Global machine and equipment builders designing panels for global markets need to select the right components to meet numerous international standards as well as address changing energy-efficiency guidelines.

To address these needs, Rockwell Automation has released the Allen-Bradley Bulletin 100-E IEC contactors to help machine builders design smaller, more energy-efficient panels.

Rockwell's technical consultant for connected components, Simon Johnson, said that traditionally, contactors have been used to switch electrical loads in numerous applications, such as motors, fans and pumps.

However, large size contactors are increasingly used in applications to isolate or bypass these loads and for switching of resistive loads.

To accommodate this change, new lines of contactors feature a universal coil, which offers operators more flexibility when controlling with multiple voltages.

“Typically, with contactors, you need to specify what voltage you want to control with,” Johnson said.

“With the new lines, the contactors can be controlled with 40 to 50 different voltages, ranging from 24 to 500 volts, with only four different coil options.”

Previous options were available in multiple voltages and often required an AC or DC coil to control applications. With the introduction of the universal coil, operators can more easily control voltage on multiple applications with fewer parts.

“These coils are also much more energy efficient. With the new device, operators can operate the same applications with a smaller power supply," Johnson said.

In addition to the universal coil, the new contactors are significantly smaller than previous product lines. "The Bulletin 100-E IEC contactors have a 25 per cent smaller footprint than previous product lines," he said.

Rockwell Automation's commercial specialist for power control and connected components, Robert Campbell, said a more compact contactor allows for a smaller panel and a smaller enclosure.

He said the new contactors replace the Allen-Bradley Bulletin 100-D IEC contactors. "While the previous line featured contactors for applications from 115-860 amps, the new contactors are designed for applications from 116 to 2650 amps," Campbell said.

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