Lightning Protection Systems

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Lightning is the process of discharging the electrical charge in a cloud. Lightning energy released can produce a series of light, heat, and a very strong sound, it can damage buildings, kill humans, blow up trees and impair electrical equipment. The average speed of lightning is 150,000 km/sec and it usually arrives with a jarring sound.

The process of the lightning occurring is due to differences in electrical charges between the clouds with the earth or between other clouds. As the electrical charge in the cloud moves continuously and on a regular basis, during its movement it will interact with other clouds so that the negative charge will congregate on one side (top or bottom), while the positive charge is assembled on the opposite side.

In the event of such a large potential difference between the cloud and the earth, as well as clouds with clouds, there will be a discharging of electricity from cloud to earth or vice versa to achieve the balance of electrical charge (discharge).

In accordance with IEC 61024-1 standards concerning protection against lightning strikes and IEC 1312 on protection against electromagnetic impulses, the general concept of a lightning protection system according to IEC 1024 – 1 and IEC 1312 standards is as follows.

A functional protection system consists of 2 parts:

  1. External Protection System
  2. Internal Protection System

Integration Ring Grounding with Bare Copper (BC) 50 mm2

External Protection System

External protection systems are tools installed on the outside of the building which serve to protect buildings and people against direct lightning strikes.

3 parts of an External Protection System:

  1. Finial (air terminal/copper tapered rod) mounted at the top of the building which serves to catch the lightning strike directly.
  2. Down Conductor (minimal conductor cable BC 50 mm2) mounted on the outer wall of the building which serves to distribute the flow of electrical charges from the finial to grounding.
  3. Grounding of copper installed in the ground serves to discharge an electrical charge from the conductor cable to the copper rod embedded in the ground. All grounding should be connected directly, or Spark Gap can be used. The smaller the grounding value is, the more quickly the discharge of electric charge from lightning to the ground will be absorbed into the ground (maximum grounding value = 1 Ohm)

Bounding Grounding

Internal Protection System

Internal protection system is a device installed on the inside of a building which serves to protect electrical equipment (electronics) against lightning induction (a momentary but large spike in voltage)

Internal protection system consists of 2 parts, namely:

  1. Equipotential Bonding (EB) is the connecting of all metal/grounding cables to the internal copper plate (PEB = Potential Equalizing Bar), which is to be connected to the main grounding outside the building. This is useful for removing the potential difference in the equipment when they are exposed to lightning induction.
  2. Installation of Arrester in Main Distribution Panel (MDP) with Arrester type Over Current, Sub Distribution Panel (SDP) with Arrester type Over Voltage and in equipment with Arrester type Fine Protector

Lightning protection zone concept

The lightning protection zone concept described in international standard IEC 62305-4 has proved to be practical and efficient. This concept is based on the principle of gradually reducing surges to a safe level before they reach the terminal device and cause damage. In order to achieve this situation, a building’s entire energy network is split into lightning protection zones (LPZ = Lightning Protection Zone). Installed at each transition from one zone to another is a surge arrestor for equipotential bonding. These arrestors correspond to the requirement class in question.

Lightning protection zones concept according to IEC 62305-4 (EN 62305-4)

Lightning protection zones concept according to IEC 62305-4 (EN 62305-4)

  • LPZ 0A: direct lightning strikes & high electromagnetic fields occur
  • LPZ 0B: no direct strike but high electromagnetic field
  • LPZ 1: without direct strike, the electromagnetic field is weak
  • LPZ 2: areas with weak electromagnetic fields
  • LPZ 3: protection area inside equipment

Any electrical, telecommunication, data, and other equipment undergoing a zoning change should be equipped with an arrester. 

Lightning protection zones and comprehensive protection measures

Surge protection devices are classified into lightning current arresters, surge arresters and combined arresters according to the requirements of their installation. Lightning current and combined arresters which are in LPZ 0A to 1/LPZ 0A to 2 fulfill the most stringent requirements in terms of discharge capacity. These arresters must be capable of discharging partial lightning currents of 10/350 μs wave form several times without destruction, thus preventing injection of destructive partial lightning currents into the electrical installation of a building.

