Yearly Archives: 2020

The Only Constant is Change

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It has been approximately three months since the Covid-19 outbreak affected us globally. The Covid-19 crisis has brought misfortune to some industries. However, some have unexpectedly benefitted from the situation, for example: mask and sanitizer manufacturers.

Have you ever thought that Working from Home (WFH) will be something necessary before the outbreak? This difficult situation of Covid-19 has affected much of the way we work, how we work with our clients, and even how we manage to maintain relationships with our family and friends (including our customers and suppliers). I personally felt overwhelmed when my company first applied the WFH policy. Professionally, I was not sure if I could be productive and work effectively from home. I also had to find practical ways to communicate with my supervisor, in order to ensure that he could always get the latest updates on my work progress. Personally, I am worried about how I can protect my own health and that of my family from this contagious virus.

May is often celebrated as Mental Health Awareness Month. Through this blog, I would like to share 3 points that can hopefully remind us to always be always grateful amidst this difficult Covid-19 pandemic.

1. More Personal Time

Let us be honest. When we’re busy with our travel schedule or appointments, we sometimes forget to plan for our own personal time. With WFH, we actually can have more personal time to ourselves. We may enjoy our own personal time by watching movies or reading those books on the shelves which we have not had the time to complete before.

We can also do some self-reflection and self-development. As we are supposed to stay at home most of the time, we might find ourselves learning to unlock new skills, such as video editing, hosting virtual meetings, or even our cooking/baking skills!

Not to forget, now we also have more time to exercise. We tend to find excuses not to go to the gym after working the whole day. As we do not need to commute to our workplace anymore, we have plenty of time to keep our body fit.

2. Precious Bonding Time

When was the last time you really spent quality time with your family members other than on weekends (if you do not have any appointments with your friends)? For countries with lockdown measures like Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, you are required to stay at home with your family nearly 24/7, with the exception of going out to buy essentials. We can see what our kids/parents/siblings or even pets are doing the whole day! While some of their lifestyle habits may surprise you (E.g. your kids write the letter x in a different way than you do), this might be the perfect time for us to have precious bonding time with our partners at home.

If you miss your friends, you can always just call them instead! Video calling our friends virtually might seem awkward at the beginning, but as time goes by, you will find yourself comfortable with it. Video calling our dear friends might now be the perfect way to catch up with them.

3. The New Normal

For those whose companies are applying the WFH policy, I would like to congratulate you! Many front-line workers do not have the chance to do that, and we should appreciate their honourable act of fighting the pandemic outbreak. For us who are told to stay at home, let us be grateful as the new normal is currently here at your doorstep.

We are officially more flexible now! Although we opt to find new solutions in order to be productive while we are working from home, we can actually adjust our activities according to our own needs. We can work from our own beds wearing pyjamas, also at our own preferred timing. We may also set our own preferred music for the purpose of our own entertainment.

Moreover, by doing frequent virtual discussions or meetings with our teams or managers, we might create an unusual bonding which might not have occurred if we meet face-to-face in the office. This bonding or connection will undoubtedly be beneficial when it is the time for us to be back in the office.

To conclude, we must understand that this crisis is beyond our control and it is important to look at the silver lining. We have to stay positive, and being positive can help maintain our mental health. Although we still cannot predict when this pandemic will be over, it is part of our social responsibility to motivate our friends & family by looking at the current issue in a positive way. Just like the old proverb: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”!

Transmission and Distribution Industry – Solutions and Products

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Phoenix Contact Transmission and Distribution industry has lots of products and solutions tailored for different global industries. Customizing the solution to individual customers’ specific requirements, we discover new innovative solutions.

Reliable, intelligent, future-proof

Highly available systems are based on reliable components that interact seamlessly with one another – just like the components from Phoenix Contact. We use innovative products and sophisticated solutions to help our customers operate highly available systems, implement efficient processes and establish a technical infrastructure that is fit for the digital future.

Electrifying since 1923

We brought the first modular terminal block for power plants to the market nearly 100 years ago. Since then, we have successfully installed these terminal blocks in countless energy industry projects. Together with our customers, we have broken new grounds and driven innovative developments forward time and again. Because as a global market leader in electrical engineering, we want to offer our customers tomorrow’s solutions today.

