Author Archives: michelletan

michelletan

About michelletan

Product Manager for Industrial Field Connector and Field Device Connector

When Power Distribution Meets Push-in Technology

From |

QPD, which is short for QUICKON Power Distribution, is the brain child of Phoenix Contact. Since its launch, it has been well received by many customers in the lighting industry. As the name suggests, it provides easy and efficient power distribution through QUICKON, also known as insulation displacement connection.

QPD consists of a huge variety of connectors such as a 1-in-3-out distributor and cable extender, which offers the flexibility and convenience needed when laying power cables for various lighting infrastructures. Granted that QPD is made of plastic and is very lightweight, it provides up to Ingress Protection (IP) 69k which basically makes it submersible.

However, Phoenix Contact did not stop there. With the increasing popularity of automation, many companies want to minimize manual work. While QUICKON is a fantastic connection technology, it has limitations when comes to automation.  It is neither easy nor cheap to design a machine that could automate cable termination via QUICKON.

Thus, we made the great product even BETTER.

IPD (Installation Power Distribution) designed with Push-in technology, is optimized for automation. As Push-in motion is simple and linear, it is easier and more economical to design a machine to automate the insertion of stranded cables with ferrules/solid cables via Push-in technology. The removal of cables works the same as Phoenix Contact’s Push-in terminal block. Push in the classic orange release button with a screw driver to open up the cage within the connector and gently pull out the cable.

IPD is the perfect panel feed-through for lighting connection and has up to IP 67 protection which is suitable for use with outdoor lightings. IPD comes in classic white, which blends in seamlessly when installed on lighting devices. No hassle is needed to tuck the connector away – it could be installed in plain sight and would still look good.

To receive e-brochure of QPD and IPD, feel free to get in touch with us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

Sensor Actuator Cabling for Smart Manufacturing

From |

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fotothek_df_ps_0000315_Montagehalle_einer_Maschinenfabrik.jpg

Machine building has evolved greatly over the years. Traditionally, it was classified under heavy industries, usually on a smaller scale and served mostly local or regional areas. However, as a result of the industrial revolution, machines became larger and more complex. The process of producing machines had also become more complicated as well.

Automation is adopted to reduce the production cost and increase productivity. It also lessens the reliance on labour and improves the reliability and quality of machines. All the above mentioned qualities are needed for modern day machine makers to stay competitive in the market.

Data acquisition becomes crucial. In machine building, data such as temperature, pressure, speed and proximity etc. can be attained via sensors. These sensors collect information and send them back to the control system.

In the beginning, the sensors were wired directly to the control system without any organisation. This method of connection is messy. It also makes troubleshooting and maintenance difficult as it is challenging to isolate the defective sensors when a fault occurs. In addition, this way of connecting sensors requires a large amount of cables, leading to increased manufacturing cost of the machines. In many cases, cables take up the bulk of the cost involved in the set up.

As a result, more and more machine builders start to adopt sensor and actuator cabling.  In sensor and actuator cabling, the sensors are connected to a distribution box via circular connectors. The distribution box is then connected to the control system via one master cable. Sensor and actuator cabling greatly reduces the amount of cables required in a set up. It also makes troubleshooting and maintenance easier. There is a LED light indicator (which turns red when a malfunction occurs) and a labelling option (for easy identification of the sensors) for each sensor on the distribution box.

Phoenix Contact offers a wide range of products, from distribution boxes to self-assembled connectors, for sensor and actuator cabling. The self-assembled connector comes with different connection technologies to minimise the installation time and eliminate the use of special tools. We advocate choosing the connection technologies based on your applications. Phoenix Contact had also incorporated the famous Push-in Technology into the self-assembled connector. It could be used with or without ferrules, depending on your preference.

If you prefer pre-fabricated connectors, Phoenix Contact can also cater to your exact needs. We offer different cable materials, from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to high specification robotic cables of customisable length and a wide variety of header types. Other customisation options such as colour, printing and labelling can be done as well.

Furthermore, Phoenix Contact has a wide array of accessories such as distributor connectors, adapters and valve plug connectors as we strive to be the one-stop provider for sensor actuator cabling solutions.

Interested to know what we can provide for your applications, write to us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg to request for a roadshow to know more!