Surge arresters are installed at the transition from LPZ 0 to 1 and downstream of LPZ 1 to 2 and higher. Their function is to mitigate the residual currents of the upstream protection stages and those generated in the installation.

Choosing the right surge protection devices

The classification of surge protection devices into types can be matched to different requirements with regard to location, protection level and current-carrying capacity. The table provides an overview of the zone transitions

Zone transition Surge protection device and
device type
Product example
LPZ 0 B to LPZ 1 Protection device for lightning protection equipotential bonding in accordance with VDE 0185-305 (IEC 62305) for direct or close lightning strikes.
Devices: Type 1 (Class I), e.g. FLT-SEC
Max. protection level according to standard: 4 kV
Installation e.g. in the main panel/at building entry

FLT-SEC Item no.: 2905421

FLT-SEC Item no.: 2905421

LPZ 1 to LPZ 2 Protection device for lightning protection equipotential bonding in accordance with VDE 0185-305 (IEC 62305) for direct or close lightning strikes.
Devices: Type 2 (Class II), e.g. VAL-MS 230
Max. protection level according to standard: 1.5 kV
Installation e.g. in the distributor panel/at building entry

VAL-MS 230 Item no.: 2838209

VAL-MS 230 Item no.: 2838209

LPZ 2 to LPZ 3 Protection device, designed for surge protection of portable consumers at sockets and power supplies.
Devices: Type 3 (Class III), e.g. MNT-1D
Max. protection level according to standard: 1.5 kV
Installation e.g. on the end consumer

MNT-1D Item no.: 2882200

MNT-1D Item no.: 2882200

Arrester type over current (level 1) is an arrester that serves to cut a very large lightning current (maximum 100 kA) and quickly (100 ns) directs its flow to grounding, but there is still a return voltage generated.

Installations of level 1 arresters are typically on the outer side of the power grid (before the meter PLN/parent panel or Genset)

Arrester type over current (level 2) is arrester that serves to cut over voltage (20 kA) from lightning induction and reverse voltage and even more quickly (20 ns) drain it by grounding, Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) has the ability to cut the lightning voltage inversely with its sensitivity level.

Arrester type Fine Protector (level 3) is an arrester that serves to cut the remaining voltage from the 2nd level arrester (3 kA) and directs its flow to ground within 25 ns.

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Comprehensive Solutions from Phoenix Contact

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In today’s market, customers are looking for vendors who can value add, making them stand out in the sea of competitors. One of the orders we often receive is to supply a complete package system from the cabinet to the components level.

Our collaboration with local partners makes Phoenix Contact the preferred solutions provider. Backed by comprehensive components from Phoenix Contact, control cabinets supplied and superior engineering services are the root of our initial success in the Process market in Indonesia.

Problems which the customer faced before are as follows:

  • Having to contact several vendors for the different scopes of supply, such as electrical components, control cabinet, wiring and installation
  • Managing the delivery time for each and every vendor
  • Complexities during the project management
  • Uncompetitive prices

With a complete solution provided by Phoenix Contact & our partners, customers will only have one point of contact related to all cabinet and components project requirements. This will ease the difficulties faced in terms of project management and therefore will ultimately reduce their overall cost.

Take a look at the example below of our recent success at this comprehensive solution.

Application: Metering Systems

Scope of supplies:

  • Control cabinet 800W x 800D x 2000H (in mm) & cabinet accessories
  • Redundant power supply system by Quint Power (QUINT-PS/1AC/24DC/10)
  • I/O Surge protection system with indicator: Termitrab Complete (TTC-6-1X2-F-M-24DC-UT-I)
  • Current splitter: MACX MCR-SL-RPSSI-2I
  • System cabling: Varioface (FLKM-D25 SUB/B + CABLE-D25SUB/B/S/100/KONFEK/S)
  • Front mounting industrial power socket and RJ 45 socket IP65
  • Interposing relay: PLC relay series (PLC-RSC- 24DC/21)
  • Accessories: fuse terminal block, AC socket power, cable duct, terminal & device marking, etc
  • Engineering services: wiring and installation, FAT supports

Below are the images of our solution:

Front mounting AC socket & RJ 45 socket

Front mounting AC socket & RJ 45 socket

Control Cabinet and wiring/installation services

Control Cabinet and wiring/installation services

Varioface system cabling

Varioface system cabling

Redundant power supply, interposing relay, fuse terminal block

Redundant power supply, interposing relay, fuse terminal block

TTC Surge protection with indicator and MACX current splitter

TTC Surge protection with indicator and MACX current splitter

If you would like to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact me via the form below!

