For many years, Phoenix Contact has been a reliable partner of the Railway Industry, supplying products such as Power Supply Unit, Terminal Blocks, Heavy Duty Connectors for railway applications. In the recent years, Phoenix Contact has invested a significant amount of effort to create innovative products such as controllers and ethernet switches for automation applications.
Ethernet-based communication medium/protocols are becoming the norm in modern automation environments. Traditional serial-based communication medium/protocols are unable to support the requirements for transmission speed and data size; especially for time-critical applications.
FL 2000 Managed Switch
The new FL 2000 Managed Switch was officially launched in April 2017 during the Hannover Fair. This new series of Ethernet Switch was specifically developed to bridge the gap between simple unmanaged switches and complex managed switches which are already available within Phoenix Contact product portfolio.
In railway applications, data integrity is especially critical to ensure the smooth and safe operations of the system. Transmission distances from various subway station control systems to the main control center are often in the range of kilometers, which conventional copper-based medium cannot handle. The only way to transmit the data over long distance is via Fiber Optic technology.
Our sales team spotted an opportunity to propose our FL 2000 Switch in one of the railway system upgrading project in this region. We managed to overcome several challenges despite facing strong competitions from various industrial giants. The main unique selling points of our FL 2000 Switch that met with approval of the end user and system integrators were:
Feature important automation features with attractive price/performance ratio
Comprehensive approvals to meet stringent industry-specific approval requirements
Various connection port options: Copper and Fiber Optics; Gigabit network possible
Phoenix Contact has been serving the railway industry for decades, especially for rolling stock and signalling. Safety and reliability has always been our number one concern when developing products for railway applications.
Safety on Board
The basic requirement for safety and reliability is standard compliance. Phoenix Contact has been certified by the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) since April 2008 and this standard is based on the quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9001, which has been extended with international railway-specific requirements. The ongoing tests during the development and production cycle of the products are essential to guarantee the product quality.
On top of that, all rail-specific products from Phoenix Contact fulfill the standards of DIN EN 50155, an international standard covering rolling stock; DIN EN 50121 electromagnetic compatibility; and EN 45545, fire protection on rail vehicle. Besides, shock and vibration test, material test and other fire protection is also critical for the railway application.
Safety should not be limited to the big ticket items and should even be extended to the passive component level. For example, the cable markings like shrink sleeve should be halogen-free and fulfill DIN 5510-2 with an oxygen index of 34.9%. besides being halogen-free, the cable ducts should enable individual bars to be broken without using any tools or resulting in any burr through defined breaking points according to EN 45545-2 (R22/R23:HL3). Behaviour in fire is another key concern and the plastic used for Phoenix Contact’s terminal blocks is halogen-free polyamide PA 6.6; which meets the highest safety requirement of UL 94 V0.
Push-in Terminal Blocks and Marking
Network on Board
Nowadays, commuters demand for “Internet on board” has made the information and infotainment systems essential in trains. The M12 network connectors with a mechanically robust design, in compliance with IEC 61076-2-101, together with high quality cables meeting the requirement of EN 45545-2 will ensure reliable communications. The heavy-duty connector, compliant with IEC 61373, with modular contact inserts form a flexible and safe transmission of signal and power circuit on rolling stock carriage connection and simultaneously ensures comprehensive protection in the event of electromagnetic interference fields.
Halogen-free Polyamide PA 6.6
M12 Network Connector
Surge voltages and lightning strikes are common issues in signalling, hence the surge protective device (SPD) become significantly important to maintain reliable signal transmission. Phoenix Contact’s SPD has been tested according to IEC 61643-21 and the plug can be disconnected for test and maintenance by using the portable test laboratory. According to IEC 62305-3, the SPD must be tested regularly and the test values should be documented and traceable. Additional features like multi-stage monitoring (green – operating, red – fail and yellow – reach performance limit) for predictive maintenance and remote signalling for early detection of overloaded SPD can help to further enhance reliability.