Less is More – Single Pair Ethernet

From |

Ethernet has come a long way. First developed in the 1980s, Ethernet has progressed so much over the past years. Modern day industrial Ethernet has become one of the main communication technologies in Automation. Being able to be transferred via copper cabling, fiber optics and even without any cable (Wireless), Ethernet protocol provides a strong foundation for customization, opening endless possibilities for new applications.

While the requirements for Ethernet continue to increase, governed by the ever-higher performance categories (Cat7, even Cat8), new standards for lower data transmission rate also emerge – Single Pair Ethernet.

Initially used in automotive industry, the Reduced Twisted Pair Ethernet helped streamline and reduce cabling cost and effort. It also reduces the weight of the vehicle which in turn improves its fuel consumption.

Besides reducing cabling cost and effort, this opens up the possibility of data transmission via copper cabling over a much longer distance, for example 1,000 m. This makes many applications that were previously unachievable with Industrial Ethernet, attainable with Single Pair Ethernet. Besides an additional data rate of 1 Gpbs over a longer distance, SPE allows Power-over-Ethernet of up to 60 Watts. Of course, that alone is not enough. Data connectors to be used with Single Pair Ethernet have to comply with high requirements such as high shock and vibration resistance for the industries such as Process Automation.

Stay tuned for more updates on Single Pair Ethernet, or get in touch with us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg to find out more!

Leave it to the PROfessional

From |

Many may know that Phoenix Contact places a lot on emphasis on innovation. New products are being created every year to satisfy the market needs. Automation has been the hottest topic in town and many industry players have been riding on the bandwagon. A fast and efficient system needs to be reliable as well. The value of automation cannot be fully realised without dependable components. Connectors, being one of the core components used in machines such as robotics, should not be neglected.

M17-M40 PRO series is a facelift from the original M17-M40 connectors.  Phoenix Contact makes a good connector better. M17-M40 PRO series comes with the highest cross manufacturer compatibility worldwide. Detailed CT scan and tolerance analysis had been carried out to ensure good connectivity and minimum losses for retrofitting.

Patented locking system, ONECLICK gives you optic, haptic and acoustic feedback when it is connected. So you can see, feel and hear your connector being connected. This is extremely helpful if you have the plug in the connector that is out of your line of sight.

Shielding is important to reduce electrical noises and eliminate signal loss. In order for the shielding to be effective, it has to be connected correctly to the connector. M17-M40 PRO series is designed not only to have effective shielding, but it can be easily terminated without any tools.

M17-M40 connectors are often used in servo motors which are installed at joints of robot to actuate the movement, giving the robot arm its precise angle. This application usually has stringent requirements such as vibration resistance up to 20G. Of course, M17-M40 PRO series is able to live up to the test and more. Both locking systems (standard and ONECLICK) are tested with vibration resistance of MORE than 20G.

PRO series comes in 3 sizes- M17, M23 and M40 with signal and power connection. Interested to try out all the benefits mentioned above? Get in touch with us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

How Many Cables Can a High Density HEAVYCON Connect?

From |

It is no secret that HEAVYCON is a great way to install and uninstall control cabinets as it saves you time and money. With HEAVYCON, the time taken to install and uninstall a control cabinet is reduced by 40% while labour cost is reduced by 30%. For applications where re-terminations are required, the savings on time and labour costs are even higher.

This is especially so with HEAVYCON modular, as it provides flexibility and allows for customisation without charging premiums. You can choose any signal, data and power modules from more than 50 modules in our product portfolio and snap them in easily into the newly improved snap-in frame.

When HEAVYCON meets Push-in Technology

Push-in technology is a direct and tool-less connection technology developed by Phoenix Contact. It uses a special contact spring for easy insertion of cables. It was first used in Phoenix Contact terminal blocks. The recognisable bright orange release button enables easy disconnection of cables using simple tools like screw drivers.

Push-in Technology has since been incorporated into HEAVYCON. This is basically an installer’s dream come true as it shortens installation time even more and make HEAVYCON even easier to use.

In 2018, Phoenix Contact had come up with a high density HEAVYCON module with Push-in technology.

This is the game changer as it allows for connection of up to 12 cores cable per module. Combined with a 6-slots frame, it can accommodate up to 72 cores cable in one single connector. This is the highest density heavy-duty connector with Push-in technology in the market to date. Such high density is only achievable via crimp technology in the past, which can be expensive due to investment in the special tools needed.