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Dear readers, customers, colleagues and netizens. If you have been following Phoenix Contact SEA Blog closely, you would’ve seen very in-depth writings/sharing about Industrial I/Os, top class Surge Protection, systematic Solar Solutions, super reliable Power Solutions, best in class Connectors and durable Markers/Labels.

If we were to name each and every product, it would probably span a few telephone directories worth of entries to display all the products that Phoenix Contact can offer.

But, I’m here to share the very one thing that sets Phoenix Contact apart from others. It is just one simple word: “SINCERITY”.

From our viewpoint, Phoenix Contact products are to help our customers to be successful in their Applications, Solutions, Projects and Designs. With a product developed sincerely with the purpose of being able to easily, efficiently and elegantly be adopted in your designs, we will definitely ensure your solution is applicable for the future demand of technology.

In many sales-motivated seminars, the best sales person wins the order. But in reality the greatest salesperson wins the respect of the customers, with the sincere attitude to provide a win-win proposition to customers.

Also only the greatest salesperson retains the customer whenever that person pursues his journey. The main principle behind this attitude is once again, SINCERITY.

In reflection, the word “SINCERITY” reflects the attitude of Phoenix Contact’s aspiration, mission and focus in helping our customers to continue to lead in their fields of expertise such as manufacturing, infrastructure, oil & gas, mining, power distributions, marine, agriculture, solar, lighting, medical and aerospace.

Over the years, customers work hand in hand with Phoenix Contact, because we offer the best and effective technology and we understand the needs of our customers. Phoenix Contact is the leading example of technology developed in sincerity with the main goal of easing customer’s application.

If we ponder deep into our connectors and terminal blocks, it was developed with considerations on ease of use, reliability, accuracy and practicality. The millions of terminal blocks shipped every year is a reflection of the millions of connections we have from helping customers.

CCTV and Access Control in Indonesia

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Security Systems for the alternative energy source

Global oil prices have fallen sharply. From 2010 to mid-2014, world oil prices had been fairly stable at around $110 a barrel, but have now risen to around $50 per barrel. This influences future projects in the world. In Indonesia, the government postponed exploration projects (upstream). The government instead concentrated on developing projects downstream, such as TBBM (Terminal Bahan Bakar Minyak). At the same time, the Government develops project Refinery Unit, but focused on developing Security Systems.

The scope of work for a Security System is: CCTV, Access Control, Barrier Gate, Public Address/General Alarm (PA/GA) System and Radio. CCTV and Access Controls are more widely used in Indonesia today. For this project, we capitalise on the opportunities to provide components for CCTV and Access Control. CCTV and Access Control need a control panel. This control panel consists of Junction Box, Power Supply, Terminal Block, Cable, FO Converter and Surge Protection Device. Many brands exist in Indonesia, like Honeywell, Axis, Samsung and Pelco, to name a few. But for this project, the end user (pertamina) specifically needs a System Integrator, which is responsible for the design, installation, FAT, SAT and Commissioning.

We conducted a presentation for System Integrators in Indonesia where we explained the Junction Box, Terminal Block, FO Converter and Surge Protection Device. At January 2017 we received PO from System Integrator for Junction Box, Terminal Block and Surge Protection Device for project Refinery Unit at Pertamina Cilacap. The Integrator needed GRP Junction Box EXE standard. Phoenix Contact has SS and GRP. System Integrator needs SPD for power, Cat 5 and Cat 6. We can provide complete SPD. After that, we got PO for Surge Protection Device for project Refinery Unit at Pertamina Balogan. So for the next project we will try to offer a solution package. We will be offering complete Control Panel for System Integrator. The solution yields a lot of benefits for the customer as the system Integrator has time to focus on the other responsibilities. If the Control Panel has problems in the future, the engineering personnel would not be confuses as there is only one brand at the control panel. Imagine if one panel consists of different brands and the integrator has a lot of projects. The engineer has to check the old documents. Competitors don’t actively search for project related to Security Systems, they usually wait to get the PO from the System Integrator.

