range of the Finepitch 0.8 series is ±0.7 mm per axis, the angle tolerances for mating are up to ±4 degree in longitudinal direction and ±2 degree in transverse direction. These high tolerances compensate the mechanical offset between the printed circuit boards.

Simple solution for SMT processes

The new board-to-board connectors of the Finepitch series are ideally suited for integration into the fully automated SMT process. Specially shaped and tin-plated gullwing surfaces offer a high contact area on the solder pads and thus improve the mechanical stability between the connector and the PCB surface. The soldering surfaces are designed in such a way that they still allow “overhead” soldering. This is always necessary when the printed circuit board is assembled on both sides. The unshielded versions also permit automatic optical inspection (AOI) and are delivered in a taped package for the appropriate process. Board-to-board connectors of the Finepitch 0.8 mm and 1.27 mm series offer ideal solutions for the flexible connection of several printed circuit boards in industrial electronic devices. The particularly robust contact systems allow different PCB arrangements and stacking heights and thus support flexible and modular device designs. Phoenix Contact is thus following the trend towards miniaturization and modularization of intelligence in the field. The great advantage for device manufacturers is that they can obtain tested and reliable device interfaces for the transmission of signals, data and power from a single source and can thus offer highly adaptive devices for the intelligent factory – regardless of the location and local market conditions.

Finepitch Product Range Part 1

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Robust Connection

Board-to-Board Connectors for the Industry

In the past five years, hardly any other buzzword has driven the industrial production and automation sector like “the intelligent factory”. Otherwise diverse markets as the USA, Europe and China agree on the implications: Industrial production must become more networked, more efficient, more intelligent and thus more internationally competitive. Robust board-to-board connectors are an important step along this path.

Intelligent solutions for the intelligent factory: Board-to-board connectors allow connections in new dimensions

One of the drivers of a increased competitiveness should be enhanced versions of production resources that lead to higher performance, more flexible production lines and lower manufacturing costs. For the year 2020, various analyses forecast almost 20 billion (IDC, 2016), almost 30 billion (Gartner, 2017) or even up to 50 billion (CISCO IBSG, 2011) IT-networked “things”. Even the most cautious forecast means that in just two years there will be almost three times more things communicating with each other than people.

In addition to the ubiquitous smart devices, these things also include the intelligent devices of the industrial production: controllers, power supplies, I/Os, HMIs and many more. These devices themselves have become more intelligent in recent years. Their electronic components, such as processors, could be produced at substantially lower cost and thus became more powerful and numerous. Together with their components, industrial electronic devices themselves became ever smaller, more powerful and more numerous. As a result, more intelligence from a formerly central and strictly hierarchical unit moved decentrally into the field.

Miniaturized and Reliable: Board-to-Board connectors are used for the internal connection of printed circuit boards

Stay tuned to our blog for the second part of this article!

Hannover Messe 2019

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Hannover Messe is truly the centre of the global industrial community. In the month of April, the city of Hannover sees hundreds of thousands of visitors congregating. Leading solution providers and manufacturers often take this event as an opportunity to showcase their innovation in new applications and products. This year, we can still see, undoubtedly, the continuous hype around the initiative of Industry 4.0, and the unwavering push towards its adoption around the world.

What exactly is Industry 4.0?

One might explain this as an industrial revolution where:

  1. A higher level of “Interconnectivity” is necessary with security implemented
  2. There is a need to create a digital twin through “Digitalization”, sharing digital information along the entire process
  3. There is smart system intelligence to allow “Decentralized Decision”

At Phoenix Contact, the COMPLETE Line System, for example, provides control cabinet manufacturers a holistic digitalized solution to plan and visualise their cabinet design and concept, before it goes into production. This will account for an optimized engineering process and improve productivity.

The highly celebrated PLCnext Technology Ecosystem takes automation into a whole new dimension. In collaboration with the ever increasing community of innovators, a digital marketplace has been launched, featuring purpose built-applications for automation, and software libraries to help accelerate PLC programming.

Taking advantage of the PLCnext hardware performance and open software system structure, PLCnext Technology will be a cornerstone for digitalized automation. The digital data can be upload to Phoenix Contact Proficloud, that provides the much needed visualisation (i.e.: augmented reality) across different stake holders of the organization.

Aside from the embrace of new technologies like IIoT, Cloud Computing, Augmented Reality which aid the transformation from the technological perspective, what about the enhancement of operational processes and the skill development the workforce within the organisation?

The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore has launched the “Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI)” and its accompanying Assessment Matrix / Prioritisation Matrix, to provide companies a self-diagnostic tool to assess their readiness and architect roadmap towards this digital transformation.

Source: EDB Singapore

As seen from the above overview, SIRI provides the industry with a much needed guideline that identifies the 3 fundamental building blocks of Industry 4.0, namely: Technology, Process and Organisation.

These building blocks are then sub-categorised into 8 key pillars that represent the critical aspects which the company needs to focus on and subsequently into 16 different dimensions of assessment. The implementing company can then use these tools to evaluate their facility readiness, benchmarking their scores against others in the industry and finally plan and prioritise their implementation.

PSD Signal Towers

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Clear signalling at all times, in all places

Reducing downtime and costs is the only way to ensure a competitive advantage. Unmistakable signalling status of the machine or system states is a crucial requirement. These modular signal towers of the PSD (Phoenix Signalling Devices) product range are characterized by their wide range of alarm signals in optical as well as acoustic modules.

If you require central monitoring of the machine or system status, even in an environment without network infrastructure, you are able to choose between two cost-effective alternatives. The PSD signal tower allows for the connection of a wireless interface and also enables direct or subsequent evaluation on the PC.

The PSD signal tower is also flexible when it comes to system expansion and conversions due the modular design.

Advantages of the PSD signal towers from Phoenix Contact:

Clear status indication

The optical elements are available in a choice of 5 colours with various different signal types.

Clear audible indication

The acoustic elements are available in siren, buzzer and voice output.

Fast installation

A signal tower can be erected or extended without using any tools in a matter of seconds by simply placing the individual signal elements on top of each other and turning the bayonet locking system. This automatically establishes an electrical connection between the elements. The control lines are then connected to the screw or spring-cage terminal blocks in the base elements.

Service life

Minimum LED service life of 50,000hrs which adds up to an estimated lifespan of 6 years if it is in operation for 24hrs a day, 356 days a year.

Various mounting options

The signal tower portfolio is completed by a wide range of mounting elements, which ensure optimum mounting of signal towers according to the conditions. You are able to choose from surface mounting or tube mounting.

High degree of protection

IP65, when installed.

Central monitoring and control

Using the WIN (Wireless Information Network) system, it is possible to simultaneously monitor the status of up to 50 machines at a central point by transmitting the status via wireless elements integrated into the signal towers (slaves) to a receiving element (master) that is connected to the USB port of a PC.

A slave element has a wireless range of up to 300m. The distance of the slave element from the master can be increased by up to 900m with the help of integrated repeater and routing devices.

Advantages of our WIN system:

  • Simultaneous monitoring of a large number of machines
  • Central monitoring is possible, even in area without network infrastructure (example, Ethernet)
  • Can be operated parallel to other wireless applications
  • High wireless range
  • No programming or parameterization required
  • Graphical evaluation of machine status
  • Retrospective analysis of machine status
  • Error messages alarm via e-mail

Optimum detection of machine status

The signal towers are used to indicate the status of the machines or systems, including operating states, start up, normal operating, warnings, error alarm messages, pending critical states, acknowledgement requests, etc. There are also a numerous other applications, such as the status display of access controls and cabinet systems.