Also new, the M1 housing caters for application where only one specific module is needed. It eliminates the need for the snap-in frame which reduces the cost of ownership. Now you can get the same amount of convenience and flexibility with less amount of money.

For more information on the development of HEAVYCON with Push-in technology, stay tuned to our blog! If you have any queries, feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

Plastic VS Aluminium – Heavycon Edition

From |

Heavy-duty connectors are typically made of aluminium as it is supposed to be tough and durable. However, being an innovative company and discontented with the current industrial norm, Phoenix Contact had come up with HEAVYCON EVO in plastic.

The plastic used in HEAVYCON EVO housing is not just any normal plastic, it is made of polyamide, reinforced with glass.

So, how strong is strong? Several tests were done to the plastic HEAVYCON including basic IP and NEMA tests in accordance with DIN EN 60529, NEMA 250. This ensures that the contact inserts within the plastic housing are protected against the ingress of dust and heavy jet water. The other tests include:

Vibration test in accordance to IEC 60068-2-6

Harmonic, sinusoidal vibration is applied to HEAVYCON plastic housing to simulate rotating, pulsating or oscillating forces. HEAVYCON plastic housing fulfils these requirements, making it ideal for heavy machinery application.

Temperature shock test in accordance to IEC 60512-11-4

We simulate significant temperature changes by switching HEAVYCON plastic housing between 2 chambers of extreme temperatures within seconds. The result is affirmative – HEAVYCON plastic housing is suitable to be used in applications with ambient temperature between -40 to 125 degree Celsius.

IK shock test in accordance to IEC 62262

Shock is introduced by dropping a hammer of 1.7 kg mass from a height of 0.3m. HEAVYCON plastic housing is able to meet the mechanical requirements similar to the HEAVYCON aluminium housing.

Roll over test in accordance to DIN IEC 62196-1

This is a special test carried out on the plastic housing where a forklift truck weighing several tons rolls over it. HEAVYCON plastic housing is able to withstand high amounts of stress from heavy, moving loads without any adverse effects on its function. In fact, in Singapore, we proved it again by driving a car over the connector.

Dynamic load test

Besides the strength of the plastic housing, we have to ensure the latching mechanism is heavy-duty enough as well. In this test, we applied a force of 200N to the cable at an angle of 90 degree. This is to test the HEAVYCON EVO bayonet as well as the locking latch between the housing and panel mounting to make sure that they do not malfunction under extreme static load.

Through the tests we have done, we can conclude that plastic can be as strong as metal too, in this case aluminium. To find out more about the durability of our HEAVYCON EVO in plastic, leave us an email at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

10 Things You Need to Know about Fibre Optic LC Connectors

From |

Fibre optic cables carry information using light and it is only slightly thicker than human hair. It transmits data faster and further than a copper cable, but you probably already know this. Instead of going into details about fibre optic cables, we are going to show you 10 things you probably do not know about the fibre optic LC connector.

  1. LC stands for Lucent Connector, sometimes also known as “little connector”
  2. It is one of the smallest fibre optic connectors in the market. It is half the size of a Square Connector (SC) which is the most commonly used fibre optic connector in the market.
  1. Although both LC and SC are classified as push-pull connectors, LC uses latch locking while SC uses locking tabs.
  2. The introduction of LC wasn’t a bed of roses. Due to the high licensing fee, it was not well-received when it was first launched.

Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=188267&picture=broken-piggy-bank

  1. However, due to the factor of its small form, LC had slowly gained its popularity in applications that requires high density connections.
  2. LC is usually used in high density patch panel. High density patch panel provides the flexibility for future expansion.
  3. LC is the preferred connector for single mode fibre optic cables. Single mode is able to transmit a higher bandwidth over a longer distance. However, it’s more expensive as compared to multimode fibre optic cables.
  4. Phoenix Contact new modular patch panels enable users to connect up to 72 LC duplex connectors to optimise the use of space within control cabinets.
  5. Phoenix Contact compact splice box FDX 20 allows users to connect up to 12 LC duplex connectors. It is also one of the smallest splice boxes in the market.

  1. Besides LC connectors, Phoenix Contact offers a full array of fibre optic products and accessories including patch cords, reusable connectors and tools.

