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Phoenix Contact has introduced Contactron, a series of hybrid motor starters that facilitate project planning and wiring, making them a space-saving alternative to mechanical contactor circuits.

The solid-state reversing contactor requires a minimum of space in the control cabinet and ensures maximum system availability with almost wear-free switching.

Of interest to machine builders, system integrators, and panel and MCC manufacturers across all sectors, the Contactron series provides three-phase motor control with up to four functions in one compact module.

With versions ranging from a simple 1-in-1 direct starter up to the complete 4-in-1 reversing starter with motor protection and emergency stop, there is a product for virtually every application.

The Contactron motor starter has numerous advantages over the traditional method.

A motor that needs to be controlled in both forward and reverse directions traditionally requires two contactors and a motor protection relay to be wired together.

If an emergency stop is needed then an additional emergency-stop contactor is also required.

This way of doing things needs at least four separate components, all of which take up about 135mm of Din-rail space.

For three-phase AC motors up to 4kW, the Contactron 4-in-1 combines the four functions of forward and reverse run, overload protection and emergency stop contactor in one module measuring only 22.5mm wide.

This gives a space and wiring time saving of approximately 75 per cent in both cases, which is a significant cost benefit.

At the heart of the Contactron is a hybrid switching technology.

It is this technology that allows the device to be much smaller in size than comparable mechanical contactor solutions.

As a hybrid, the Contractron is a microprocessor-controlled combination of rugged relay technology and wear-free solid-state technology that leads to ‘gentle’ switching.

In simple terms, the motor load is started using the solid-state switches, while a set of electromechanical relays operate in parallel to carry the load and allow the solid-state components to turn off.

This sequence happens in reverse when the load is switched off or reversed.

In practical terms this means wear-free fast switching, a reduced load on the relay contacts, the elimination of contact bounce, high vibration rating and built-in output protection.

As a result of this technology the heat sinks that are usually required are not necessary, which in turn allows for a reduction in size of the devices.

The Contactron range is available with 24VDC control or up to 230VAC control input voltages.

The overcurrent protection functionality is flexible, meaning that one or two modules can be inventoried and monitoring can be set for all sizes of motors up to 4kW.

There are three different current versions available, 0.6A, 2.4A and 9A with the new 0.6A power class aligned to motors rated up to 0.18kW and allows low motor currents to be set precisely.

The Contactron range holds SIL 3 and PL e rating that means it can fulfil international safety directives.

It also holds ATEX approval and is suitable for use in the chemical and petro-chemical sectors.

Established for more than 25 years in the UK, Phoenix Contact Ltd is your partner in electrical connection technology, PCB connection, surge protection, field cabling, wireless networks and industrial automation. Its position as the global market leader in connection, signal conversion and interface, surge protection and industrial automation technology, is achieved by providing 'Inspiring Innovations'.

Our principal product ranges include:

  • Printed circuit board connectors
  • Modular terminal blocks
  • Fieldbus components
  • Surge voltage protection systems
  • Industrial plug and socket connectors
  • Interface units

In all of these areas, Phoenix Contact can offer technical expertise and cost-effective solutions.

We provide support from eight experts, available in the field, and product specialists. We would also be happy to visit you with our products and tailor a presentation to meet your technology requirements.

Phoenix Contact operates an accredited quality systems BS EN 9000, which encourages continual service and process improvements resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction.

Our distributor network consists of local outlets of major distributor groups and independent companies to provide the best possible local support with a specialisation in the extensive range of our products.

Support and availability is also provided by a dedicated network of national catalogues companies offering some of our specific product ranges and services.

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