Testing

Regular device and interface testing are crucial to critical infrastructures, such as energy switching devices. Whether meters, measuring devices, or protective relays – with our special terminals or our pluggable FAME system, you can connect, test, and replace all devices quickly and safely.

Power supply and protection

Station control technology is essential in order to guarantee safe and reliable operation of a substation. Supplying these devices with failsafe voltage, while at the same time protecting them, is one of the most important tasks of the power transmission and distribution system. For this purpose, we offer special power supply units for 24 V DC that can be installed redundantly, and compact device circuit breakers that can be used to protect each function separately. With their broad range of protection, control, and measurement functions, our compact protection and control devices are well-suited for a wide variety of applications.

Remote control

Connecting decentralized process and grid stations in different locations to one central control centre requires the use of modular remote control systems that are capable of utilizing a range of communication protocols. However, to ensure that the connection, evaluation, and parameterization of data remains functional, we offer solutions that can be configured, operated, and maintained safely and economically, and require no programming knowledge. Moreover, these solutions guarantee reliable monitoring and access via a wide range of standardized communication protocols.

Signalling

Annunciator relays are used for reliably signalling danger and operating states in control rooms, in mimic diagrams, and on control panels. Our range of alarms notifies users of a variety of system states clearly, and in good time. Malfunctions and faults are quickly and reliably detected, which in turn allows them to be addressed immediately.

Networking

In times of volatile energy generation and new digital trends, providing a stable energy supply can be challenging. We are here to help you master this challenge, with intelligent technologies for processing and transmission of all relevant data while ensuring compliance with IEC 61850.

Measurement, conversion, and coupling

Isolate, convert, and filter signals and monitor and control processes: our MCR components cover all the tasks required for interference-free signal transmission from sensor level to control level. Discover our energy measuring devices, current and voltage transformers, and relays.

Connecting

Whether in a control cabinet or in the field – the energy industry places a large number of demands on connection technology. It must be as safe and secure as it is durable, and it must also be easy to operate. Connection technology from Phoenix Contact meets these demands, from screw connections, to insulation-displacement contacts, right through to Push-in connections.

Marking

A consistent plant marking system forms the basis for efficient maintenance, repairs and troubleshooting in substations. And we offer comprehensive, uniform system solutions for this purpose: from marking materials to labelling systems all the way to software, all from a single source.

Interested to find out more? Leave us an email at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

TERMITRAB Complete – The Narrowest Surge Protection for MCR Technology

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TERMITRAB Complete is the world’s narrowest surge protection for MCR application. This product range provides you with a complete system kit, featuring an integrated status indicator and an optional remote signalling set. TERMITRAB Complete, the narrowest protective device at only at 3,5mm width.

  • Starting from 3.5 mm widths, TERMITRAB complete is the world’s narrowest surge protection solution for MCR applications
  • Status indication with remote signaling
  • System modules for all MCR applications

From 2019, pluggable protective devices in the TERMITRAB Complete product family will be available for 3-wire measurements.

  • Due to their very low insertion loss, the products are ideally suited for resistance measurements.
  • Thanks to their ATEX and IECEx approvals and UL listing, they can be used in any application.
  • High rated current of 5 A also makes them suitable for use on actuators.
  • The protection of 3-wire cables only requires 6mm width.
  • The status of the protective devices is always visible thanks to the integrated status indicator.
  • The status is transmitted to the controller via optional remote signalling set.

TERMITRAB Complete – your best choice of Surge Protection for all MCR Applications. With a complete portfolio ranging from Single Stage Protection to multistage Surge Protection with integrated status indication and knife disconnect, TERMITRAB Complete SPD will give you the most holistic and comprehensive protection for your cabinet solutions.

Interested to try out all the benefits mentioned above? Feel free to get in touch with us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

SmartRTU AXC SG

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The smartRTU AXC SG telecontrol and automation technology system from Phoenix Contact can be used across industries. In addition to the telecontrol technology, it can be used as a simple automation solution. Its use in electrical networks is the primary application field. Additionally, applications in wind and solar power plants, water supply and gas supply can be also realized simply and safely with the smartRTU technology.

With smartRTU technology, many applications can be implemented, from simple to complex telecontrol and automation applications. The simple and secure parameterization of a solution using a web browser also enables trained service technicians without programming knowledge to configure and commission an application.