To know more about our range of fibre optic products, feel free to contact us at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

5 Ways to Terminate Cables into an Electrical Panel

From |

There are several criteria when it comes to choosing the right cable entry method into an electrical panel, such as ingress protection (IP) rating, ease of connection/ disconnection, cost of the connector etc. In this post, we have sorted out 6 different cable entry methods that Phoenix Contact has to offer.

  1. Cable Gland

The most common way to terminate cables into an electrical panel would be to use a cable gland. It is easy to use and comes in many variants such as different sizes, materials and with additional certifications such as ATEX. Cable glands are probably one of the most affordable cable entry methods mentioned in this article.

However, cable glands have its limitations too. It is difficult and time consuming to do multiple connections/disconnections with cable glands as the cables are terminated directly into the components within the electrical panel. In addition, the pre-cut holes on the gland plate are irreversible. It provides limited flexibility for mistakes and modifications.

  1. Heavy-duty Connector

As the name suggests, it is rugged and enables fast and easy connection/disconnection to the electrical panel. Cables are prewired into the connector base, which is mounted onto the panel while the field cables are prewired into the connector hood. The hood is then plugged into the base on the electrical panel for a complete connection up to IP 69K.

Heavy-duty connector is especially useful for portable applications and testing facilities as it allows quick connection and disconnection. Although heavy-duty connectors are more expensive than cable glands, it minimises time and labour needed for onsite installation and commissioning up to 80%. It also reduces errors that could occur during onsite installation.

Heavy-duty connectors are typically made from Aluminium. However, Heavycon EVO from Phoenix Contact also comes in plastic (polyamide with reinforced fibre glass) to support applications that do not require metal housings and provides cost savings of up to 30%. Besides that, the dual entry cable gland enhances the flexibility for onsite installation. Phoenix Contact’s well known Push-in Technology is also used in Heavycon to further reduce the installation time.

  1. Cable entry system

Cable entry system (CES) is similar to cable glands. However, it helps to arrange the cables neatly and systematically into the electrical panel. By better managing the cables, the gland plate can be better utilised. It works in a modular form where the cable sleeves can be flexibly combined depending on the wiring. The slotted sleeves also allow the use of sensor actuator cabling while cone sleeves come in handy when the cable diameter is not predefined.

The cut-out of CES is the same as that of heavy-duty connectors. Thus, they are interchangeable. However, CES is not a pluggable connector. Thus, it is not suitable for applications that require frequent connecting/disconnecting.

  1. CES Multigate

Similar to CES, multigate offers great cable management. However, unlike CES, multigate has prefixed cable entry. Each cable entry is a cone-shape membrane that is able to accommodate a range of cable diameters. This is especially suitable for panels with defined cable specifications. As the cables are well arranged, it is easier to isolate faulty lines, if any.

  1. Service interface

Service interfaces make maintenance, servicing, and diagnostics easier than ever. The front plate comes in different configurations of D-SUB, RJ45 and USB, offering numerous combinations.  The mounting frame offers up to IP 65 protection with locking mechanism for extra security. This reduces the need to open up the panel during programming or configuration.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the most suitable cable entry method to your electrical panels. Let us help you with the selection by leaving us an email at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg!

HEAVYCON Modular for IIOT

From |

IIOT

More often than not, when people talk about Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) or Industry 4.0, they neglect the ‘links’ between the sensors and components.

Yes, I’m talking about the connectors (the ones that connects sensors and components, what else?).

A huge part of IIOT includes data collection and analysis.

This means that a lot of sensors and cables will be used to detect, capture and transmit data. It can be really time consuming and a chore to wire these amount of cables directly into the panel on-site during installation and maintenance.

If you’re reading this, consider yourself lucky.

I’m going to show you how Phoenix Contact’s Heavycon can make connection easy, fast and smart. (Don’t be fooled by its name. It’s not heavy in weight rather, it’s heavy duty – able to withstand demanding environments).

So what’s a Heavycon?

HEAVYCON

HEAVYCON

Phoenix Contact’s Heavycon is a plug-and-play solution.

It allows the cables to be pre-wired into the connector within the panel and in the field. This makes on-site installation and maintenance fuss-free and efficient.

Simply plug and play! It eliminates the tedious process of direct wiring on-site.

It also removes the need to open up the panel during installation and maintenance which in turn reduces the risk of people meddling with the crucial components within the panel.

Pictured: Definitely not HEAVYCON. Because we don’t want people messing around with what’s already a mess.