HEAVYCON Modular Inserts
Signal SPD with multi-stage monitoring (PT-IQ)
Signal SPD with remote signalling (TTC)
The power supply unit (PSU) is used to convert main AC to low-voltage regulated DC power and it should at least be compliant with EMC Directive 2014/30/EU, IEC 60950-1, DIN EN 61558-2-16 and UL 508. To ensure smooth operation and maximum uptime, the redundancy setup of the power supply cannot be overlooked.
A redundant system can made up of two power supplies and a diode or Phoenix Contact’s O-RING to prevent back flow of current. An ORING being a more advanced and modern redundancy module compared to the diode, comes with auto-current balancing (ACB) technology which ensures the power supplies work equally hard. This enables the power supplies to have a longer and more consistent lifespan.
The redundancy status as well as the status of the ORING can be monitored, whereas this cannot be done with a DIODE. The PSU becomes more reliable and dependable when it is capable of sending analogue signals to control system on measurement values such as real time current, voltage and power for early detection of operational fault as well as critical information to the user.
QUINT 4 Power Supply With Diode
QUINT ORING with ACB
Transporting You into the Future
Phoenix Contact will continue to develop the products or solutions that suit railway application and safety and reliability will always be the top concern on top of ease of installation, operation and maintenance.
To find out more about the solutions that Phoenix Contact has for the railway industry, check out our website or leave me your contact and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.
Let there be light: Phoenix Contact Components for Reliable Power Grids
On 7 July 2017, Phoenix Contact Singapore Team organised a’ Dining in the Dark’ event as part of Corporate Social Responsibility. In the short 2 hours without our sight, we experienced a range of emotions such as fear and helplessness. This event also allowed us to understand the challenges that persons with visual impairment faced daily. It is truly a meaningful event that we are thankful to be able to experience with the friends we made from work.
Phoenix Contact’s ‘Dining in the Dark’ CSR Event
In today’s world, it might not be an exaggeration to say that we will feel the fear and helplessness if we do not have access to electricity. For a start, life-sustaining equipment in hospitals will not be in operation. Many of life’s conveniences such as lights, entertainment, air-conditioning etc. will be stripped from us. For this, electrical grids are always considered critical infrastructure all around the world and efforts are made to ensure the grid is always operating. Phoenix Contact contributes to this reliability with our products. Below are some examples:
Terminal blocks (Clipline Complete)
Our terminal blocks are widely used in power industry. For quick installation in Marshalling/Pilot panel, our customers prefer the use of
Push-in connectionThis connection method is fast, do not require special tools, safe, ensure consistent and good connection for every insertion and ideal for areas with high vibration. Most importantly, unlike screw connection, over time, push-in connection does not loosen.
QTC connectionThere is no need to strip the wire using QTC connection, making it the fastest way for wire installations. Moreover, Phoenix Contact QTC terminal blocks do not require special tools!
Protection terminal blocks
Especially for CT testing, where you have to make the testing circuit before breaking the transformer circuit, it is important to ensure that the “make-before-break” is done properly! Failure to do so results not just in power outage, but often death.
Our solution is our range of test disconnect terminal blocks, clearly labelled to ensure operators know exactly what is being done. There are also ample spaces for accessories for you to do the necessary bridging and testing.
Offering inspiring innovations, Phoenix Contact has come out with a test disconnect system. Instead of manually doing the switching, why not let our system take care of it for you with Fast And Modular Energy system (FAME).
DC/DC Converter and Power Supply
Usually in substations, there will be 110VDC power supply. However, most electronics components (remote IO, network switch, RTU) requires 24VDC/48VDC power input. For this purpose, many substations around the world choose Phoenix Contact Quint IV Power Supply.
SFB Technology selectively trips standard circuit breakers, loads connected in parallel continue working
Preventive function monitoring indicates critical operating states before errors occur
signalling thresholds and characteristic curves that can be adjusted via NFC maximize system availability
Easy system extension thanks to static boost; starting of difficult loads thanks to dynamic boost
High noise immunity, thanks to integrated gas-filled surge arrester and more than 20 ms mains failure buffer time. Moreover, Phoenix Contact Quint IV Power Supply comes IEC61850-3 certified. This means that the unit can be used even for IEC61850 applications!