Thus, the monitoring of operating variables in distribution grids can be parameterized in a very simple, fast and flexible way. The integration of short circuit and ground fault indicators and other devices via relay contacts, Modbus RTU or Modus TCP communication is possible without expert knowledge. The reporting of operating states and measured variables to higher-level telecontrol nodes or control systems has already been implemented in compliance with current information security regulations. The parallel communication via different, standardized communication protocols such as IEC 60870-5-101 / 104 or IEC 61850 (coming soon) is possible. This allows distribution networks to be safely and economically monitored and optimally operated.

In addition to the monitoring of distribution grids, the active control of the grids by means of further smartRTU functionalities is already included in the functional scope. The monitoring of load and circuit breakers as well as their remote control gets implemented by parameterization of the provided smartRTU application. Whether single message or double command, the system is already preconfigured for this. An individual and customer-specific realization is given by the modular and flexible software and hardware construction.

Selected functions and setting parameters allow, among other things, to configure a complete feed-in management solution, with readback of the actual feed, with just a few clicks and inputs. The communication link to the distribution system operator’s control system can just as easily be bidirectional, e.g. via a 104 communication.

Thanks to the simple parameterization, evaluation, logical linking and communication of signals and values, a number of different telecontrol applications and solutions can be implemented quickly, safely and simply across industries using smartRTU technology from Phoenix Contact. If you would like to find out more, feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

Safety in Tunnel Applications

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Commuting each morning via the 12km road tunnel during peak hours, it only takes a little more than 15 minutes to reach my destination from home. It is difficult to imagine thousands of cars passing through each day without hearing many accidents being reported on the news. However, when calamity arises, it is then clear that the safety systems have been put in place, ensuring the safety of road users at all times.

Have you ever wondered what is going on behind the scenes?

The road tunnels are designed in accordance with directives which specifying the minimum safety requirements. Aside from the emergency exits and emergency telephones available at regular intervals, it is paramount that the tunnels must always be supplied with power, light, fresh air and water for firefighting.

Take the ventilation system for example. It helps to remove toxic gases when the NOx, CO or CO2 levels are detected to be high during normal operations. In the case of a fire, the operator depends on the same system to purge the smoke and heat from the tunnel, away from motorists evacuating the tunnel or the emergency response team that is tackling the disaster.

To minimise potential casualties, Phoenix Contact has developed the Dynamic Evacuation Guidance (D.E.G). The automated D.E.G comprises of a full redundant configuration, where the guiding handrail is monitored by a pair of redundant PLC to guarantee maximum availability. Together with its 2-hour phosphorescence effect on the guiding handrail, the worst-case scenario during a loss of electrical power is also mitigated.

It is equally important to note that all state-of-the-art safety systems will not be operating at its best without a reliable communication network. The integrated backbone communication network is typically setup in several redundancy levels. At “switching level”, the entire tunnels are segregated into various “zones” covering certain sections of the tunnel. These “zones” are then grouped together through the “routing level”. With this structure, network failure (should it ever occur) can be isolated, without affecting other parts of the communication network.

6 Reasons Why Phoenix Contact PLC-Interface Relay Is No. 1 in the Market

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An experienced electrical engineer will be very familiar with compact relays. There are plenty of brands in the market and they are essential in many applications. Today, we are going to share with you why Phoenix Contact PLC-Interface relay is the cream of the crop.

  • High reliability by having no soldering points

Unlike most compact relays in the market, Phoenix Contact PLC-Interface relay is made up of a single metal stamp circuit without any soldering points. Soldering joints are generally lower in strength and are advised to be used in high temperature applications. Corrosion might happen if the flux residue is not removed. Thus, by removing the weak solder points, we increase the reliability of our PLC-Interface relay.

  • Push-in Technology increases efficiency

We cannot imagine the time without Push-in Technology. It saves up to 80% wiring effort as compared to the good old screw connection. It was first implemented in Phoenix Contact terminal block and has slowly taken over as the preferred connection technology in most of Phoenix Contact products. Using a simple spring mechanism with a striking orange button, Push-in technology has won the hearts of many users. It is now available in PLC-Interface relay.