Termination of wire is also made easy with Push-in Connection Technology. No special tool is required. Simply insert the wire with ferule into the designated slot. To remove, push the orange button and pull the cable out.

Contact inserts with push-in connection

Contact inserts with push-in connection

Heavycon also comes in modular form!

Heavycon Modular allows you to connect signal, data and power in one single connector.

Push-in connection technology is available in module form too. We also have a wide range of network modules such as RJ45, D-sub, Gigabit Ethernet Cat 6 connectors and even fibre optics and power module up to 200A.

Modular contact inserts

Modular contact inserts

The unique snap-in frame makes inserting and removing of modules a piece of cake. This provides the flexibility of changing the configuration effortlessly according to your set up.

Push-in modular contact insert

Push-in modular contact insert

Need more flexibility? Heavycon EVO enables you to change the direction of cable entry on-site depending on your desired arrangement.

HEAVYCON EVO

HEAVYCON EVO

Furthermore, Heavycon is resistant against dirt, water, vibrations and high mechanical strain and has protection up to IP69K.

Thus, it is able to withstand harsh conditions and is suitable for outdoor applications.

HEAVYCON getting sprayed by pressure jets

Looks worse than any rain I’ve ever seen

If you want to see how we torture the Heavycon, you can watch the video below:

With that said, it’s about time to start adopting smart connectivity as we hop onto the IIOT bandwagon.

More videos about the Heavycon:

Drop us an email at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg to request for a product sample today!

Data Connector – RJ45

From |

As more factories go into automation, more networks and fieldbuses are used for communicating between machines and people.

RJ45 is one of the most commonly used connector.

What is this RJ45?

It is a type of standard connector for network cables, especially Ethernet.

RJ45 CableSome of the common issues faced with RJ45 connector include intermittent data. Most RJ45 connectors in the market come with a plastic clip.

RJ45 Connector clip

The plastic clip helps to form a secure connection between the connector and the socket. It also ensures that the connector stays seated on the socket.

You would need to exert some pressure on the plastic clip in order to unplug the connector. However, the plastic clip is usually fragile.

It breaks easily when bend backwards or when the connector is dropped on the floor. Without the plastic clip, the transmission of data is not guaranteed. The RJ45 would then be used with the nearest trash bin – if you know what I mean.

E-Waste in bin

Often times, even when the plastic clip is intact, intermittent data could occur due to vibration from the surrounding machines.

Other issues surrounding the RJ45

Moreover, the process of crimping a RJ45 can be tedious. In order for the connector to function properly, the cable (with as many as 8 cores) has to be crimped into specific standards, namely T568S and T568B, with a special crimping tool.

T568A and T568B wiring

Crimping is a manual process and depends very much on the workmanship of the person who is doing the job.

If it is not done properly, the crimp contact will not sit properly within the connector and the data transmission will be affected.

Crimping is an irreversible process. If the connector is crimped wrongly, it cannot be un-crimped (word of caution).

It has to be scrapped and the damaged cable has to be cut which causes wastage.

CAT 6 Twisted Pairs

Problems, problems and more problems. So what’s the solution?

At Phoenix Contact we build innovations based on issues that every day people, like you and me, have.

Phoenix Contact Industrial RJ45 is equipped with 2 springs at the top of the connector to ensure that the connector is sitting snuggly within the socket, even during high vibration applications (yes, even the extreme ones).

Phoenix Contact's RJ45 Connector

Phoenix Contact plastic RJ45 connector is made of special plastic. It could not only bend 180 degree without breaking but it could also resist the impact of dropping on the ground.

QUICKON RJ45 Connector

Phoenix contact QUICKON RJ45 connector allows you to terminate cable without the need to strip the cable and the use of expensive crimping tool.

The connector is colour-coded so there is no need to memorise the standards.

IDC Conenction

In addition, the connector is able to reconnect up to 10 times. Meaning to say, there is no need to scrap the connector if it’s connected wrongly. Just follow the simple steps below to terminate the cable.

RJ45 Quickon assembly step-by-step

Or alternatively, if reading is a chore, you can watch this video right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm2wNf9DUCk

See how easy that was? At this rate you’ll be producing thousands of RJ45 within seconds.

So if you’re looking for a reliable and problem-free RJ45 cable, look no further.

Leave us an email at marketing@phoenixcontact.com.sg to request a product demo today!