With a wide range of relays, Phoenix Contact has the right solution for all standard relay applications, such as interposing relays.
Easy handling, thanks to modern wiring and potential distribution concept
Easy extension to a timer relay, thanks to plug-in special function module
Complete product range covering all standard relay applications
Reliable system for high machine and system availability
Available as a complete module or modular system
Easy Wire Termination
Easy Power Distribution
Complete Product Range
Our relays with push-in termination technology provide fast and easy tool-free wiring. Simply push the wire into the terminal , using very little force. Remove the wire by pushing done on the release button, using a screwdriver or ballpoint pen.
Reduce your wiring time up to 70 percent by using our modular terminal block plug-in bridges. These time-saving bridges ensure a reliable connection and reduces the possibility of wiring errors.
Switch currents up to 16 A. From coupling relays to a replacement for small power contactors; the product range offers the right relay for every application. Benefit from a uniform and consistent system
Heavycon (Heavy-Duty Connector)
Substations have high EMC and electrostatic interferences. They are also generally not places that people like to hang around in! Heavycon can help to reduce installation/maintenance time and at the same time, ensure reliable power/data/signal transmission. With a modular system, you can combine Fibre, Ethernet, Serial, signals, power all in 1 connector!
the Local control cabinet can be connected quickly to the bay cabinet
The Circuit breaker compartment can be easily disconnected/connected to the switchgear
We are all available 24 hours a day. We have at least one cell phone, use the Internet on the go every day, and learn about the latest global news through our communication media. Having information at one’s fingertips is now essential to us all and nobody wants to give it up.
Think about the global competition in industrial production, which calls for us to continuously optimize our systems. As a production manager, you need to know at all times what is being produced worldwide on each machine, at what quality level and when the next maintenance interval is due. Such new systems are hardly imaginable today without efficient communication networks, which are essential for reliable system operation. This rapid development in the exchange of information and data that we have experienced in the telecommunications industry in the last few years is about to break into the industrial sector.
Indeed, many of these M2M (machine to machine) applications will be implemented over telecommunications networks. Now is the perfect time to consider these topics, applications, and technologies in the industrial sector.
Therefore I would like to share with you one of our success story implementing remote monitoring over the mobile phone network. The idea is to monitor remotely several paramaters on the oil well that is scattered in locations remotely using the GSM modem.
By doing this customer can get data more effective and efficiently compare to previously that one must go to every site locations and get information on the pressure and temperature at the oil well.
In this project we even integrate a solar system to power up the RTU and GSM modem since the location is remote and there is no power available. System architecture can be seen in the picture below:
Our GSM modem has a feature with dual sim cards which means when it detects low signal reception from one provider it can automatically transfer the communication to the other sim card. This is to maintain data availability.
We also set up a VPN tunneling in order to get a secure data transmission.
With this configuration, now customer is able to monitor oil wells data from office directly. They just need to select which location they want to monitor.
If you would like to know more on the remote communication using GSM modem, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.
Phoenix Contact provides an INNOVATIVE way to upgrade and optimize industrial plants while eliminating costly cables and unnecessary downtimes.
No programming, no software. Less hassle, more productivity.
Phoenix Contact Radioline Wireless I/O mapping at the turn of a wheel allows for easy deployment in extensive plants – without any programming or complex configuration.
Don’t be fooled by the colorful arrows, they’re not wires mind you but wireless signals transmitting across the RADIOLINE units.
It allows modular extension of every station up to 32 I/O-modules per station (hot-swappable) and creates multiple network structures up to 250 stations (yes, you heard it. Up to 250 stations! Impressive).
Phoenix Contact Radioline is THE wireless product for large systems.
So if you have a large system or a big plant to manage, Radioline is the answer.
Again did we also mention that the Radioline does not need any software or programming? Yes we did. By simply turning the thumbwheel, the Radioline is ready to go.
By simply turning the thumbwheel, the Radioline is ready to go.