  • Compactness and modularity saves space and reduces downtime

Real estate in the control cabinet is extremely precious. We are always trying to fit as many components as we can into the smallest possible control cabinet. With just 6,2mm thickness, you can fit over 160 pieces of PLC-Interface relay on a 1-meter DIN rail. By keeping the control cabinet small, you can save on the material cost. The modular system also ensures easy replacement of the relay in case of wear and tear. The pluggable relay reduces downtime needed for repair and maintenance.

  • Wide variety of accessories provides ease of wiring

Phoenix Contact PLC-Interface relay comes with many accessories such as built-in bridges for convenient distribution. This makes installation and wiring faster as compared to doing it manually with wires. We also have a wide range of marking materials for easy and appropriate labeling of the relays.

  • High availability with solid-state relay and other features

Solid-state relays are almost wear-free as they do not rely on mechanical movement to perform the switching. This gives the PLC-Interface relay a long service life. With integrated circuitry, PLC-Interface relays are protected against reverse polarity. Safety is further enhanced with the safe insulation between input and output (EN 50178). PLC-interface relay works well even in harsh and aggressive conditions. Rated IP 67, it is resistant against moisture and dust.  

  • We make smart relays smarter with PLC logic

Phoenix Contact is the pioneer to combine logic, interface and field connection. It gives the device the ability to switch and control the I/O signals, and combines the relays with analog modules. All can be achieved by simply plugging in a small controller into a standard PLC-Interface. With the width of 50mm, the small module provides up to 16 I/O signals. Extension modules can be added to increase up to 48 I/O signals. An intuitive software, Logic +, is also available for quick programming of the logic relay system.

Besides PLC-Interface relay, Phoenix Contact provides the best switching devices for all applications. To know more about the switch devices we have to offer, feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

A World Without Sensors, a World Without Internet of Things (IoT)

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Sensors are not only used in industrial applications, but they are used widely around the world, in our everyday lives.

Sit back, close your eyes, and think. “What would the world be like, without Sensors?”

Just to name a few applications on things we commonly come across: Our mobile phones have light sensors; automated car parks have proximity sensors; thermometers have temperature sensors; cameras have motion sensors; smart watches have accelerometers; cars have pressure sensors etc.

The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. IoT could be anywhere and everywhere nowadays, ranging from daily household products such as refrigerators, to life saving products such as heart rate monitors. This blog article will let us understand the importance of sensors in applications of Internet of Things (IoT). Without sensors, there will be no IoT.

Why are sensors so important to IoT? Sensors read real time information, which translates into data. This data will be translated into knowledge, and follow-up actions can be taken. This will in turn result in: better labour efficiency and energy savings, as lesser natural resources are required for manual labour; cost savings in terms of labour, and lower equipment maintenance costs as any minor issues will be highlighted before major ones strike; space and time savings as inventory will be better managed due to automated analysis and reporting.

As good as IoT may sound, there are challenges and constraints which IoT faces. Low power consumption is always a challenge, as the devices are usually not easily accessible, and need to run for long lifetimes with minimal power consumption. We can relate this to having high quality power connectors as the reliability of the connections need to be of high standards. When a connector fails, or in a worse case creates a fire, the after effects will be devastating as the whole plant or office might actually be lost before any fire fighters arrive, due to the distant location of such IoT applications.

In the following exhibit from McKinsey Global Institute, it is possible to see IoT’s potential benefits and challenges across the global economy. With sensors that allow device monitoring on health and wellness, to manufacturers that utilize sensors to optimize the maintenance of equipment and protect the safety of workers. From McKinsey’s analysis of the applications along with the corresponding size estimates, IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. This is an amount estimated to be about 11 percent of the world economy.

With this relatively huge amount of potential in the market, it is a great time for sensor companies to start working with connector companies to ensure that the upcoming production for their sensors are of quality with quality power connectors and enclosures.

In what ways can Phoenix Contact connectors and enclosures cater to the Sensor industry’s needs? As per the following pictures, we do have 3 product families that can cater to the needs of industrial usage.

Our above product families can be designed into various types of sensors, such as:

Image sensors, Biosensors, Pressure sensors, Chemical sensors, Load sensors, Position sensors, Temperature sensors, Level sensors, Flow sensors, etc.

Please feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg to find out more!

You may also wish to visit our website for more information on:

PCC Power

Circular Connectors

BC Modular Housing