Highlights Workshop 2018 – What We Did (Or Didn’t) Do Well

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On the 1st and 2nd of August, 2018, the Phoenix Contact SEA team organized Highlights Workshop 2018, a product-driven event for all our staff as well as distributors within Southeast Asia. The main purpose of this workshop is to enable participants to familiarize themselves with our new products. Accompanied by our guest speakers from Germany, the organizers and presenters worked really hard to make this event a huge success. (Hey, planning and execution of a large-scale event isn’t always as easy as it seems!)

Besides planning the program schedule, we also had to source for suitable locations for the event. After analysing our options, we have decided to hold the event at the same location as Highlights Workshop 2017 last year, which was at Changi Village Hotel. Miscellaneous preparations such as décor also had to be done, such as blowing balloons and arranging LED coloured lights. If you think that’s tedious, it was nothing compared to the preparations needed on the event day itself! Organizers have to be up really early to ensure everything is smooth-flowing, and that there are minimal hiccups throughout the event.

On the first day of the workshop, the confusion began, especially with regards to directions. Although the entire program list had been printed out on the agenda, some participants still took a fair bit of time to figure things out. Some were asking us where the washrooms were, while others could not find their respective venues. Splitting up a huge group into four different teams (unlike last year) has its benefits, such as encouraging more feedback in smaller groups. However, we realise that with separate venues, especially during different timings, clarity is key when it comes to directions. While we were able to usher participants into their respective rooms, time would be spent better if they could figure it out themselves on the spot. For example, we should have placed a signboard at the central reception area to indicate the directions to each room, as well as the washroom. On the second day, it was less haphazard as participants already knew what to expect.

The sharing sessions were extremely informative. Most participants preferred being in smaller groups, rather than in a large, combined group. More people were willing to ask questions and share their opinions with others. Each group was rotated evenly throughout their time slots and everyone had a chance to listen to every single speaker. Distributors also got a chance to meet their competition (a.k.a. other distributors) during this workshop, and discuss relevant experiences and challenges faced.

During the prize presentation ceremony, we handed out the ‘Long Service Distributor’ Awards as tokens of appreciation, to distributors who have worked with us for 20 years or more. Yes, we have been established that long! Additionally, other awards such as huge, successful SEA projects were handed out to the appropriate country representatives.

We did have some negative feedback about the food served during the tea-break, as well as during lunch/dinner time. Not everyone found the quality or taste of the food up to their expectations (we can’t please everybody!), though we can only learn from this and improve on it in the years to come.

Highlights Workshop 2018 would not be a success without the organizers, our fellow colleagues and our beloved distributors. We hope to see you again next year. Till then, your feedback is definitely appreciated.

Benefits of Signals

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Nowadays, information is necessary in improving productivity. Data collection from devices is one consideration point which Phoenix Contact specializes in. As many of you may know, several of our products have been integrated with signal indicators, such as power supply, Ethernet switch, surge protection etc.

A case in point for the benefits of signals would be for redundancy power supply units

Question: Why are signals so important in this particular system?

Answer: Because of dual PSU redundancy system, we always have spare power source in the event that we face problems from one of two power supply units. The purpose of the other device, which remains fully functional, is to provide a backup supply of energy to the system when the other unit fails. So the signal that indicates the non-functioning status of the failed unit can be sent to other systems which are integrated with this system via dry contact or analogue signals.

Case Study

Imagine systems such as QUINT and ORING [Fig – I], under normal circumstances, if the voltage between two PSU is the same level, the ACB function should be activated to balance supplied current to load.

Fig. 1: System diagram when PSU 2 AC power fails

Fig. 1: System diagram when PSU 2 AC power fails

The signals are meant to display that the redundancy and ACB are functioning normally, and it should be indicated via terminal 13/14 and 23/24 to ORING device, connected via wiring. The indicators also show activity from the PSU side. They include terminal 13/14 and the QUINT V4 model not only includes 13/14, but also includes OUT 1 and OUT 2, indicating the current which they supply to load. All signals have been integrated to DCS or SCADA system.