Thanks to the Trusted Wireless 2.0 technology using 868 MHz, 900 MHz, and 2.4 GHz radio frequency, Phoenix Contact Radioline is the ideal choice for reliable use in industrial environments up to 5 km of signal communications.
Cables are a thing of the past and they cannot withstand demanding environments, not to mention the effort and cost in installing them.
Stop wasting time and money. Make the switch to Phoenix Contact’s Radioline TODAY.
Did you know that in the Process Industry, there are more than 40 million devices that are running on the HART Protocol and more than 75% of them are HART-enabled. However, up to 90% of these HART-enabled device are being under-utilized, used only to read the 4…20mA signal.
In the current trend of IIOT, there is a growing need for diagnostic data to be analyzed in order to reduce operating cost and increase system availability. The time from obtaining the diagnostic data to analyzing and determining the next course of action has to be almost instant.
In the past, if access to the HART data was needed, users typically installed an RS485 HART multiplexer connected to a PC. Whenever data from a particular field device is needed to be read, it can take a long time depending on the number of field devices connected to the RS485 HART multiplexer. This is because RS485 HART multiplexer works on a “master and slaves” principle.
Ethernet HART Multiplexer
Instead of using the RS485 HART multiplexer, Phoenix Contact introduced the Ethernet-based HART multiplexer. Our Ethernet HART multiplexer allows the user to easily parameterize and monitor field devices on the Ethernet network. The modular Ethernet HART multiplexer accesses other HART-enabled field devices using Ethernet-based fieldbuses such as PROFINET, Modbus/TCP, and HART IP.
Each device is an individual HART master which can be connected to higher-level, fast Ethernet network infrastructures. Up to 40 HART devices can be connected to existing configuration tools such as PACTware, Simatic PDM, Honeywell FDM, HART OPC server or HART server. End users therefore save time and costs since configuration and calibration, e.g. partial stroke test, process monitoring or current loop tests, are controlled via Ethernet and everything can be performed during active operation.
To find out more about Phoenix Contact’s HART Multiplexer, click here.
What do you do when you need to collect more information from the field than you are currently able to? Traditionally, you would excavate then lay cables from the transmitter to the field device. A lot of hassle if your expansion was for just 4 signals. We may have just the wireless solution for you.
Recently, a water reclamation plant in the western part of Singapore had an existing system that required an expansion of 4 additional analog signal points. The distance between the field and the control room was only about 200 meters. However, to add just 4 signal from the field, proper wiring had to be done, including excavation and cable laying.
Our team, with the assistance of our system integrator met up with the customer to understand their needs. After determining the scope of work, a wireless solution was proposed. Instead of the labour-intensive cable solution, the team proposed the Phoenix Contact Trusted WirelessTM Radioline RAD-2400-IFS and the I/O extension module – RAD-AI4-IFS and RAD-AO4-IFS as an alternative.
Installing a wireless transmitter at both the field and the control room, our engineer then connected the analog signals to the IO cards, enabling the signal to be transmitted back securely. All this, from start to finish, we achieved in under an hour.
Trusted WirelessTM 2.0 is a wireless technology specifically developed for industrial use. It provides rugged and reliable communications for your applications. In a 2.4 GHz band, Trusted WirelessTM 2.0 uses a Frequency Hopping Spread Specturm (FHSS) with up to 440 possible individual frequencies. Thus reducing the effects of interference signals.
We not only saved our customer a significant amount of time and manpower with the Radioline Wireless solution, future expansions would only require the addition of IO modules.
If you are currently facing any issues and would like us to offer you our solutions, click here and send us the details and I will get back to you.
To find out more about Phoenix Contact’s Trusted WirelessTM Radioline, click here.
Cybersecurity has become an increasingly prevalent subject in the last decades. While the focus has been largely on IT infrastructure and online safety, more attention has now been placed on Cybersecurity for industrial processes such as factory automation, water/wastewater plants, power generation and power T&D. This can be attributed to the increased awareness that cybersecurity required for IT is very different from cybersecurity efforts needed for industrial processes.
