Sizzle That Sells

Thinner, Smarter, More Cost-Effective Terminal Blocks Make the Scene

According to Ben Orchard, application engineer at Opto 22, “The general trend over the last five years has been for terminal blocks to be thinner, skinnier and take up less space. With this decrease in size has come an increase in functionality. Terminal block makers are offering wire harnesses, terminal extenders and other accessories, and at the same time, they are making the terminal blocks smarter. But perhaps the most significant change has been the convergence of the terminal block and the controller. The two have come together in ways that are providing tremendous functionality with lower costs.”

Howard Minnick at ASI talks about what’s next for terminal blocks. “A couple of recent developments will certainly help to improve the cost utilization of terminal blocks in the future,” he says. “First, a generation of terminal blocks now accepts a low-cost, plug-in jumper that can reduce costs as much as 50% and take a whopping 80% out of the time to install a terminal block jumper. The other accessory that is destined to improve the functionality and reduce time, errors and costs with terminal blocks is the custom-printed terminal blocks marker. With the use of high-speed thermal printers, the customer can print up to 100 labels in nine seconds. Now by customizing the marking labels for terminal blocks, the customer can insure both wiring efficiency and reliability. Terminal block accessories are the sizzle that sells the steak, and in the case of these two items, they can save the customer time and money.”

Patti Pool
Products Editor

Siemens Energy & Automation
SIMATIC ET 200pro I/O is a distributed I/O system with an IP65/67 degree of protection. The modular design of the I/O allows drives and motor starters to be diagnosed or replaced without interrupting communication. Built-in communications interfaces allow connections to PROFIBUS or PROFINET.


Power Cage Clamp models 285-150 (2/0) and 285-135 (2 AWG) round out a line of spring-type terminal blocks that terminate conductors from 2 AWG to 4/0. The two-conductor, feed-through block provides connections for all conductor types up to 200 A/600 V. A side-entry design makes the terminal blocks suitable for connecting large conductors in space-restricted areas, such as switchgear cabinets.

Acces I/O Products
Model USB-IDIO-16 output module features 16 individually optically isolated inputs and 16 fully protected solid state FET outputs capable of switching up to 2A each. The module is fully compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports and offers hot-plug functionality for quick-disconnect whenever you need additional I/O on the user’s USB port. The circuit isolation makes the board suited for use in control and instrumentation applications where high-voltage protection is required. Individual channel-to-channel isolation allows every channel to be physically and electrically separated from the others.

R2 FieldConnex segment protectors allow segments to be disconnected while leaving trunk communications uninterrupted and prevent over-termination that can cause start-up and commissioning problems. They are also designed to eliminate errors that can occur while connecting test leads for system diagnostics work. Segment protectors provide IP20 protection with DIN-rail mounting in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-spur configurations.

Series C optionally redundant process I/O family uses a vertical design to reduce energy, installation and maintenance costs. The series  communicates over Honeywell’s Fault Tolerant Ethernet network. By combining the maximum I/O in the minimum footprint, the family cuts cost throughout the entire build cycle. The angled module form factor also facilitates uniform heat dissipation.




Tyco Electronics
Terminal Block Power Connector provides a high-current capability of up to 52 A in a board-mounting terminal block. Available in two or three positions, the modular construction offers a 10.16-mm pitch to allow both factory and field wiring. Individual blocks can be dovetailed to achieve a higher number of positions without losing the centerline spacing. The blocks, available with black and green UL-94-V-O-rated housings, have side-wire entry and a screw-clamp termination.

Advantech, Industrial Automation Group
ADAM-5017P analog input module has eight different independent configuration channels, supports power reverse and has a wide uni-polar or bi-polar input range. ADAM 5018P analog input module is a thermocouple input module that supports seven input ranges and types (J, K, T, E, R, S, B) and will filter functions to remove any unreasonable range. Both support the High Common Mode function, which means channel-to-channel differential voltages can be up to 200 Vdc. Now even more measurements, such as battery or power transducer/transmitter measurements can be achieved with this new design.


Automation Systems Interconnect
EZ Jump terminal blocks are a line of DIN-rail-mounted IEC terminal blocks that has been designed around the easy-to-install plug-in circuit jumper, PTC. The PTC jumper system is a combo of plug-in jumpers that can be cut to any number of circuits by the user and can be modified to allow for alternate circuit jumpers. The terminal blocks are available in screw-clamp and spring- clamp wire terminations. The family includes single-level, multiple-level, functional, fuse and numerous other styles of terminal blocks.

JRBS junction bricks for Foundation fieldbus provide quick connection of multiple devices to the main fieldbus trunk. They are available with 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 ports and feature removable terminals for simple installation and wiring modification in tight spaces. These terminals are located on both sides of the brick to enable easy access for wiring from either direction, and they securely screw into place, eliminating the risk of becoming disconnected in high vibration environments. The junction bricks can be DIN-mounted vertically or horizontally.

Opto 22
Snap terminal extenders are six-foot long cables that provide bundled connections from analog and digital I/O module terminals to custom breakout boards. They snap into the top of SNAP I/O modules and terminate with flying leads (pre-stripped and ready for wiring) at breakout boards that facilitate connection to field I/O. By providing snap-in, easy-to-trace wiring from the module to the device, SNAP-TEX cables reduce wiring mistakes, eliminating incidences of loose connections at the top of the module, while also speeding and simplifying both initial wiring and subsequent maintenance and replacement.

Sealevel Systems
SeaDAC Lite 8126 digital interface adapter allows use of a single USB connection to control and monitor up to 32 channels of buffered drive TTL digital I/O. It addresses the 32 channels of I/O as four eight-bit ports, each programmable as input and output. A 50-pin header connects the module to industry-standard, solid-state relay racks to provide PC-based control of equipment, including sensors, switches, security control systems and industrial automation systems.

Phoenix Contact
Bluemark printer uses UV technology to print markers for terminal blocks, conductors, devices and other equipment. It delivers non-smearing, non-smudging markers that are resistant to harsh chemicals and environments. The printer has an output of up to 10,000 markers/hour. Along with a USB interface, the printer is network-compatible via Ethernet or wirelessly controlled using Bluetooth.

EtherTRAK-2 I/O module features web-based I/O configuration and monitoring, self-calibrating analog I/O, the ability to store project documentation on a web server, and OEM-customizable components and labels. No tools required for installation. A “snap” locks the module into its wiring base. Hot- swap capability allows users to plug in and remove the module in live systems. Redundant wiring can be used; two power inputs provide a means to install a second power source, ensuring continuous I/O module operation. EtherTRAK-2 has dual Ethernet ports, RS483 and USB. Each port has MAC and IP addresses allowing two module connections to independent networks, providing more configurations and flexibility.

SAI-Active Universal Modules are designed for applications that support Ethernet and Ethernet/IP protocols in addition to Profibus-DP, CANopen, Modbus and DeviceNet. They have standardized M8 and M12 connectors for plug-and-play installation in harsh environments for up to sixteen digital I/Os. Two M12 connectors provided for the fieldbus connection eliminate the need for a T-connector or splitter.

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