Phoenix Contact showcases new technologies
Phoenix Contact featured at Hannover Fair an array of automation-related technologies available to its global customer base.
MGuard routers that feature router, firewall, and VPN gateway technology in one unit. The routers are said to provide for highly secure remote machine service that can be turned on or off by machine operators via a physical key lock device. Access to the MGuard router takes place over Internet browsers and requires no proprietary software. The router is also said to be compatible with any industrial Ethernet protocol.
The new Ethernet Port Adapter FL WLAN EPA integrates automation devices to wireless WLAN 802.11b/g networks. The Ethernet Port Adapter can be connected as an industrial WLAN client module directly to the Ethernet port of an automation device (and can accommodate any Ethernet protocol). Phoenix Contact supports the Trusted Wireless standard for its WLAN products, enabling wireless connections of up to several kilometers.
The new GSM modems from Phoenix Contact make use of the worldwide GSM cellular network in conjunction with Internet technology to provide secure connections to distant industrial Ethernet networks. In addition to on-demand GSM dial-up connections for remote servicing of machines and systems, this modem can also be used to establish TCP/IP-based GPRS connections. Since GPRS and Edge are billed by data volume and not connection time, this is a cost-attractive option in applications where data has to be captured continuously.
(Note: Edge technology offers faster data transmission rates than GSM-up to 210 kBit/s). Password-protected dial-up, IPsec encryption, and an integrated firewall offer a high degree of data security. Six integrated switch inputs can be used to send alarm messages as SMS text messages or e-mails in remote monitoring applications.
The PSR Trisafe relay is a new configurable safety module. Safety circuits in machines and plants-from emergency stops to safety door monitoring- can be monitored using this single intrinsically safe switching device. Measuring 67.5 mm wide, this relay can be used to monitor up to 20 incoming safety signals. It also provides four intrinsically safe outputs as well as outputs for clock signals, alarms, and ground switches. The safety logic can be customized using drag-and-drop functionality in the graphical configuration software Safeconf.
Though not yet available in the U.S., Phoenix Contact has developed a new junction box for use in the manufacture of solar panels. In solar panels, electrical connections in photovoltaic components are established using a junction box. The PV-JB 2.5/2-20 junction box (available in an IP65-rated enclosure) can be positioned by a robot above the contact ribbons and pressed down into place with one motion to establish the required contacts.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.