The main difference is the priority for these two information infrastructure. In IT, it is possible to focus heavily on cybersecurity, such that emails, applications, documents can be blocked with minimal impact on a companies’ P&L. On the other hand, downtime can result if files are stopped from being passed from one device to the other for Industrial processes. Downtime for Industrial processes is very costly as one can observe below.
The are explicit costs due to downtime. In the case of concerted attack on Nuclear Power Plans (stuxnet incident) or Power T&D systems (recent Ukraine cyberattack, causing mass blackout affecting at least 200,000 citizens), prolong system downtime can lead to life being lost, severe inconveniences amongst other non-monetary, immeasurable outcomes.
With such different requirements, it is then common sense that plant owners should look beyond IT cybersecurity devices for protection of industrial processes. While firewalls, VPNs, VLans, subnet etc. works for both IT and Industrial processes; IDS/IPS (Intrusion detection system/Intrusion protection system) is not ideal for Industrial processes because they are actively monitoring the data passing through. This not only slows down data transfer and cause delays (again, not damaging in IT network) but often results in false alarms: There can be unusual data passing through which might not be malicious but are essential to operations. IPS/IDS will stop these data and can potentially lead to down time.
In particular, IPS/IDS are used to protect against zero-day attacks/advanced persistent threats where an external party remains in contact with malicious code after they infiltrate systems. These external parties then manipulate these codes further to target specific loopholes. As such, anti-virus cannot detect these codes (no known signature) and firewalls/VPNs are bypassed.
At Phoenix Contact, we recommend MGuard with CIFS Integrity Monitoring that is tailored for Industrial Processes Protection against Zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats:
Discover Malware on Day Zero: Integrity Monitoring
Due to the general problems with the deployment of antivirus software on industrial PCs and the timely provision of malware signatures, alternative techniques of integrity assurance are gaining relevance for the protection of industrial systems.
One solution is the CIFS Integrity Monitoring feature offered on Phoenix Contact’s FL mGuard security devices. CIFS, or Common Internet File System, is a file-sharing protocol used by Windows and other operating systems. Viewing files on network file servers and using shared network drives are common activities that utilize CIFS. With Integrity Monitoring, the user can monitor configurable sets of files for unexpected modifications of executable code. When initialized, Integrity Monitoring computes a baseline of signatures for all monitored objects and then periodically checks them for any deviations. This process works without any external supply of virus signatures, without the risk of disrupting operations through “false positives,” without installation of software, and with only a moderate load on the monitored PCs, while primarily utilizing the resources of an mGuard security appliance. The mGuard thus discovers suspect file modifications promptly, and reports them via SNMP and e-mail to network
management systems or responsible administrators.
In a test study performed at the University of Ostwestfalen-Lippe in Lemgo, Germany, researchers from the independent inIT institute for industrial IT (www.hs-owl.de/init/en/) have been able to verify that mGuard CIFS Integrity Monitoring would have recognized infections with Stuxnet on day zero as unexpected manipulations and warned asset operators against it long before any antivirus product. The device drivers installed by Stuxnet, as well as the modifications performed by the worm on the pivotal SIMATIC Manager DLL,
would have been discovered in the process.
Some other features that makes mGuard ideal:
Stealth mode – fast retrofitting without the need to configure/reconfigure IP addresses
OPC Inspectors – ability to track random ports opened by OPC Classic, which render firewall useless
3G remote access
If there are deviations detected with CIFS integrity monitoring, SMS alarm can be sent to system engineers.
Although regular CIFS scan can be scheduled, in the event of known cyberattacks, engineers can simply SMS into mGuard to start an adhoc scan
With 3G, mGuard or devices connected to mGuard can be remotely accessed from anywhere around the world
To find out more about how mGuard can help to secure your industrial systems:
Click here to download a white paper on Post-stuxnet Industrial Security
Wireless technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Intermittent, unstable and slow wireless connections are gradually becoming a thing of the past. At the same time, wireless technology brings about tremendous convenience to everyone, reducing clutter caused by messy wires and making hard to reach places reachable. Continue reading →