Fig. 2: HMI indication when PSU 2 AC power failed

Fig. 2: HMI indication when PSU 2 AC power failed

Every time when the system detect a fault, all system indicators would be displayed through the monitoring system in the user monitoring screen, triggering SMSes or emails to let operators know and respond to that alarm without any need to send someone to go on site and open the cabinet to investigate what the problem is. Moreover, we can use the data logging and monitoring systems to record any incoming signals in an archive; in case that we need to how frequently and when faults happen.

In this scenario, the verification step is eliminated because the root cause will be indicated instantly via the monitoring system. To collect all the data from this system we only need 6 digital inputs and 4 analogue inputs. It is not too much IO in case we have to compare the benefit against the investment cost.

“Prevention is better than cure”

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From |

In our fast-paced careers and lives, it’s common for people to get lost in the days, weeks and even months. My opinion on this is because majority of the people rarely take the time to pause, reflect and evaluate what they have done.

I love to engage in new opportunities, be it in my personal life or as part of a work force, but I also like to have personal and quality time with the people I choose to include in my life. To make sure I stay connected despite my ever busy schedules, I set aside time for self-reflection.

How Do I Self-Reflect?

As I am now in the 2nd half of year 2018, I will spend time asking myself the following questions;

  • What made this year good? Bad?
  • Did I achieve everything I set out to?
  • What did I do well?
  • Where did I falter?
  • What do I want to change for next year?

By honestly asking my inner self, it helps me to re-enact the experiences I had over the last few months or even the past few years. This also benefits me to make sure I have me-time to be in touch with the deep part of my soul, so I can be better for the people I care about.

Benefits of Self Reflection

I would like to share my opinions of the benefits that I have gathered over the years by constantly setting aside time for self-reflection:

  1. Being positive

I am a very positive person. Positivity to me is important for managing a complex life that includes meeting career, family, community and self needs. The more you reflect on your strengths and how you can build upon them, the more positive and confident you will be in the future.  We become more confident in where our strengths lie and how to close the gaps in our areas of weakness.


  1. Acting with Integrity

Our integrity is often put to the test during bad or stressful times. Taking time to review your actions in the recent past and evaluating them against your core values is critical to acting with integrity. Without structure you can end up anywhere. I keep my own set of rules to guide me. Then, I can assess whether I am following them or how deviation has led me off track. Doing this consistently can solidify your values and make the decision making process easier in the future.

  1. Strengthening your inner self

When taking time to self-reflect, you are looking within yourself. This helps to build two very important aspects. First is self-positioning: it gives you the ability to understand your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals, and recognize their impact on others.

Second is self-regulation: this involves the ability to control or readdress your disruptive emotions and adapt to changing circumstances. These skills will definitely improve both your personal life and also your professional role in your organization.

My End, Your Beginning

I would like to thank everyone who spent their time to read through my writing, and I strongly believe that everyone has a hand for their own destiny, even if we don’t have total control.

By keeping aside time for self-reflection, even just thinking through who I wish to be in 10 years’ time is helpful for making decisions that lead me down a preferred path.

This is “My End” and I hope that if you have not done any self-reflecting thus far, it will now be “Your Beginning”.

Lighting the Way to Safety

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How well-lit is your workplace? Is it bright enough for you to see if what you are doing is safe?

According to Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia (DOSH), under the Factories and Machinery Act (Act 139), the approximate minimum intensity under average operating conditions “Where moderate discrimination of detail is essential, such as for medium assembling, rough bench and machine work, rough inspection or testing of products” is at least 20 foot-candles, or 215.2 lumens.

Looking for a bright idea to light up your world (or at least your workplace)? Look no further than Phoenix Contact LED Lighting.

Phoenix Contact's LED Lighting

In addition, it also boasts the following:

LED Light Mounting

  • Flexibility with Magnetic Mounting & Control
  • Quick and easy installation

Not sure if you need these for your workplace? We can help you to analyse the condition of your working environment and light up the path to your safety. Feel free to contact us to find out more!

