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Plugable Relay ; Phoenix Contact article

Clear and reliable potential separation is becoming more and more important for the reliability of industrial automation facilities. Modern relay or optocoupler interfaces fulfill the most varied tasks. Whether in production engineering, for the electrical equipping of machines or in control engineering for power distribution, building automation and materials processing - the main aim is to guarantee the exchange of signals between the process peripherals and the higher level control systems. This exchange must provide reliable operation, be floating and electrically unambiguous.

Safe electrical interface modules must have the following characteristics:

  • Coupling of different signal levels
  • Reliable electrical isolation between input and output
  • Amplification of weak signals
  • Increased resistance to interferences and
  • Flexible configuration possibilities.

Modern interface modules from Phoenix Contact completely fulfill the requirements for this type of problem. In practice, a relay interface comes into use when a flexible interface configuration is required with a large switching capacity range and the possibility of combining different types of contact. Further important features of relay interfaces are:

  • Electrical isolation between open contacts
  • Independence of the type of switching current (AC and DC)
  • High short-term overload resistance in the event of short circuits or voltage peaks
  • Virtually no adverse influence from electromagnetic fields and
  • Ease of operation.

Optocoupler modules are used when the interface between the process peripherals and electronics is subject to the following requirements:

  • Low control power
  • High switching frequencies
  • No contact chatter
  • Resistance to vibrations and polluted environments
  • Long service life, independent of the number of switching operations.


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