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Reliable Charging Systems for E-Mobility

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We develop charging systems and charging controllers for DC and AC charging. Our customers see us as a complete provider of components for devices within the charging infrastructure, for both static and mobile equipment. As an innovator in this field, we set new standards for the further development and standardization of components and solutions worldwide for a modernized charging infrastructure.

Different types of Vehicles. Image from:

Different types of Vehicles. Image from:

Most Relevant Standard for E-Mobility Charging

IEC 61851 Electric vehicle conductive charging system

  • IEC 61851-1 – General requirement
  • IEC 61851-21 – Electric Vehicle Requirement
  • IEC 61851-22 – Charging Station
  • IEC 61851-23 – DC Charging

IEC 62196 Plug, Socket-Outlets and Vehicle Couplers

  • IEC 62196 -1  General requirement
  • IEC 62196 -2  AC Charging Connector
  • IEC 62196 -3  DC Charging Connector

ISO/IEC 15118 Vehicle to grid communication interface

  • ISO/IEC 15118 -1 Use Cases
  • ISO/IEC 15118 -2 Protocol
  • ISO/IEC 15118 -3 Physical and data link layer requirements

IEC 62752 In-cable control and protection devices (RCD)

Electric vehicle connectors

Phoenix Contact offers a complete range of vehicle connectors and infrastructure plugs from a single source: type 1, type 2 and GB/T standard. Whether it’s conventional charging on the AC power grid or fast DC charging, you’ll find the perfect solution in our product range which is also based on the requirements in accordance with IEC 62196.

  • AC charging cables for Type 1, Type 2, and GB/T standard
  • DC charging cables for CCS Type 1, CCS Type 2, and GB/T standard

AC Charging Connector

AC Charging Connector

DC Charging Connector

DC Charging Connector

Charging controllers

The EV Charge Controller Advanced charging controller can establish an intelligent connection to control systems via Ethernet and Modbus TCP. The relevant energy and performance data is recorded by the charging controller via a configurable RS-485 interface, Modbus RTU and based on the requirements in accordance with IEC 61851-1. We also supply software modules in accordance with IEC 61851 and OCPP to facilitate communication between vehicles, charging stations, and even back-end systems.

EV Charging Controllers

EV Charging Controllers

In addition to our charging systems, we also offer a complete product range for constructing a modern charging infrastructure – from the power supply to the tamper-proof operator interface. Our solution expertise is rounded off by professional consultation and software services.

Type of charging mode IEC 61851

The three different modes of electric vehicle conductive charging specified in IEC 61851

The three different modes of electric vehicle conductive charging specified in IEC 61851

Phoenix Contact has a complete range of products for designing the infrastructure of charging stations, such as Ev Connectors, Charging Controllers, Energy Meters, RCM, Surge Protection, Terminal Blocks, Power Supplies, DC-UPS, Ethernet, Switch, PLC, IPC etc.

If you would like to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s E-Mobility, feel free to contact us via the form below!

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Your Partner in Connector Solutions

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As our global industry is growing fast, our company recognizes that one of the most important features in this particular field is connectivity and innovation. That’s why we continue to make new innovations to be the leading manufacturer of Connectors.

We develop new solutions, such as connection technologies, mounting techniques, contact techniques and transmission methods.

We have confidence that we have a wide range of products to meet your requirements.

We will be your best partner for Connector solutions.

Here’s why:

  • “Quality” – We make sure that our customers receive the best quality products, through intensive quality tests before production and fully automated inspection during production.
  • “Wide range of products” – Whatever you need, we have products to support you.
  • “Delivery” – With our innovative automated factories, worldwide production and local warehouses, prompt delivery to you is our commitment.

Last but definitely not least, the most important trait we have confidence in is “Service”. Our Phoenix Contact Staff, and not just our sales personnel, are ready and willing to support you to meet your needs.

Be it Customer Service, Sales, Technical staff or our Management, even you don’t know anybody, just give us a call, we will try to find the best solution for you. At minimum, we will follow up with the people who are best suited to support you.

We promise, we will not leave your request unanswered.